As with any post race review; I have the sheer benefit of hindsight. As with hindsight; one pieces together his/her assumptions prior to the race to assure themselves that they, without any doubt, are truly on top of the situation. Such is the case here. Mea culpa offered; I will begin to reconstruct the Australian race, as I had predicted prior to the race, and add the hindsight to prove my assertions.
Honda: Jenson is a decent driver but the hype of the last 5 years has grown dog-eared and I am throwing the gauntlet down here; letâ€™s stop the hype and call it what it is. He is a good driver but not the same caliber as Fernando, Kimi, Michael or even Nico or Nick. I am truly sorry to rain on the Britâ€™s parade here as I have tremendous respect for those Union Jack people. As for Rubens? I am as befuddled as the rest of you. The right-foot braking must be a real challenge for him but he has better race-pace than this.
Renault: Fernando is really the class of the field right now. I have no additional insight to add regarding pure performance. I think he has proven to be unflappable, consistent, reliable and an unmitigated success. Fisi on the other hand could be hearing the bell toll. Bad luck, poor aero, brakes, tiresâ€¦they are all good reasons not to excel but the excuse pile is getting larger and the win pile is shallow regardless of last week. Results, not excuses, extend driver contracts. Fisi is the captain of his destiny now.
McLaren: I was wrong on this one. I had figured a heavy fuel load as the McLaren seems to handle better with the additional weight (as pointed out by the brilliant and redoubtable Steve Matchett). I was actually stumped at the lack of pace for Kimi until learning, from the terrific folks at Autosport, that he had flat-spotted the tire and damaged the front wing. Still not quite sure of the lack of pace toward the end of the race, however. JPM? Well, thatâ€™s just JPM. â€˜Nuff said.
Ferrari: Disappointment. Michael was gaining ground with the new set of tires and had a rare moment that could happen to anyone. What I found more disappointing is the lack of stoic professionalism that would find him ducking out of camera view through the Toyota teamâ€™s garage. Huh? Thatâ€™s very base behavior for the seven-time champ. Even more odd was the qualifying performance. Massa is proving to be the gamble they thought he might be.
BMW: I think this is the highlight of the entire race (no offense Fernando). This is a huge achievement for Mario and the boys. Nick drove a terrific, intelligent race and even JV dragged himself back to a points finish. Terrific work boys! Hopefully a hint of whatâ€™s to come?
Toyota: I was also miffed at the passing under yellow but apparently all things are good. Ralf starts to show that Toyota can be a contender and he just might be the chap to do it. I have often defended Ralf for many reasons but if he can keep his head in the game; he may have an extension coming up. Albeit a reduced price tag. Jarno was an unfortunate racing incident.
The Red Bull posse: Bummer about Speed; it would have been a terrific result. DC not able to pass Speed? Impressive. Liuzzi? Find another series. Klien? I like the kid but he is letting me down. I think he has talent and should be driving a smarter race than this. While his kiss-the-wall routine was hard to blame him for; he still is engaging in bumper-car racing and that usually doesnâ€™t come on until later Sunday on Fox with DW.
Williams: I really want to see this team excel. I really do although I think Webber is more mouth than results. I think Nico has the potential in that team and I am a staunch Sir Frank supporter. Here is hoping Imola will be different.
Super Aguri: Just stop. Please. I appreciate they are driving lobby displays but come on; there should be some sort of rule that a team must be within a certain level of competitiveness. Where is the 107% rule when you need it? This is just dangerous. I this rate, I could get out there with my A8L and give it a go. I bet I would heed the blue flag faster than this team does.
Good race. I wanted a better look at the safety car and I got it. Did anyone feel the odd presence or vibe in the paddock? I think it may have been the penumbra of Stoddy we all live under or perhaps the CVC buyout of SLEC rumors. Who knows but I am waiting for the new Jordan team next year. We need the panache, not the pomp. Sorry Stoddy.
Speed: A good call gentlemen. Bob, Steve and David pulled off a terrific race, as usual, and the new addition of Peter live is terrific! I love the fact that he interviews many personalities in the sport and not just the drivers. Great angle Peter. Thatâ€™s why he is there and I am a wannabe. If the Britâ€™s want to root for someone; it should be Peter and Steve. Not Jens.