While some people relive nightmares of years past, others are finding their old form again.
Then again, when you’re competing against a guy whose nickname is ‘Superman’ and is on a winning streak, your own form becomes pretty irrelevant in comparison.
King of the Hill – Jimmie Johnson
JJ looks unstoppable this season. Kevin Harvick may lead the title race right now, but by the time the Chase begins, Johnson will already have a head start on everyone. Not that he needs it anyway, he has nine times as many Chase wins as Harvick.
Backing up his first road course win at Infineon two weeks ago with another victory at the Magic Mile brings him level on wins with Denny Hamlin, but seeing Johnson on form this early in the season is making everyone panic that a 5th title on the trot is already in the bag.
Rising Up – Kamui Kobayashi
Cowboyashi is back in town.
He used his old party trick of pissing off Jenson Button to perfection once again, managing to drive with the maturity of a veteran racer for 53 laps and conserving his set of prime tyres to set up a last ditch attack after his pitstop.
After qualifying down in 18th he was up to 9th after his mandatory switch to softs – and he absolutely blitzed everyone in the last three laps, passing both Alonso and then Buemi at the final corner of the entire grand prix. Not that he knew his attempt at passing Buemi was the last one he was going to get, as he explained after the race.
“I was concentrating so hard on overtaking people that I didn’t know how many laps were left. Then suddenly I understood, when I saw lots of guys waving at me, that that was the end of the race.”
This is why I have been a Kobayashi fan ever since Brazil last year. Incredible determination coupled with the Japanese fighting spirit makes him one of the most formidable drivers on the grid, as long as he’s given a good car to drive.
Forget Senna vs Prost, Hakkinen vs Schumacher and Fangio vs Ascari – we need Kobayashi vs Sato.
Midfield Mediocrity – Maxime Jousse
Three out of four wins last weekend is a great result on paper – but his first of those was tainted by causing Jordan Williams’ frightening aerial accident along Revett Straight.
It was almost identical to Mark Webber’s accident at Valencia – the large difference between closing speeds leaving Williams nowhere to go as Jousse attempted a last second block.
Any more irresponsible moves similar to that will likely taint the championship title, should he win it that is.
Feeling Blue – Mark Webber
Webber had a pretty dismal weekend for the reason already mentioned above.
An atrocious start ruined his race to begin with, almost ending up outside the Top 10 after the first lap. An early stop to get out of traffic backfired when he got caught out by…traffic.
The Aussie must have thought he was suffering from a case of dÃ©jÃ vu while looking at the sky above – that’s because the last time he did he was piloting a closed cockpit Mercedes CLR GT1, so he couldn’t have seen much of it.
His then team-mate Peter Dumbreck got a taste of it later that day as well – his car flipping into the forest at Indianapolis (the corner at Le Mans, not the oval).
His championship hopes may have taken a knock, but he’s not out of the running just yet.
Rock Bottom – Alexander Rossi
The only GP3 series driver with a double DNF at Valencia, while ART team-mate Esteban GutiÃ©rrez wins again and continues to dominate the championship. Need I say more?
Looks like the wait for America’s next F1 driver is going to be even longer now…