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GP Week : Issue 117
20 – Email us Something to say? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Simoncelli poll continues I can't believe now how come GPWEEK speaks about "overtaking should be banned " and all this bla bla bla nationality rubbish. Overtaking is not that difficult and can be done without chopping into your rival's way. What Marco did on Sunday was dirty and it's not the first time he's had a coming together with fellow drivers (Bautista, Barberá, and Lorenzo among others). Remember he deliverately crashed into Barbera in Mugello'08 for the win ... of course,no action was taken against him (we're in Italy!) He was warned beforehand by a vast majority of riders (a lot of them non-Spanish natives) so no question about whether the penalty was fair or not. Seemed a lot lighter to me,after Dani broke his right clavicle and Marco refusing to admit his own guilt (Lorenzo did a lot less back in 250 cc and got 1 race ban) Gorka Urizar, Spain email@example.com ED: I think the 'ban overtaking' headline was a bit tongue-in-cheek ... I have watched the Simoncelli/Pedrosa Le Mans crash over and over in slow-mo, and I can't see how Simoncelli could be singled out for blame. It's certainly a case of a rider being judged by reputation. For me it was equal-blame, racing incident. Don't back off Marco! Alan Naysmith Rochester, UK RB Tactics, DRS in question Superb tactical call by Red Bull in Barcelona to pull Vettel in early when he was stuck behind that Ferrari bus (what else can you call it when it gets lapped once the leaders get a free run!). Commiserations for Webber; caught out by Alonso's rocket start, then every time he did something, he ended up behind another slow car. Tough day – better luck in Monaco. Maybe the team tactical calls will fall your way this time. My question is: after being so influential in Turkey, why was the DRS so ineffective in Barcelona? Is it simply a matter of the tech- heads getting tghe implementation line wrong – in this case too far down the straight? Pierce Collins Adelaide, Australia Paint drying, sheep counting and Gus Van Sant movies used to be runners up to the Spanish Grand Prix when it came to the most effective means of boring yourself into an early grave. Not in 2011. Although the DRS zone – at 830 metres the longest of the year so far – failed to serve up as many passing manoeuvres as China and Turkey, it was changing tyre performance that gave us position changes in the pits, on the track, and a breathless 0.63 second gap between first place Sebastian Vettel and bridesmaid Lewis Hamilton. McLaren threw everything at the last ten laps, once Hamilton got close enough to the leading Red Bull to use DRS. “Lewis, use the blue button,” said his engineer, Andy Latham, cryptically. The next lap it was “You have permission to use the yellow button”. Presumably if he’d pressed the red button he’d have had BBC 5 Live’s commentary on the radio. The mystery buttons were used to trigger maximum performance from Lewis’ Brixworth-built Mercedes engine. But it wasn’t quite enough. “ They were massively quick,” complained Lewis, “with downforce through the last turn for all to see.” While Lewis grabbed his MP4-26 by the carbon-fibre goolies and gave it beans, Jenson Button played, typically, a slow-burner by gambling on a three- stop strategy rather than four. It didn’t work in Turkey, but it worked this time. Having had “an absolutely disastrous start”, dropping from fifth to 11th after going wide through turns one and three, he went twinkle-toes mode, gently preserving his rubber boots before shooting past Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso with podium- bound gusto. What a recovery. Despite KERS issues throughout the weekend, which cost him pole position and nagged him intermittently on Sunday, Vettel kept his head down, made no mistakes, and took his fourth win from five rounds. Now he had a 41-point advantage over his closest rival, Hamilton. But he had to roll his sleeves up and work for it in Catalunya. opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor The script is great – even if we do know the ending Events at Le Mans will be spoken about for years to come. Simoncelli’s overtake on Pedrosa. Pedrosa’s subsequent crash and injury. And then the ride- through penalty for dangerous riding that cost Simoncelli a first MotoGP rostrum. So who was right, and who was wrong? Was it dangerous riding, or was it actually Pedrosa’s mistake? Was the penalty just another example of the Spanish takeover – would the crash even have caused a remark, had it been between (say) Cal Crutchlow and Karel Abraham? Reactions at Le Mans and in the week afterwards have been sharply divided. The riders in France, almost without exception, condemned Simoncelli and applauded the penalty. The Press, on the other hand (the Spanish Press aside) was almost united in favour of the Italian. He had, MICHAEL SCOtt MotoGP Editor opinion THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT