Don't be fooled by the slip in Canada, Sebastian Vettel's World Championship challenge is not just going to fall apart because of one small mistake.
Granted, it cost him victory - he might well have been passed by Jenson Button later on that final lap anyway - but I doubt he'll be carrying the psychological effects of that now. Sure, he'll have gone through all the data with his engineer about why he made the mistake; did he get off line? Did he brake too late? Was there a problem with the car? But once he's understood what happened, he'll have locked it away. Sebastian is a very smart guy; smart enough to know that you can't win every race and that second still gives him a massive championship lead.
Hamilton and Button collided in Canada two weeks ago © LAT
The fact is he did make a mistake though, and the net result of that is good news for Formula 1, because not everyone likes seeing Red Bull and Sebastian win every weekend. Those people will want something similar to happen in Valencia this weekend.
The other major flashpoint in Canada was, of course, Lewis Hamilton's collision with Jenson. And the relationship between the two, which has been good so far, could have turned sour had Jenson not ended up winning.
Incidents like that can really upset things inside a team. When I was with McLaren, myself and Mika [Hakkinen] had a couple of collisions; at the first corner at Spa in 1999 we banged wheels but got away with it, and I spun him in Austria the same year on the first lap - and then lost the win to [Eddie] Irvine because I got held up by [Alex] Zanardi after my pitstop. Mika was pretty pissed off and there were some guys on his side of the garage that said that if he ended up losing the championship to a Ferrari driver, then it would be because of me and that incident. It was a ridiculous claim because I was still trying to win the championship myself and I'm a racing driver too, but it ruined the harmony.
Fortunately for McLaren, they still won in Canada, and that took the sting out of the incident, because all McLaren cares about is winning races and championships and being the best team in Formula 1, regardless of which of the two drivers is doing it.
Lewis was entitled to have a go because he got the run on Jenson out of the corner, but he should also not have been surprised to see Jenson move across as he took the normal line. He's unsettled at the moment, but I hope it doesn't change the way he races, because he's a fabulous driver and more than that, he gets the crowd excited with the way he drives. You just need to know when enough's enough though, and a move isn't going to come off.
Webber crashed heavily last year © LAT
Just as in Montreal, there will be a double DRS zone at Valencia [the activation zones being between turns 10-12 and 14-17], but unlike in Montreal, the straights where they're located aren't exactly straight, and that's a cause for concern.
In Canada drivers were able to commit to a line [and make their one permitted blocking move] nice and early, and that made for clean racing as they waited to see if the guy who passed them on the outside would overshoot the chicane. At Valencia though, there are curves on the straights, so how do you commit to a defensive, or an attacking line early enough? It was only last year Mark Webber had his huge crash, caused largely by his closing speed on Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus. DRS could potentially put us in the same situation in terms of closing speeds, so the drivers will have to be more disciplined than ever to make sure everyone stays safe.
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