What a difference a week makes!

An unexepected visitor to the top step of the podium often comes as a result of a certain set of lucky circumstances - but today Vettel’s win was anything but lucky.

Okay, some would argue that had Hamilton, Raikkonen and Kubica made it through to the last segment of qualifying then there’s a chance he wouldn’t have started on pole position but the truth of the matter is that unlike some qualifying formats of old, all drivers were on the track at the same time and therefore had the same opportunities.  Vettel simply did a much better job than everyone else yesterday and that continued today in the race.

Before the race started, I was certain that Heikki Kovalainen who was starting second, would overcome the Toro Rosso and claim the win for McLaren however it would appear that both McLarens suffered with poor brake performance early on in the race resulting in Vettel being able to pull out a considerable lead over his rival.  Starting behind the Safey Car also helped as it allowed Vettel to control the start much more than a normal standing start ever could - and not having to deal with the spray from cars in front was a huge advantage too!

Despite all these events which went in his favour, I don’t think anyone could argue that Vettel and Toro Rosso won today because they were lucky.  In every race there are things which go for the winner or against those who don’t win, but whether they ultimately affect the end result is questionable.

Someone who I do think rode his luck a bit today was Lewis Hamilton, although he also pulled off some brilliant overtaking moves as well.

In the early stages he pulled a move on Timo Glock down into the first crner which led to Hamilton leaving the chicane a little slower than the Toyota driver.  It may have been a misleading camera angle but as they came towards the camera they appeared to be sidy by side before Hamilton drifted over to the outside of the track seemingly unaware that was exactly where Glock was.

The Toyota driver had to stick a couple of wheels on the grass to take avoiding action and at the time Martin Brundle commented on ITV that the move may have been a little dodgy on Hamilton’s part - however he also assured viewers that even had Lewis looked in his mirrors the amount of spray his car was throwing up would mean he probably would have seen very little anyway and may genuinely have not known Glock was coming alongside.

Replays showed however that Hamilton didn’t even look in his mirrors before moving across the track - perhaps he isn’t used to having people he has overtaken come back at him.

In that instance I would probably have given him the benefit of the doubt, however he had a much more debateable move later on in the race.

Despite being very fast indeed in the middle section of the race, Hamilton seemed to ruin his last set of tyres pretty quickly which allowed a fast moving Mark Webber to close right up on him over the final few laps.

With his car being around a second a lap quicker than the McLaren, Webber got into Hamilton’s slipstream on the start/finish straght and with Hamilton covering the inside line, he moved to the outside.  Hamilton was intent on not giving the place too easily and squeezed over yet again - this time banging wheels with the Australian.

Replays from onboard the Red Bull showed Webber giving Hamilton a little hand gesture after the move which showed his displeasure at his conduct but the stewards obviously thought it was fair enough as no action was taken this time.

Whether there should have been a penalty or whether it was simply a racing incident, the one thing which is for certain is that this type of behaviour will be doing nothing to win Hamilton any friends in the pitlane.

At the moment, allies seem to be thin on the ground as it is with none of the current drivers speaking out in his favour regarding the chicane incident at the Belgian GP last weekend.  While I can understand that these people are his rivals to race wins and ultimately the drivers championship, I would think it may be good to have some friends in there to help fight your corner when things get tough.

Martin Brundle perhaps said it best when he commented that Hamilton doesn’t exactly help himself as far as the stewards and penalties are concerned.  Whether he has deserved all the penalties he has received during his F1 career so far, there’s no doubting he has put himself into some avoidable situations which have resulted in these penalties.

Hamilton is still insisting that he is playing the long game and that he is willing to settle for lower points in order to secure the Championship at the end of the year but from where I am sitting I’ve not seen much evidence of this.  To my mind Hamilton, and indeed his McLaren team, are still taking too many crazy risks which could see him disappointed once again come November.