N ow, that’s when you call Formula One’s at its best! When you’ve just witnessed motor racing greatness in the name of the Brazilian GP. In the name of Interlagos ’07.The Brazilian Grand Prix invoked a lot of touching memories in me. Several reasons for that. What with Kimi taking the Drivers’ Championship in crushing style, in the process making Alonso seem as if he is just, er, Alonso. Not the next Schumi they all hoped for all their worth, he would be. No, he most definitely isn’t.
W hat with Felipe demonstrating superlative driving skill all throughout the weekend (and, most definitely in the race) and yet, making his team-mate’s title challenge a bit easy come race day. Hats off to him.
W hat with this Brazilian GP marking the fifth anniversary of my “F1 watching”. Yup. Interlagos ’03 was the first ever F1 race that I watched. At the moment when I was sitting in front of my aunt’s TV waiting for the start of the (very wet) race, all I knew about in F1 was that there was some bloke called Michael Schumacher who was the one that the world watched. He was sitting seventh on the grid, I found out in a bit.
L et’s get back from ’03 to ’07. The “rank outsider”, who, a couple of hours before the chequered flag, was seven points adrift of the Championship leader, a few less points down on the second placed man, blew them all in a storm of cold wind. And took the title! In the run-up to the weekend, I had my mind very clear. I’ve been following this sport for so long that I’ve always believed, “It ain’t over until it is.” So, when Kimi became from a rank-outsider to a World Champion, it wasn’t all surprises for me. Sure, it seemed incredible to me, at the start of the race, that Lewis would not finish in the top five from where he started. It seemed incredible to me that Lewis for once would be troubled by a technical glitch in his McLaren. All in the all-important title decider. Yet, we’ve witnessed all this happening. That’s Formula One.
K imi made one blinder of a start thanks to his coolness under pressure cooker environment and that clean stretch of tarmac under his rear Potenzas in comparison to the McLarens’. So, he swooped past Lewis and even Felipe almost. Then, Lewis made that uncharacteristic mistake in the next couple of turns that together with the faulty electronics made sure that he didn’t have a boring afternoon.
W hen the Ferraris were busy doing their disappearing act, Alonso tried in vain to grab attention. But, with his McLaren having no business to be on the same track where the Ferraris were on that day, he was doing what he does best. Going round in circles without making mistakes. It’s downright trifles to expect Alonso to rise above the level of his car. It’s too much asking of him.
K imi, true to his style, banged home a repository of three consecutive beautifully stunning laps while Felipe was in the pits for the second time. Those laps allowed to get him out in front of Felipe eventually to take the lead. True, if Felipe had wanted to, he could’ve raced with Kimi for the lead in the pit-stop windows. It would be silly, however, to suggest that Felipe could’ve walked the race had he so desired.
N ot forgetting the wonderful man, Lewis who made an amazing comeback in the race to finish just two points shy of his dream. But, the day belonged to Kimi and Felipe. Kimi for becoming World Champion with a stunning drive (as always) and Felipe for giving a few good lessons on how you can actually be in favour of and support your team – to a certain driver.