Harry’s Halfway Point Review Part One

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Updated: July 31, 2013

Well we’ve had a pretty an exciting, yet surprisingly crash free, season thus far. I Have put together a pretty solid review of the first half of the season. I warn you, it’s a two parter!

Red Bull:

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As per usual Red Bull have been consistently good. In fact looking at the stats they are doing better than last year, with the team taking 4 wins already. Vettel has continued to be the driving force behind the teams and his own championship bid. Mark has been an excellent back up driver as usual though, despite a few DNFs. The team has received a bit of flak though for Vettel’s antics in Malaysia, which caused a large rift to form between the two drivers. My only main criticism would be their pitstops. Twice this season Mark has lost a wheel, in China and more recently Germany, which has caused there to be a change in the rules even.

The Verdict-Looking good to take both Championships for a fourth time, but we’ll have to see what happens in the second half.

Mercedes:

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Currently lying a surprising second in the Championship, this once lacklustre team has gone from strength to strength. Schumacher is probably regretting leaving the team now, especially looking at Hamilton’s season. With easily the fastest car on the track, it’s a shame the design eats Pirellis for breakfast. Solve that problem and the team would probably win both titles easily. The Ros-Ham combination is clearly a winning one, the team just needs consistency.

The Verdict-A real threat to RBR, just sort out those tyre woes. Oh and tell Hamilton to cheer up.

Ferrari:

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From what I can see, Ferrari is in a spot of bother at the moment. Their strategy usually ruins one of their driver’s races, and their No.1 guy is making eyes at other teams. They clearly have one of the better cars on the track, a good all rounder, but it seems that if there’s a problem, they just don’t know what to do. Take Bahrain for example, Alonso’s DRS jammed open and he had to do an emergency pit to fix it, and the same thing happened the lap immediately after. Bad call if you ask me. Felipe on the other hand appears to think he’s driving his old Sauber. He is pretty fast again but he is making some pretty rookie mistakes. Just look at Germany. Lap 8 and he lost the car under braking. And then stalled. I think he needs to up his game or he’s going to be replaced.

The Verdict-Ferrari are on a slow but steady downward spiral.

Lotus:

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This season Lotus have been doing what they do best. Pretending to be the plucky underdog. Raikkonen says he’ll stay at the team if he can see evidence of the team doing well. With a win and 5 second places it’s no surprise he’s currently second in the championship. The only issue I see is his perhaps not so good qualifying pace. In Hungary he said ‘we need to be faster in qualifying’ or something along those lines. Only problem Kimi is that your team mate did just that. Grosjean was a bit of crazy guy last year. Quick, so long as nothing, or rather no-one, was in his way. At the start of this year Eric Boullier appeared to have reeled him in a bit. Until Bahrain of course, where he hunted down Di Resta to take a podium. A few disappointing showings after that may make you doubt his consistency though. But he came third in Germany, after hunting down Vettel for a good half of the race. He qualified third in Hungary and showed excellent race pace. His move on Button was sloppy I’ll admit, but his overtake on Massa was frankly Glorious. Massa himself said he didn’t deserve that penalty. But remember that with a drive through and a 20 second penalty he still came 6th. Think about that.

The Verdict-Lotus have a good pairing here. Grosjean is getting a lot better, and I think Raikkonen will stay. But please fire your PR guy. #imthelotusprguyandimakeuphashtagsthatnooneelseusesinanattempttolookamusing

Force India:

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Still waiting for their first win, ‘Remember 07/08/09’ may as well be this teams catchphrase. Heck I think they’d be happy with a podium at this point. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like Force India, but they are starting to look more and more the old Toyota F1 team. Average drivers in an average car doing averagely is probably the best way to describe this team. Paul Di Resta has excellent race pace but qualifying seems to leave him sitting near the back looking confused and angry. If he qualified in the top 5, with a fair share of luck he’d probably win, or at the very least get a podium. Now onto Sutil, F1’s resident hard man. Spending a year or so at Her Merkel’s pleasure clearly hasn’t dampened his driving ability. True he’s got less points than Di Resta but he’s broken down 3 times more than Paul as well. But that’s the thing with Force India, they’re the only team to have a double retirement. Twice.

The Verdict-Force India clearly has the potential to do well, but someone needs to tell Paul to put his foot down in qualifying.

McLaren:

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It’s a sorry state of affairs when this championship winning team is doing worse than a team whose best result is a second place, 4 years ago. You have to feel sorry for Jenson Button though. In all honesty he is clearly trying to

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make the best of it, but it’s not an easy task when the car is slower than a snail in an anchor factory. At the start of the year they actually said that the car looks identical to last year’s car. Makes you wonder what they’ve done then? I can only assume the car’s front wing has the aerodynamic properties of a brick. Sergio Perez has clearly been giving it a good go too. After last year driving a potentially race winning Sauber, he moved to a confirmed race winning team. Only to find that actually the car is rubbish. He probably wishes he stayed at Sauber. No, wait, that’s not right. Anyway the jury is still out on whether he was hired for his potential skill, or those juicy, juicy Pesos.

The Verdict-On a quiet day you can actually hear Ron Dennis grumbling. And that’s a fact.

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