Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Korean Grand Prix

I wonder how long Korea will remain on the calendar.  All weekend the stands were far from full and that's kind of sad.  At least this year was mostly dry come quali and race day, but it's obvious this track gets zero use outside of the F1 weekend.  That's a sad thing, but at least not a sad race.

Hamilton... hrmmm, wow, he didn't crash into Massa, or anyone else for that matter.  He pulled off an amazing qualifying run to pole, blowing past his teammate Jenson Button by nearly seven tenths and the pole-meister Vettel by a scratch more than two tenths.  After Suzuka where Vettel beat Button for pole by 0.009seconds, the differences at Korea were gargantuan.  And yet after a season where no one who wasn't driving a Red Bull had scored pole, Hamilton couldn't be happy. 

Can you spot the douche?
Bob Varsha and the gang all thought it had to do with Lewis not meshing with the team and kept rambling on about it all race.  Hell, if I were part of his crew, I might be sticking gum in his brake vents just to give him a reason to whine.  Hamilton probably still had his panties in a bunch after Suzuka, especially since it seems that someone gave him a lecture about his sunglasses from that qualifying session.  Those sunglasses were uncalled for, even if someone made an error a let him out too late to have another lap in Q3.  Even if, in Hamilton's mind it was everyone else's fault, that he couldn't make another lap, there is no excuse.  Me, though, I happily noticed that we hadn't seen the Pussycat Doll in a few races and ventured that maybe they were on the outs.  If I paid attention to regular TV, I might've known she was on some "reality" show.  But thankfully, the Daily Mail has the dirt and claims that the couple are on the rocks and BBC now confirms it officially.  I think that means I win.

After Vettel clinched the world title at Suzuka a lot of folks wondered aloud whether Seb and the team would cruise for the rest of the season.  I guess that idea seems reasonable in light of a only placing 3rd in the race instead of his normal first and sometimes second.  But by making the pass on Hamilton at the fourth corner of the first lap and then pulling away, it should be obvious that Vettel will not stop pushing to dominate formula 1.

Mark Webber, finally, had a decent start and didn't lose a position.  In fact, as Massa (who out qualified Alonso) attacked Button, Webber was able to take advantage of their fight to get by them both and take 3rd early in the race.

Paul di Resta out qualified his teammate, Sutil, and finished ahead of him.  But they both lost a position in the race with the rookie di Resta only holding on to 10th and getting one point.  The Force India cars are nipping at the heels of Renault and di Resta is certainly a fun young driver to watch... or maybe it's just the combination of Italian heritage with a Scottish brogue that makes him so alluring.  I hope they can get more consistent results next season.

This makes two races in a row that the Schumi crashed out.  This time wasn't his fault as Petrov and he came together in somewhat dramatic fashion bringing out the safety car.  After the incident which spun the Mercedes around and nearly removed its rear wing, Schumacher had this to say, "Another unfortunate end to a race which could have been encouraging today.  It's a big pity as the car was again very good in race trim and I had already gained some positions.  It would have been interesting to see what was possible, and I think we could certainly have taken some points.  As for the incident, I didn't see Vitaly coming; I was just suddenly spun into a direction I had not intended to go, and then I saw my rear wing hanging off.  It was unfortunate but these things happen when you fight hard - that's racing."

Are you taking notes, Hamilton?  That's a professional speaking.  And Petrov, also a professional, took all the blame for the accident citing the dirty line he was on while trying to pass Fernando Alonso and very late braking.  Both Fernando and Petrov tried to brake late into that corner and ended up overshooting it.  Alonso was just lucky to run wide of the corner and just miss being part of the accident.
That's going to leave a mark.

Petrov is getting a five spot penalty for the next race.  I'm not sure it's warranted, but was probably given because he and Schumacher have come together three times so far this season and always in dramatic fashion.

It was surprising that Button didn't do a better job during the race.  He lost a position to Webber pretty early and and never really got close enough to take the fight back to him.  In fact it was Webber who was taking the fight to Hamilton.  And in typical SpeedTV fashion, we were in commercial when Webber did make his pass on Hamilton and the McLaren driver took it back.  They were both good passes and we only got to see them in replay.  Kind of a shame, really.  But that's the ongoing theme with SpeedTV coverage of the race- always cutting to commercial at the wrong time.  It's hard enough that the world-feed sometimes decides to ignore multiple pit-stops or mid-pack passing, but then we get that added insult.  At least we don't have to listen to someone say boogity-boogity-boogity.

With Red Bull now clinching the constructor's title as well, is there any more reason to race?  Hell, yeah.  Who is going to take second?  Which of the rookies will come out ahead in the points?  Will Kobayshi get out of his funk and make the daring passes we enjoy him attempting?  Can Vettel reach Mansell's pole record or Schumacher's single season win record?  Actually, watching the mid-pack has been pretty entertaining all year and I hope that doesn't stop.

GT5 on the PS3 got a version update recently.  And huge 1.1GB download.  I think it was worth it.  The menu system seems more responsive and some of the loading is hidden better so at least it seems like the races load faster.  DLC could be huge.  I haven't broken down and downloaded SPA, but having that track will be nice.  Also nice, Red Bull giving everyone a new car in game.  Yup, the "aliens-have-landed" Red Bull X2010 S. Vettel was given to everyone to celebrate Sebastian Vettel's second world championship.

yup.  definitely aliens.
As far as I can tell, this maybe the fastest thing in the game.  I topped out at around 282mph on Mulsanne straight, lapped the Daytona triple oval in 32seconds, and even with multiple offs and crashes lapped the Green Hell in just over 5 minutes. 

Alcohol content: low (post written during conference call)

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