Grand Prix 2012 European Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Valencia........ :bored:

Even Abu Dhabi and Bahrain are more exciting in comparison. Valencia is the only grand prix on the calendar that I genuinley do not look forward to. It's dull, boring and hasn't provided an interesting race at all since its inception on the F1 calendar in 2008. Thankfully it won't be a regular feature in the future as it will be alternating with Barcelona in the future.

Going into the Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton is back as the Championship leader after becoming the 7th driver to win in 7 races with victory in the Canadian Grand Prix. After missing out on the podium in recent races he was back with vengeance after fighting back from starting second and being third with 10 laps to go but thanks to fresher tyres he made easy work of Vettel and Alonso in the latter laps who fell away after a gamble to one stop failed. In the end Roman Grosjean and Sergio Perez finished on the podium and it is testament to the unpredictably of 2012 that it wasn't the first time either of them have been on the podium this season.

From race to race no team has been consistently at the very front, in Spain it was Williams, in Monaco it was Red Bull and in Canada it was McLaren. Both Ferrari and Lotus have probably been the most consistent package over recent weeks but not enough to win races with podium places the highest they can manage, but considering the start to the season Ferrari made, that probably isn't a bad thing and Alonso is only 2 points off the championship leader with world champion Vettel just one point behind in third.

It's a complete reversal of 2011 as this time last year Hamilton left Canada with a world of problems after a DNF which involved a collision with team mate Button who went on to win one of the best races of his career passing Vettel on the last lap. But 12 months later Hamilton won the race with Button finishing a lapped 16th. What's worse for the 2009 champion is that was on merit as well and not down to any car failures or pit problems, it marks a horrid fall from grace after winning the opening race in Melbourne and an early run of podiums but now he is struggling to even get into Q3 and convert that into points finishes. Button appears clueless as to where the problem lies and it may not be a short term fix as the car isn't slow as Hamilton is currently proving. It could be already over as far as Button's title hopes are concerned as he is currently 43 points behind Hamilton and has roughly half the points total.

It is also interesting to note that Button was further behind the leader last season and he was second in the championship, while at the moment he lies in 8th behind both Lotus drivers who are the only front running drivers yet to win a race (excluding Schumacher) and having come close in Bahrain and Spain they will want to be the next winners and take the total to 8 winners in 8 races and with both Raikkonen and Grosjean closely matched it's hard to say who is the more likely. But it's Grosjean's form which is the most surprising, a lot of people questioned why he was given the driver role given the way he was outperformed in 2009 and a lot of people said he would be outraced by the returning Finn, but after 7 races he is only 2 points behind and that is despite several first lap incidents where he has been the innocent part in some cases but not others (Malaysia). With the pendulum swinging from race to race it is hard to predict who will have the upper hand in the Spanish heat.

For Galahad's brilliant circuit write up -


Podium Finisher
A driver cannot crowd another off the circuit. This means that he must leave sufficient space for someone beside him at any time.
The first part of your statement is the rule.
The second is presumably your interpretation of driving standards to meet with the rules, but is not implied by them, as has been highlighted above and in the stewarding decisions recently.


Wouldn't it be race control i.e the FIA and more specifically Charlie Whiting that make the decision to deploy the safety car rather than the locals who put on the show?

I think SC deployment is largely a collective decision and occasionally unilateral via Charlie when there's clear and immediate danger. The decision to deploy the SC at Valencia was almost certainly a collective one and the 'local rent a steward' played their part.


Staff Member
The president of the German motor sport association has warned Red Bull and Vettel for their comments regarding the safety car.

However Stuck has warned both that accusing the FIA of such behaviour could be seen as “unsportsmanlike conduct.”

“Sebastian Vettel should learn to be a good loser,” Stuck told German Eurosport. “It was clear there was debris on the circuit, representing a danger of puncture to the other cars. For that reason, the safety car was justified.”


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I'm sorry F1ang-o but I just don't see the relevance of your comment. Red Bull complained, rightly or wrongly, about the safety being brought out when their man was running away with the race. After he had retired why should they care? It's for other to pass comment on that surely?


Karting amateur
I think they are worried that the safety car caused the retirement. I reckon both retirements were electrical/mechanical faults due to overheating. Surely though, that's their own problem.

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
If anything, the absence of a safety car in the two instances where there were marshals on the track would tend to lend credibility to Marko's argument. I can imagine him asking, "Why a safety car for a few bits of harmless debris on the track but off the racing line, while no safety car later on when cars were being recovered from dangerous positions on the track by marshals?"


Champion Elect
Yeah Hamilton recovered a lot of time on the, er, "straights". He was 5.8km/h quicker through the speed trap than Vettel. That's a pretty big difference.

Funny though, I expected Hamilton to be more aggressive and closer to the wall than Vettel. I guess Vettel is feeling really comfortable with his car.


Really I don't know where this thread is going I've never heard so much tripe talked about safety car deployment in all my life do people really think that Charlie sits there and thinks hang on Vettel is getting a bit far ahead I best stick a safety car out and close that gap up a bit, that's just complete bollocks.

Also don't you think that the Lewis incident has been done to death now? It happened its finished get over it, all you are doing at the moment is clashing heads and getting absolutely nowhere.... It's like being in a pub and listening to some bloke talking about the same thing he did last night and the night before and the night before that...:bored:


Staff Member
do people really think that Charlie sits there and thinks hang on Vettel is getting a bit far ahead I best stick a safety car out and close that gap up a bit
People don't, Vettel/Red Bull does.

It's like being in a pub and listening to some bloke talking about the same thing he did last night and the night before and the night before that...:bored:
You can always move to a different part of the pub, or leave it :)
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