Yay! The season is over and we had a terrific race in Sao Paulo. It was a race that had everything: drama, excitement, accidents, joy and deep sadness. One can only feel happy for Sebastian Vettel, but at the same time one must feel a little sad for Fernando Alonso, who has driven his heart out all year. He accepted defeat with grace and style. It was an emotional day for little Felipe Massa, who is a driver I admire enormously, both as a racer and a man. It was not a bad day for Michael Schumacher, who went out in slightly less embarrassing style than might have been the case. It was a great day too for Force India, while McLaren had a bittersweet kind of race. You want to weep for Lewis Hamilton’s bad luck sometimes. He did not deserve to be tipped out of the race by Nico Hulkenberg. He deserved to win. But the incident had much bigger implications than that. McLaren, remember, has a technology supply deal with Force India. This was so good that McLaren found itself not only in the uncomfortable position of being beaten by its customer (great advertising, I suppose), but the crash meant that McLaren lost 18 points in the Constructors’ Championship, add to that the points that Ferrari gained as the result of the crash: three for Alonso and three for Massa and you see that the incident cost McLaren 24 points. If the team had scored those points it would have finished second in the title and would have gained around $10 million more. One can only hope that the Force India deal brings McLaren more than that because otherwise the customer programme will have been operating at a loss! One has to say that Force India did a great job and that was why we made Hulkenberg GP+’s inspired driver last night. He did a great job until the crash…
It was a wild day for Caterham and Marussia as well with the two battling over 11th place. The winner of that battle would take 10th place in the Constructors’ title and with that would come an additional $10 million in TV money. It was frantic stuff. I saw Caterham Group CEO Riad Asmat at the airport late last night and he was exhausted from all the emotion of the afternoon.
I was pretty exhausted as well after we crashed out GP+ and then set off, like the Keystone Kops, to get to the airport. We made it and there was time for a quick drink in the bar, where some friendly person stole my iPhone (or I lost it) so today is going to be a little more complicated than my normal activities… So here I am sitting in the departure hall in Atlanta, Georgia, listening to the recording of some disgustingly wholesome person singing “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful”. Tomorrow morning in Paris I am sure I can sort it all out. I have blown the old iPhone using clever technology so all the personal stuff will turn to dust if anyone tries to use it… and the SIM has been fried by geeks.
The only answer is comfort food and so I am off to look for corned beef hash for breakfast!