Pathetic Spurs blowing a 7 point lead
Banged out by Mertesacker and co
In 7 days time the new F1 season begins with it’s first race in Australia and throughout the winter the talk has been all about one person and one person only. Nope, not Sebastian Vettel, the man who won the title last season and Formula 1′s youngest ever triple world champion. Not Fernando Alonso, who came within 3 points of winning a 3rd world championship and who’s performances last season earned him almost universal recognition as best driver in F1. No the most talked about driver this winter was Lewis Hamilton and his move to Mercedes from McLaren.
Hamilton made the huge decision towards the end of last season to leave the team he has been with since he was 13 years old. The team with whom he won the Formula 1 World Championship with, and the only team he has raced for in Formula 1. The reasons for Hamilton’s move are well known, since winning the World Championship in dramatic fashion in 2008 , McLaren have failed to mount a challenge for the title despite having, at several times during the last 5 season, the fastest or one of the fastest cars in F1. In fact since winning the title back in 2008 Hamilton has not finished higher than 4th in the world championship. This has been partly due to him making driver errors, which were not existent in his first two season when he debut in F1. Especially in 2011 when he seemed to hit the self destruct button and crashed into everything that moved. But it has also been due to McLaren not being able to make the most of their car through operational and tactical errors and having to back both Lewis and his team mate since 2010, Jenson Button and compromise the design of their car to suit both drivers.
Hamilton’s frustration finally gave in and his move to Mercedes was born. On the face of it this seemed to many in F1 as a move down the F1 ladder but after further analysis Hamilton decision may not seem like such a bad move. It’s no secret that Lewis was already looking at his options as early as the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011, However with Vettel already at Red Bull, Red Bull not wanting to upset Vettel and an adequate no.2 in Mark Webber, and with Alonso at Ferrari who has it written in his contract that Hamilton cannot be his team mate. This left only Mercedes as his best option as a potential move. Mercedes who won the 2009 Driver’s and Constructor’s World Championships, as Brawn GP, and was bought out in 2010 by the German Car Manufacturer have only won 1 grand prix since becoming Mercedes compared to 18 wins by McLaren in the same period. However since 2000, of the top 5 teams in F1 McLaren have won the least titles, in fact Mercades, as Brawn GP, have won more titles than McLaren.
World Championships (since 2000): 1st: Ferrari (6 Drivers Championships, 7 Constructors) 2nd: Red Bull (3 Drivers Championship, 3 Constructors) 3rd: Lotus formally Renault/Benetton (2 Drivers Championship, 2 Constructors) 4th: Mercedes formally Brawn/Honda/BAR (1 Drivers Championship, 1 Constructors) 5th: McLaren (1 Drivers Championship, 0 Constructors).
Stats don’t lie, McLaren may be good at winning races but they have shown that they are unable to win championships and the end of the day that is what end goal of Formula 1. Hamilton has sensed this and clearly has grown frustrated, this coupled with the fact that McLaren were looking to reduce Hamilton’s salary and Mercedes were willing to offer him a much larger salary as well more freedom in terms of his own personal endorsement deals. Mercedes have also made several changes at the top of it’s management structure and recruited top people other teams such as Ferrari and Mclaren and these were all factors in the move.
Whatever the reasons were, for 2013 and beyond Lewis Hamilton will be racing for Mercedes and this has created an unknown for this upcoming season with the prospect of seeing how well Lewis can do in a car that most expected to be off the pace of his previous team. However during the winter Mercedes have been setting headline lap times in testing and have turned a few heads in the paddock. It’s clear that Mercedes have shown their hand when teams usually try to hide their true pace in testing, but even considering this, there’s a lot of talk of teams saying that they couldn’t match the times of the Mercedes even if they weren’t hiding their pace. However winter testing times are a poor indication of the respective pace of the teams, because fuel loads are unknown and cars aren’t in their final specification for the first race of the season. Mercedes appear to be near Red Bull and Lotus who many people believe will be the fastest two cars at the first race in terms of pace, so look like they can challenge for podiums this season. But with Lewis Hamilton, race wins in 2013 are possible for Mercedes, a far thought for many when he announced the decision at towards the end of last season.
Lewis Hamilton is considered as the fastest driver in F1 on pure speed, only a few drivers in F1 can push a car beyond where it’s meant to be on the grid, Alonso the other. But lewis has always had a winning car in F1, he has never had to out-perform a car to win a race, but this season he will show that he can, like Schumacher did when he joined Ferrari in 1996. He will be teamed up at Mercedes with Nico Rosberg in the same car, a driver who is rated in F1 as constantly quick but thoroughly unspectacular and tends to place the car where it should be and never higher. Lewis will have no trouble in beating his team mate and will finally give people in F1 an answer to where Rosberg ranks in F1′s driver list.
So who will win the 2013 World Championship you ask? Well if you have read this post up till this point you are probably excepting me to say Lewis Hamilton but no Lewis will NOT win the World Championship this season, Mercedes have made a lot of changes this winter in terms of personnel which won’t pay off till 2014 and the huge rule changes for that season. I originally intended in this post to talk about all the top teams and evaluate each of their chances for the season ahead but I realised that if you want a indication of who will be challenging for the title this, just watch last season and you’ll have your answer. Reason being is that F1 is in a period of relative stability in terms of technical and sporting regulations and when this happens the performance of the cars become very close, engineers have got on top of the current regulations leaving very little room for exploitation such as the off-throttle blown diffuser. Alonso and Vettel (or as Alonso like’s to call him, Adrian Newey) will once again be the favourites and with Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus and Jenson Button (if the car is to his liking) F1 2013 will be one of the closest yet and maybe the making of Lewis Hamilton.
I’m going to stand up for the guy as he’s completely right. The press have blown his words out of proportion and turned him into a pantomime villain!
His rant basically boiled down to two things:
…And I completely agree with him. I just hope he doesn’t get sacked, and is given the chance to take Chelsea down the league
[ picture from bbc http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21611064 ]
07 Rosicky (Wilshere – 70′ )
15 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Cazorla – 70′ )
22 Coquelin Booked
27 Gervinho (Walcott – 70′ )
02 Orr Booked
03 Mn Olsson
31 G Hanley
14 Ms Olsson (Bentley – 63′ )
11 Rhodes (Goodwillie – 82′ Booked )
21 Nuno Gomes