And that I’m afraid is all the good news we have from New Delhi, for those of you looking forward to a season-end as exciting as the season started. Alonso and Ferrari were half a second off-the-pace, the pace in question being the Red Bulls RB8s of championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Australian Mark Webber.
Why do we feel deflated by the inevitable rise to the top of Red Bull this year? Well, because it’s inevitable and because it’s Red Bull. Incredible achievement and all that for this ‘new’ team, but of course old hands like us on the TopGear sofa remember when Red Bull was the not particularly good Stewart Team, it then became the slightly less good Jaguar team, before embarrassment forced the Brits’ exit and a sale to the well-know purveyor of vodka mixers.
In grave danger of showing our age here, but somehow a Red Bull will never grab us like a McLaren or a Ferrari, or even a Lotus, hypocritically, that team having a even more contrived ancestry. Red Bull is just a ‘meh’, team. And there are only so many times you can laugh at Christian Horner’s hair and name. Sorry, there. We said it.
And while we’re suffering this slightly crotchety Pre Winter Tension and on the subject of Jackie Stewart, can we just the ask the man who sold the team that sold the team to Red Bull to maybe calm down a bit. The tiny Scottish former Champion has in the last month slagged off Michael Schumacher for ever coming back (91 wins JYS, 91 wins… he can do whatever he wants); offered Romain Grosjean driving lessons; and, just last week, had a crack at Vettel himself who is apparently “not yet one of the greats”. Presumably because he’s won one less race than wee Jackie. That shouldn’t be a problem come Sunday JYS. So there’s some balance Red Bull fans.
So Free Practice One: VET, BUT (+0.310), ALO (+0.425), HAM (+0.427) WEB (+0.556). And Free Practice Two; VET, WEB (0.118), ALO (+0.599), ROS (0.801) RAI (0.809).