Saturday, 10 December 2011

Season Review Interview Five: Enigma

Have a read of the final instalment in my interview series.

As part of my 2011 season review, I am conducting a five-part interview series, where I have carefully selected five people to interview - about their opinions on the season that has just gone by. Here is the fifth and final interview.
My final interviewee is an F1 fan who is known as Enigma. Enigma is a massive Formula One fan, and we regularly speak on Twitter about the sport. However, like Wasif, Ellis and Adam, I first met Enigma on F1Fanatic. We then spoke on Twitter, and Enigma volunteered to be an interviewee, which I was very happy about. A keen karter, here are Enigma’s answers!

1) Many people have said that this year's racing was better than 2010's, would you agree?
I think so. The Pirellis and DRS improved many things, and compared to 2010, a lot more was happening in the races. That wasn't always positive though - some races had so many pitstops it was confusing, and overtaking was too easy sometimes. The Turkish GP is the best example of that, but overall I think the racing was better than in 2010, or in any other recent season.

2) In your opinion, what was the best Grand Prix of this 19-race season?

The Chinese Grand Prix. Halfway through I couldn't decide which of the five drivers would win and it was a mighty battle. Hamilton's overtaking was fantastic and it was easily one of the best drives of his career. The Canadian Grand Prix was incredible as well, and I loved the intensity of the Monaco Grand Prix.

3) And who would you say was the best driver of the season?
It's hard to look past Vettel, isn't it? He did an outstanding job all year and improved on all the flaws that nearly cost him the title last year. He managed to get on pole or win the race when his car wasn't the best, and apart from the scruffy weekend at his home Grand Prix, he was pretty much perfect all along.

4) Who do you think were the most improved team in 2011?
Probably not the most common answer, but I'll go for Red Bull. Their car might not have been as dominant as in 2010, but they made full use of it. The reliabilty, strategy, overall management and of course Seb's driving, were much better than last year.

The brilliant Vettel holds off Alonso and Button in Monaco
 5) Sebastian Vettel drove an almighty season, winning eleven races. Which of those wins do you think was most impressive?
The one in Monaco. They put the primes on his car at his first stop by mistake, and he managed to keep them alive for an incredibly long time. Towards the end, he was managing the tyres in places he was safe and pushing when the faster Alonso had a chance of going by. As Christian Horner said, it was a world champion's drive.

6) In your opinion, what was the single best drive of the season?
I think that's impossible to say. I honestly can't decide.
7) We had four rookies this season; Pastor Maldonado, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Paul di Resta and Sergio Perez. Who in your opinion was the most impressive in 2011?
Perez. For a rookie his drives were very mature, with his consistency and tyre management. His qualifying speed was impressive as well, as he managed to out-qualify Kobayashi 11-7. Di Resta isn't far behind and had a great season as well. Maldonado was solid and we couldn't expect much more from him in such an awful car. The very same goes for D'Ambrosio. Ricciardo is the hardest to rate given the circumstances, but he couldn't do much better.

8) What were your thoughts on the Pirelli tyres this season?
Awesome. Since Michelin left Bridgestone became boring and it was about time for a change. Pirelli caused a lot of unpredictable and exciting racing, which I loved, but it kind of died towards the end. I really hope they do as good a job in 2012 as well.

Hamilton takes Vettel using KERS in China
 9) What were your thoughts on the KERS system this season?
I think it was massively overlooked this year, thanks to DRS. It helped overtaking in a fairer way. Hamilton's overtake on Vettel for the win in China was the perfect example of that, as he used KERS in a very unusual place and took Vettel by surprise. Its also a great technology. It helps racing so that's good.

10) What were your thoughts on the DRS system this season?
At times it made overtaking too easy and places like Spa and Montreal didn't need it. But it was a good addition, I loved it in qualifying, and it created some great battles, notably at the Nurburgring and Korea. Last year there were occasions where a much faster car couldn't get past a slower one (Hungaroring is a good example of it, with Alonso vs. Red Bull), so that was much better. But there's lots of room for improvement, and DRS is better than no DRS, though I still think a better solution could be found.
11) A lot has been made of Michael Schumacher in the last two years, do you think he will ever win another race, or even reach the podium? 
He's done a good job this year, and did well in comparison to Nico Rosberg, who I rate very highly. So if Mercedes give him a car capable of winning races, I'm sure he can win. Though, given his recent Saturday form, I doubt he'll ever get another pole position!

12) I recently wrote an article discussing my thoughts on the best driver on the grid, narrowing it down to Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, and then stating that I believe Alonso is the best. Who are your top three, and of those three, who is the best?
I couldn't agree more, actually.

13) In one word: Who will win the 2012 Constructor's Championship?
Red Bull

14) In one word: Who will win the 2012 Driver's Championship?

So, Enigma's very interesting answers conclude this five part interview series. I hope you have enjoyed reading Jack's, Wasif's, Ellis', Adam's and Enigma's responses to the fourteen questions. They all put a lot of effort in and gave some very intriguing, controversial, different and unique answers.

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