MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2014 GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN (9.5.2014 – 11.5.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE? /// P2…

  • Buenos dias!
  • It’s an F1 morning on an F1 Friday.
  • F1 is (back) in Europe.
  • …Back “home” for most of the drivers.
  • …Back to near-human-ish race hours for most Western Hemisphere viewers.
  • It’s the Spanish Grand Prix.
  • …Or, technically, Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Pirelli 2014.
  • …Which I will (more than likely) not be referring to it as.
  • How about a tiny bit about the track?
  • …It’s the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
  • …In Barcelona, if you couldn’t figure that one out.
  • …And, if you can’t place Barcelona…
  • …If you don’t have a mother and a friend who are obsessed with it…
  • …Catalonia is on the northeast coast of Spain.
  • …A little over an hour south of the French border.
  • …With the Pyrenees as a backdrop.
  • …On the Mediterranean.
  • …So, it’s gorgeous, mild-warm, and can get a little windy.
  • …But, back to the circuit…
  • …Which was deflowered by F1 in 1991.
  • …The track is (about) 4.66km/2.89mi in length.
  • …It is shaped like a Spanish Spaniard from Spain, flexing.
  • …Speed-wise, it’s more moderate.
  • …No super extremes.
  • …The challenge is in the tight, turn-filled layout.
  • …On raceday, it will be looped 66 times.
  • …Making the total distance travelled (roughly) 307.10km/190.83mi.
  • News since the last race (China)…
  • …Not really.
  • …Toro Rosso’s Russian kid, Daniil Kvyat, turned 20.
  • …So, no more teen comments.
  • …Sadly.
  • …Swiss IndyCar darling Simona de Silvestro (actually and factually) not only put in some track time in the 2012 Sauber, she dedicated a ginormous amount of mileage behind the wheel.
  • …Not to jinx it, but this could be a great year for women in F1.
  • …If you’ll recall, development driver Susie Wolff (GBR, Williams) is set to drive several P1s this season.
  • …You know…
  • …We ask so little of motorsport.
  • …A shot.
  • …Just to see what these girls can do.
  • …And, to not make them feel like crap for being girly girls.
  • …A girl who tries to look like a boy just to play in the boys’ sandbox is just a girl who looks like a boy.
  • …Don’t be so jealous that we get to look pretty, guys.
  • …Athletes (always) get to enjoy the perks of their job.
  • …Travel, sponsorship goodies, and so on.
  • …So, why shouldn’t Wolff, who loves fashion (I get it, I’m surrounded by fashion magazines and books and browse style sites to perk me up – say, when I’m feeling extra-inferior or out of place as a motorsport babbler), jump on this opportunity to combine her passions and enjoy them to the fullest?
  • …Anyway, it’s beyond exciting that de Silvestro has been rocking testing.
  • …Now, would a team without a woman in charge like to give a qualified girl a shot?
  • …By the way, always try to check out Claire Williams’ shoes (as a lover of ballet flats, her Williams-coordinated shoes are killing me with wanting) and Monisha Kaltenborn’s nails.
  • …Just saying.
  • …Moving on…
  • …Azerbaijan has been cleared for a provisional spot on the 2015 calendar.
  • …Which is very interesting.
  • …If you’re the sort of person who used to be able to name all the former Soviet states, their capitols, and other factoids about them.
  • …(I can’t anymore.  Which, actually, kid you not, bums me out.)
  • …Anyway, we (all) know how that works.
  • …(Usually) these bids are more mission statements and personal goal setting, with the following year more likely.
  • …Which doesn’t make it any less exciting.
  • …They’re ready when they’re ready.
  • …And, they’ve got to be ready.
  • The biggest news was that it was the 20th anniversary of the Imola disaster.
  • …The deaths of Roland Ratzenberger (AUT) and Ayrton Senna (BRA), and the massive crash that left Rubens Barrichello (BRA) with a broken arm.
  • …A sad beyond sad weekend in Formula 1.
  • …But, a critical turning point in motorsport safety.
  • …Did you know that the HANS devices you see today were not so much as recommended until after Ratzenberger’s crash?
  • …It wasn’t until the last ten years that it became cross-motorsport required safety equipment.
  • …How’s that for a rookie leaving a legacy?
  • …And, there hasn’t been a death in F1 since Senna’s.
  • …Which, actually, started with Senna, himself, Alain Prost, and Dr. Sid Watkins.
  • …After Ratzenberger’s crash, Senna and Prost got together and discussed reinstating the Driver’s Association (to make sure the safety of drivers was clearly and firmly represented).
  • …Prost and Watkins made safety improvements their missions in the wake of Senna’s death.
  • …Also involved, in a different capacity, was…
  • …Adrian Newey.
  • …Yes, the famous mad genius of Red Bull.
  • …Newey was an engineer on Senna’s car and, along with the likes of Frank Williams, was (actually) charged in his death.
  • …Though, ultimately, all were found innocent (by one means or another), it was a trip down the rabbit hole and back for Newey.
  • …So, there you go, those who enjoy picking on the perfect cars of Red Bull.
  • …There’s a very good reason they have a history of perfection.
  • …Newey doesn’t just want their drivers to be fast, he needs them to be safe.
  • So, what’s going on with Practice 2?
  • As has been the case in every practice and will be the case in every practice, as every track/car combination will be new, the cars have been twitchy.
  • …It’s just a fact.
  • …F1 is a one-stop shop.
  • …No locale is repeated in one season.
  • …So, with the new cars, every stop will be a new experience.
  • …Especially, when you factor in that teams experiment a lot between races (even more so in this new frontier season).
  • …Chilton was called back to the garage with engine issues.
  • …But, he’s back out (now).
  • …Pretty (relatively) uneventful session.
  • …Thus far.
  • Now, P1 was interesting.
  • …Gutierrez (MEX, Sauber) lost a side mirror (on track).
  • …While on track, van der Garde (NLD, Sauber third man) lost brakes (completely).
  • …And, Vettel’s car croaked after four laps.
  • …On track.
  • …As Svettel (calmly) retrieved a fire extinguisher and gave the rear a blast.
  • …Unfortunately, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together (again) prior to P2.
  • …I would assume that the horses are (always) to blame.
  • …After all that, it was Hamilton (GBR, Mercedes), Button (GBR, McLaren), Ricciardo (AUS, Red Bull), and Alonso (ESP, Ferrari) on the top of the boards.
  • …Nice mix, eh?
  • …P1 means very little, but it was interesting to see Button in that mix.
  • …McLaren had such a strong start, but started slipping more and more with every race.
  • …So, (maybe) they’ve pinpointed some issues and have been able to remedy them.
  • …Also interesting was Alonso.
  • …The Spanish Spaniard from Spain in España.
  • …Who (ever so dramatically) won this event in 2013.
  • …With his present teammate (Räikkönen) in second and previous teammate (Massa, now with Williams) in third.
  • …So…
  • …Who will it be in 2014?
  • …You have to cheer for Alonso, don’t you?
  • …Well, I guess, you don’t (if you don’t care for him or whatever).
  • …But, Mercedes has dominated all four races in this season, while Ferrari just (finally) saw a podium at China.
  • …With Kimi lagging so far behind everyone and their mother, it’s nudging “disturbing”.
  • …As for Massa…
  • …He’s shown great pace and even greater competitiveness thus far.
  • …However, the results have yet to catch up.
  • …The biggest factor for the end result is that this entire season is a learning experience for everyone.
  • …Complete with low lows and high highs.
  • …The Spanish podium could end up being three drivers, looking as bewildered as you are.
  • Uh oh…
  • …Vergne has lost a wheel on track.
  • …Rear-right.
  • …Clean detachment.
  • …Just after leaving the pitlane.
  • …You know what that means.
  • …(Unsafe release.)
  • …Tsk-tsk.
  • One minute to go.
  • Guess what?
  • …Mercedes is on top.
  • …And, it’s Hamilton leading Rosberg.
  • …Which is an easy way to annoy Rosberg.
  • That’s that.
  • Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, and Alonso on top.
  • …As Chilton ends in the gravel.
  • …Not a great day for Chilton.
  • …You know what, though?
  • …Chilton has been suspiciously steady since last season.
  • …As if Marussia have been using him to ensure a better finish than Caterham at the end of the season (so they get more money).
  • …I’m not saying this is the case.
  • …But, it’s been annoyingly weird.
  • …Finishing every race, but finishing at the bottom.
  • …With zero impact, zero action.
  • …Anyway…
  • …It’s nice to see some action from Chilton.
  • …He should get into more trouble.
  • …It’s the only way to (really) learn.
  • …Really, let’s see what he can do.
  • …I suspect there may be more to the kid than a lucrative name.
  • …And, that he would like to get a little dirty.
  • So, that is that for P2.
  • P3 will be tomorrow morning.
  • …Followed by Qualifying.
  • P3 will not be televised (here).
  • …But, will be streamed through the NBCSN site.
  • …I do believe.
  • …(I’ll be at work, so I tend not to taunt myself with all I’m missing).
  • Qualifying, however, will be.
  • …Same time and same place as today’s action.
  • Wherever you are in the world, just check your local listings.
  • …To be sure.
  • This weekend is (also) the World Rally Championship’s Rally Argentina.
  • …Drivers are passing through SS3 at the moment.
  • …So, if you’re a fan – or, just (really) missing Robert Kubica – I would recommend checking that out.
  • …I’ve just checked, and Kubica is in 10th (after SS2).
  • …After a severely troubled start to the season, crashing out of every round (multiple times in most of them), he’s vowed to hold back, (really) take in what he’s doing, and finish.
  • …This is his first season in a WRC car, after a career in F1.
  • …He’ll get it.
  • Busy, busy weekend for this site.
  • I will not be able to run live commentary for Qualifying (tomorrow).
  • …You’re welcome.
  • …But, will be back for Sunday’s race.
  • …Watching with my mum, on Mother’s Day.
  • …She’ll be all about Alonso.
  • …So…yeah.
  • …I think she’s going to cut a bitch once she finds out that Hirvonen is out of Argentina.
  • …So, feel free to make my mum’s Mo’s Day another rad one, Fernando.
  • …Fly that Spanish flag!
  • Until next time…
  • …Adíos!
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