F.1 – GP India: THE POINT…by Gian Carlo Minardi
Waiting for some technical checks to be carried out on the car driven by Sebastian Vettel, the Indian GP gave an important signal. Once again the Red Bull demonstrated not to be 100% reliable, but luckily, checks will be carried out on Webber’s car, not on Vettel’s.
We saw an amazing Fernando Alonso who needs the support of a car which is still seeking 5 tenths in qualifying but is able to limit the damage during the race. Anyway, we still don’t know the real potential of the Red Bull, since Vettel was never put under pressure. The end of the season will be exciting, with 75 points still up for grabs. The last lap demonstrated how difficult it is to understand the current racing season, with Vettel, Alonso and Button setting the fastest lap. By now, the fight is between two drivers even if, as Alonso said few days ago, the Spaniard of Ferrari is mainly fighting against Newey. We cannot ascribe any fault to the Spaniard. He’s focused and resolute. The Ferrari has to find new solutions, which is not easy to do with a racing season now at an end. It will be quite hard to make 13 points up, but not so impossible.
The order of arrival represented the existing potential of teams, with the Red Bull ahead of Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus, even if the distinction between them is not as sharp as in the last few years. The Ferrari has reliability on its side. That allows the car to maintain a second place and the McLaren is getting more and more performing on hard tyres, thanks to which it scored some wins during the current racing season. Hamilton sought to attack, who encountered a KERS problem, while Alonso tried to put pressure on Sebastian Vettel. Raikkonen had to be satisfied with a 7th place, behind a performing Massa. By now, it looks like the top 6 belongs to the first three drivers. Thanks to his steadfastness, the Finnish driver preserves the third position in the general standing, but it won’t be easy to hold off the assaults of the Australian driver.
Thanks to Grosjean’s ninth place, both Lotus cars come in the top 10 and, along with Williams, Force India and Sauber, they’re all “second class” teams who are trying to get a place in the sun. Both Sauber drivers have experienced a harder weekend, anyway its fifth place seems to be untouchable. Perez’ race was ruined by a tyre puncture caused by a brush with a rival’s front wing, which I consider too large. I think it’s a matter of discussion, as wings don’t avoid wheels brushes. So, I think they’re too large and they can easily ruin the race of the drivers concerned.
In seven days drivers will race at Yas Marina. The Ferrari will have to find the right technical solution to allow Fernando and Felipe to shorten the speed gap with Red Bull in qualifying and demonstrate the similar speed to Vettel in race. In the last few GP the German driver was never put under pressure and was able to exceed the record of laps run as a leader, held by Senna.
Gian Carlo Minardi