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GOING Ooooooooooooo

 

   Many years ago when sex was safe and motor racing was dangerous, a band called Blue Oyster Cult released a song that was sort of about the horrors of reincarnation. No, no, no not Godzilla but Joan Crawford (Has Risen from the Grave). And now we have the Formula 1 version.  The whining noise that could be heard reverberating off the hotel walls around the beautiful harbour setting that is Monaco, drowning out the quiet new generation engines - sorry - power units, was not the turbos spinning up. Not the ERS systems storing up all that nice green electricity. No folks - gasp - oh the humanity - Nigel Mansell has risen from the grave…………

   Just give Hamilton a bristling mustache and it would be tricky to tell the difference. Ooooo Nico had a posh upbringing…..Oooooo Nico cheated in qualifying…….Ooooo Nico errr -  the team wouldn't let me pit………….Oooooo My eye hurts…………..Ooooo must have been one of those bristling mustache hairs getting in  my eye….Oooooo Nico isn't my friend anymore……….Ooooo my cars made out of plasticine……….Ooooo my team has put me on the wrong strategy…..Oooooo my legs fell off.  Etc etc. Can't wait for him to fall out of the car and collapse in apparent exhaustion after overcoming all those impossible odds that all of the creatures in the universe have strewn in his path.

   Seriously, does the New Nige really expect us to believe that Nico cheated? He's seen the data …. well so did the stewards and they didn't come to the same conclusion. If he has other evidence he should take it to the FIA, if not he should just shut the fuck up and get on with what he is paid to do. Would the New Nige be whining if Nico had made that error while Hamilton was at the top of the time-sheets? No of course not. The New Nige just has to face the fact that Nico was simply faster than him on the day and get over it because the more he whines the more Rosberg will know he is getting under his skin and winning the mind war.

   Just like last year Rosberg was in imperious form at Monaco where he overcame his team-mate's slightly superior natural speed with his own slightly superior racing nous. Much like an aging Lauda versus a faster Prost or an older Prost versus a faster Senna a cerebral approach and superior ability to set up a car can make up for a deficit in outright pace. Whether Nico can convert this into a championship win over the New Nige like Lauda and Prost did remains to be seen but so far he is putting a very good challenge together. And as with Lauda and Prost, Nico and New Nige's team is letting them get on with it to win or lose the title on the track. We may not get too many different winners this year but I don't think we will get too many boring races.    

   Surprisingly just shutting up – at least in public – and getting on with it is mostly what Sebastian Vettel is doing as he attempts to deal with a situation that he really is not used to. He no longer has the fastest car and – for the moment at least – he is no longer the fastest driver in the team. As Mark Webber can attest, it is pretty damned difficult to out-qualify and out-race Vettel on a regular basis, even when he isn’t benefiting from a blown floor, but that is precisely what Smiley Dan is doing. Five – one in both qualifying and races with Vettel only edging him out at Sepang so far. Although Seb has been closer to Smiley Dan in the last couple of races, the young West Australian is riding a wave of confidence and is seemingly able to respond to anything that Vettel can come up with. It can’t last forever of course and one of these days Vettel will best his team-mate and it will be very interesting to see how the team dynamic plays out from that point on. Seb is also discovering just how much of a bitch life can be when Lady Luck is looking in another direction. Or perhaps we are still underestimating just how good Smiley Dan really is.

   Luck? Good management? A liberal dose of both saw minnows Marussia claim their first points with Bianchi finishing in ninth place at Monaco and leap ahead of Sauber in the championship standings. Both Sauber drivers assisted this situation by crashing out of the race, indeed when Gutierrez dropped it at La Rascasse it promoted Bianchi into the points. Sure there were plenty of retirements to boost the Maurssia up the leader-board but their race pace was reasonable and Bianchi finished ahead of Grosjean’s Lotus on merit. The five second penalty for serving a previous stop and go penalty during a safety car period was all that dropped him behind in the final classification. Unless Caterham, who finished with a best result so far of 11th, can snatch a few fortunate points somewhere this season then this result will be worth around thirty to forty million dollars when the prize fund is divvied up come Christmas time. A bloody good little earner indeed. I don’t hear them going Oooooooooooo…………….

Sam Snape

 

28/05/2014