Valencia – a race previously short of action – was anything but. Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull returned to winning ways while Fernando Alonso showed that old wounds heal awfully slowly.
When it comes to matters of heart, the first cut is often the deepest. The Alonso Hamilton love hate affair took another twist despite three years and two teams on; Alonso refuses to let sleeping dogs lie.
His vexation at Lewis Hamilton retaining his second place despite his drive-through was palpable. Having written about di Montazemelo’s dissatisfaction with all things recently, the man fast becoming the Victor Meldrew of F1 found renewed vigor in what was effectively a storm in a teacup. The processes by which decisions are made during race time have never been the quickest, but accusations of lethargy don’t add up to conspiracy in my book.
For what’s its worth, the rest of the paddock was in agreement. At 150mph, Hamilton’s call was, as Whitmarsh put ‘marginal’. What it initiated was Ferrari backlash call for a monumental Spanish inquisition. Word on my personal grapevine is they’re petitioning for the world to now spin clockwise.
Such is their continued influence they might just get both, though for the time being they’ll have to make do with an extraordinary meeting of the Sporting Working Group thinktank before the British Grand Prix. His and his teams’ protestations could yet land his team in trouble of their own. Now the red mist has cleared Alonso cuts a calmer, even apologetic figure, but arguments and counter-arguments aside, Sunday’s events showed to extent to which Hamilton really has got inside the mind of the two-time world champion.
Mark Webber’s lucky escape highlighted an area in greater need of thought for 2011. The proposed rule changes allowing for switchable wings and push-to-pass tom gadgetry would amount to a new Playstation generation, which as Mark Webber put it, doesn’t quite cut it.
Speed differentials are hard to manage at the best of times. What drivers and fans alike want is overtaking of the hard competitive kind, not the George Jetson variety. After allowing his bruises to heal, we can be sure that Webber will have even stronger feelings on the subject.
David Coulthard rightly pointed out that we could well expect more of the same if the FIA have their way. Perhaps the turn 17 collision might force Jean Todt et al to change at least some of their ways. Stranger things have happened.