Color Me Confused: The 2010 F1 Italian GP Round-Up

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An important win for Nando. Just about cements his status as #1 in Scuderia Ferrari. Image via GPUpdate

I should be happy with the result, but I’m not.

See, I’m a Ferrari fan. Or, I should say, I’m still a Ferrari fan–despite all the controversies and the forced exit of two of my favourite drivers, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen. I just cannot quit them. Not yet, anyway. However, last night’s race might just be the beginning of the end.

Usually, I look forward to the Italian GP, as this is Ferrari territory and the drivers I root for have always been fortunate enough to get good results there. Yesterday though, I cannot muster enough excitement to fully get into the spirit of the race–I even skipped most of the pre-race show to watch highlights of the Superleague Formula instead. It got worse when I chanced upon a pre-show montage of the past Italian GPs, and I saw the former “King of Monza” Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen clad in the Scarlet of Ferrari. I felt as if my heart was being squeezed by an iron hand.

Fast forward to the race: The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso was on pole and Felipe Massa was 3rd. Jenson Button of McLaren was in 2nd. Personally, I hoped for a Sebastian Vettel win, as it’s about time the lad gets a break from his bouts of recent bad luck. I also hoped for a good performance from Nico Hulkenberg, Jaime Alguersuari and of course, Michael Schumacher. If I can’t be bothered about the frontrunners, then I’d better just focus on the underdogs, no?

Anyway, here are some of the noteworthy parts of the race:

1.0 Championship leader Lewis Hamilton had to retire even before the end of the 1st Lap after banging wheels with Felipe Massa, which damaged his right front suspension. My evil side was pleased, as this meant he’s certain to lose the WDC lead at the end of the race.

 

2.0 Jenson Button scared the Tifosi when he promptly took the lead in the race. I wasn’t too worried though as I thought the McLaren car wasn’t as fast in straights as the Ferraris.

3.0 Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, also known as Baby Schumi and Schumi, were quite anonymous in the first half of the race, as they languished in 8th and 9th.

4.0 For the 2nd race in a row, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari was given a penalty yet again, this time a drive-through, for being adjugded to have gained advantage by cutting through a chicane. Pobrecito just couldn’t get a break from the race officials.

5.0 I was completely ambivalent when the crucial part of the race happened– Alonso exiting the pitlane and just edging out Button for track position and effectively, the race lead. I was already channeling my energies into cheering for a certain Nico Hulkenberg.

6.0 Speaking of, this German driver named Nico Hulkenberg is well and truly the Driver of the Race for me. He held his bottle, kept his head down and refused to be bullied by a certain Mark Webber in giving up track position. The sight of Webber resorting to bratty hand gestures to show his frustration just cracked me up. It doesn’t hurt as well that Nico has the certain looks and aura of a driver whose name begins with Kimi and ends in Raikkonen. Watch out world, this lad may just be the Next Big Thing in F1.

Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg: He’s cool, he’s calm, and he drives like a Champ. Is he the 2nd Coming of Kimi Raikkonen? Image via GPUpdate.

7.0 Sakon Yamamoto of Hispania Racing reportedly ran over someone in their pit garage. Dear, oh dear. The image of his fellow Japanese Kazuki Nakajima plowing down one of his pit crew members in the 2007 Brazilian GP comes rushing back to me. Perhaps that was why the poor guy got so distracted afterwards that he got lapped numerous times and had to go through run-off areas. Time for a Karun Chandhok return?

8.0 Ferrari finished 1st and 3rd, with Button’s McLaren in 2nd. That win has effectively cemented Fernando Alonso’s #1 Driver Status in the Scuderia, not that it was in any danger, anyway. Poor Massa, is he destined to play Second Fiddle to ex-World Champions for the rest of his career? Loads of hugging and joking around in the holding area pre-Podium Ceremonies which only made me miss Kimi more. Anyway, Mark Webber is now leading the WDC Standings from Hamilton, and Alonso, Button and Vettel are all still in the fight for it.

Five drivers all have a chance of being crowned the 2010 World Drivers’ Championship. As I’ve told my friend V through SMS post-race, I honestly have no idea who’s going to win the Championship this year. That should be a good thing, right? Perhaps I’ll get some of my old excitement back when a driver I like either: a. Wins WDC or b. Comes back to F1.

Next up is Singapore, and I will personally be there for the 2nd year running, this time around for all 3 days of the event.  I will leave my Kimi Ferrari cap at home, though, in lieu of another piece of headgear. Which driver will I root for in the Lion City? What contraption will I wear in my head? Hint: I want a new race winner, and nobody better make me cross or else my headgear’s going to be used! See you, then! 😉

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