Oct 28, 2012 · 9:00 AM
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Another weekend in Asia, another Sunday watching Seb pet the red-painted bull on his RB8. If there were any doubt that Red Bull are about to close out 2012 in top form, it was erased with a dominating 1-2 finish where the engineers on the pit wall actually tried to find creative ways of slowing their cars down (c'mon guys, that right front tyre looked juuuuust fine in parc ferme) to avoid stupid accidents. Alonso stuck around for as long as he could but ultimately didn't have the speed to touch Webber; Massa and Rob Smedley had another interesting radio conversation underwritten with a reassurance that the ink on his new contract was actually dry ("you are faster than Fernando.. do you understand that message?").
Other star performances came from Nico Hulkenberg (hell of a pass around both Hamilton and Grosjean through turns 4 and 5!!) and both the Toro Rossos, who finished 8th and 9th.
Kobayashi, having disappeared behind Grosjean's long French shadow for most of this season, suddenly returned to his errant ways by trying to squeeze in between Rosberg and Button at turn 3; Lewis had a race to forget somewhere back there in the midfield (the 3-lap battle with Raikkonen aside), his McLaren apparently feeling so unfashionably slow that it picked up an astroturf driving scarf to wear for the last few laps. Both Mercedes and Williams were way off the pace all weekend, in keeping with their seesaw performances this year (remembering Italy, where Schumi qualified 4th.. and Singapore, where Maldonado qualified on the front row).
Korean rapper Psy's popularity officially peaked with his first (and likely last) waving of the checkered flag; I was disappointed that Seb didn't do the horsey dance when he got out of his car - though pleased that he added Johnny Herbert to his lengthy list of those on the receiving end of his victory champagne spray.
And maybe I didn't notice this in previous races but did anyone catch the irritating LG ad electronically superimposed over the start/finish line? Is this what we can expect going forward as our SPEED broadcasts come to an end, to be replaced by Fox-knows-what NBC? Very troubling.
Anyway, on to India. We remember last year's race for a few things: that one chicane which caught out about half the drivers in the field at some point, that ubiquitous haze over the track, Delhi Belly, and Mr. Bean. It's a decent track and it'll be interesting to see how the Pirellis behave this time around, and whether Red Bull will continue to run at the front or if Ferrari can turn out an effective update in two weeks' time.
9:00 AM at Alan's place, address will be sent out to anyone who RSVP's and doesn't have it yet. See you there!