Grand Prix 2011 European Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Got your breath back yet?

After an exhilarating grand prix which lasted for record time, it seems as if there is renewed optimism that Sebastian Vettel can be caught after a last lap slip in the moist conditions in Canada allowing Jenson Button to take his first win for over a year despite a turbulent race which included crashes with Alonso and team-mate Hamilton, a puncture and a drive through.

However, a candidate for most improved driver since the season started is a certain Michael Schumacher. Ridiculed early on after a poor start, he seems to have found the groove again and if it hadn't have been for the last safety car, he arguably would have gotten his first podium since returning to the sport, indeed he was closing the gap to Vettel and could even have taken the win at one of his favourite circuits. Now that he has overtaken Rosberg in the standings, is it time for him to push on and show that he is worth the 7 world championships to his name?

Another name that has been bandied about the press recently is Lewis Hamilton, after a disappointing race in Monaco, he followed it with a worse showing at one of his most successful circuits. During the race he hit everything that moved, and seemed to take the blame for most if not all of the incidents, whether he deserves the current criticism is another thing entirely. He knows he needs a strong showing in Valencia where he has finished 2nd on every single visit so far to the Spanish circuit.

It is the second home race of the year for Fernando Alonso, but it looks like he is going to need more than home support to beat the Red Bulls here, however an improved showing in Canada was masked by a clumsy incident with Button which punted him out of the grand prix. Felipe Massa had an overall strong race and recovered form an impact in the wall to finish 6th after beating Kobayashi in a drag race to the line.

Williams claimed their first points of the year finally with Barrichello claiming a handful of points while Toro Rosso managed to get both drivers into the points which will go some way into relieving the pressure on the two embattled drivers who will no doubt be looking over his shoulder.

Looking ahead to Valencia, it is easy for people not to get their hopes up about any exciting racing as the European Grand Prix here hasn't been known for frantic racing, particularly as the 2009 race didn't have any overtaking whatsoever, yes, there were 0 overtakes. But with a combination of two long straights and the new dual DRS zones, we should be seeing tons of overtaking into the hairpin, remember Kobayashi's overtake on Alonso late on last year.

No doubt Mark Webber will want to eradicate last years memories where he found that Red Bull literally did give him wings when he flew 360 degrees in the air after tagging Kovalainens lotus at high speed, seeing as this happened in what will probably be a DRS zone this year, I sincerely hope we do not see a repeat, while Webber walked away unharmed, it is never nice to see that happen in any kind of motorsport.

For Galahads superb circuit write up, see here
After a day working in my garden in scorching temperatures, I was looking forward to watching the recording of the race with a nice glass of Shiraz.
Well, the Shiraz was very nice...and I did get to enjoy the weather yesterday, so it's not all bad I suppose. :disappointed:

Oh - and how dare Hammond drive over an Alfa in his desperately unfunny feature on another pointless ego-mobile! >:(
From the Belgian press(for what it's worth):
-d'Ambrosio had a problem with his drinking bottle,hadn't been able to suck a single drop of fluid during the race and as a result was dehydrated and had lost 3 kilo's of body weight(from 66,5!)
-Webber had been told on sunday morning he could look forward to an extension of his contract,but was not supposed to pressure Vettel in the first corner of the race.
Since I haven't commented on this point and do not intend to again, am I allowed one go?

In his last stint Hamilton was in a car which had no chance of catching the car in front. There was a big gap between him and the car behind. So he did what any sensible driver would do, he drove at a pace at which he would not be caught in order to preserve his car (especially the engine and gear box) for another day.
I eagerly await to see what Ferrari's new Aero package delivers from the Brittish GP thereon....Maybe a second half revival by the Marinello boys..

The Scuderia hasn't done well on the hard tire compound by Pirelli, and how do you think Ferrari may fair if the hard compound is used at Silverstone?
Pretty much every race you see something that just boggles the mind. Usually it's catching a sliding car or pulling off a sweet overtake, but this weeks mind blower comes from the "simple" act of avoiding a piece of debris.

Here are Webber and Alonso deftly driving around a stray piece of carbon fibre. In slow motion it seems Fernando is reacting at about the same time as Mark. The reflexes on these guys are unbelievable.

This was the lap that Alonso passed Webber too.
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