What did we learn from the Korean GP?


Well, we learned that if Korea imagines that having a world-wide telecast of their Grand Prix is a tourism draw card – they should think again!  By half way through the race I thought the cars might have to come into the pits to have fog lights fitted.  You could have cut yourself a cubic foot of air and walked out with it under your arm!  Unbelievable air pollution.

So The Finger (Vettel, Red Bull) did it again.  Outdragged his team mate Webber off the line and was never headed after that.  Now leads the championship with the strongest car and is a certainty to win his third World Drivers Championship (WDC) on the trot.  If you can find anybody who will give you some odds on this, then take it.  The only way the Vettel train can be stopped is by Romain Grosjean.

Once again, as usual, every time, repetitively, when will he ever learn, Mark Webber fails to make a good clean start, and ends up second.  He should consult Alonso (Ferrari) or team mate Vettel and find out what he is doing wrong, as doing wrong he certainly must be.  Or perhaps he wants to join the Indycar series which has rolling starts.

Ferrari team orders got Alonso into third to keep a faint glimmer of hope in his championship hopes, but it isn’t going to be enough.  Towards the end, with his team mate Massa catching him hand over fist, the Ferrari pit wall told Massa to stay behind Alonso.  A sort of reverse of the famous “Fernando is faster than you” coded message of a couple of years ago.  With Alonso third and Massa a stage-managed fourth, it was as good as the Prancing Horse was going to get.  Massa’s resurgence in form will seal his future for 2013 at least.  No changes for the Scuderia.

McLaren needs more than catchy two minute cartoons with Button and Hamilton (who will be written out of the series shortly to be replaced by a Mexican hat) if they are to salvage anything from the 2012 championship.  Button’s race was ended on the first lap by Sauber’s Kamikaze Kobayashi with a banzai “passing” manoeuver, which was never going to work.  Both McLaren drivers have admitted their chances of another WDC are zero.

The imitation Lotus (Renault) have been in the top half all year, but even the dour Raikkonen has been unable to get much above fifth place.  Of course one problem may be that Kimi cannot communicate with his engineers other than saying “I don’t care” and Grosjean can only say, “I’m sorry.  I did it again.”

Star of the GP was Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India.  A strong race and he finally seems to have come to grips with F1.  Gossip has Hulkenberg going to Sauber next year, which might be a good plan as his current boss (VJ Mallya) has warrants out for his arrest following payments for airport dues with a few alleged rubber checks.  The Hulk to Sauber is then quite a possibility, but which side of the garage?  We know Perez is going to McLaren, but Kobayashi has made too many mistakes to be seriously considered to retain his seat.  And, even more importantly, Japanese big business has not got behind him and he brings no sack of gold, nor even saki nor suki.  Goodbye Kobe-san.

Of course one can not discuss Korea without mentioning the gangnam dwarf with the funny glasses and the pearly king lapel jacket doing his horse dance.  He did a wonderful job of waving the checkered flag with his knees bent and his bum waving.  Fortunately Thailand has Tata Young.

Next GP is India October 28.  VJ Mallya has promised everyone a new suit, silk shirt and tie.  Watch this space…