Focus on the positives

 


F1 and drama. They really do go hand in hand. Or should that be handbag in handbag? Nope, that doesn't really work, does it? But you get the point.

Drama being played out in a post-race press conference. If only the action at the front of the race had been half as interesting today, we might have had another Malaysia on our hands. But we didn't, so let's focus on some positives - a rare occurrence in a world often blighted by self-driven negativity.

What were you doing at 17? Me - I spent many, many hours stuck in a soulless room in college shouting incessantly at Microsoft Access. Max Verstappen's racing in Formula 1, scoring points, overtaking with ease and grace, and being touted as a World Champion before he hits his twenties. Crikey. No pressure there then, Max.

Putting his age to one side for a minute, isn't it great to see someone just having a go? Not afraid to make a mistake, not giving up and - possibly the most impressive of all - not apportioning blame to others because it's the easy way out. He's in a car clearly down on power, yet still at the end of a 1.3km is able to both cleanly and firmly overtake a Ferrari powered Sauber. Irrespective of age and experience, you wouldn't think he'd only just competed in his third race at this level, would you?

A brief mention of Sauber there. So let's focus on them a bit more. Torrid, horrendous, pitiful, crap. That was 2014. 2015 looks to be a whole new kettle of fish. On a quick side note, who has ever put fish in a kettle?!

Anyway, I digress. Watching GP2 over the past few years, Felipe Nasr always appeared to be the kind of racer you thought "Yes, he'd be suited to racing in the current Formula 1 era". Clean, concise, a thinker, and a good preserver of tyres. Anybody sense a bit of the Jenson Button in him? Style wise of course - he's got a little way to go before matching Button's career. He's not starred in a cheesy, cringe worthy banking advert yet, has he? I suppose there's always a chance given his backer...

Back from banking adverts to F1 I go. Nasr has certainly handled himself well in these early stages of the season. It hasn't exactly been a tidy 18 months for the Swiss outfit has it, but they've certainly come back stronger this year - undoubtedly aided by a stronger prancing horse running around in the back of the new, striking C34.

Marcus Ericsson, a driver who hadn't made it out of Q1 until Australia four weeks ago, has also surprised many. His battle - or should I say many battles - with Daniel Ricciardo today went someway to showing that once again the racing in the midfield is more often than not more interesting to watch than those who are afraid to overtake at the front.

It's early days of course, we still have some sixteen races to go before the final flag falls after all, but these three have certainly impressed so far. Let's not forget Carlos Sainz either - two points finishes in his first two F1 races is no mean feat. You suspect his (even) younger team mate will garner more of the media coverage over the year, but you'd be a fool for thinking that these two will be anywhere but close to each other once things are all wrapped up.

Toro Rosso leading Red Bull? Red Bull fighting McLaren over 14th place? Sauber fighting back. A driver in the quickest car seemingly cautious about even considering an overtake? It's a crazy sport. A sport that should focus on the positives more than the negatives. They are there. You don't even have to look that hard. Max, Carlos, Felipe, Marcus - I doff my flatcap. Some of the others - come on!


Paul Godley 12/04/2015

Image source (and all image rights): Shouting at a computer - Newsthump

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