Formula Blog: Post Season Detox
So another Formula One Season comes to an end, Alonso may have won the real title, but in this championship you need more than fast skills. Personality, a GSOH and good locks of hair are all required. So in reverse order, this is how things turned out (positions 24–16):
Disqualified: Jenson Button He would have been in 14th place, already hampered by contractual wranglings; integrity is valued highly in Formula Blog. Ultimately he has driven well this season but off the track he's been a very poor version of a sporting hero. The clincher which led to his disqualification was this quote taken from FHM when asked about Danica Patrick's F1 chances:
Danica is very quick. But in F1 cars I can't see it happening due to the G-force in fast corners… And one week of the month you wouldn't want to be on the circuit with them, would you? A girl with big boobs would never be comfortable in the car. And the mechanics wouldn't concentrate. Can you imagine strapping her in?
Whereas a male driver with a big head fits so snugly into a racing car, of course. I really don't think Button is in any position to comment on mood swings, I'm sure Danica Patrick is at least capable of choosing which team to drive for without the whole sorry mess ending up in court.
-35pts, 23rd Place: Jacques Villeneuve: It's been a miserable season watching a former champion go so badly, god only knows what it was like being a former world champion going so badly. To Villeneuve's credit he did manage some strong points scoring finishes, notably drives such as Imola, but the trouble is that you'd have expected more from him. Struggling to hang on to Felipe Massa's gearbox isn't befitting for a driver of Villeneuve's talent.
-20pts, 22nd Place: Takuma Sato: Before the season began I had this to say about Sato:
Heís completely crazy. Itís absolutely fantastic. Its hard to think of a driver who tried to make more overtaking manoeuvres last year than Sato, even though sometimes you had to wonder if maybe the others had got it right (Nurburgring anyone?). Even so, if only a few more drivers tried so hard F1 would be much more exciting.
Now I think I'll edit this to:
Heís completely crazy. Itís absolutely terrible. Its hard to think of a driver who tried to make more stupid overtaking manoeuvres than Sato… ever, sometimes you had to wonder if maybe the others should have punched him in the face. If a few more drivers tried so hard to be dangerous F1 would be a wreckers yard.
-6pts, 21st Place: Rubens Barrichello I like Barrichello, but it's not worked out for him this year. He's driven well on occasion: Australia and Europe leap immediately to mind. But he's been let down by a few foolish whinges, such as moaning about Schumacher's move on him on the last lap at Monaco. I hope he's made a great decison joining BAR, er, Honda because he's a driver capable of winning plenty more races and in the right circumstances, possibly even a championship. Though I suppose the right circumstances would have been Schumacher retiring a few years ago and Barrichello taking titles for Ferrari.
-4pts, 20th Place: Ralf Schumacher I must admit that Ralf Schumacher's grown on me slightly this year. He had a torrid start (relative to Trulli) and continued to whinge but he came on strong towards the end of the year. He's one of those drivers who when he's on it can produce fantastic drives, but unfortunately it's all a bit too rare.
2pts, 19th Place: Vitantonio Liuzzi His position in the championship is not indicative of a dislike for the guy, more of him only getting to drive in four races. In those races he did okay but you can't really say much more than that, not compared to (the admittedly more experienced) Christian Klien's sparkling qualifying performances and solid races. At least Liuzzi's an interesting character. When he gets into an F1 car for a full season I fully expect him to have those silver spinning hub-caps fitted to his wheels.
2pts, 18th Place: Antonio Pizzonia I was mega impressed with his performance in Italy, unfortunately the memory of this is blotted by his tangling with Montoya in Belgium, though it's impossible to be sure of who's fault that was due to the poor TV coverage. Sorry, I mean "perfectly normal standard for F1" TV coverage.
6pts, 17th Place: Patrick Friesacher Before the season began I was interested to see what Friesacher could do in an F1 car. He'd been good, if not spectacular in F3000 for the previous seven hundred years or so. He made a strong start but by mid-season Albers seemed to have the upper hand and when he ran out of money that was it. It's a shame for him but he'll probably be able to make a good career in Sports Cars or elsewhere.
-2pts, 16th Place: Tiago Monteiro At the start of the year you'd have reckoned he'd struggle to beat the medical car round the first few corners, but he's easily the driver to show the most improvement over the course of the year. He beat Karthikeyan in the one race of the season that we saw the Jordans (Indy) and got his piece of F1 silverware. On the subject of unlikely podium finishes I recently had a dream where I finished third in a Grand Prix. What does it say about me that I dreamt of finishing third and not winning? I digress. Monteiro's best drive was surely in Belgium to score the only genuine Jornardi points of the year.