Top/Bottom-5 Successes and Disappointments in Formula One in 2010
The season is nearing an end and it has definitely been an interesting season. And although there’s still four (or three) races left I’m willing to give my thoughts about what’s been great and not so great about the season…
- Exciting Championship Race – With no less than five (potentially six) drivers having a realistic shot at the Championship title this has got to be one of the best Championships of recent years and quite possibly of all time. Even last year’s championship race, which was surprising to say the least, couldn’t really compare since it technically ended three races before the season.
- Mark Webber – I’ve known Webber to be a good driver since his first season when he was able to score points driving one of the worst cars in F1 history. But with Red Bull now being in the championship race for the second year in a row the Australian has really become motivated and even shown his extremely talented team-mate a thing or two. Although I still support Vettel for the championship, if Webber wins it he has definitely deserved it.
- Robert Kubica – Another excellent but often neglected driver. Kubica’s been on the podium twice this season and hopefully we’ll see him there more often. The man is fast, determined and responsible for more overtaking this season than any other driver. Kubica’s success has also helped the Renault team get its act together since the launch of Flavio the Flatulent. If Kubica keeps up his excellent performances and if Renault can make their car even better for next season, this man might have a shot at the Championship yet.
- Kamui Kobayashi – It took a while for the Sauber team to get its car into acceptable shape, but once it did this new Japanese driver has started a steady climb towards becoming a big F1 name. If Sauber can improve its performance Kobayashi will be scoring consistently next season and hopefully this will open the doors to better teams for him.
- The New Points System – Many people have said that the New Points System is responsible for the extremely steady Championship race. Many mathematically inclined F1 fans have already pointed out that the championship standings would still be more or less the same with the old points system. Some are angry that the new system completely distorts F1 statistics. So why does it make the Top-5 if all of its merits are questionable to say the least? For working as an excellent motivator for teams. For many drivers, it can be frustrating to drive for years in F1 without ever scoring points. Now the scale is more clear. The drivers who score points by finishing in the Top-10 are the ones with some promise and which the teams know to concentrate on. Equally, not scoring points at all during a season is now more severe a failure and shows just where the teams stand performance wise. (Although I’m a little disappointed the new teams haven’t managed to score points this season.)
Note: Schumacher’s come-back will not be featured on the list because it is honestly the least important of the topics discussed here.
- The Ferrari Team Order ruling – Sportsmanship seems like an alien concept in F1. What else can you think when the ruling body of the sport rules “not guilty” on a plain case of cheating? Ferrari and the FIA seem to still be in bed together and this is what really pisses me off about this sport. If the FIA removes the Team Order rule (which itself has already rendered pointless) then at least there will be no more second guessing on who are the biggest scumbags in the sport.
- Korean Grand Prix construction chaos – As always I like to think the best of people, but the Korean GP construction halts have really wavered my faith in people within the sport. Yes, I want there to be a Grand Prix in Korea but I’d also hope people within F1 would have more realistic time-tables and goals as far as getting shit done is concerned. Or else why couldn’t they just post-pone the first Korean GP until next year? Is Bernie Ecclestone really that greedy and spiteful that he’ll remove the race from the calendar for the next couple of years just because they couldn’t finish the track on time this year? I wouldn’t put it past him.
- No Refueling During Pitstops – Refueling needs to be brought back into F1. While starting a race with a full tank of gas sounded like an interesting prospect at the beginning of the season, it really didn’t do much to enhance the excitement of pit-stops (not unless competing drivers appear on the pit-lane at the same time). In fact, removing the refueling from pitstops has actually become quite the safety risk as seen in Hungary and Monza (HRT’s mechanic incident).
- Toro Rosso – After two solid seasons Toro Rosso has really slumped as a team. They’ve scored points but neither Sebastian Buemi nor Jaime Alguersuari (who started the season better than I expected) have made much progress as drivers. I hope next year they’ll be racing someone other than just Sauber and just Force India (when they’re having a bad day).
- Hispania Racing – Though I’ve held out hope that HRT would mold itself into a respectable team within the sport, I’ve yet to have seen any signs of this. The management claims their financial situation has been taken care of. Which is good. However, they keep constantly switching their driver line-up according to whose sponsors are paying most. This is bad. Bruno Senna, Karun Chandhok, Sakon Yamamoto and Christian Klien. Two F1 has-beens, one F1 never-will-be and one Indian guy whose already made a career move to go into broadcasting. I feel bad for Chandhok who wasn’t even given a proper opportunity to prove himself, but replacing him continuously with drivers who bring sponsorship deals into the team is hardly a positive sign either. HRT might be well on its way to becoming the next Minardi but I hope that they at least will have some genuine achievements before long.