There’s an interesting analysis by Martin Brundle on the ITV F1 website, covering what he thinks of the season so far – and what he thinks might be the hot prospects for the next few races.
His top line is that we’re still nearly as much in the dark as we were pre-season, because the top teams still haven’t had the chance to go up against each other on a level playing field.
And he’s optimistic that the Barcelona Grand Prix, taking place this weekend, might finally provide that opportunity.
Here’s how he puts it:
Martin’s line on Ferrari v McLarenâ€¦
The first two races were difficult to read, because in Australia Ferrari were out of synch after their qualifying dramas and then in Malaysia McLaren incurred grid penalties for blocking (which I thought was an absolutely fair cop).
So the first time we got a clear idea of their relative pace was Bahrain, a circuit where Ferrari had tested extensively and McLaren hadn’t. And of course Lewis had a nightmare weekend there, which muddied the picture a bit.
So in reality I think we’re yet to see a true head-to-head between Ferrari and McLaren with both teams firing on all cylinders.
But watching from trackside, you can’t help but feel the Ferrari is fundamentally faster.
He’s also put some thought into the matter of Lewis Hamilton’s second season:
On Hamilton’s difficult startâ€¦
Lewis has a really tough job being team leader this year. I think he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself, and I suspect the mistakes are a product of frustration really.
He’ll have carried the frustration of not winning last year’s championship over the winter, and now he’s had two bad races in a row in Malaysia and Bahrain.
He still needs to learn to play the percentages when he doesn’t have the car to fight for victory or he’s out of position for whatever reason.
He lost his composure on the first lap in Bahrain — he just thrust his car into difficult situations and was asking for trouble. It was almost like he was trying to undo his poor start in the first few corners of the race, and it all went horribly wrong.
But I wouldn’t write him off for the championship by any means. Things can turn round very quickly. He’s got the speed, the skill, and the team behind him; he’s got everything he needs.
We predicted pre-season that Hamilton might struggle this year – the equivalent of the ‘second-book syndrome’ that afflicts the output of successful authors – but we’d be glad to be proved wrong.
There’s a lot of other good stuff in this piece, including discussion of Felipe Massa’s chances, Heikki Kovalainen’s season, Ross Brawn’s start at Honda and Robert Kubica’s future so, as is usually the case with Brundle’s stuff, we would definitely recommend popping along and reading the whole article for yourself.
Visit the ITV F1 website here >>