China - The Great Wall Of Massa
Poor Massa. Love or hate him, one must feel for the poor little Brazilian who is struggling to keep his seat in the second Ferrari this season.
In a car that has a lack of aero grip in conjunction with top speed which may be a result of it, Massa has been unable yet to score a single point this young season.
If it wasn't for the fact that somehow, his team mate in a sister car wasn't actually leading the championship until this past GP, it might have been understandable if not condonable.
In China, Massa qualified 13th, not entirely unfathomable considering Alonso qualified 10th which were similar to the end results.
One would expect that to be reasonable by all intents and purposes. However, at one point in the latter stages of the race, before Massa ducked into the pits for a tyre change, I couldn't help but feel that the Brazilian was unknowingly imitating the Great Wall Of China.
Massa had created a queue behind him which included Kimi (whom I believe had not yet stopped either) and then both McLarens, Red Bulls and Williams. Effectively making him the moving wall in China.
Which brings me to one other observation. DRS.
I'm still on the fence on the matter of effectiveness. With several opportunities to exploit the technology, specifically with the queue caused by the 'Great Wall', I would have expected a little more action. My purist side still pushes me towards the opinion that technologies like KERS and DRS are artificially trying to enhance the on-track show. Similar to putting a Band-Aid on a wound that really needs to be stitched.
F1 and the FIA have identified that there is a fundamental problem with the product, but haven't done enough to bring things back to a point where mechanical grip rules over aerodynamic grip, at least enough to offer better action on the track. I know we can't take a step back in time to the days of Arnoux and Villeneuve per say but there are instances where you wish that type of racing was back.
That said though, one has to admit that recently, the action has been much better and it now is a great time to be fan of this wonderful sport.
Author: Ernie Black
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