Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Pirelliís hiding true pace

We maybe now one fifth of the way through the new Formula One season, but we are still guessing which car and which driver has the real advantage. Four races have gone, and we have four different winners in four different cars. The very early blistering pace shown by McLaren diminished in Bahrain, the scene of Red Bulls climb back to the top step of the podium. In the heat Ferrariís car is slows and sluggish, but when the temperatures drop it emerges as the quickest of the lot. And then there is the tyre eating Mercedes with their controversial DRS system, which looks the quickest in a single lap.

The fact that we know rather little about the true pecking order may be down to the extravagant wear of the Pirelli tyres. They have had such a huge impact on the races this season that Michael Schumacher has said no-one can drive their cars to the limit. Now we head to Spain and the beginning of the four month European season, which should give a bigger indicator of the pecking order.

Can Mercedes crack their tyre problem? Nico Rosberg drove superbly to victory in China, but in higher heat the Mercedes was off the pace of the Red Bull. Team-mate Schumacher has had rotten luck so far so his capabilities in the car are yet unknown. The 7 time champion now needs a strong couple of races in Barcelona and Monaco to get himself back into the running. Fernando Alonso is perhaps the happiest driver after four races. His ailing car is still only 10 points off the championship lead, and if the Italian outfit can develop their car and get it nearer the front, then the double champion is sitting pretty.

The major dark horses seem to be the Lotus car. Few expected their car to come alive as it did in the Bahrain desert, which saw Kimi Raikkonen claim 2nd and Romain Grosjean 3rd (his first F1 podium). Kimi should have won the race by his own admission, but the cars pace throws light on what they could do this season and whether they can emulate that pace on a regular basis.

And then we have Red Bull back at the front of both the Drivers and Constructors championships. Mark Webber is proving to be Mr consistent again, and has to be considered as a genuine title challenger in a tightly fought season. The Aussie rarely makes mistakes, is capable of race wins and regular podiums, and could be the real dark horse this season. At this stage I feel Mark is worth a £5 bet. After their poor race in China where they had no answers to the lack of pace, they extraordinarily bounced back in style in Bahrain. The hot weather and a Red Bull suited circuit combined to give Vettel the victory, but Red Bull did little to the car making their Bahrain advantage difficult to comprehend. This is the affect that the Pirelliís have had. Some races they work for you, some they donít.

McLaren have to be the most frustrating team to support on the whole grid. They seem to have the pace, they have the drivers (although Hamiltonís erratic driving comes with the brilliance), and are easy on their tyres but they regularly seem to find a way to scupper their own race. It would have taken a bold journalist who brought up pit-stops after the race on Sunday.

Now we head to Spain knowing very little, the only thing that is guaranteed is a fascinating race full of incidence, we hope. Eight drivers in competitive cars, and a Spanish matador in front of his home crowd is mouth-watering, so letís embrace the madness that Formula One has given us this season.








Join Vital F1

It's easy to join up and join in on VitalF1.com, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on VitalF1.com!

The Journalist

Writer: Charlie Bennett Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 26 2012

Time: 3:00PM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Articles

Red Bull play down driver row (Tuesday April 22 2014)

McLaren & Red Bull row over Fallows (Tuesday April 22 2014)

2014 - China - Race (Sunday April 20 2014)

Blog: Chinese GP Report (Sunday April 20 2014)

Blog: Shanghai Qualifying (Saturday April 19 2014)

2014 - China - Qualifying (Saturday April 19 2014)

2014 - China - FP3 (Saturday April 19 2014)

2014 - China - FP2 (Friday April 18 2014)

2014 - China - FP1 (Friday April 18 2014)

Hass might join F1 grid in 2016 (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Red Bull lose appeal (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Brawn to return to Ferrari? (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Domenicali quits (Monday April 14 2014)

Red Bull appeal begins (Monday April 14 2014)

Who will win the Chinese GP? (Sunday April 13 2014)

Mercedes hit out at Ferrari (Saturday April 12 2014)

Perez nearly quit F1 (Friday April 11 2014)

Mercedes stay on top in Bahrain (Thursday April 10 2014)

Red Bull & McLaren in legal row (Thursday April 10 2014)

Blog: The Battle of Mercedes (Thursday April 10 2014)

Mercedes on top in first test (Wednesday April 9 2014)

Formula One should celebrate new era (Wednesday April 9 2014)

F1 cost cap plan abandoned (Tuesday April 8 2014)

Two new teams to join Formula One? (Tuesday April 8 2014)

Maldonado punished (Monday April 7 2014)

Formula One puts on a showcase (Monday April 7 2014)

Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 7 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - Race (Sunday April 6 2014)

Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 5 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - Qualifying (Saturday April 5 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - FP3 (Saturday April 5 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - FP2 (Friday April 4 2014)

2014 - Bahrain - FP1 (Friday April 4 2014)

Cautious optimism for Schumacher (Friday April 4 2014)

Williams resolve team orders row (Friday April 4 2014)

Hamilton & Rosberg on par (Thursday April 3 2014)

Sauber have identified their issues (Thursday April 3 2014)

Sauber & Caterham make driver changes (Wednesday April 2 2014)

Alonso finds the positives (Tuesday April 1 2014)

Fuel-gate rumbles on (Tuesday April 1 2014)

Red Bull are closing the gap (Tuesday April 1 2014)

Who will win the Bahrain GP? (Monday March 31 2014)

Blog: Malaysian GP Report (Sunday March 30 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - Race (Sunday March 30 2014)

Blog: Sepang Qualifying (Saturday March 29 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - Qualifying (Saturday March 29 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - FP3 (Saturday March 29 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - FP2 (Friday March 28 2014)

2014 - Malaysia - FP1 (Friday March 28 2014)

Sutil unhappy with weight issues (Thursday March 27 2014)

Video Feature: Malaysia Preview (Wednesday March 26 2014)

McLaren pushing hard (Wednesday March 26 2014)

Red Bull owner slams F1 (Tuesday March 25 2014)

Lotus hoping for improvement (Monday March 24 2014)

Date set for Red Bull's appeal (Monday March 24 2014)

Who will win in Malaysia? (Saturday March 22 2014)

Red Bull looking to improve (Friday March 21 2014)

F1's new sound (Thursday March 20 2014)

Williams delighted with Bottas drive (Wednesday March 19 2014)

Lotus problems down to MGU-K component (Wednesday March 19 2014)

Perfect debut for Magnussen (Tuesday March 18 2014)

Disappointing weekend for Red Bull (Monday March 17 2014)

Bittersweet weekend for Mercedes (Monday March 17 2014)

F1 Blog: Australian GP: New dawn (Sunday March 16 2014)

2014 - Australia - Race (Sunday March 16 2014)

2014 - Australia - Qualifying (Saturday March 15 2014)

2014 - Australia - FP3 (Saturday March 15 2014)

2014 - Australia - FP2 (Friday March 14 2014)

2014 - Australia - FP1 (Friday March 14 2014)

Stewards to be lenient in Australia (Thursday March 13 2014)

Chilton targets maiden point (Thursday March 13 2014)

Video: Ferrari's internal battle (Thursday March 13 2014)

F1 Blog: The Braces Are Off (Wednesday March 12 2014)

Lotus depending on Renault improvements (Wednesday March 12 2014)

Ecclestone targets Azerbaijan (Tuesday March 11 2014)

No change for Schumacher (Tuesday March 11 2014)

Qualifying tweaks confirmed (Monday March 10 2014)

Lotus will recover (Saturday March 8 2014)

Archived Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Red5 998
2. DJ 856
3. The Fear 769
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 559
6. Druss_the_Legend 510
7. Push The Button 426
8. col8 334
9. __villa__ 145
10. The Intimidator 138

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Are Mercedes catchable this season?
Yes 29%
No 57%
Unsure 14%