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F1 Season Review

By Shaer Reaz

The glory is for Red Bull Racing-Renault and Sebastian Vettel in the current season of Formula One. There are three more races to go, but the Champion has already been crowned, as the defending champion Vettel runs ahead from the rest of the pack of drivers, with an astounding 349 points, while second placed Jenson Button has 222 points in current standings. The unassailable lead by Vettel also hands his team, RBR-Renault, the Constructors' title for 2011, with 558 points edging out arch rivals McLaren-Mercedes (418 points) and Ferrari (310 points). Whatever the result of the remaining three races, the final standings remain clear.

Before we continue an explanation of the points system: for every race win, the driver and his team gets 25 points each; for 2nd place its 18 points; for 3rd place, 15 points. Anyone finishing below 10th receives no points. The team and driver with the most points at the end of the season is crowned as the “Constructors' Champion” and “Formula One Champion.”

The Red Bull formula has proven untouchable yet again, with a strong car, a firmly glued together team, and world class drivers like Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Even the giants of the sport, McLaren and Ferrari, were unable to match them.

One standout performer in the rest of the field was Jenson Button. Fresh off his success with Brawn GP two seasons ago, Button is still showing the spurts of brilliance and cool headed consistency that gave him the title back then. The Briton won his fair share of races, and his driving in wet conditions was superb. By comparison his teammate and McLaren number one Lewis Hamilton has struggled to find himself on the podium smoothly throughout the season with rash driving and miscommunication with team members ruining the chances of a better finish for McLaren Mercedes. There has been some speculation that Button would replace Hamilton as the number one driver for McLaren, and I personally think the change should happen. Button has won three races and consistently finished on the podium, with a strong showing in both dry and wet conditions, while Hamilton has won two races and other times found himself in the middle of the finishing grid, dealing with car damage and bruised egos. Hopefully the wrinkles can be ironed out by next season and McLaren-Mercedes can challenge RBR-Renault with a more solid team.

Ferrari, once eponymous with F1 success, has dwindled away after the departure of Schumacher. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa are both great drivers, with a good result for 2010 (otherwise marred by the team order scandal), but the 150 Italia was outpaced and outmaneuvered by the stronger Red Bulls and McLarens this year. The team had quite a few bad days this season, miscommunication and strategic errors robbing Ferrari of a better showing in the competition. Alonso still looks strong, so Ferrari is still a contender for next year.

Ferrari's great ex-talisman, Michael Schumacher, has had a dismal season with Mercedes GP, only managing to stay between 5th-10th places (unless he was retired from the race, which happened very often) at best. This is probably why super stars are advised to retire in top form and forget about making a return. Still, Schumacher is one of the best drivers ever and seeing him being let down by a horrendously outmatched race car is sad. His teammate Nico Rosberg had better luck and a better position on the drivers' point based rankings.

All in all, this F1 season has had its fair share of drama and new things to absorb. The Indian GP debuts this year, the sole tire distributer (Pirelli, the tires themselves were applauded for their better grip and better safety rating) and exciting new systems like the DRS (active rear wing control) surely made a difference in the way F1 is seen and perceived. Looking forward to the 2012 season has been made a lot easier.

*This article was written before the Indian GP was held, and the points mentioned are, therefore, before the race in India took place.

Last week, our topic was Moo. We had trouble picking exactly the right story. However, we are confident that it is the choicest selection from the numerous entries we received. The piece closely relates to the topic and the current atmosphere and gives us an astute philosophical insight into the folly of the universe. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Next week our topic will be: Fat. You guys know the rules. Sent to ds.risingstars@gmail.com. Sunday noon. 500 words.


By King Amaso

I saw this cow and it went, “Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…
(The story continues like that. Two pages filled by eight words)


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