MU MUCH MISTAKEN…
the same team winning every time and, from the point of view of F1, which is haemorrhaging fans and TV viewers worldwide as an appealing sport, it is a thoroughly bad thing if one does. One swallow does not a summer make and the fact that Ferrari got their Malaysian strategy so right and were able to handle tyre degradation so much better than Mercedes team doesn’t mean to say the Silver Arrows’ dominance is over. Much can still change and much most certainly will. Hooray to that! Variety is the spice of life.
It is heartwarming to see F1’s greatest constructors back in contention and great to see last year’s downcast Sebastian Vettel back at his impressive best. And with a spring in our steps after such an upset to the formbook, there are many other things to be upbeat about. Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne must be purring with delight at the way his brave and contentious clear-out of the old management has generated such instant success, and it will be an enormous psychological boost to everyone at Maranello.
Elsewhere, there is new talent for us to observe. Max Verstappen is impressively demonstrating that his is a very special talent. Carlos Sainz Jr, Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson have also shown themselves to be very worthy of their promotion to the pinnacle of motorsport.
Not everything in the garden is rosy. After soldiering on for five years in Ferrari machines not good enough to get the job done, I wonder how Fernando Alonso feels about leaving Maranello just as his old chums hit the jackpot? Is he today’s Chris Amon, always squandering his immense talent in the wrong car? I certainly hope not but it is hard to see Fernando winning races this year, no matter how quickly McLaren and Honda overcome their many problems.
I sometimes think that if Bernie Ecclestone fell off a skyscraper he’d land on a feather bed. Malaysia was a terrific fillip for Formula 1, which has been wallowing in so much adverse publicity. But what on earth is going on when there’s to be no German Grand Prix in the home country of Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Mercedes? And, even more alarming, talk that Monza and Spa, two of the most charismatic and historic of all F1 locations, will cease to host a round of the championship? We live in mixed times.