12 Oct – It Was Inevitable
Despite six wins from his competitors, there hasn’t been a mystery about this season’s outcome for some time. I am of course referring to Sebastian Vettel’s dominant season and subsequent retaining of his world champion status. As I have stated before, I like the guy with the big eyebrows in the red car and as any impassioned fan knows, when your guy or girl is not winning it is an absolute drag. I’m sure it is the same for the Hamilton fans, the Webber fans, the Michael fans, the Button fans, the whoever fans. Since the halfway mark, Sebastian’s peers have been very gracious in bestowing praise and kind words upon him, such as “he deserves to be world champion,” or “Vettel has done the best job so he absolutely deserves to be WC.” A look at Webber’s performance by comparison really makes the case for this point.
What is also true is that the RB7 is in a class of its own, really a car without any flaw and strong at all tracks, a testament to Adrian Newey’s design skill and getting it spot on, in addition to Vettel driving it to its full potential, which is what all true champions have in common.
However, knowing this does not make me feel any better, nor does it make it any easier to see Vettel on pole every Saturday, and on the top step of the podium every Sunday.
While I’m picking on Red Bull and Vettel, I’d like to point out that Ferrari also made them look better by building such a stinker this year. And McLaren also flailed by not re-tooling their car mid-season and fighting for the title like they usually do.
And, yes, I’m tired of the Vettel finger as well (although I am all for the drivers having personality and showboating when they win) and nothing can address my nausea every time I hear Christian Horner on the radio saying something boring like “Seb you’re the best, well done mate.”
OK, alright, I’m done, enough of the poor sportsmanship. Congratulations to Red Bull and Vettel, to win both championships (driver’s and constructor’s) in the same year is one thing but to repeat is definitely something else entirely. Ask anyone in any sports endeavor, to repeat is always more difficult. Just continuing the combination that is the winning formula is no guarantee for success. Ask the Lakers, the New England Patriots, the San Francisco Giants, these are all American sports teams that have been champions one year and in the basement the next. Ask any actor or director on a franchise movie series. If this was December 2012 I’d say, just ask Obama how hard it is to repeat. Not saying he won’t be re-elected, but it is going to be a really tough campaign.
The point being, Red Bull did an outstanding job in year #2. And Vettel, I have to admit, he is super fast, he made almost no mistakes when it counted and his pass on Fernando in Italy was one to remember. He is the real deal. But I still don’t like it.
Thinking about this a little more deeply, I think it is partly because for some time now the F1 title has come down to the very end of the season for the last 4 or 5 years, going back to Fernando’s second championship against Michael in ’06. Even Button’s title-winning year wasn’t a sure thing as I recall. It’s obviously much more fun for everyone when every race counts in the championship. Right now we have three lame-duck races on the calendar before we can put this season behind us.
But to be absolutely hypocritical, next year I would like nothing more than for Fernando and Ferrari to clean everybody’s clock starting with Red Bull and Vettel and win every single race. How much fun will that be for the entire F1 fan base and competitors? Can you say, “Zero!”? (Or as the English say “Nought!”) This is the funny thing about being a fan and herein lies a great contradiction, we want the person or team that we follow to always and I mean always win, but secretly we all know the best seasons and races, games, series, championships, are the ones that are close and go down to the final lap, possession, pass, pitch, shot, minute, second, buzzer. We still have some mystery coming up with the race at a brand new track in India and I will still be pushing for Ferrari and Fernando to win the last three races, or at the very least hope that Button, Webber, anyone can challenge Vettel for the race win, but I am now already looking ahead to 2012. I’m ready for a better car from Ferrari, a better car from McLaren, better racing right from the first lap in Australia and for some fierce competition even if I might say that I want Fernando on the top step times 20. Hee hee…