MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2014 GRAND PRIX OF MONACO (22.5.2014-25.5.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS ON DELAY? /// P2…

  • Good evening.
  • It is 10:30pm.
  • This P2 was held yesterday.
  • And, I have to be at work in a few hours.
  • But, this is Monaco, so I’m doing this.
  • Yes, this is the Monaco Grand Prix.
  • …Which is in Monaco.
  • …The base is Monte-Carlo.
  • …But, because Monaco is .78 mi2, it doesn’t (really) matter.
  • …The Circuit de Monaco is a 2.07mi street circuit.
  • …And, by “street circuit”, I mean it is truly a street circuit.
  • …Though the area is prepped ahead of time, barriers put in place and all, the streets don’t close until right before sessions.
  • …Then, reopened just as quickly.
  • …So, it’s a filthy, well-used surface.
  • …Which makes it unique.
  • …As if the layout and locale needed anything else.
  • …On top of it, it’s narrow and hilly, with lots of tight turns.
  • …Including the infamous hairpin (Turn 6, I do believe).
  • …With no runoff room.
  • …In fact, a lot of the track is lined not by fields or trees, but by buildings.
  • …Or, water.
  • …Which is a marina and, thus, filled with boats.
  • …And, there’s the tunnel.
  • …If you’ve ever been through a tunnel, that one should be self-explanatory.
  • …If not…
  • …Your eyes go from light to dark to light.
  • …Speed that up and there you go.
  • …A major concern with Monaco is oil.
  • …You know how, when it rains, the water on roads and parking lots  has a rainbow effect?
  • …That is due to oil.
  • …And, especially in a racing situation, that oil can have a serious effect on grip.
  • …I mention this not only as a relatable fact, but because P2 was a rainy one.
  • …And, by that I mean stormy.
  • …Complete with hail and rough seas.
  • …Though conditions appear to have improved (in P2), cars remain pitted.
  • So…what else?
  • 30 years ago, Senna earned his first podium (at Monaco).
  • …Second place.
  • …In the sixth race of his first season.
  • …Prost took first at that rainy event.
  • …Before it was called off, due to dangerous conditions.
  • …Interesting, eh?
  • …Senna would go on to win the event six times.
  • …Including five consecutive wins.
  • …Making him the Monaco Grand Prix record holder for wins.
  • …Monaco was (also) the first grand prix held after Senna’s death.
  • …One week after Imola, if I remember correctly.
  • …I could look it up, but so could you.
  • Last year, Nico Rosberg won Monaco.
  • …His second F1 grand prix win.
  • …At his home race.
  • …On the 30th anniversary of his father’s win (Keke Rosberg).
  • …Which made them the first father-son dynamic duo to win the same race.
  • Vettel took second and Webber took third.
  • And, Perez took out Räikkönen.
  • …Making this the (approximate) one year anniversary of Kimi, calling for someone to “punch him in the face”.
  • Okay, some cars are out to splash around.
  • The circuit is run clockwise, if you’re curious about that.
  • Also, the track walk is done in traffic.
  • …There are great photos of teams, walking between buses and alongside families and such out there.
  • …Williams posted some on their Facebook page.
  • …If you need some direction.
  • Back to the circuit and its surface.
  • …Well, before I forget, the streets were resurfaced in the last year.
  • …So, it’s all new.
  • …To go with the new cars.
  • …Super fun.
  • …But, where I was going was that, in that 1984 race, the tunnel was hosed down by the fire department.
  • …In order to try to (at least) keep the saturated circuit a bit more even.
  • …Otherwise, the tires would go from wet to dry, and drying them out a bit, and causing cars to go into skids when they reenter the wet.
  • …So, that is another obstacle to consider when watching.
  • Kimi’s Ferrari is sounding rough.
  • …And, judging by his bouncing helmet, it’s running rough.
  • …Even if I hadn’t read that it was a gearbox issue, it would have been my guess.
  • …Again, it’s one of those things normal humans with their normal human cars on their normal human roads can relate to.
  • …It looked and sounded like when a manual car (really) needs you to shift up.
  • …I think Sunday will be Kimi’s 200th GP start.
  • Hey, so, how did Practice 1 go?
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, and Alonso led.
  • …I kid you not.
  • Quick shot of a Red Bull mechanic, being knocked down while attending to Ricciardo’s RB 10.
  • …He’s back up and fine.
  • After Spain, teams stuck around for another test round.
  • …Chilton topped the boards one day.
  • …Yes, that Chilton.
  • …Maldonado topped the boards the next day.
  • …Yes, that Maldonado.
  • …And, Williams’ development driver, Susie Wolff, got her first run in the new car.
  • …And, though it was (only) testing, not competition, her name will forever be ahead of Vettel’s.
  • I’m not noting teams, nationalities, or anything tonight.
  • …Will that be a problem?
  • …No?
  • …Perfect.
  • I wonder if Kimi brought The Dudesons along.
  • …If they’re lounging, naked in a hot tub, on his yacht.
  • …His yacht, that is ready, should he make an early exit and opt to head straight to it.
  • …YouTube it.
  • The skies have cleared, the streets are drying out, and Button is leading the way.
  • …Button won Monaco in 2009.
  • So…
  • …Kimi was just about run over by his F1 BFF, Vettel.
  • …In the pitlane, after his gearbox developed a fear of change.
  • …The worst part of it has to be that Kimi knows Vettel isn’t going to let him live this down.
  • Though it may not seem that way, Monaco is where it’s at (for me).
  • …It’s where it all began.
  • …It’s a race that has always been televised.
  • …And, with an F1 fan mom and little on TV, I remember it being on the big, wood console TV.
  • …In the living room of browns, tans, and oranges.
  • …Plus, one thing to know about me is that I’ve been a massive Grace Kelly fan (pretty much) from birth.
  • …It takes a lot for me to not go on and on about her and the Grimaldi family through the Monaco Grand Prix and Rally Monte-Carlo.
  • With less than 10 minutes to go, (only) nine cars have ventured out.
  • …Button, Magnussen, Vettel, and Alonso lead the timesheet.
  • …There should be 22, if you’re lost.
  • …11 teams, two drivers (each).
  • This weekend is (also) the Indy 500.
  • …It’s Memorial Day weekend in the US.
  • …I watched a movie called ‘Indianapolis Speedway’ this morning (on Turner Classic Movies).
  • …1939.
  • …The drivers wore loosely sealed racing suits over nice sweaters with ties.
  • …There were amazing shots of shiny oxfords, working the pedals.
  • …I had no luck tracking the movie down, but if you should ever come across it, check it out.
  • …It’s an interesting look back.
  • …With some “the lives and loves of drivers” drama.
  • …Like ‘The Racers’.
  • …Which (also) appears to be unavailable.
  • Time is up.
  • Ericsson’s Caterham is parked perpendicular just before the tunnel.
  • …Not a great place.
  • …So, it’s a good thing time is up.
  • Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, and Vergne top the list.
  • …But, it was a weird, rainy session, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • …I seem to recall seeing Caterham’s Kobayashi and both Marussias above the likes of Mercedes’ Rosberg and Ferrari’s Kimi.
  • …I think rookie Senna started from 13th (or, something like that – please, do not quote me on that one) in that 1984 race.
  • …Monaco is as weird as it is wonderful.
  • Oh, hey…
  • …They’re showing the start practice they get to do at Monaco!
  • …Because of the live traffic and lack of space and time, drivers get to do a little lineup and start practice post-practice.
  • …That was pretty cool to see.
  • …Via Alonso’s onboard.
  • Okay, I need to sign off.
  • …I’ll add tags, yada, yada, yada, etc, etc, etc later.
  • …Qualifying will air in (about) 6.5 hours.
  • …Same channel.
  • …P3 will be available online prior to that.
  • …You’re on your own for that information.
  • …Sorry.  Really, sorry.
  • …My backward life priorities are causing failures in what I enjoy.
  • …I will cover Qualifying during an afternoon rebroadcast.
  • …The Monaco forecast calls for a sunny, warm (70-ish Fahrenheit) Saturday.
  • …I do have that information up and ready.
  • …(Maybe) I should check my own.
  • …Byegones.
  • Monaco!!!
  • Okay…
  • …Remember that, in Monaco, Monegasques are natural-born residents (who remain as such should they roam) and Monacans are residents from elsewhere.
  • …Fun Friday Fact for those who ever questioned it.
  • …Au revoir et bonne nuit!
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