Saturday, 31 December 2011

Splash & Dash: 2011 The Champagne and the Pits

It is the end of the calendar year and as most of the world it is a time of reflection of the year that was. Of course, F1 teams only look forward so it is up to the rest of us to take this retrospective.

The Champagne

1. Red Bull's domination of both the driver's and constructor's championships

2. Sebastian Vettel's domination of qualifying and the first 2 laps

3. Adrian Newey

4. Jenson Button proving his skill on the track and for being the guy you want to become good mates with

5. Pirelli and Paul Hembrey doing exactly what was asked of them and simply being brilliant

6. Senna the movie - and it's universal appeal

7. McLaren releasing it's 2nd road car and following the Ferrari model

8. Fernando Alonso for steering clear of the Ferrari polemics and doing what he does best - race fast

9. KERS and the development of an alternate energy systems that are roadcar relevant

10. Mercedes GP for giving a kid a hand - or funding the fitting of his prosthetic hand

11. HD television coverage

12. The proliferation of F1 related social media

13. Engine developers for pushing the efficiency of the engines while engine development is frozen

14. Fernando Alonso and Bernie Ecclestone for providing true fans with the spectacle of an historic F1 car being driven as it should

The Pits

1. Hamilton's Ali G joke

2. Hamilton's pouty look and spoilt child demeanor that he carried for most of the year

3. Massa's defiance to admit that it takes two to tango

4. FIA's mishandling of exhaust blown diffusers

5. DRS - for making a mockery of the art of overtaking

6. FIA's handling of Bahrain

7. FOTA for being largely innefective and then losing 3 teams - but at least there were no threats to start up an alternate series

8. Stark reminders that motorsport is dangerous - RIP Dan Wheldon, RIP Marco Simoncelli, hope to see Robert Kubica at some stage in 2012 and thanks to many for allowing Sergio Perez to continue on with just a short break

9. Hamilton and Maldonado coming together at Spa during qualifying after the session had stopped

10. Two Lotus Renault teams proving that neither was worthy of the name

11. The everpresent question of whether F1 is sport or entertainment - to clarify, sport is entertainment

12. The worst season of Williams F1 in their history

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