Renault boss Flavio Briatore said this weekend that the current pecking order undermines F1’s credibility.
But today was a great race with great performances at the front from Sebastien Vettel and Mark Webber, who scored a Red Bull one two. Jenson Button and team mate Rubens Barrichello were struggling to get the wet tyres to work as well as Red Bull and managed third and fourth places.
Meanwhile the grandee teams whom Briatore believes should be at the front, Ferrari, McLaren and Renault had another difficult day. Ferrari got no points again for the third race, Renault turned P2 on the grid into P9 at the finish. McLaren fared a little better with fifth and six places.
Briatore’s credibility point was related to the diffuser situation but not only do Red Bull not have a double diffuser, today the rain was a great leveller and still the grandees didn’t take advantage.
It was Vettel’s second win, again in the wet just as it was last year in Monza. “Every lap there was a lot of aqua planing,” said Vettel. “We knew we were on a short strategy and had to push to get away from the pack. I had the best conditions because I had no car in front of me for most of the race. I’m extremely happy, the second time in wet I’ve won. The car was fantastic. We were struggling with reliability yesterday but the team fixed it and we got a 1-2 for Red Bull.”
Vettel took blame for an incident during the second safety car period when Sebastien Buemi collided with him behind the safety car, he had backed off because he thought Trulli’s slow moving car in front was Barrichello and didn’t realise that Buemi was behind him.
Mark Webber observed that when the wet tyres lose their edges they don’t cut through the water as well and that was a factor for many drivers.
Jenson Button was philosophical about not being able to match the Red Bull cars. “Everyone was struggling with aqua planing,” he said. “The last corner was a lake. It was a struggle with tyres shuddering, I couldn’t get temperature into the tyres. I don’t know why obviously our car works in a different way. I couldn’t challenge Red Bull, they were immensely quick.”
Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton, who has excelled in the wet in the past started very confidently, making a lot of moves and passes. But he got into a vicious spiral as his wet tyres wore down because he was on a one stop strategy and asked a lot of them. Lewis had a series of spins. Team mate Heikki Kovalainen got ahead of him towards the end of the race.
Button extended his championship lead and now must be looking at Vettel as his main rival apart from his own team mate. The big names are a long way behind, with only Hamilton getting any kind of score on the board with a sixth of the season already gone.