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What a great result to a seemingly boring race for a Ferrari Fan! After the high hopes we were given of Schumi’s return, this is a little sweet.
Earlier this month the F1 fraternity was all abuzz with the news that seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher would be returning behind the wheel for the remnant of this year’s grand prix as stand in for the injured Felipe Massa. Everyone was eager to see him again – I had arranged for the TV to be shifted out of my parents bedroom.
The dream disappeared shortly afterwards when Schumi cancelled his return due to unfit neck muscles – pivotal to a good drive. The stand-in, was now Luca Badoer, Ferrari’s longest test driver who’s not been racing since ’97. Having big shoes to fill, he started the qualifiers in Valencia finishing a mere 20th! Nothing improved on Sunday and he went off skidding upwards to a no-less-humiliating 17th place finish.
Kimi on the other hand who had been outshone by his injured team mate for most of the season, either seemed to have been wary of schumacher’s return or relieved of the pressure from Massa, showed a superb performance moving up the grid from 6th to finsih 3rd!
Right in front was the man who was behind many of Ferrari’s victories – Ruebens Barrichello. Now a Brawn GP driver he showed of his brawn when he drove out ahead of team mate Button to finish first. Button finished 7th.
One would wonder what happened to Lewis Hamilton and his tail end partner Heikki Kovlanen after they started from the front end of the grid. Well, an uncalculated pit stop with unready tires cost Lewis 6 major seconds that Ruebens took full advantage off. Heikki didn’t put up much of a show but managed to better his team mate and came a repsectable 4th.
Our man Luca needs to better his pace by leaps and bounds. I don’t think the Toro Rosso is in any position to challenge inspite of Adrian Newey. Williams, Renault and BMW are both missing their edge especially Alonso who couldn’t shine in front of his home team. The lesser known team of Force India seems to be catching pace with the leaders coming 10th and 12th respectively in a race not marked by too many casualties. I hope the races stay this interesting. Got just 7 days to go before the next race in Belguim. See you there!
Watch this space for more on ‘A Ferrari’s Fan’s Most Frustrating Season’