Home Run for Vettel – and Murray!

vettel sprayFinally Sebastian Vettel wins the German Grand Prix. Considering his dominance in recent years and the stack of youngest driver records he holds, it is somewhat surprising that, before yesterday, he had never won his home Grand Prix.

On the same day that Vettel was winning at home for the first time, Andy Murray won Wimbledon for the first time. Even taking national pride out of the equation, Murray being the first Brit to win Wimbledon for 77 years is a lot bigger thing than German driver winning the German Grand Prix, as Michael and Ralf Schumacher had both won it in recent years – the former winning three times in a five year period. But Vettel won three World Championships (2010,11 & 12) without ever winning at home.

Us Brits were robbed of the treble over the weekend, when success for the British Lions and Murray was not matched by Hamilton’s result. His pole position gave us fans some hope but the fact he was third and nearly fifth by the second corner meant we wouldn’t be seeing him on the podium. The Red Bulls seem to like the new Pirellis, despite Webber’s car throwing one off, and the Lotus cars obviously liked the tyres and circuit with both Kimi and Grosjean on the podium.

I have to say that I cannot work out if I like the modern Nurburgring Circuit or not. The race yesterday was certainly exciting – a little bit too exciting for Paul Allen (the F1 cameraman hit by Webber’s back wheel as it bounced down the Pits), but it doesn’t seem to flow like some of the other modern circuits and watching it on TV wasn’t as exciting as most races. It didn’t help that the Director kept cutting away from the best races.

I have never agreed with the “lapped cars may now overtake” rule during safety car periods. I understand that the FIA have worries about a Marrussia or Caterham being near the front of a pack of leading cars on the restarts, but why give drivers who have been lapped such a bonus? Webber lost a lap after his Pit-stop problem and then got it back due to the lapped cars rule. Surely drivers who have been lapped should not benefit from Safety cars. I think they should be told to drop to the back of the line of cars following the safety car. But don’t get me wrong, I am a Webber fan and think that F1 will be losing a really nice guy and proper racing driver when he retires from F1 at the end of the year. If you want validation of Webber’s credentials, just search on youtube for his overtake on Alonso into Eau Rouge at Spa.

We have just one F1 race in the next 7 weeks – Hungary on 28th July. Let’s hope that we get a result that keeps the championship close. If Vettel wins, his lead will be so big that the dynamic changes for the rest of the season. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming Andy Murray back to Daytona Sandown Park soon. Andy likes a bit of go karting and we would love to celebrate his historic win with him with a win on the tarmac too.

Jim Graham