July 9th, 2013 (F1plus/G. Poluchornis).- This week we review the German GP which will be remembered for bizarre incidents, but exciting racing nonetheless.
Felipe Massa: Gone Wrong
The Brazilian commenced the fourth lap of Sunday’s race before losing control whilst braking at turn one. The Ferrari driver was unable to re-join the race as his car subsequently stalled. Massa has been quick to assume fault for the incident, stating after the race:
"I braked at the end of the straight and I locked the rear wheels. The car went sideways to the right, I corrected it but then it slid to the left and then I spun. I stopped the car and I was fifth gear, I tried to get down to first to go back out and the gear was not going down. I was stuck in fifth gear and I tried to go but the engine died as I tried to leave in fifth gear. I tried to go a lot on the throttle to leave but it was not possible so I stopped the engine."
After a return to form in the first five races of the season, Massa’s results have been gradually deteriorating to previous standards. “Offs” have been occurring frequently in both races and practice as seen in Monaco and Silverstone. The approaching mid-season break will be preferred for Massa, who requires a regathering of composure.
Romain Grosjean: On-Song
Romain Grosjean steered his Lotus to a podium position, receiving much acclaim in the process. Grosjean, who has alternatively been the subject of much criticism in the past, showcased his talents in Germany. Both Lotus vehicles were impressive, but it was Kimi Raikkonen’s strategy which proved superior to his team-mate. This did little to deter Grosjean from being pleased with his performance, as he said after the race:
“Finally everything went more or less right today. It was fantastic to lead the race in the first stint and the summer and the heat clearly helps our car. I hope summer will be around a little bit longer. It took a long time to come but hopefully it will stay until we head back to Asia where normally the weather is good."
The result in Germany will help reduce the amount of people who label the Frenchman as simply a “paid-driver.” Regardless, more performances such as this will be required to be viewed favourably by F1 fans on a permanent basis.
Mark Webber: On-Song and Gone Wrong
The Aussie endured a day of mixed fortunes, where his pit-stop disaster was sandwiched by impressive driving. Webber displayed one of his better starts in Germany, overtaking Lewis Hamilton in the run to turn one. His start was also better than this team-mate’s, however, the run to turn one was simply not long enough to claim the lead.
From there, the infamous pit-stop incident occurred. After his loose tyre struck a cameraman, Webber expressed his concerns after the race, saying “I hope the guy’s okay and I very much hope there’s no serious damage done.” Luckily, no serious damage was done, although the cameraman did suffer a broken collar bone and ribs. Serious damage was done, however, to Webber’s hopes of race victory. After his car was rolled back to the Red Bull garage, the Australian re-joined the race an entire lap behind.
After another redeeming display, along with some help from a safety car, Webber was able to storm to a seventh place finish. Webber was still disappointed with how the race unfolded though, saying after the race:
“It was a case of coulda woulda shoulda – A very good result might have been possible today without that incident in the pits. I think I could have challenged for the win.”
Indeed, Mark Webber and his Red Bull seemed more than capable of claiming a maximum result at the Nurburgring. The romantic scenario of Webber winning on his final visit to the track where he claimed his maiden victory was to be denied though.
On-Song or Gone Wrong? is a segment provided after the completion of each race weekend. It is predominately dedicated to assess the surprise performances within the field, whether it is for better or worse.