Vettel took his demotion to second on the chin, and I was pleased he didn’t wave two fingers when he came into the parc ferme, which could have been misunderstood. He ended up nursing the car to the finish, but had enough in hand that Button (McLaren) was unable to bridge the gap.
Once again, Jenson Button showed skill and maturity to come in a well deserved third. Attributes that appear to have deserted his team mate, I am afraid. Button drives without flamboyance, without controversy, and just gets the job done. If McLaren can give him a better car in 2012 he could easily score another driver’s championship.
So what has happened to Hamilton (McLaren), the driver who (used to) exhibit more tiger than the Sriracha Tiger Zoo? In his words, “At the start I wanted to avoid any aggro, and that meant I lost a position to Fernando.” Avoiding aggro! When he began to race with Massa, we were all sure this would bring the tiger out of the cage, but no. The tiger turned into a pussy cat. Did the Pussycat Dolls burst his happy bubble? He will have to sparkle up by 2012. His manager should get him a Happy Bubble repair kit and show him how to use it over the Xmas break.
Alonso (Ferrari) has to win the jack rabbit award for his starts. No matter where he starts from, you can guarantee he will be up the front by the first corner. Now if Ferrari can give him a car which can use his skills, they could have a repeat of the Schumacher years. But will they?
And what about the accident between Schumacher (Mercedes) and Bruno Senna (Renault-Lotus and anyone else throwing some cash at the team)? A ‘racing incident’ said the telly talking heads - “naughty boy Senna” said the stewards awarding the youngster a drive-through penalty, while Michael Schumacher dismissed it with, “It was a bit of a shame today with the incident with Bruno, which was caused perhaps due to some lack of experience, but then those things happen.” From where I sat, all it needed was a momentary ‘lift’ by Senna and the initial part of the accident would not have happened; however, the second part of the accident where Senna tagged Schumacher’s tyre was in my view deliberate, and I agree with the stewards decision. For once!
It was not a good day for the Brazilians in the race. Old age pensioner Barichello (Williams) had a dreadful race, and if he were hoping that this drive in front of his home fans would stay his execution, he was mistaken. However, his final words were, “There’s been a lot of talk over the weekend, but I believe I will be back again next season.” (Don’t bet on it, Rubens.) Senna got the ire of the stewards, and Massa (Ferrari) showed once more that he does not have the pace, or nous of Alonso.
So that was the final Grand Prix of 2011, and we can now just wait and hope the design engineers can turn out race cars over the break that can challenge the all-conquering Red Bulls. Watch this space!