Monday, May 26, 2008

Force India Laps a McLaren

This was the headline I was expecting after watching the highly eventful 2008 Monaco Grand Prix. In a race clouded by clouds, rain, skids, slides, near misses and wall kisses, in a race where, Kimi, Massa, Hamilton and many others went on to make mistakes, if there was one person who drove sensibly, it was Adrian Sutil of team Force India.

Sutil kept his cool all over, just driving on the race line with a calm mind when chaos was prevailing all around him. The myth of Monaco as race where mind rules the heart was beginning to become apparent as the drivers with higher impulse began making mistakes. Once by one most of the front runners had to get into the pits, and a seamless Sutil moved from as low as 18th to 4th place having only Lewis, Kubica and Massa ahead of him. The highlight of the evening was when Sutil lapped Hekki, unbelievable!!! My hair stood straight when the mighty McLarens were lapped by the usual “backmarker” - Force India. Sutil went on to trade Fastest Laps and at the moment locked like it was not all luck. The turning point was when Rosberg crashed heavily bringing the safety car out. The significant gap between him and Kimi was reduced to peanuts. Sutil was now sandwiched between the Ferraris, Massa in the front on 3rd and Kimi behind on 5th. It was quite expected that Kimi would fight hard to move forward, and given the fact that Monaco offers very little space for overtaking, its was up to Kimi to find a way past Sutil. And then it happened, a charging Kimi lost control of his F2008 and banged straight onto the back of the unsuspecting Sutil. I missed a beat, probably more. Sutil’s brave run came to a grinding halt and understandably, Sutil remained inconsolable.

Monaco is known to spring in surprises. Today it was Sutil’s turn to experience what it takes being in the top and becoming a flop.

I don’t want to blame it on Kimi, although I wish he were a little calmer.

In a sport where it’s usually the car-driver combination that wins races, Monaco has the ability to distinguish between the great drivers and the good ones (if you are in F1, you’d better be good).

Adrian, you are absolutely sensational. I am sure this will make you and the Force India team stronger than before.

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