Now everybody has had a chance to think about the
Firstly, that decision to bring Alonso in early. Pat Symonds claims that the decision was justified because Fernando was only carrying one more lap of fuel than Schumacher and thus wouldn’t have been able to overhaul the deficit. It has to be asked how Renault knew when Michael was actually going to stop (as the timings were inconclusive), and why the team didn’t realise that Ferrari would have reacted to the stop immediately to ensure Schumacher the best possible chance of retaining the lead (by minimising Alonso’s clear laps)?
Despite fuel loads and tyre degredation, I believe Renault should have waited until the last possible moment to pit Fernando. But I do agree with Symonds when he says, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And in this case, nothing lost.”
Secondly, that Honda pit stop. Everybody makes mistakes, and occasionally it is a big one. Hopefully it will never happen again, and I have to admire Jenson Button’s calmness over the situation. So many other drivers would have publicly ripped the team to shreads, but Jenson pretty much said what I said: “So it’s disappointing, but I know that the way Alistair [the lollipop man] works he’ll never do that again – he’ll work his hardest to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Jenson has apparently given a motivational speech to his team this morning, which shows the Brits dedication. Honda is a team that I feel Jenson wants to win with, and despite all the shenanigans of past years, I feel Button has finally realised that instead of moving around teams looking for the best (and eternally chasing the dream), he should stay at one that has potential and work at it.
Yuji Ide could be signing-on after the European Grand Prix in a fortnight. Team Manager Daniele Audetto has admitted that Ide’s position is “under threat”, and the team are looking at alternative drivers. Audetto has said that whilst Ide hasn’t been given much of a chance to test, his performance will be judged at the “not-so-difficult” Nurburgring circuit.
I don’t like questioning a drivers ability, and I can imagine that Ide’s task is a mountainous one at minimum. But in the first four races he has been comprehensively beated by his team mate (a certain Takuma Sato), and has caused some concern among the other drivers. I remember when the FIA made a big hoo-hah over Raikkonen’s super license way back when. It was suggested that the young driver didn’t have the experience to race in
And finally, the Schumacher win. Not exactly 100% deserved, as his Ferrari was massively under-performing in the middle stint of the race. But a win none-the-less, and nobody can take that away from him. Schumacher drove well, and his run before the first stop was good. Michael showed us some defensive driving towards the end of the second stint, although Alonso was struggling to even get close to the Ferrari because of the dirty-air. And then he managed to hold it altogether to cross the line first. I’m sure Ferrari are jubilant over their first win since last year, but they will have to work very hard if they are to win more. Renault will not give up trying, and after seeing Fernando race, there is no way his motivation is lacking this year (because of his impending switch to McLaren next year). McLaren will improve, and Kimi is going to be pushing for wins soon. It isn’t going to be easy for Ferrari to beat the two top teams, but I’m sure they will give it their all. I think knowing what the future is regarding their number one driver will help, and will ease any tension within the team. I’m sure Michael will also want to announce soon what he plans to do, and this will be a sigh of relief (either way) for the Scuderia. I say either way because knowing is always better than not knowing. And if Schumacher decides to hang up his helmet, the team will be motivated to give him a good send off.
Although I now think that Schumacher will want to make his win tally cross the 100 mark…
What are your thoughts on the race? Was Renault right to pull Alonso in early? How should Button motivate his team to perform? Should Button have to make speeches to get better performances? Will Schumacher continue to race, or will he say “enough is enough” and retire? Have your say…