There was some racing on this weekend but I may have been on the sofa after a night of partying and a BBQ for lunch so Valencia did little to keep me awake, I sort of slept on and off throughout the back part of the race. It wasn’t particulary interesting, no one got it wrong, its very hard to overtake and everyone finished. Boring.
The problem with the Valencia track is there is not enough overtaking oppurtunities and its not challenging enough for drivers to be pressured into mistakes (like in monaco say). The McLarens were off the pace in the race due to the heat and their rear downforce level (which they have been running quite high to protect the tires), however with the extreme heat on sunday the downforce level was too much and the car chewed its tires. To be honest thats all there is to say on the matter, the rule change this weekend about engine mapping was never going to change the pace much. In fact its a stupid rule change:
All the teams were expressly permitted to change engine mapping between qualifying and the race, therefore they were ALL doing it. It does mean that some teams have an advantage over others in qualifying which creates a grid thats out of their race pace order, its a silly change (unlike a interpertation of the rules to ban the blown diffuser) that has done nothing and was never going to do anything. As for the blown diffuser it really does remain to be seen how that will effect the order of the teams, it will be interesting to see towards the back of the field if it has much effect. One thing to remember is the McLaren was fast with their patchwork job in Austrailia which had a very poor design so I’d expect them to still be on the pace in Silverstone. The main challenge for all the teams will be the change in balence to the cars and the loss of off throttle downforce, it could make the cars very tricky to drive as you’ll suddenly lose a lot of rear downforce once you lift off the throttle.
I should think that Silverstone will be a very different kettle of fish to Valencia.
In other news Ben Spies (2009 superbike world champion) has won his first Moto GP at Assen on Saturday, which is some feat. The Americian had an astounding rookie year last year with the Tech III team before being moved up to the factory Yamaha squad to partner Lorenzo this year. Simoncelli crashed again on the first lap wiping out Lorenzo, leaving Spies to stride away from the chasing Hondas and win the historic race (which was first run over 80 years ago!)