Bet on the Reds (Bulls not Ferraris)

The second session for the Singapore Grand Prix resulted in a fairly dominant showing from the Red Bull-Renault team with Sebastian Vettel a sizeable six-tenths clear of his team-mate Mark Webber. He in turn was four-tenths clear of Jenson Button’s McLaren, which seems to suggest that Red Bull is going into the weekend with an appreciable advantage over its rivals. A second a lap is a big margin in F1 these days.

Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest in his Ferrari, right on Button’s tail, but the Spaniard went wide and then found himself unable to rejoin the action for reasons that are not entirely obvious. Lewis Hamilton was fifth quick in his McLaren, while Rubens Barrichello was a surprising sixth fastest ahead of Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari and Nico Rosberg in the leading Mercedes. Renault’s Robert Kubica was next ahead of Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes and Nico Hulkenberg in the second Williams.

The Saubers were 12th and 13th with Kamui Kobayashi ahead of Nick Heidfeld and then Vitaly Petrov in the second Renault, ahead of the two Force Indias, with Tonio Liuzzi ahead of Adrian Sutil. The German ran wide and went heavily over a kerb and broke his suspension on landing. Down at the back were Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi in their Toro Rossos, Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, the Virgins of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi. Then came Jarno Trulli’s Lotus and the two HRTs of Bruno Senna and Christian Klein.

11 thoughts on “Bet on the Reds (Bulls not Ferraris)

  1. I am a loyal fan of Michael Schumacher since 1991, i am not blaming you but i just hate it when anybody critises Michael for whatever he says or does, this season of 2010 of his comeback is due to a crappy car with a crappy package, has for his age is not to old, he is wiser and clever compared to F1 drivers of today.the media and such like ought to mind there own business and left Michael to his own affairs.

  2. Hi Joe

    I have been reading your blog for quite a while now, but this is my first post here. Sorry if my english is not the best (it is not my mother tongue).
    While I do not always agree with your opinion, I really enjoy your writing and analysis. Keep up the good work
    Speaking about the subject, there is a lot of negative comments on the internet about the so called flexi wing and floor tests and that Martin Whitmarsh did no good when he complained about them and was sure that Red Bull will loose some of their speed.
    In fact recently a few people form F1 were talking about these tests and how they will make the difference. So far it looks that they haven’t. Of course this is only friday practise, but the general impression is that Red Bull will be very competitive (if not dominant).
    The conclusion is that Mclaren and Ferrari have built good cars this year, but relative to the opposition the situation does not look so bright. They will have to make some decisions not only about this year, but also regarding 2011.

  3. I was watching the speed coverage for fp2 and they slow-mo’d a shot of Vettle’s RBR as he rode some curb, and you can clearly see a considerable amount of flexing on the tea tray…as well as some apparent movement while at speed going over a bumpier section of track in a straight line. Now, since BE hasn’t ponied up to provide HD cameras onboard it’s hard to tell for sure, but this movement is visible to the naked eye in these replays. One really has to wonder just how far these things are allowed to ‘flex’. Given that they have a second or more advantage this weekend, and have regularly had a considerable advantage on other similar tracks…well, it isn’t a stretch to question the legality of RBR’s components.

  4. Hi Joe,

    Saturday practice and qualy will be fascinating. Interesting to see RB 1,2 after FP2. RB do have not really set done fast laps on Friday for show so could be an ominous sign. I think seb has to finish in front of mark this weekend even if they don’t win otherwise the writing might be on the wall for him this year. A quick question if it has been raining most afternoons this week in Singapore when has it usually stopped and when did the track dry up on Friday?

  5. Mrs Gray

    Schumacher’s Mercedes is perhaps the fourth best car, along with Williams and Renault. Clearly the Mercedes is not the best car but it’s hardly “crappy”, think about Hispania/HRT if you want “crappy”.

    If you want the F1 press to be objective you have to accept their criticism of a team/driver as well as their praise.

  6. Mrs Gail,
    The thing is it is very debatable who is a loyal fan. I think that a loyal fan can also criticize their favourite driver. If a fan only glorifies his/her favourite driver and does not admit when the driver does badly, then he/she lacks a little bit of objectivity (of course, we can debate what is objectivity).
    Anyway, this year Schumacher’s performance is not related only to car, tires or age. One can only compare him to Rosberg and it is clear that this year Nico is genuinely better. Before the season a lot of people said that Michael will completely outperform Nico and some were sorry for the young german that Mercedes hired Schumacher. It turned out that this season is hurting Schumacher and not Rosberg. I am not talking about legacy, there are also other things. Besides, I think that media can be criticized for one thing – they do not praise Rosberg at all. This year he deserves to be praised. Some say that he is not a Hamilton or a Vettel, but I think that it is not proved yet what kind of a driver he is. He is just like Kubica. They both need a good car. I think that their best quality is their potenitial consistency.
    One more thing – you say that Michael is wiser and more clever than drivers of today…Well, it is difficult to say that. Maybe to some extent I would agree.

  7. Mrs. Gray, is Rosberg not a driver ‘of today’? And surely by your logic he must be cleverer and wiser than Schu, getting more out of such a crappy car?

    Otherwise, most commentators are making the usual desperate ‘predictions’.

    Nothing to make out of any of Friday practice, so many unknowns.

  8. I’ve read the post three times in an attempt to understand where it was criticising Schumacher. Is a report of a drivers place in a practice session now considered a criticism? Apart from that, Mrs Gray, perhaps you would be happier if the F1 media was restricted to only reporting on Mr Schumacher’s taste in fashion?

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