History was made over the weekend as Sebastian Vettel became the youngest winner ever in Formula 1 at 21 years old and 72 days. However I’d say more are shocked that the customer junior team of Torro Rosso was able to take down the likes of Scuderia Ferrari (on their home track) and McLaren who is armed with phenom Lewis Hamilton.
Well the whirlwind weekend started with an uncharacteristic mistake on the part of McLaren during qualifying. Lewis Hamilton had the pace to beat and was well on his way to taking the pole until the skies opened up. Normally that wouldn’t be that much of an issue, just stick with wet tires right? Well his team engineers decided to take a big gamble. They anticipated that the track would dry and switched Lewis to less water-friendly intermediate tires. When the rain continued to fall they soon realized they made a costly mistake but by that time there was no stopping Sebastian Vettel from taking the pole and Lewis could do no better than 15th.
With the rain continuing into Sunday it was clear that the sweet spot would be up front. Starting under the saftey car Vettel ran away as hard as he could given the conditions while the rest of the field struggled with visibility from the water rooster tails of the cars in front of them. The top dogs like Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, and Lewis Hamilton had nothing for Sebastian as they were regulated to mid-pack at best. The only representive from the top teir teams was Lewis’ teammate Hekki Kovalainen who managed a second place podium finish.
Lewis finished 7th while his closest points competition Felipe Massa finished 6th. This means that Lewis leads the championship battle by only one point as they head into the Sinagpore GP night race thats only two weeks away. However the Monday before the race is the hearing for McLaren’s appeal for the stewards victory stripping penalty on Lewis in the Belgian GP. So there is a possibility that the points lead could change for Hamilton before the next race weekend.
It’s clear now that the 2008 F1 season is one of the most exciting in a while! I love racing!
[Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images]
Check out the race recap by SPEED.