6 races, 6 different winners from 5 different teams.
This 2012 Formula 1 season certainly has given the F1 fanatics something to talk about. Mark Webber became the 6th driver to win a race this season, all in the first 6 races, Button, Alonso, Rosberg, Vettel and Maldonado were the other winners of a race this season.
For once, no one knows what the result of a race shall be. Rather than the drab years of watching a two-horse race, Ferrari vs Mclaren, during the Schummi-Hakkinen era or the epic Massa vs Hamilton showdown which led to Hamilton’s first and only world championship. And how can we forget the year in which Kimi won his driver’s championship thanks to Alonso and Hamilton tripping over one another and costing McLaren a championship, each of these battles were specifically between two teams, more recently, there was the battle between the Brawn team and the Red Bulls, it certainly is not a two horse/team race this season, not at all.
Although the drivers here have tremendous skill and are technically sound, there is always a huge gap between the top 2-3 teams and the rest. This season certainly has thrown that rule out of the book and this was the one thing which always perturbed me about Formula 1. Why is it that even after spending millions that teams have to still struggle to get a competitive time in? This is why other motor-sports have often caught my attention and made me sit and watch the entire race rather than hoping for rain to come and play havoc in the race.
NASCAR, Indy Car, Superbikes and MotoGP all have great climaxes because most of the teams have similar specs with regard to their machines. Even the former A1 GP was fun to watch and contained a few great performances by Narain Karthikeyan and Armaan Ebrahim for team India. This F1 season thankfully has no set script, with Maldonado getting a win for Williams and the Lotus’ of Raikkonen and Grosjean also looking strong, while the Saubers and Force India’s are capable of actually putting up a fight and getting a good result now and then.
For once the drivers are making the difference for the teams, rather than always hoping and relying on electronics. The introduction of the DRS has not helped much in over-taking this season unless its a Red Bull overtaking a HRT while its on prime tyres, (ok so I am exaggerating but you get the point). Also, the DRS and KERS units don’t make a huge difference between a Red Bull and a Williams car.
The roles of tyres still stay, although not as crucial as they were last season. Pirelli were under a rock and at a hard place last season as they came back to being the only tyre provider to all the teams since a lot of tyre degradation took place. But it wasn’t the case this season, with a stronger set of compounds the tyres last longer and don’t cause as much of a scramble for the pits for changes.
The next race is in Canada and with drivers like Hamilton, Schummacher and Massa yet to register a win, plus with the other cars like Lotus looking good, will we have 7 different race winners in 7 races? I certainly hope so, more as a neutral and a fan of the sport. Bring on Canada!