If you can find any bookmaker anywhere who will give you odds on “The Finger” Vettel (Red Bull) winning the 2013 driver’s championship, take it. Once again total domination by the German driver, winning as he pleased despite two Safety Car periods. However, during the slowing down lap, there was one plus side to the interruption in service caused by the rain in Pattaya. We were spared the girlish screams from the winner!
And while still on Red Bull, does Helmut Marko have a “magic button” with the power to cause Webber’s Red Bull to ignite? Two fires in two meetings, and a KERS that wouldn’t charge properly, and a puncture. Webber will be glad to leave the Red Bull corral and move to the uber-reliable Porsche stable.
Once again Mr. Pirelli’s tyres were the recipients of attention, with another delaminating tread causing havoc. It simply isn’t good enough that Pirelli (in cahoots with the FIA) produces tyres that last 10 laps and can delaminate. The positions in any race are now dependent upon how many laps have been done on the tyres, with five seconds difference per lap between new and “old” (more than 10 laps) race rubber.
The two “Lotus” entries circulated happily and collected second (Raikkonen) and third (Grosjean), though this only occurred as the safety car periods meant that their tyres could then go the distance.
Of the drivers without a seat, but hopeful of getting one in a competitive team, very few covered themselves with glory. Massa (Ferrari, but soon to be unemployed) managed one of his spins under pressure and spent the rest of the race playing catch-up. Di Resta in the F1ndia, a driver who has had his hand up for Ferrari (unsuccessfully) had yet another accident through driver error. Sorry Paul, stay at Team Poppadum (if they’ll have you back again).
His running mate Sutil is another driver hardly covering himself with glory. It was his spin that collected Mark Webber and set the Red Bull alight. (Perhaps he is in the pay of Helmut?)
Fortunately Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) has already signed his contract with Red Bull, to take over Webber’s seat, or he would be another doubtful with his current performances.
The standout drive came from Hulkenberg (Sauber), who withstood all the pressure that Hamilton (Mercedes) could throw at him. Pencil in Hulkenberg at “Lotus”. He really deserved the Ferrari drive, but “Lotus” is second best.
The rest of the field was notable by not being seen, other than Perez (McLaren) who remains a loose cannon. And an excitable one at that!
For most of the race, it really was a high speed procession, despite two DRS zones. The cars were just holding station until the last 10 laps when they had a go at passing each other, generally without any luck, such as Hulkenberg (Sauber), Hamilton (Mercedes), Alonso (Ferrari) and Rosberg (Mercedes) who finished still in that order.
The long term future of the Korean GP must be in doubt. Hours away from any large city and the spectators stayed away in droves. Some grandstands had no people in them at all. Their GP is an indulgence, brought about by Malaysia, Singapore and India having one, so they want one too. If a Thai GP ever happens, it will be for the same reason.