Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dramatic Qualifying in Bahrain sees Toyota Lead Grid

Today's qualifying session for tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix saw a stunning improvement from Toyota which enabled Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock to capture the front row of the grid. Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Rubens Barrichello make up the next two rows.

Mark Webber for Red Bull should have been up there too and I think would have been if he hadn't been blocked in an outrageously bad display of driving from Force India's Adrian Suthil. He first blocked Webber at the last corner at the end of Q1and then basically cut him up as he tried to start his next flying lap which prevented him from setting a time which would get him through to the next stage.

Sure enough, when the BBC caught up with him, Suthil was contrite enough - it seems he thought Webber was on an out lap. That's no excuse, though. The team should have made him aware of the situation - were they asleep in their garage or something?

As a result, Suthil has been demoted 3 places on the grid. To be honest, 16th to 19th is neither here nor there for Force India but the consequences for Webber are much more serious. He would certainly have made it into Q3 but for this incident and would not be languishing in 18th. Surely the rules need to be amended to give the stewards discretion to allow drivers impeded in this way to continue.
Would it really have killed them to have 16 cars in Q2?

I think the penalty on Suthil has been way too lenient - you get a 5 place penalty if you change your gearbox. He should have been disqualified, pure and simple. However sorry he is, he has, as Mark Webber put it, screwed up his race and should pay the price.

Off the track, it was fabulous to see Eddie Jordan back enjoying the banter with DC. They seem to be playing up to it now and it's very entertaining. I could listen to them all day. I think they have to be the best team in sport that I can ever remember.

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