Chaotic Valencia Mixes Things Up
European Grand Prix
The words Valencia and interesting don’t usually appear in the same sentence when it comes to F1, but todays race was exactly that. Although lacking in any real racing, it offered a ton of tension and dramatic moments to turn into a very good race.
It was also a good race for the new teams, as for the first time, five cars were classified at the finish. A real show of how the teams have come on since the first round in Bahrain. Jarno Trulli led the way for Lotus in their so called 500th Grand Prix.
However, thats pretty much all that went right for the Malaysian team during the weekend. Trulli was forced to pit on the first lap for a new front wing, he eventually finished altogether, but re-emerged later on, albeit a few laps down on everyone else.
The main talking point of the race invovled Heikki Kovalainen and Mark Webber, Webber launched off the back of Kovalainen in a fight for position (Webber had pitted earlier on). Fortunatly Webber got out of the car in one peice in what was a terrifying accident to watch. Both cars were out.
Lucas di Grassi was looking strong and his strategy of not pitting till the 42nd lap paid off too. But Timo Glock and Bruno Senna were next to come together, Glock turning in on Senna. Glock suffered a puncture while Senna required a new front wing, both pitted and resumed on with the race. The incident would catch up to Glock as he was given a 20 second penalty at the end of the race for ignoring blue flags.
It was a strong win for di Grassi, with Chandhok coming in second to change the picture of the championship.
|1||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin Racing||17th||10|
|3||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||19th||4|
Its all change in the championship as Kovalainen’s incident sees Chandhok move in front of the Finn. Its the first time this season that anyone other than Kovalainen has been top, but Chandhok’s consistency is paying off. Lucas di Grassi win sees him move clearly ahead of Jarno Trulli and into 3rd, as well as being within eye sight of Kovalainen too. Timo Glock closes into seven points behind Trulli while Bruno Senna loses a point on Glock. This weekend has really affected the Lotus drivers.
|3||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin Racing||34|
|5||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||20|
Lotus find the gap to Hispania reduced to just 12 points, but a 14 pointer for Virgin sees them right on the backside of HRT. All 3 teams are now within 13 points of each other, its shaping up to be an exciting last 10 races of the season.
The home of British motorsport is next, with F1 going to the ever popular Silverstone. Kovalainen has the best F1 record here, being on pole for the 2008 event. Glock has finished out of the points on his previous visits.
It will be Jarno Trulli’s 14th F1 visit to Silverstone, but hasn’t had the best of luck. Out of 13 races he has retired 6 times and his best finish is just 6th.
Of the new boys , Chandhok finished 3rd in his two previous races at Silverstone while Senna has won one. Di Grassi however has a mixed bag in his four years of GP2, finishing 2nd three times but also being excluded in one occasion.
No matter what Silverstone usually offers a brilliant spectacle of racing and it should be a fantastic race. Can Virgin continue to improve or will Lotus sort out reliabily and luck issues out. We’ll see on the 11th July.