Thoughts on the Chinese Grand Prix
Luck is perhaps the most important ingredient to a champion’s success. It doesn’t matter how talented you are as a driver; without luck, you will never be champion. I have seen any number of drivers with everything they needed to be champion except luck – and none of them ever made it. Without luck, something will go wrong every time, you can guarantee it.
Michael Schumacher is the luckiest driver the world has ever seen. If he is going to spin, you can bet it will be where there are no walls to hit. I have seen him spin in Monaco where it is said that any mistake will cost a driver the race; but he did it in the only place where you can get away with it and continue. Even the weather gods favor him, as we saw in China this weekend.
Had it decided to rain again, Michael would have been nowhere. But no, it chooses to hold off until the last few laps when it made no difference. Instead, it provides him with a dry line so that his Bridgestone tires can work. Watching Prost win race after race on his luck was bad enough; having to see fortune favor Michael every time has been unbearable.
I am not saying that the man is without talent – he has that in profusion. But other drivers pay the price when they make a mistake (as did Alonso when choosing to change the front tires on Sunday). Lady Luck forgives Michael such things and he’s been champion seven times as a result.
Continuing the theme of luck, it begins to look as if Jenson Button has better luck than Barrichello. On that last lap it looked as though Rubens would hold off Jenson to the end but then fate intervened in the shape of Sato’s Super Aguri. Who would have guessed that it would be the Briton to emerge from the confusion ahead of the rest? One can understand Heidfeld’s anger at being robbed in such a manner – in an instant his certain fourth spot turned into seventh.
The man with the worst luck at the moment seems to be Raikkonen, however. Yet another engine failure put an end to his very good chances of winning. In any of Michael’s teams, it was always the German’s teammate whose car let him down (just ask Barrichello) but Kimi seems to be getting it wrong. Someone should tell McLaren that the quick driver is supposed to have the reliable car.
In the end, what happens, happens. Michael won and we go to Suzuka with the two contenders tied on points and the constructor’s title still very much up for grabs. It all makes for tense and exciting racing – two races to go and two drivers locked in battle. The FIA must be rubbing their hands together in glee.