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Good Week, Bad Week 4

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After a long, long, long hiatus due to my ‘sabbatical’, Good Week Bad Week has been on a very long enforced break. But after over 3 months away, it’s finally back and better than ever! Prepare for the same old biased opinions as ever and unashamed bashing of certain figures in motorsport…

King Of The HillMcLaren
The Woking based team is really on the crest of a wave after Canada – back-to-back 1-2 finishes while rivals Red Bull self-destruct means the gap to the Austrian team has vanished in the space of three weeks. Their reputation for developing their car mid-season better than everyone else on the grid has been proven once again, with the McLaren MP4-25 being the superior machine at Montreal. Once they find some extra downforce, Red Bull have had it.

Rising UpDenny Hamlin
The Richmond native is currently on the best form in his entire career – his win last week at Michigan the second in a row, and his 5th this season. He and Kurt Busch have been the two on-form drivers mid-season, and their places in the Chase for the Cup are looking ever more secure as the weeks go by. Hamlin has managed all of this despite recent surgery to his left knee a few months ago. It looks like Kyle Busch is no longer the main man at Joe Gibbs Racing…

Midfield MediocrityForce India
Vitantonio Liuzzi once again broke my heart – not only did he deliver a career saving drive at Montreal (thus making the changes of Di Resta replacing him much lower), but he also thoroughly out-performed team-mate Adrian Sutil all weekend.

First corner incidents aside, it was a stellar drive by the Italian – bonus points for mercilessly shoving Michael Schumacher aside for 10th, thus letting Sutil by as well, should really have been awarded considering the cirumstances. When his mechanics said to the BBC’s Martin Brundle on his legendary pre-race gridwalk that he could have won, surprisingly they were right. Had events swung in his favour rather than against him it was entirely possible.

Feeling BlueMercedes
The car is crap, the better driver neglected, the default number 1 driver was so bad he ‘made Jean-Denis Deletraz look like Nuvorali’, to rephrase a famous quote of Nigel Roebuck. Mercedes/Brawn GP are going through the difficult second album phase, the inital optimism and momentum from their success last year a distant memory. Reality has hit home – they have resumed Honda’s role of years gone by – the manufacturer that despite occasional moments of brilliance, are thoroughly cemented in the midfield, never to break into the top teams again. Nico Rosberg is probably feeling depressed about it all – the charm of beating a 7 time World Champion goes away when said world champion drives like a complete moron, weaving to keep faster drivers behind, cutting corners to stay ahead. It’s disgraceful. If Schumacher was any other driver, he’d have been sacked by now. But no, you can’t sack Michael Schumacher, can you?
It’s just a name guys. Give him the boot. Pronto.

Rock BottomPeugeot
Amazingly you can get lower than Mercedes’ current predicament, as Olivier Quesnel would be quick to point out.
The Le Mans 24 Hours is the biggest motor race in the world. For a car manufacturer it’s bigger than the F1 World Championship – the Le Mans cars are closer relatives to the real thing, especially the GT cars.

A French manufacturer at a French race, with the best car on the grid. Surely this would be a glorious triumph for Les Blues?

Not even close. It was a complete and utter disaster. The first of four cars fell through Pedro Lamy‘s stupidity, but the remaining three slowly self-destructed over the next 24 Hours. The #2 blew up while leading, the #1 blew up after spending several hours hunting down the leading Audi duo, so only the ORECA entry was left. Loic Duval pushed like hell to avoid an embarassing Audi podium-lockout, setting the fastest lap of the 24 Hours in the process. Alas, the #4 Peugeot blew up too. All Quesnel could do was cry his eyes out. The Germans had successfully invaded French soil in dominating fashion, despite all odds. Not a single Peugeot made the finish in the most important race of the year for the marque. Every other victory this year will merely be a consolation prize for the bitter disappointment of those 24 hours.

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Alasdair Lindsay is a Regular Contributor to TCF and can be found on twitter at @AlasdairLindsay
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