The F1 season continues with its Asia leg at Shanghai this weekend, with the Chinese GP offering Jenson Button a delicious opportunity for a hat-trick. Ross Brawn has indeed turned around a struggling, down-in-the-dumps team, bringing them to the top imperceptibly and nipping any criticism in the bud.
The FIA has ruled that the double-decker diffusers are valid, and that potentially brings the entire fight onto the track this weekend. The season has already been mired in scandal, starting with the season opener in Australia, and McLaren-Mercedes have been left sweating over the ‘lying’ scandal- how on earth do they manage to get themselves into the most embarrassing scrapes?- and without a sporting director. Ferrari have been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons as well- the defending World Champions haven’t scored a point yet, and will indeed be praying for a windfall in China. The balance has toppled strangely this season, the fancied teams not even in the reckoning after the first two races. But then, this is sport, and things can improve in no time. McLaren will be hoping they can get the facts right when they appear before the WMSC, for this is some publicity they definitely wouldn’t want, especially after the bitter Spygate saga of 2007. Ferrari, on the other hand, need to pull up their socks and take proper decisions. Kimi Raikkonen’s race at the Malaysian GP was ruined by the decision to put the wet tyres on way before the rain started, putting paid to his hopes of a points finish as the plan unfortunately backfired.
Will the big guns get going this weekend? Having Ferrari pit their wits against Ross Brawn would indeed make for some exciting encounters, and having the McLarens and the BMWs join the party would absolutely enliven things up. ‘Our’ team, Force India, trundles on, taking satisfaction in its record of 100% finishes in the two races, hoping for better grid positions in qualifying and a few points in the races. What with things gone all topsy-turvy this year, Vijay Mallya just might be in for a stroke of real good luck.