August 22nd, 2013 (F1plus/J. Polychronis).- Formula 1 comes back after a long break with the Belgian GP, and with that so does the “Pressure Gauge”.
During this time off Fernando Alonso and Ferrari were part of the headlines, along the speculation around Vettel’s teammate for 2014 and of course, Sauber’s financial troubles.
Let’s have look to few drivers whose current situation generates enough attention to be included in our review.
Fernando Alonso: Low
Fernando Alonso’s situation in this year’s championship is becoming all too familiar. After the first five races this season, Alonso sat on 72 points, 12 points better than his 2012 effort. Now ten races in, the Spaniard has only managed to capture another 61 points. This places Alonso on 133, a total of 31 points inferior to his tally at the same stage last year.
Despite the apparent failure of yet another season for Alonso, once again it is popular believe that the blame lies within the car and not the individual. This is a fact that has been made blatantly obvious by Alonso, who famously stated he would like “someone else’s car” for his birthday after the Hungarian GP: A remark which incurred a reprimand from Ferrari president, Luca Di Montezemolo.
Not only is the 3rd placed Ferrari driver struggling with form heading to Belgium, however, Alonso also took time to reflect on some poor luck at the magnificent Spa-Francorchamps.
“I’ve never been in with a real chance of fighting for the win and I’ve often retired at Spa, usually for reasons of plain bad luck or with technical problems or down to my own mistakes. So it would be great to make up for that this year, picking up all those lt points.”
A lack of performance from his vehicle means that the two-time champion is unlikely to face high pressures in upcoming races, as that weight sit in the shoulder of the team.
Daniel Ricciardo: Extreme ↓ Medium
All eyes are on Daniel Ricciardo this weekend as the Australian is set to be announced as Red Bull’s driver for 2013. The decision will see Ricciardo claim the sport’s most desirable seat of the past four years.
The decision is seemingly all but official ever since talks between Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen collapsed earlier this week. Ricciardo has shown raw speed in recent times, qualifying in the top ten for three consecutive races. Furthermore, the current Toro Rosso driver drove the RB9 adequately when presented the chance during July testing at Silverstone.
Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo have been unavailable for comment, as Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko made clear.
"We won't say anything before Spa, that's all I can say,"
Should the reports be accurate, Ricciardo can be expected to take a deep sigh of relief. A promotion to Red Bull will see the Australian take the next logical step in his progression as a Formula One driver. Any relaxation that he feels will only be momentary however. A wave of expectation and pressure to perform at Red Bull should be expected by Ricciardo.
Paul di Resta: Medium
Force India’s performances in the first seven races of the season had most of the F1 community surprised, perhaps impressed. Averaging 7.3 points a race, the British-based team amassed 51 points at the conclusion of the Canadian GP. Having averaged only 2.7 points in the past three races however, Force India’s mid-season break has been somewhat soured.
Paul di Resta, half of Force India’s line-up, has only accumulated two points since Canada. Driver and team principal alike are in agreement that recent tracks have perhaps not suited the vehicle. Nonetheless, upcoming circuits signal potential for an imminent return to form.
“It is important we regain the speed we showed earlier in the year” said Di Resta. “We are going towards some tracks that should suit our car better and it’s important that we get back to scoring points at every race.”
Team Principal Dr Vijay Mallya echoed di Resta’s thoughts.
“As I have said, the car has to be competitive on all tracks, but if I concede that Hungary was not ideally suited to us, by the same token Spa and Monza have traditionally been our stronger tracks.”
With a Force India-suited Spa coming up this weekend, the pressure will be on di Resta to return the team to its “best-of-the-rest” status.
The Pressure Gauge is a segment conducted before every race weekend of 2013. It is designed to predominately assess the big name drivers in F1 and how their pressure mounts or diffuses, depending on their situation.