Jun 23, 2008

Kimi 'exhaust' ed while Felipe rejoice : Race 8 review

Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!
Just when it looked Kimi was gonna beat the hell out of everybody in Magny Cours, there came the reliability demon in the form of a broken exhaust on lap 35. Not so long before that, Kimi piled up a gap of 6.7 secs to his fellow teammate Massa and was on a class of his own posting the quickest lap time as well. The right rear body work of the F2008 was completed burned causing a big hole in the exhaust region (see pic) preventing Kimi from getting the full HP. As per the commentators, he was losing atleast 40 HP to Massa on the long straight. Being the Iceman, Kimi didn't crumble under pressure and nor did Ferrari when they asked him to stay on track with "let's see what's gonna happen" manner. Balls of Ice :) He did stay on and finished the race in second some 18 secs behind, after letting Felipe pass him. Heartbreak, one has to say when u see a sure shot win slip away but I'm relieved(so does the Iceman) to see him grab some points after a 2 race drought, which might prove precious when the counting's done in Brazil.

You can't get enough of Hamilton and his love affair with the FIA. He is one of the very few to be handed penalties in back to back races. Bearing the 10 place grid penalty from Canada for hitting Iceman, his task was far from over when he started on P13. On lap 2, Lewis got past Vettel on the straight leading to the Nurburgring chicane but was adjudged to have gained an advantage by straight-lining the chicane (see pic) and was given a drive-through penalty which ultimately wrecked his race. Not a pretty sign for the McLaren team after they felt that he had already passed Vettel before cutting chicane. I can't comment on the fairness of the penalty cos like many other TV viewers, I too saw only Lewis' onboard view of the incident. The stewards claim that they have had info from the hidden cameras on track (which are unavailable to the outside world) and that Hamilton was issued the most lenient of the 3 forms of punishment. Having said that, his driving was not that aggressive and was a letdown with a stupid 3-stop strategy.

Massa though conceded he was "lucky" to win after admitting that Raikkonen was too quick for him in the early part of the race. The drive of the day came from Toyota's Jarno Trulli who finished on the podium behind the two Ferraris. His experience and never say die attitude paid off when he saw through challenges from Alonso and Kovalainen for the fight for podium.

Now we head back to the classic Silverstone circuit for the British grand prix. Kimi most likely will change his engine but will not be penalised as per the new rules which allow u to change one engine in the season with no grid penalty. It's Lewis' home track but I can't see him having any chance of winning a race before Valencia or even Monza. Massa has leap frogged Kubica for the lead of the WDC, 4th different driver to do so this season. Are we in for a fierce battle? Yes we are!!!

Standings after race 8/18

1. Felipe Massa 48 points
2. Robert Kubica 46 points
3. Kimi Raikkonen 43 points

Next race : British GP, Silverstone

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