Monday, September 26, 2011

Singapore Grand Prix

So bright.  So pretty.
It's a bit embarrassing to admit it, but I have a love-hate relationship with the Singapore GP.  On the one hand, I love the street circuit under the lights.  On the other hand, the race is too long and comes too close to hitting the 2 hour race time limit.  This year Vettel finished the 61 lap race in 1:59:06.757.  Plus, the race is hot, muggy, and this could lead to some dangerous situation in the race.  Still, I look forward to this race all year, because the cars and the special helmets look awesome under the lights.
Taste the rainbow.
Quali was almost a disappointment.  The grid was basically lined up by car number for the first 4 rows with Button out qualifying Hamilton and Rosberg out qualifying Schumacher.  The young rookie di Resta keeps showing good form as the season progresses and for the most part seems to have avoided some of the in-race drama that Perez and Maldonado have experienced.  He might not finish as high in the points as he'd like, but he does finish races.

But at least the race made up for the almost ho-hum qualifying sessions.  Even though Vettel again pulled away at the start and Webber again lost position at the start, there was even some race excitement at the lead positions.  Button put on another quiet show of pushing forward and came close to even challenging Vettel for the lead.  Hamilton again went at Massa this time puncturing the Ferrari driver's rear wheel while knocking off his front wing.  Hamilton's drive-thru penalty will certainly add the the lad's persecution complex.  Maybe he just can't see very well, or worse, he doesn't have a firm grasp of he dimensions of his car.  The former is a bit unsafe, the latter would be downright dangerous.  I hope someone get's Lewis's eyes checked.

As for someone who might need to get their eyes checked, Schumacher is in that camp.  How he misjudged Sergio Perez's Sauber, but it was a very dramatic way to DNF.  At least Schumi wasn't playing tag with Petrov again.

Even without Lewis Hamilton's help, the Ferraris just didn't have the pace during the race.  Massa made up some places after his tire puncture, but Alonso just kept falling back ending up nearly a minute behind Vettel and 26 seconds out from 3rd at the finish.

1 point.  1 point from clinching the 2011 title and having back-to-back driver's championships.  At least there is no question about Vettel's dominance this season.  Last season he won it on the last race, but I think if he hadn't suffered from the reliability issues of the car, he would've taken the title with a much greater margin in 2010.

 Alcohol content: medium (Hendricks and tonic)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Italian Grand Prix (Monza)

The early half of the race really was possibly the most entertaining of the season. 

I'm not sure what to think about Luizzi losing it at the start, other than EEEK!  He wasn't the only driver to get caught out by the tarmac ending on the straight just before turn 1 during the weekend.  It would've been interesting to see how Rosberg compared to Schumi since the old timer had such an awesome race.
A rocket start and then boom goes the rookie!
Schumi's typical good start and then holding of Hamilton for as long as he did was great to watch.  I think I could've watched Hamilton struggle to pass Schumi on the straights all day.  Some people find Schumacher's method of defending to be a violation of the rules on number of moves.  And I'll admit it was probably pretty rude.  But the Mercedes had almost 15km/h on the McLaren on the straights without DRS, while the other would catch up in the corners.  It would've been more entertaining if instead of telling Schumi to move over, Hamilton would've been required to use a backmarker as a pick.  And then Button passed them both (brilliant) during a commercial break (sigh, again).

It's a bit sad to have Webber's accidents (hitting Massa then into the tire wall) corresponded with Vettel's attempt to pass Alonso and then actually passing him.  And amazingly they didn't replay that pass more than once!  Jeebus, the kid started it with one wheel in the dirt!  Then just pulled away with an apparent 10+km/h deficit in top speed compared to the Ferrari's. 
I think I'll watch this on repeat all day.
Is Kobayashi cursed, in a bad car, or reckless?  He's lost a lot of front wings this year.  Alguesuari once again scored when starting from 18th.  di Resta had another nice race and scored more points, as did Senna.  It's fun watching the rookies handle the mid-pack.

Some last thoughts...
Hobbs was well into the sherry today and I swear he was saying Lezbos all day.  The requirement to stay sober is probably why he'll never be the driver's steward.

"Remember when Alonso was evil?"  Yes and he should be buying Hamilton whatever it is he's taking so that Lewis can maintain his high levels of doucheness.

Button is turning out to have a very quiet, stellar year.  It may just be him acting is Whamilton's foil, but his calm nearly calculated racing has certainly given him some really excellent results.

2.9second pit stops?  Really?  Whoa.  During pre-race someone claimed that if each of the workers in the Red Bull pit did their personal best, the stop time would be 2.2seconds.  That's insane and fun to watch, but I still miss refueling.

Alcohol content: medium (Guinness and homebrew)