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Reflections on the championship – A Fan’s View
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Reflections on the championship – A Fan’s View
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Nov 2010   |  7:24 pm GMT  |  126 comments

As usual we have had many great comments and some interesting points of view put forward about the outcome of today’s championship.

I wanted to give the fans a voice tonight and so I’ve picked out this post from JM Randle, which expresses his view on this epic season and gives a good assessment of our new world champion.

“With an hour or two having passed since the race finished, first and foremost we have to congratulate Sebastian Vettel – a combination of a truly awesome racer, able to extract the maximum from his car over both one lap and a race distance, and the magnificent Red Bull RB6, the class of the field for almost the entire season and suitably rewarded with the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championship titles.


With that said, I don’t know if I was alone (probably was!) in feeling slightly deflated by the way the final race of this epic season panned out – the track and tyre degredation (or lack thereof!) played a huge role in the final result, rather bringing things full circle from the first race in Bahrain. The difference being that THIS time, Vettel’s Red Bull didn’t give up on him!

The lack of wear of the so-called “soft” tyres was just ridiculous, but it’s not the first time this season it’s happened – maybe this is something that will change with the introduction of Pirelli tyres next year? But most frustrating was the lack of overtaking opportunities, a which is particularly disappointing given that they had a completely blank sheet of paper (not to mention a blank cheque!) with which to design the track. What that meant is that every single one of the title protagonists (aside from Vettel of course, who needed to overtake nobody) were unable to get past whichever driver they found themselves behind; Hamilton behind Kubica until the Pole’s late stop, Alonso behind Petrov and Webber behind both of them. Clearly, this situation would not have arisen on a circuit where overtaking is more achievable, though credit of course must go to the Renault drivers for not putting a wheel wrong!

You have to give credit to Vettel for putting himself in a position, race after race, where he just has to drive away from the rest of the field and let the rest of the drivers sort things out for themselves! The question marks over his overtaking ability will remain for as long as he’s in a dominant car and putting it at the front of the grid each race – you only have to look at how RB qualified in the top 10 at every single race this season to see how we never got to see how they fought their way up through the field, so from this season, we only really have Vettel’s crashes in Turkey and Spa as ‘evidence’ of how he handles this other important element of being a top racing driver!

However, in the end, if you can put your car on pole and drive off, regardless of the quality of your opposition and no matter how many times safety cars come out and whittle your lead down to zero, your ability to overtake is almost irrelevant! Today, Alonso and Ferrari threw things away somewhat by concentrating too much on what Webber was doing – if they’d have been more patient on the soft tyres like the 3 cars in front were, they may well have experienced the same benefits! Instead, a poor strategic decision conceded track position to slower cars on a circuit where overtaking had already proven nigh-on impossible. Webber was nowhere this weekend unfortunately, but his own struggles to get past Alonso/Petrov amply demonstrate that even with the clear fastest car on the grid, the overtaking issue hasn’t gone away, particularly on these sorts of tracks!

A memorable season anyway, a shame that the final race wasn’t really befitting of the occasion (again, more the track than anything else, which is a shame because Abu Dhabi could do so much better!), but full credit to Vettel and Red Bull, and if next season is even half as competitive, we’re in for another cracker

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126 Comments
  1. JW1980 says:

    I thought today’s race was good. Not the best this season but certainly better than Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, Valencia, Germany, Hungary, Japan and Brazil. That puts it mid-table. It’s a shame about the overtaking or lack. With their considerable resources could the organisers do something about this?
    On a more positive note there has been 5 different world champions in 5 different cars in the last 5 years. That’s an incredible statistic in complete contrast to the first half of the 2000s.

    1. Phil says:

      Better than Japan? Are you kidding? Whilst it may not have been that interesting if you just watched the top 5 guys, the midfield pack provided oodles of entertainment, a good proportion of it coming from Kobayashi.

  2. d.h. says:

    Sums up most tilke designed circuits. Two long straits, a hairpin separating them,and a nice technical section. Pleasing on the eye but creates processions normally.

    Hope the kers, pirelli tyres and adjustable rear wings spice things up.

    With regards to yas marina, they have sections available that other formulas use, like the slip road the cars were using during the safety car period that could be used to change things.

    I believe Bahrain are not using this years layout next season, so there isn’t a problem there.

    1. Phil says:

      Tilke has said time and again he’s hamstrung by two things: The safety/technical regulations which spell out in minute detail what he can and can’t do, and the piece of land.

      IIRC, the technical regs would prevent something like Eau Rouge being created today, and anything with more than a few % of camber is also disallowed.

      In the constant drive to make the sport safer (not a bad thing by any means), they’ve unfortunately taken away the very essence and soul and led to these boring Tilke-Dromes.

      1. Damian J says:

        Might be true of some circuits but Abu Dhabi? There’s a large desert and a huge bag of cash to spend no doubt. I don’t see any constraints there do you?

  3. JW1980 says:

    I agree with JM Randle’s comments concerning Vettel’s ability or lack of when it comes to overtaking.
    Very difficult to assess who was the driver of the year. As many people have said before put Alonso or Hamilton in the RBR they would probably have wrapped up the title a long time ago.

    1. Aey says:

      Vettel Champion is mostly due to the dominance car. Of course Vettel is fast when compare to Webber, but he didn’t have to try hard to compete with other team, just being on the front row and run away, quite easy job. For myself, I still got the question about Vettel overall ability of great driver.

      As Hamilton, he have to compare and compete with Alonso 2 time WDC who is the one that everyone accept that he is one of the best driver. So there is no question for Hamilton ability, in 07 and 08 he have to fight with strong Ferrari and very strong teammate.

      for Alonso, when he got the WDC, he has to compete against McLaren and Ferrai with not the dominance car. But the WDC for Alonso is also come with luck too, as he got a lot of point in the early part when his car is good in both year, in 05 if there is some good help from Montoya, Kimi sould be 05 WDC. in 06 if Schu not blow the engine when he was runing 1st at japan, Alonso won’t be 06 WDC. one view is Alonso is lucky to got WDC both 2 times, another view is he has to fight with strong opponnent.

      in 08, if Glock didn’t run slick on wet track, Hamiltion won’t be the WDC too. Still lucky to get WDC but fighting hard with Ferrari.

      09, Jenson WDC mostly come from the dominance car in the first have of the year, which made a lot of advantage of point standing in the last half.

      06 Ferrari give the WDC to Alonso, 10 Ferrari also give the WDC to Vettel.

      with the level of RB car dominance, Vettel should walk away easily, not just wait for Ferrari to give him the WDC in the last round. . . . that is why I still guestion about Vettel genuine quality. Still think that put Lewis, Alonso or Kubica in the Redbull car, they sholdn’t need to wait for the gift from Ferrari in the last round. Let hope that next year RB car is not the best one, so we can see that Vettel is really good driver and Vettel will have a chance to show how good he is.

      in my mind, the least pure perfromance of current WDC goto Jenson Button.

  4. bones says:

    James great articles,all of them.
    Have you heard anything about making changes to tracks to be more “friendly” to overtakes?
    Is there any actual work on the subject these days?

    1. Abbale says:

      I think having fast sweeping corners leading onto straights would increase passing. If the corners leading onto the straight are fast with downforce not being needed it would help because the cars would be able to get on top of each other entering the straight and effectively start drafting at the beginning of the straight. Most of tilkes designs don’t feature corners like this. Tracks that are like this are monza, spa with eau rouge, korea, etc. All those tracks had decent passing because the cars were able to bunch up before entering the straight.

      1. malcolm.strachan says:

        Fast corners do not “bunch” cars. In fast corners, aero-push is a huge problem, which is why Tilke has tried to have the hairpin-straight-hairpin strategy.

        Tilke’s theory is that if you have a slow corner, the following car can run close because they don’t rely on downforce for grip, and can then draft and pass on the next straight.

        Where it all goes downhill is that many of the cars top out on gearing as it is, and it purely relies on out-braking the other car into a tight corner. All of these drivers are absolute masters of braking, so trying to go offline and out-brake another car is certainly as ambitious as it gets.

        That is part of the reason why Petrov could defend so well without deviating from his line, and why Kubica could out-brake Kobayashi (king of kings on the brakes) around the outside – Kubica was on the racing line and Kobayashi was on the dirty side trying to defend. Essentially, the way the circuits are designed today, your best defense is to stay on-line, and force the following driver to try to go offline to pass.

        Designs that Tilke *should* be looking at are not simple out-braking areas, but geometries that promote alternative lines that are faster to the apex. An example of this is an S-curve that is close enough that when driving alone, you wouldn’t use the whole track on the exit of the first corner in order to set up for the second corner; however, when you are following someone, you can go through 10-15 km/h faster, intentionally run wide in the first corner, sneak up the inside into the next corner and steal the line – you ruin your exit from the second corner, but since you have taken the line from the other driver, you have the position, so his exit is ruined too.

        Another adaption of the theory, above, involves curved braking zones, in the opposite directing to the next corner. Suzuka’s hairpin has this, where the track curves to the right before the left-hander; this helped Kobayashi as he could brake in a straight line and aim for the inside while the driver getting passed was turning right while braking (thus not being able to brake as hard) *and* travelling a longer distance to the apex.

        Another possibility is a long straight into a medium-high-speed corner, where you might not be braking at 100%, instead preferring to be at 80-90% brakes to keep the car settled on entry. Examples of this are Hangar Straight at Silverstone and the entry to Les Combes at Spa. They likely aren’t at 100% braking because it would scrub off too much speed for such a fast corner. This allows another driver to take an inside line on entry, approach straighter, brake harder, and steal the line.

        A less-common idea could even be to make a hairpin corner where the inside line is flat, but the track is banked slight around the outside (gradually increasing in steepness), encouraging a possible pass around the outside. This is promising because the passing driver would be braking on the racing line (an advantage, as Kubica proved), and the penalty of the longer distance around the outside would be offset by increased grip from the banking, and therefore slightly increased speed. Both Villeneuves passed drivers on corners similar to that around the outside, showing that even 25 years apart, the pass is still a viable one.

        Tilke should be reviewing footage of passes from the last 50 years, and perhaps with the help of a few drivers and engineers, they should dissect the physics behind the causes of those passes, and determine how they can encourage that to take place in new circuits. As I said above, situations where the passing line is the faster route to the apex, and/or the leading driver is not able to brake at 100% in a straight line are both examples where the leading driver is prone and the trailing driver has an advantage to the apex and is therefore able to steal the line.

        My personal gripes with Abu Dhabi are that, from a clean slate, it was designed with chicanes, which hurt the racing; also, the only passing zones are pure out-braking, which as I said above, is nearly impossible these days. There is more to passing than a simple draft-and-out-brake, and Tilke needs to realize this.

      2. Craig D says:

        A long post but some very good points there and all valid. Also, by not allowing cars to alter setup between qualifying and the race, engineers are not able to go for a longer 7th gear for the race with an allowance for extra revs under drafting. Qualifying is obviously critical and so performance there takes precedence.

        Tight hairpins with zones of maximum braking don’t work as the poster above says, because the guy defending is already at the maximum for that corner and the attacking driver has no opportunity to go that little bit deeper into the corner knowing he still has some brake energy in reserve, which normally wouldn’t be result in a fast way to take the corner but allows the attacker to steal the line into the corner and gain the place.

        No someone send malcolm.strachan’s post to Tilke and future track designers!

        (If the race situation in Abu Dhabi had occurred in at Interlargos, it would have been a classic race seeing if Alonso could have got back through the field knowing the track lended the possibility for him to do so. Though I am happy at the result!)

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      What I don’t understand is that in this track we have a long straight after a hairpin and before a tight chicane.

      Normally that’s the best configuration to help overtaking. Why it doesn’t work in Abu Dhabi I don’t know but most modern tracks help overtaking this way.

      What I hate about this track mainly is how forgiving it is. Every mistake helps you gain time rather than loose. The off circuit tarmac is more almost grippier than the circuit itself.

      1. Trent says:

        I think it was partly the circumstances of this particular situation. The Renault seemed to have great traction off the hairpin before the straight, so the guys behind never got in the tow. I think 2009 proved this track is capable of producing overtaking.

        Agree with you about the tracks being too forgiving. There’s very little risk, which kills the spectacle.

      2. Frenchie says:

        You had different fuel loads in 09 which created a weight disparity. Remember Kobayashi on Button?

        This year, all the cars were more or less weighting the same. I think this was a big issue this year at Abu Dhabi.

      3. Hezla says:

        There is nothing wrong with the Abu Dhabi track design. The Renault was just faster than Ferrari’s on the straights. Petrov and Kubica braked late and made no mistakes.

      4. Jonathan says:

        The Renault has a great F-duct, and as a result it was faster through the speedtrap along the main straight than the Ferrari. That’s all there is to it.

        It doesn’t matter how much better your car is overall. If you lose ground rather than gaining ground along the straight, you won’t be able to overtake.

        Throughout year we have seen the F-ducts make a huge difference on the straights. Next year KERS will play the same role. Cars with a great KERS unit (keep your eye on McLaren and Mercedes) will be able to overtake the cars in front and defend against the cars behind, giving them a huge advantage.

      5. malcolm.strachan says:

        Jo, see my reply above about the “best design for overtaking”, and how Tilke hasn’t quite got it right.

  5. Scott says:

    “…so from this season, we only really have Vettel’s crashes in Turkey and Spa as ‘evidence’ of how he handles this other important element of being a top racing driver!”

    That says it all really. If you think of Hamilton, Button, Alonso, and Schumacher (the other world champions on the grid), they have pulled off many spectacular overtaking moves over the years. I can’t think of a single significant overtaking move that Vettel has had to made. Have there been any?

    At least Red Bull got the outcome that they wanted, with their number one winning in the end.

    1. kenny5 says:

      Overtaking has been nonexistant this year..
      you could have made the same comment about any of the top 10(no overtaking)…

      Only Hamilton & Kobayashi have made any significant overtaking moves.

      I never really understood why the commentatos & pundits kept telling us all year that we had just watched a very exciting race … when really most of them were very dull.

      The interest came from the fact that there were many contenders, for each race and the championship, until the last round…

      For me the real measure of pace (and the most exciting to watch) was qualifying, where each driver put his cards on the table – and Vettel
      whipped everyone there….

      Also, you must remeber that Vettel had mechinal trouble while dominating at least 3 races … in fairness he should have had it wrapped up before Korea…

      Well done Seb

      1. Trent says:

        Don’t agree with that I’m afraid.

        To me, there has been loads of overtaking and I think a glance through the highlights videos of each race will prove you wrong.

        The main asset to the season has been the abolition of refuelling. Cars are finally battling on the TRACK, not in the pits. It doesn’t always result in overtaking, but it has changed the mindset of the drivers and there is less opportunity, thankfully, to just ‘pass in the pits’.

      2. Damian J says:

        To just ‘pass in the pits’ has become an Alonso speciality. Thank heavans we have Kobayashi and Hamilton who have re written the rule book on overtaking.

      3. DJ says:

        I agree, that was THE most mundane race of the year. For me it was a huge anti climax. Well done Vettel, however Alonso was driver of the year by a country mile. How he put that Ferrari in a title winning position is beyond me when for much of the season he had 4 faster cars on the grid.

        Vettel’s win doesn’t sit well with me. a) Alonso is clearly a better driver b) his treatment of Webber post his mistake in Turkey and C) his inability to pass without taking out the other driver.

    2. Kel says:

      Name 1 spectacular overtake by Alonso, Webber or Button this year?

      Yes, right……zero. Except the amazing overtake of Massa by Alonso in Germany of course.

      Vettel starts on pole position most times or 2nd, 3rd behind on tracks there is no overtaking possible…who do you want him to overtake?

      Look at Alonso today, Petrov embarrassed him in an inferior car. Isn’t Alonso able to pass cars? Right.

      Instead of congratulating a very talented 23 year old winning the F1 championship, all you guys do is chew on sour grapes like it means anything.

      1. Surya says:

        As a fan you’re entitled to your biases, but maybe you should also note some facts as pointed out by other readers.

        Alonso’s overtake of Hulkenberg in Brazil was pretty good if not spectacular, but your second paragraph indicates that you’re obviously not a Ferrari/Alonso fan – fair enough.

        The key fact that you’ve ignored, which has been pointed out by James as well, is that the Renault had among the best straight line speeds and F-ducts, so passing them would never be easy.

        And there have been plenty of readers giving credit to Vettel, his outright speed is evident, and I too give him well deserved credit for that. He has not, however, demonstrated any particular finesse at overtaking, but instead had some notable screw-ups.

        Lastly, the original post by JM Randle does say the race was a let down compared to a roller coaster season in that it lacked drama, which is a fair point.

      2. Kel says:

        [mod]

        Yet again, no driver except Hamilton and Kobayashi made any pass worth mentioning this year, and that is because they started midfield with stronger cars or had better tyres at the moment.

        It’s the heavy cars, the tracks with no overtaking etc that makes it difficult. And the fact Vettel always starts in the top 3 makes it harder to pass anyone, because they are the faster ones.

        Again, Alonso today not being able to overtake an inferior car for what, 40 laps, is fact to support this. I remember how you all were critical of Vettel not being able to pass Alonso in Singapore for the lead (track with no overtaking, even worse than this last track)….yet you now defend Alonso for not overtaking the worst rookie this year, Petrov for 7th?

        [mod]

        Vettel is deservedly champion, and he did it honest and fair, no cheats and tricks and acting like he is a royal that everyone should just let through, like Alonso.

      3. kenny5 says:

        Also, the red bull is not great in following other cars – just check the videos of Vettels front wing before he hit the Mclaren in SPA.
        It was horribly unstable….
        This has been a weakness of the RB for the last few years… but not such a handicap when you start from the front row in 14 races (Vettel).

        Perhaps it points to interesting compromises the RB design team have made with the car — trading off following/passing performance for outright speed??

      4. snafuracer says:

        I think you haven’t watched all the races, or have been too concentrated on your favorite team/driver. Alonso overtook Massa at the very start in Bahrain, then, as far as I can remember, he did the same (double) with Petrov and Di Grassi in Australia – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGlwIZDYVJ ; then he pushed two times Hamilton in making mistakes, thus overtaking him twice, then Hulk at Brazil, and last but not least – starting from the pits in Monaco and finishing 6-th ? Considering he didn’t have the fastest and capable car (as Red Bull) his vice-champion stand is a pure success. I wish that the next year the rules will be interpreted equally right, so that we don’t have such a clear dominance of the hardware, for example the flexi wings …

      5. Kedar says:

        And how many botched overtaking maneuvers by Vettel? 1) in Turkey on Webber, 2) in Spa on Button… If this was in another team perhaps he would have been atleast reprimanded if not sacked

      6. Frenchie says:

        1. Webber on Hamilton in Singapore
        2. Alonso on Massa in China – albeit the pitlane
        3. Button on Hammllton in Turkey
        4. Hamilton on Button in Turkey
        5. Alonso on Petrov in Turkey
        6. Alonso on Button in Italy
        7. Webber on Vettel at Silverstone
        The list goes on…

        PS: Alonso on Massa in Germany doesn’t count :-)

      7. kenny5 says:

        1) Webber got ahead of Hamilton on pit strategy in Singapore, and then proceeded to take Hamilton out as Hamilton went around the outside of him to take his place back.

        2)Alonso had all 4 wheels off the track for this maneuver. Other drivers on other days have got a drive through penalty for this.

        3)Button only passed after Hamilton was given the instruction by his team to cruise to the finish. Button either didnt get the message or ignored it.

        4)This was Hamiltion claiming back his rightful position from 3 above, in a Senna like manner.
        he dived up the inside and left it upto Jenson to avoid the accident.

        5) Petrov is hardly a top 10 contender, put alonso passed him for 8th place in turkey, ramming him off the track and giving him a puncture in the process.

        6)Alonso came out of the pits side by side with button.. having made the quickest stop of the race, proceeding to take the button…. The business was done in the pit lane!!

        7)This was at / before the first corner.

        I think your list proves my point.
        –The action & excitement is qualifying and the first lap. after that nobody overtakes.

      8. Frenchie says:

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?

        I enjoyed this season’s overtaking, especially Kobayashi. Bahrain and Abu Dhabi were a bit of a damp squib but the other 17 races (a while F1 season last year) were great fun.

  6. Andy C says:

    Excellent comment. I wish they would consult drivers in track design! Martin brundle was saying similar that he couldn’t understand why they never ask drivers.

    James, doubt you’ve seen it yet, but dc and ej were at each other again :-)

    1. João Hornburg says:

      Interlagos (brazilian gp) was (re)designed with help from Ayrton Senna.

    2. Aey says:

      It depend on who overtake who. don’t only blame the track. you must see the performance of the car to be overtaken.

      If the top 3 teams try to over take the new 3 teams, there is posibility. in the sequence of corner in sector 1 and 3, without the mistake from the car in front there is no way to overtake, even for Red bull car which is the best for corner still cannot overtake the 3 new teams.

      for the straight line Sector 2, who got the fastest top speed, both Renault is no the list, no Ferrari or Mclaren. That why there is no chance to overtake Renault on straight. You have to be to much faster on straight that you can overtake otherwise no way. Alonso and Lewis wish to do so, but they are not get even close to have a one chance to do so.

  7. Dave Hunt says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this race review. Vettel deservedly won the championship in the fastest car despite RB seemingly trying hard to throw their chances away at many of the races this year.

    I believe the best man won and at least it puts to bed the die hard anti Alonsoists who would forevermore dispute him as an unworthy champion after Hockenheim had HE won by less than seven points today instead.

    And yes, the Abu Dhabi track, whilst pretty to look at in the dark, is boring. Last years inaugural race was a snooze fest and if it hadn’t been for the fact that today’s race was a championship decider then the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would have been too.

    1. Surya says:

      Agree.

      Agree.

      Agree whole heartedly.

    2. malcolm.strachan says:

      Dave Hunt? Surely not the same David Hunt that owned “Team Lotus”…?

      1. Dave Hunt says:

        LOL! Unfortunately no, although I have had a few shunts in my time :(

  8. Steve Mizzi says:

    Red Bull have become the definition of hypocrisy by sacrificing their points leading driver to give their favoured son a chance. The deflated way in which Webber drove says it all.

    Ferrari were silly enough to fall for it hook, line and sinker. They did not realise that Webber was just the bait and they were racing a six car team, anyone willing to bet against Renault/Lopez using Red Bull technology next year or maybe a small Red Bull sponsor?

    This sport has changed a lot in the last few years, back in 98 when Schumacher stalled in the start of the season finale and had to start from the back, most of the cars let him pass with minimal resistance, there was an unwritten rule that you do not interfere in a championship battle unless you are involved.

    1. Andy says:

      “This sport has changed a lot in the last few years, back in 98 when Schumacher stalled in the start of the season finale and had to start from the back, most of the cars let him pass with minimal resistance, there was an unwritten rule that you do not interfere in a championship battle unless you are involved.”

      Yet, by letting the percieved front runners pass without giving a fight, they would do just that, interfere with the championship.

      I, for one, am glad those days are over and drivers actually have to -race- to achieve victory.

    2. Gilberto says:

      ” there was an unwritten rule that you do not interfere in a championship battle unless you are involved. there was an unwritten rule that you do not interfere in a championship battle unless you are involved.” – that’s one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard about F1. So should Petrov, Kubica and Rosberg move aside for Alonso? And wouldn’t it be an interference for the championship? What about Massa moving aside in the middle of the season, wasn’t that an interference as well? And this conspiracy theory of Renault helping Red Bull is absolutely unsound. Sorry man, Ferrari did pretty bad today in a circuit which was impossible to overtake, and Alonso showed how a bad loser he is.

      1. For Sure says:

        Couldn’t agree more I dont remember any driver act like that, it was a disgrace. I thought I am starting to like Alonso as he is more matured but that guy never change, what a terrible sportsman.

      2. ged says:

        You said it all. Alonso thought Petrov will be messaged ” Alonso is faster than you! Did you understand the message?” Only for that and ferrari should be banned for the next seazon.

    3. Dana Rasmussen says:

      “Red Bull have become the definition of hypocrisy by sacrificing their points leading driver to give their favoured son a chance. The deflated way in which Webber drove says it all.”
      I have to disagree here. As much as I would have liked Webber to win the championship, he did the deed to himself in China. Without that unforced error and DNF, he would not have given Alanso and Vettle the opening to go through.
      Vettle proved there is a value to nover giving up. The only time there was a favoritism issue was the famous front wing issue.
      Also, Vettle was consistently the faster driver of the two.
      BTW I was not sorry to see Alanso beat….

    4. DK says:

      “there was an unwritten rule that you do not interfere in a championship battle unless you are involved”

      Why bother to have a full grid then? Just do a “contenders only” shootout as a title deciding race :)

      1. Aey says:

        Alonso might forget that the guy in front is Petrov, not Massa that let him pass.

        Petrov, he drive for his future too, if he let Alonso pass easily, he will be no value at all (curently he nearly no value for Renualt), but defend the attack successfully from Alonso make him look much better, why he have to favour Alonso.

  9. Andy Gibson says:

    I completely agree with this post, in particular about the circuit.

    From the very first onboard lap before last season I though the circuit layout was rubbish and so it has proven to be. It has produced two really dull races. Without the interest of who would win the championship we would be talking about todays race in the same terms as Bahrain.

    I get so sick of hearing about the amazing Abu Dhabi facility from teams and media alike. As a fan at home I care not one jot how nice the garages are, who great the media centre is, how pretty the lights on the hotel are…

    If the circuit layout is rubbish then the facility is rubbish. End of. It’s like saying a restaurant that serves pot noodles is amazing because it has nice candles on the tables!

    The circuit should define where the buildings go, rather than laying out the buildings and trying to wind the track around them – as seems to be the case at Abu Dhabi.

    It’s time for the FIA/FOM to wake up to the problems of overtaking in F1 – it is not the cars it is the circuits. Brazil, Spa, Suzuka, etc produce great races every year without fail no matter what the cars. They need to get a new track designer – or at least take Tilke to Spa next year and make him walk the track and watch the race.

    1. JW1980 says:

      Although both Interlagos and Suzuka are great circuits they don’t always guarantee great races. I think this year’s races in Suzuka and Interlagos were unremarkable as was Suzuka 2009.

      1. Sebee says:

        Let us say than those classic circuits provide much higher chances of excitement.

        I like what the head post says. This is a TV sport and the decorations too often are the star instead of the on-track action potential.

      2. Dave Hunt says:

        I agree, I was mortified at how boring and uneventful the 2009 Japanese Grand Prix was :(

  10. azac21 says:

    Deserved championship for Vettel. One that he and his team tried to throw away to Ferrari all year but Ferrari somehow managed to throw it back to them in the last race!

    Unfortunately the race track failed to produce the thrilling finale that this year deserved. When considering the multiple overtaking fights that we could have had after the safety car re-shuffled the pack… Shame the championship came down to drivers not being able to overtake although they had much faster cars.

    Overall great F1 year, congrats to all the drivers and teams for the bucket loads of amazing sporting drama that they produced.

    Finally ,
    thank you James for keeping us on the ball with all the news and analysis during the season. jamesallenonf1 rulz!

      1. Frenchie says:

        That snd for the grid walk/interviews before the start with Greg Rust.
        I think it did enhance the race coverage by miles compared to the other races.

        Any plans on doing more next year?

      2. James Allen says:

        Maybe. Depends on budget. Let 10 know your thoughts

      3. Frenchie says:

        Ten aren’t making it easy to leave feedback. There’s no email address to send this to.

        Anyway, I posted on their facebook wall and discussion page. Feel free to pass on whoever’s contact details – I’d be happy to oblige.

        Thanks again for the great season James. It’s been a pleasure seeing back you on our TV sets on top of the great blog.

      4. Azac21 says:

        James was on TV before the race? BBC1 coverage?

      5. Azac21 says:

        Nice! I can see people down under going mad for Ricciardo in the near future.

  11. Lilla My says:

    I was also sorry to see the lack of overtaking possibilities. Next year’s season will end in Brasil, so at least we can hope for a more entertaining season finale. It doesn’t change the fact though that there will still be tracks as this, which are very beautiful, but not very advantageous when it comes to racing itself. The colourful hotel if a nice view, but that’s not what we actually want to see (actually – I know that it was changing colours last year, was it the same this year? I was too excited to even notice!).

    Now I need to collect my thoughts to be able to write something that would have some point about the race. I had my favourite and it didn’t happen for him, so it’s difficult for me to come to terms with that, especially that from all the contenders the one that won was the last man on my list of preferences. My father said today that Vettel didn’t deserve the title. As much as I wanted a certain Ferrari driver (and if not him then a certain McLaren driver) to win, I can’t agree with that – it was a really tough and close battle, so anyone who comes on top deserves it, no matter our preferences and wishes.

    When it comes to Ferrari bad strategy, it seems like a kind of Red Bull trap. That may be a little bit (or a lot) too far fetched, but Red Bull pitted Webber early as if they wanted to catch Ferrari’s attention and make them answer with Alonso’s pit stop, that opened the way for the Vettel’s championship. Ferrari was doing a great job last few races and it looks like at the last and most important moment they just lost their cool heads. Instead of analyzing the situation and fighting the guys in front, the opted for a safer strategy and decided to defend their position from Webber rather than attack the McLarens. They simply acted too hasty as if panicking because of the degrading tyres and not calculating that the tyres might actually last much longer than they thought. Had the rest of the field acted the same way and get their drivers to the pits early, Alonso would have probably come on top, but the rest of the teams seemed to keep their cool much better. That’s what cost Ferrari the title in the end.

    1. er,go says:

      Re webber pitting early to help vettel: quote webber “it was a bit of a team effort today”

  12. Lilla My says:

    One more comment (I’ve been commenting a lot today, maybe even too much):

    James, everybody knows that it’s impossible to overtake on these new circuits and that the modern cars construction doesn’t make it easier either. I know some basic things why this is so (and I don’t want to write it here because I’m not sure if I’m right), but I wouldn’t really mind learning something more on that subject. Do you think it would be possible for you to write some note that would explain a bit what makes this year’s cars so difficult to be overtaken? And what characteristics a circuit needs in order to enable overtaking (or what features of a race track prevents overtaking)? I don’t mean any technical details but a simple overview with some background knowlegde.

    Once more, thanks a lot for your great insight. I’ll be coming here in winter as well. I hope you (and your book which I need to order soon) will make the break more bearable :).

    1. James Allen says:

      I would order soon, they’re going faster than at this stage last year

      1. Lilla My says:

        Ordered! Thanks :)

  13. chetz says:

    good analysis. i think we also have to mention the development ability of both ferrari and mclaren throughout the season that kept things competitive. ferrari seemed to be fading at one point bt came back very strongly. mclaren’s developments didnt really work out for them bt thats a different story. hope the close race fr this season and different set of rules doesnt affect the 2011 championship like last year.

    plus wudnt it be fantastic if mercedes got their car right as well? Schumi for champion anyone? :)

    1. Aey says:

      The Problem is not Developing ability, the problem is there is no testing. If there is some testing, Ferrari and McLaren will catching Red bull car easier.

      With no testing, the Advantage really go for the car that fast out of the box at the begining, the development part is doing as almost blind, hope it work but the actual result may differ. with testing, the the part is not produce the result they expect they can corect it, but for no testing, correction go for another round of race.

      I prefer to keep some testing, not free to test is Ok but there sould be some testing day. If there concern about the cost, Let put the test schedule on monday and tuesday with the track they just race, the car is there already the track is there, so there is no need to move the car or the test team to the track, just test it the track they just race, so there is more time to evaluate their testing parts.

  14. rfs says:

    “A memorable season anyway, a shame that the final race wasn’t really befitting of the occasion (again, more the track than anything else, which is a shame because Abu Dhabi could do so much better!)..”

    I disagree. Overtaking is hard no matter where you go. Even the most legendary tracks like Suzuka, Spa and Monza struggle to provide overtaking chances.

  15. Brian says:

    I found myself totally agreeing with this post…

    I’m afraid that the final race at Abu Dhabi delivered soporific “racing” not worthy of a four-way title showdown or the huge amounts of money lavished on it. It may look great but what is the point of an F1 track where you cannot overtake? A track should exist to promote good racing and overtaking, not just have a pretty view or lavish paddock club surroundings.

    The track layout and the continued apparent overwhelming difficulty of overtaking allowed two Renaults to effectively dictate much of the outcome of the race. Once Alonso and Webber were in traffic they were done for, ditto Hamilton.

    It was just frustrating to watch. The championship tussle was exciting but much of the actual on-track “action” this year has been far from vintage racing. The entertainment value of a two hour race is being badly affected – I will now generally make a coffee in the middle of the race now as I know I will not miss any action. The show has become too reliant on bad weather, accidents or unreliability to deliver up its entertainment and these simply do not happen often enough to be relied upon to liven things up.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m looking forward to the return of KERS as the teams failed completely to grasp the aerodynamics nettle properly and cut downforce to allow cars to race in close company and overtake – I don’t want it to be easy but I do want it to be possible.

  16. James Punt says:

    Thats very well put. The track is lovely and shiney but it is not a good race circuit. Sadly the races are now sited where Bernie gets top dollar and the same designer always gets the gig. A little bit of democracy could do wonders for the management of F1 but everyone seems afraid of standing up and saying that Eccelstone is not actually a genius and that he is simply to old to understand the demands of the modern fan/consumer.

    HD – no way, internet exploitation – do not make me laugh. Meeting the ultimate consumer demand- no thanks. Doing a big deal with a dodgy governmant/ploitician – yes please.
    A bit off topic I know but the future does not lie with an 80 year old.

    Well done Vettel, can’t believe it took so long in that car of course but happy that it wasn’t Alonso/Ferrari. At least the title was won fair and square.

    Hopefully Perilli will do the job that Bridgestone failed to do but lets face it, what tyre maker wants to spend millions on making a tyre that goes on TV and falls apart? It will not happen, not by design at least.

    1. James Allen says:

      HD is coming in next year.

      1. Phil Bishop says:

        I was at the race this weekend and once again was stunned at what I could achieve with a handheld Kangaroo unit. 4-way split screen, focus on one of 5 (or 6?) drivers, numerous stat channels, team radio, choice of commentary. When oh when will we be given these options on TV. You can keep HD, give me interaction…

  17. J says:

    That was a well writtena nd perceptive post. I agree with the sentiment that we have come full circle from the rather tedious first race of the season – this final race would have been equally tedious had there not been a championship at stake. Hats off to Seb – a worthy champion who puts Webber in the shade when it really matters. As someone else wrote in a post earlier this week, “that’s why Webber is a number 2 driver.” As a Webber fan I was disappointed at his recent whinging and emotional outbursts – we Antipodeans don’t do that, we just get on with it. I will be interested to see how he comes back from the disappointment. Overall, a cracking season and I can’t wait for next year.

  18. Jim Morrison says:

    To blame the track for a lack of passing is silly. It’s not the track its the cars. Look at GP2! It’s time to do so massive changes to the cars, not the tracks…

    1. Gilberto says:

      The track is part of the issue. How come other tracks offered such exciting races and Abu Dhabi, Bahrein, etc, not?

      1. Jim Morrison says:

        Then why is the same exact track not a problem for the other series that race there? It’s obvious that it’s the cars for that reason alone..

    2. Nadeem says:

      GP2 is a one make series and can design the cars with overtaking in mind and not need to produce downforce. That is not F1. I agree with an earlier post quick flowing corners leading
      Into a long straight followed by a nurburgring 1st corner wide hairpin. That creates good overtaking. Need to start the draft early. We had good passes this year

  19. chester says:

    The achilles heel of this sport is definitely the tracks. Too many tracks like Abu Dhabi where overtaking is practically impossible.

  20. Peter Freeman says:

    I fail to see how Herman Tilke is the best track designer in the world. How is it possible to have the amount of money and recourses as he had in Abu Dhabi and yet manage to make such a boring race to go with such a stunning circuit?

    I cannot imagine that he has the job for any other reason other than his business ties with Mr Me-Myself-and-I Ecclestone, who probably does most of the designing and takes most of the profit from the contract, the contractor, the country, the…etc.

  21. michael blane says:

    james, will 2010 be rememberd more for the RB6 being a truely outstanding car rather than an outstanding driver?

    1. tank says:

      The car is a “masterpiece”, the driver once won fair and square in a Torro Rosso… tough to say. However, I think it might be remembered as the first championship of several for Vettel.

    2. Aey says:

      I think the same

  22. john brink says:

    Hi James. Just wondering how the end result would have been if Red Bull had backed Mark Webber from a few races back. I think that the results would have been slightly different to todays outcome. I am so pleased that Vettel won, as all apart from Weber, who threw it away have been championship winners. Seeing Alonso on the slowing down lap gesticulating to Petrov just brought it home that he expects everyone to move over for him – what arrogance. What a brilliant championship and an excellent web site. Please keep up the good work. As a matter of interest what happened to the Twitter site this week end. Enjoy your time off, but please keep us up to date as always. John Brink

  23. Joao says:

    I’d just like to remind the many times that rain affected the F1 weekends this year. If it was not for all the rain, the Red Bulls should have been able to pocket many more points. While the rain affects everyone, it’s not pleasant when trying to extract all the performance built into those cars.

    True the Ferrari drivers missed some “easy” points, but so did everybody else. Without the rain, I wonder whether it would have taken till the final race to decide this.

    Maybe the F1 calendar coincides too much with the rain season in each country? :-)

    While don’t people complain that Ferrari could have pitted Massa when Rosberg and Petrov pitted? When you’re pushing just one driver to the best points, you nearly forget you could improve the outcome of your other driver as well. You may not be as willing to give the other driver a chance to jump ahead of the number one driver in a good if risky strategy.

    1. tank says:

      “Maybe the F1 calendar coincides too much with the rain season in each country?” – I think that’s done by design.

  24. Pawel says:

    James,
    Please could you present your thoughts on the next year drivers’ line up?

  25. Ibrahim Patel says:

    I think next season abu dhabi should have a straight run to the hairpin….thereby opening up that corner to a pass, and negating the filter effect the pointless chicane before it has. This would make the corner similar to the hairpin at hockenheim, a prime passing spot.

    With KERS and flexy rear wings next yr, i dont think they need to do too much more to the track…as hopefully these two aids should help faster cars go past slower ones.

  26. CanadaGP says:

    Great blog James! Kudos!

    I remember Vettel passing a few cars in the German GP so I’m pretty sure this part of his craft will be developed in the future. The battles of the next few years between Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso should be epic!
    The 3 are probably the 3 youngest WDCs in history so all are natural phenoms. In roughly equal cars, natural talent is difficult to beat.

  27. Mistakes characterised the season and while Red Bull’s mistake were probably the most scrutinised it was Ferrari’s strategic error today that cost them the biggest prize.

    I suppose in a year as competitive as this season it was inevitable that there would be numerous mistakes from all the contenders but it was a shame that the decision to pit Alonso so early robbed us of any tension for the second half of the race in what has been a truly remarkable season.

  28. Kalle says:

    Didn’t we have this discussion last year already about Yas Marina being as bad as Valencia? :P

    I have seen maybe 5-8 races at Abu Dhabi, and every one of them has been more or less boring: doesn’t matter if it’s F1, GP2, V8, GT1 or whatever. I think the “hairpin-long straight-hairpin” (T7-8, 9-11) thing simply doesn’t work, because the guy ahead *always* gets on the throttle just a fraction earlier than the one behind. Also, having Interlagos and Yas Marina back to back really shows the difference between a good, classic track and a boring modern one. Where even the hairpins at Interlagos are more or less flowing, most modern circuits have just very tight, short radius corners. And it’s sad how with unlimited money they can’t even plant some grass along the straights, it looks pretty horrible to have the asphalt runoffs at even places you can’t crash. And looking at the Indian GP, the trend looks like continuing…

    Anyway, it has been a great season and I’ve certainly enjoyed reading this blog. Thank you very much James!

  29. KidrA says:

    Usually I’m very excited when watching an F1 race, haven’t missed a race since god knows when. Now, last race, 4 drivers in the hunt for the title I should be more excited than ever but instead I found myself thinking what a waste of money Yas Marina circuit is. With all the money they have, it should have been something really extraordinary but what we have is 2 years of boring races there with some 6 or 7 overtaking manouvers. That’s not good at all. And the worst part is that it’s so new track and with the money they have, we will race there for many seasons to come :/

  30. lebesset says:

    this was a good season but ruined in my opinion by bridgestone
    39 laps on a set of option tyres , and they were the supersoft , the softest available ; I know button is smooth , but that is ridiculous

    let’s hope pirelli have more guts !

    1. Trent says:

      Good call.
      I think far less of Bridgestone as a company for their ludicrously conservative approach.

      They had a chance to look dynamic and edgy, and develop a brand that sticks in your mind. What they did not respect the sport that has give them a global profile. I don’t want Bridgestone tyres on my car…

      1. James Punt says:

        “They had a chance to look dynamic and edgy.”

        I am sorry but asking a tyre company to make tyres that are crap in front of 100′s of millions of TV viewers is a bit like asking Durex to sponsor the World Ballon Bursting Championship.

        I have just spent £400 on Michelin tyres.

      2. Matt Cheshire says:

        Precisely why you should use them. It may be interesting to end up in a ditch or around a tree but a boring evasion is probably better.

        But your point is good. Road tyres and racing tyres are different beasts. Trying to leverage sponsorship by marketing them as the same thing has created a problem.

        Fingers crossed Pirelli as a premium performance brand can just supply racing rubber to do the exact job needed. And forget trying to sell rubber for family sedans along the way.

  31. stan says:

    Amazing how teams with all the technology they have these days can screw things up so bad. Ferrari, what were they thinking? Mclaren, couldn’t they figure that they were going to come out behind two cars. Would have made it more interesting if hamilton didn’t lose all that time behind kubica.

    Kind of a boring end to what was a good season. Your right jim about the cars, take away the blocking and change the rules to make the cars easier to suck up to so drivers are able to pass.

  32. chris says:

    I am not deflated at all. This race was very emotional for me (unexpectedly) and i couldn’t resist a tear or two when Vettel came on the radio at the end. I have not been rooting for Vettel this season but i am really really really happy for him.

  33. Jav says:

    What you need to improve overtaking is a tyre war again, but with the same rules as this year – 2 differant tyre types used. this would make the tyres more fragile, more pit stops for fresher tyres and exciting races.

  34. Trent says:

    Classic season.

    Really, really enjoyable and it will be a fantastic one to look back on in the coming months – personal feuds, team politics, closer competition than ever before and – above all – a return to racing oriented around battles on the track, rather than in the pits.

    We’ll get a laugh if we look back at the posts on JAonF1 after the Bahrain Grand Prix, and the doomsday scenarios that were being bandied about. To think – some were even calling for instant rule changes after that race!

  35. P Dant says:

    Good article! Well written! Especially liked the overuse of the exclamation mark!

    Unfortunately the race would have been much better if overtaking had been possible! Maybe Herr Tilke needs to go back to the drawing board! Surely there could be a better layout that would be more conducive to overtaking!

    Congratulations to Seb Vettel! Well deserved win!

    !

    1. JR says:

      :D Thanks P Dant (the name is a pun I presume? :P), I apologise for the excessive exclamations (’tis a fair comment) – I guess I didn’t want the post to seem too negative, because it has been an enthralling season – ironically it’s not usually my style to make lots of exclamations, but I admit I hadn’t made the post in expectance of being chosen to represent the views of the fans!

      Thanks so much to JA for choosing to quote my post; to say I was mildly surprised to come on here this evening and see my post had been picked out like this was something of an understatement :D I hope you all enjoyed reading it (despite the exclamations :P ), thanks for the comments and here’s to Sebastian Vettel, to Red Bull and to a great 2010……. and 2011 to come! :D

      JR

      1. P Dant says:

        In all seriousness, nice article and well done for getting it picked up by JA. Roll on 2011.

  36. ged says:

    Justice has been done. Best car 2 years in a row, ferrari were in a position to win not because of their merits but because of the unfortune of the others. I’m glad ferrari lost, i’m glad Wettel won, i’m sorry for Mark , i’m glad that ferrari guy, Alonso, was left out in the cold.
    We don’t speak italiano.

  37. Dana Rasmussen says:

    Congratulations to Vettle!
    I think this season shows everything that is right, and wrong with F1. That the championship went to the last race and a dark-horse won was good. The race itself demonstrated the “what’s wrong” and how well the fast forward worked in my DVR.
    Next year should be fun.

  38. Matt Cheshire says:

    Very good summation James. Vettel was a worthy winner, especially considering the huge points deficit he tackled over the last races. Sadly Webber failed with the same machinery and a better opportunity to win. There was no coming back from poor qualifying on that track. Only pitting during the safety car would have given a slim chance.

    If Alsonso in desperate suicidal mode cannot overtake then no human being could.

    If only the final race was on old track!

    If Vettel continues with this form in a competitive car then we should be glad KERS is back to shake up the field. Otherwise ’11 will be a procession.

  39. jeff doununder says:

    I completely agree with JM Randle. it was a bit of an anti-climax, and sadly the 1st and last races of the season bore no relationship to the intensity of the races in between. Ultimately the fastest driver in the fastest car won the year, so I have no complaints with the final result.

    As a discussion point, I would be curious to know what teams, (and UK/European viewers) think of finishing up the season on the other side of the world? Is it an exotic way to finish up, and a springboard to big celebrations (as everyone is away from home and can let their hair down), or would everyone benefit from finishing the season back at home, where more of the team, friends and family can be part of the finale too? (Or has it happened like this for so long that it is just the norm now?). Imagine finishing the season at Silverstone, Monza or Spa… (with a season more akin to football perhaps; starting in September and finishing in June)

    Finally, big thanks for all your work James. This website, and your insight in general (in particular the Yas Marina driver simulation stuff) has been the best in F1, and I have really enjoyed seeing you on the Australian F1 telecast. Your grid-walk on Sunday was better than anything I have seen Martin do; any chance of more of that in 2011?? It’s something we really miss out on down-under..

    Hope you enjoy a good break for a while!

    Jeff.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for that. It wasn’t really a grid walk, that’s Martin’s bag – this was more of an improvised bit of two handed chaos on the grid with Rusty! But it was fun. Hope to do it again next year a few times.

  40. Hi James,

    Not the best finale given we had a 4 way shoot out, almost makes you nostalgic for a 1997 type ending – maybe Schumi forget that despite it being the last race he wasn’t in contention…and Liuzzi never will be a contender for the title.

    Tilke’s tracks have too many corners, drivers are constantly in the turbulence trying to get enough grip to go round all the corners and find they can’t get any closer than a second before they arrive (in Abu Dhabi) at the turn 6?) hairpin for the run onto the back straight. Furthermore they insist in having 3 off camber turns in the final sector, corners where the cars need maximum downforce to stop them sliding. If you’re following another car and trying to set up for a pass sitting in the turbulence on an off camber corner will leave you further behind due to the extra sliding from the lack of grip.

    Remove the first chicance from the GP layout, sand traps outside the last two corners and the first to punish the mistakes and make the off camber corners banked to some degree.

    I also notice that Bernie without anyone noticing has got his short cut in place at Abu Dhabi should the idea ever fly. Straight line the first chicane into the hairpin. Imagine the dummy moves trying to trick opponents into using their allotment.

  41. Shahin says:

    I did some calculations:

    If RB used “team-order” in Brazil and had Webber finished ahead of Vettel, both RB divers, finishing how they finished, would have had 249 points at the end of the Abu Dhabi GP. Both would lose to Alonso by 3 points! So credit to RB for letting their drivers race!

    But then I can understand when you got Massa who finished 108 points behind Alonso this season, it would be very hard for Ferrari not to use team-order back in Germany.

    Great Season Thought!

  42. seifenkistler says:

    Don’t see that no chance to overtake was because of the track.
    It was simply that Ferrari had a setup to do fast rounds and after the pitstop it would needed a setup for high straight speed. If Alonso would have had a highspeed of 316 and Petrov one of 312 i think no-one would have blamed the track. I am the opinion Alonso would have overtaken Rosberg.

    At the design of the track (or the 7-8 year old tracks) no track designer could foresee a F-Duct (or KERS).

    High speed while still have groundforce in corners (KERS is as much an anti-overtaking system if the car behind hasn’t it)- it is no longer as easy as: you are either fast or have ground-force and the driver behind you may overtake you at one of your weaknesses.

  43. 996CAB says:

    great season, great races all the way thorugh bar the 1st…politics was minimal which is good.

    Webber was hanged out to dry by himself hence he lost what was clearly his championship.

    Glad Alonso did not win – he is such a sore loser…what the hell did he expect Petrov to do…move over? What a joke of a driver – sore loser!

    Hamilton was great to watch all season and gave us all so much to enjoy.

    Button was great as he compliments Hamilton. Well done Mclaren for signing him. Ron Dennis was in the pit clearly still pulling the strings…hope he lets Martin W run the show next year…he has proved himself.

    Driver to watch next year for me is Kamui Kobayashi – he is Hamilton #2 and i hope he moves to Redbull or Renault or Williams…he will be electrifing!

    I hope MS finally makes the car great and shut up a few people…he had a great last qtr of the season…looks like he is back to hi car tuning best.

    Man, I wish the 2011 season was starting next week!

    Find of the season – JAF1.com for me…THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE F1 site on the NET…no contest for me!

    Keep up the good work and let us all drive safe till next season.

  44. Mr Squiggle says:

    James,

    Thank you for steering us through one of the best F1 seasons ever.

    Congrats to SV and Red Bull. If you love the sport, you rejoice in the winner’s story without thinking, and SB and Vettel have certainly provided that.

    The fact is though, anyone of the top five deserved to win. Each Car/driver combo had their own faults and strengths. IS this really the time to point out Vettel’s faults?

    I have to agree with you though James, the Abu Dhabi GP was dead boring. Christ it was dull. Staying up to 2:00 am Melbourne to watch Webber go backwards was like being a St Kilda Footoball Club fan, you just know its never to going to happen for them…..deflated…mmmm yes.

    Alan Jones is on the Radio out here saying MW will be a better driver next year. I tend to agree with him..something tells me he’s not ready to let it all go yet.

    I can’t wait for the next race….when is it…..what? that far off?….well…can we bring it forward….No?, well can we have more races during the year??

    Seriously, I can’t wait, its just been a vintage year

    Thanks again for making it all easier to understand.

  45. Gary Rowe says:

    This season I’ve tended to watch more pre-recorded races so I can Fast-fwd through the boring bits, without having to listen to the commentators trying to persuade me that the racing is exciting … Don’t get me wrong, I keep trying to ignore F1 but I can’t – I still love it – but PLEASE give us back the sport that allowed RACING on-track.

    Nowadays the drivers are working feverishly inside the cockpit to be as perfect as possible and utilise fully the best bits of their cars … but we never see any of that in a tangible way. To put it bluntly, it’s boring. The sport is really risking it with this “Emporer’s new clothes” approach to glitzy tracks and expensive settings – it may pull in more people more quickly, but has it any staying power? Is it ‘sticky’? I for one see less and less entertainment in the on-track side of it, and worry how the off-track ‘excitement’ is meant to make up for it …

  46. Darren says:

    A question of you James, on the subject of overtaking. How many on track overtakes (i.e. not through pitstops) and not first corner of the race have there been for the lead of a race? Im struggling to think of any

    1. James Allen says:

      Turkey – Vettel on Webber (failed) Button on Hamilton and then straight after Hamilton on Button!

      1. james says:

        button in brazil, alonso in the pitlane, hamilton in every race and kaumi in every race, pitlane and street corner!

  47. Paul D says:

    I’m so glad Red Bull have won the title the right way – in a sporting way. In the end they really did let both their drivers race fair with equal equipment and the best man won.

    It is just fantastic that team that believes in a true sporting/competitive philosophy has triumphed over Ferrari who quite frankly don’t.

    I will never forget how they treated Massa that Sunday in Germany. A year to the day after he nearly lost his life in one of their cars. It was just shameful.

  48. james says:

    petrov, alonso is faster than you! massa could learn a lot from that kid

  49. Chris Orr says:

    Heres a fans view

    Why oh why did were the regulations changed to improve overtaking, and yet it simply isnt happening? We are having a Ferrari stuck behind a Toro Rosso and a supposed epic championship battle fall apart because of these ‘changes” which havent come into effect in actual racing.

    I read just read an article on a New Zealand newspaper website, its title was all hype and no show on the recent f1 title decider, and its right. There has been alot of hype, but the show is simply lacking.
    Yes we have had some bad races such as Bahrain and some amazing ones such as Melbourne, but the show is no better then 2009 or 2005 which I would argue was one of the best seasons ever.

  50. phillip sanders says:

    We’ve all been robbed! Qualifying almost guaranteed that we were in for a classic showdown, yet for one reason or another, we were denied it. I am Gutted! Hamilton V Vettel was the one Ive been waiting for all season and once again it hasnt come to fruition. Both Mclaren and Ferrari let their drivers down massively to the detriment of us all. Im trying very hard to be positive, but this race has spoilt the best season ever.

  51. Peter Abatan says:

    The 2011 will be a great season if McLaren and Ferrari improve the aerodynamics on the car to match the Red Bull. It is only when this happens that we will truly have a race on our hands.

    As many other comments have mentioned, Vettel is yet untested. It is easy to always have a car in the front and win from there.

    I wonder how Vettel would have performed if he was in a McLaren or Ferrari this season? Not withstanding Vettel is a credible WDC and congrats to him.

    By the way will next season be the first season with the highest number of WDCs competing against each other? Should be an exciting season.

  52. Andrew says:

    The last race was a pretty example of the issues of the lack of overtaking. We saw how it is a mixture of the cars, tyres and the track not just the cars not being able to follow one another because of the downforce.

    The soft tyres were a joke this year with only Canada being the one race were they did what they were meant to be designed for ie: be faster than the hard tyres over a short distance then fall away quicker. While I accept Bridgestone like any company want to design the best product possible to show off their brand the FIA need to make sure that there is a clear difference between the soft and hard tyres for the future.

    More grip has to be taken out of the cars as once again this year we saw the best racing in wet like China, Australia and Belgium.

    The track layout simply does not produce or encourage good racing as both Brundle and DC pointed out. Maybe its time to ask former drivers for tips on design rather than ask how big the paddock next to the track needs to be?

  53. Born 1950 says:

    Strikes me that all the talk of track layout suggests overtaking is largely a function of the circuit. But surely every other formula — both open wheelers and saloons — has overtaking galore. Let’s analyse this.

    When it comes to overtaking there are four main variables — 1) car design; 2) circuit layout; 3) driver skills; 4) weather. Now it seems to me that we’re stuck with the drivers and the weather. We can alter the circuits to a degree, but no one seems to be able to make a circuit where F1 cars can overtake easily. Consequently there is only one thing we can easily change — the cars. Back in the 80′s the cars were really exiting to watch and the drivers could really exhibit their skills. Look up some old races if you don’t believe this. So we need to change the rules to recreate the same levels of adhesion we had back then when drivers slid around like they were always on a knife edge.

    The only time we can see a lot of F1 driving skill today is when there’s a wet race. In a dry race today most of the time it’s floor the throttle or hard on the brakes. And there’s no outward sign for the spectator where the limit is.

    Surely they should reduce the aerodynamic downforce by getting rid of such large front a rear wings? The cars might look better then, too.

  54. Damian J says:

    James,

    Abu Dhabi is not the only circuit guilty of becoming a bore fest. Recall all the complaints on your website about the first race of the season at Bahrain in which Alonso won a processional race?

    We could end up with many more processional races given the ownership and management structure if F1, if FOM is paid handsomely for it by the circuit owners?

  55. theRoswellite says:

    Let’s see.. aerodynamics of car does not promote close following, which translates into a generalized passing difficulty…

    ….new tracks are “regulated” into a homogeneous pablum of made for TV viewing…

    It’s F1 by committee.

    Congratulations to The Vet, as in Jet, and Red Bull…the Year of the Under-dogs ascendent.

  56. Bryn says:

    The season has ended once again and to be honest it was over as a competition after the first few races with the dominance of Red Bull and Vettel. Well done to them.
    To prevent this happening again I would like to see a change in the points system so that interest would be maintained for the whole season, with the lower placed drivers still scoring points.
    Points could also be added for qualifying, fastest laps. most overtaking, and many other things. They could also be taken away in penalties for any bad driving or other offences.
    I think every position should have a points tally down to the last place, this would help establish a drivers league table and therefore somewhere down the line there would be some competition for points.

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