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

  • Bonjour!
  • One name…
  • …Monaco.
  • This is the 2014 Grand Prix of Monaco.
  • Shall we do a quick circuit overview?
  • …Yes.
  • …This is a street circuit, and all that entails.
  • …More about that as I go.
  • …The circuit was first used in 1950.
  • …And, remains (virtually) unchanged.
  • …It is a 3.340km (2.075mi) loop.
  • …It will be rounded 78 times.
  • …Clockwise.
  • …Which brings the total to 260.520km (161.880mi) travelled.
  • Currently, it is 66F/19C with some clouds in Monaco.
  • …But, those clouds are nothing more than clouds.
  • …A washout like Thursday’s Practice sessions is not expected.
  • Last year’s winner was Mercedes’ Rosberg.
  • …Followed by Red Bull’s Vettel and Webber.
  • Today’s front row is dominated by Mercedes.
  • …Rosberg, like last year, is your pole sitter.
  • …His BBB-BFF, Hamilton, is next to him.
  • …Behind them are the two Red Bulls of Vettel and Ricciardo.
  • …Behind them are the two Ferraris of Alonso and Räikkönen.
  • …And, so on.
  • …I posted the grid, if you go back a post.
  • And, here we go!
  • Everyone fires ahead as is.
  • …Teammates, hand-in-hand.
  • …Like the best field trip ever.
  • …Paired with your classroom enemy.
  • And, there goes the Safety Car.
  • …A bad touch with a barrier takes out Force India’s Perez.
  • …It appears a bad touch from a McLaren started it.
  • …This is just Lap 1, folks.
  • …Last year, Perez bumped Kimi.
  • …Kimi called for Perez to be “punched in the face”.
  • …Apparently, Kimi has some karmic clout.
  • And, we’re back in action.
  • Kimi, ridiculous, ‘Frogger’-inspired started that he is, has moved into third.
  • Vettel…
  • …Oh, dear.
  • …Power has been an issue for that RB10 all season.
  • …It appears the trouble continues.
  • …Vettel keeps falling behind.
  • …He pits.
  • …And, it is a looooooong stop.
  • …He gets back out.
  • …And, promptly reports that he’s stuck in first.
  • …With the sound of a car that is stuck in a too-low gear in the background.
  • At Lap 8…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Räikkönen, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …No, the Mercs have not taken one another out.
  • …Yet.
  • Speaking of that…
  • …Alain Prost has commented that the Mercedes rivalry (and developing rift) is normal.
  • …No, Alain, it’s (only) normal in your world.
  • …I mean…
  • …You have to love that comment from that source.
  • …It does add to the comedy, doesn’t it?
  • Ooo-Sutil slips his Sauber around Grosjean’s Lotus.
  • …Around the Turn 6 hairpin.
  • …There is barely enough room for one car around that turn.
  • …Much less two cars and balls that big.
  • It’s being reported that it was the McLaren of Button that was caught in the Perez exit.
  • …Not the rookie, Magnussen.
  • …Which would have been (kind of) amusing.
  • …Being that Kimi has had issues with bad touches from him this season.
  • Vettel has been called back to the pits.
  • …The RB10 has retired.
  • …One less contender in the race to knock out the Mercs.
  • …Oh, we’re (all) thinking it.
  • At Lap 14…
  • …It’s (still) Rosberg, Hamilton, Räikkönen, and Ricciardo.
  • …Alonso is in fifth.
  • …Which is a good sign for Ferrari, whose season has left all but everything to be desired.
  • If you’re new to this, don’t remember, or have blocked it out, Rosberg’s win in 2013 made him and his father, Keke, the only father-son duo to win the same F1 grand prix.
  • …And, as Rosberg was brought up in Monaco, it was a home win.
  • Sutil’s balls continue to overtake everyone.
  • …Okay, well, Marussias and Caterhams.
  • …But, Sutil is a talented driver in a struggling car.
  • …So, it’s nice to see that clear talent at work.
  • …Passing is difficult in Monaco.
  • …No matter who you are, or what car you’re in.
  • At Lap 19…
  • …Nothing has changed.
  • …That -is- the one downside to this (otherwise perfect) race.
  • …It is incredibly hard to overtake.
  • …Which makes it incredibly hard to move up the standings.
  • …On the flip-side…
  • …It is such a difficult course, that just avoiding a crash is a feat in itself.
  • …It is (definitely) a precision race.
  • …A showcase of driver talent.
  • …And, the cars are given special setups for it.
  • …Just to handle the heavily travelled street surface and all its bumps through the hilly turns.
  • …Also, their eyeballs get a workout, going from sun to dark to sun, as they take on the tunnel.
  • …Thanks to the clouds, that issue isn’t as dramatic as it was for Qualifying.
  • Toro Rosso’s Russian rookie, Kvyat, has retired.
  • …Like Vettel, the car just started losing power.
  • …A disappointment, given he survived a front wing-crushing off in Q1 to qualify ninth.
  • Uh oh…
  • …Sutil’s balls have just bounced his Sauber into a wall.
  • …And, out of the race.
  • …He walks away, but leaves the circuit littered with debris.
  • …And, out comes the Safety Car.
  • …Again.
  • And, you know, why be nasty on track, when you can be nasty in the pits.
  • …Yes, the drivers have found a way around the difficulty of passing on the circuit.
  • …The Mercs race each other to get out and back behind the Safety Car.
  • …Rosberg in…
  • …Rosberg out.
  • …Hamilton in…
  • …Hamilton stalls!
  • …Ooo!  Alonso puts a block on Ricciardo in the pits!
  • …And, because, why not, Toro Rosso’s Vergne races Magnussen out.
  • …Magnussen misses colliding with the Frenchman by millimeters!
  • …As pit crews react with open mouths and ‘close one’ hand gestures.
  • Kimi has had to pit (again).
  • …New tires.
  • …It appears unexpected.
  • …There’s a lot of debris out there.
  • …Anyway, he’s dropped from third to somewhere in the marina.
  • …13th.
  • …Whatever.
  • Race on!
  • Ricciardo inherits third and, immediately, starts eyeing the Mercs.
  • …People associate Monaco with admiring gorgeous rears.
  • …But, I think Ricciardo is a little sick of those asses.
  • Magnussen is overtaken by Force India’s Mr Incredible, Nico Hülkenberg.
  • …Right as they approached the tunnel!
  • …And, right after Magnussen made a similar move in another corner.
  • …Balls, balls, everywhere!
  • At Lap 35…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo, and Alonso lead.
  • …I believe Kimi remains in 13th.
  • …And, I believe he is behind Caterham’s Kobayashi.
  • Kimi (finally) gets around.
  • …And, Marussia’s Bianchi (a native of Nice) decides to get in on the action, going wheel-to-wheel with Kobayashi.
  • …With nearly race-ending consequences (for both).
  • Vergne has been handed a drive-through penalty for that unsafe release during the last Safety Car.
  • …He had been running sixth.
  • A bird flies over the Mercs.
  • …No word on anyone getting hit by poop.
  • …You know, I’ve never researched that.
  • …Drivers, getting hit with bird poop (during races).
  • …Come to think of it, I don’t recall ever even seeing bird poop on a rally car, either.
  • …If anyone has some photographic evidence that this does, in fact, happen, please, I would love to see it.
  • Just for your information, and on a semi-related note…
  • …I just had to pee.
  • …As I passed the TV, I pointed at the Mercs, pointed a finger, and said…
  • …”You better not run into each other while I’m peeing, assholes.  This is not hockey.”
  • …So, I guess those are my thoughts.
  • …And, yes, I’m one of those people who misses goals.
  • Now, back to that bird…
  • …I wonder if it’s Monegasque or Monacan.
  • …(Maybe) it’s a tourist, in for the race.
  • Don’t hold me to this, but I think I could watch just coverage of those moving cameras on the Williams cars.
  • …As a shot of Massa’s pit stop, from one of those cameras, airs.
  • …They’re just cool.
  • You know…
  • …If the Mercs were to run into each other, Bianchi would get points.
  • …He’s running in an incredible 12th-place.
  • …Just saying.
  • …As Vergne gives Bianchi a love tap from behind.
  • …He slapped that ass.
  • …A bit of debris serves as evidence.
  • …Anyway, I’m not sure Marussia has ever scored a point.
  • …I’m not kidding.
  • …Bianchi is a very talented driver in an underfunded car.
  • …And, if you’ll recall, his teammate, Max Chilton, topped the sheets on the first day of the Barcelona tests.
  • …Not that testing means much.
  • …It’s testing, not racing.
  • …But, it showed that the little engines who could, can.
  • …And have.
  • …Also, recall that my predictions were good years for Caterham and Marussia.
  • …Based on the new car designs and the theory that it was anyone’s game as they ventured into the unknown.
  • Vergne’s Toro Rosso is fogging up the circuit.
  • …From great to bad to retirement for Vergne.
  • …A double retirement for Red Bull, Jr.
  • …Sad.
  • …I really do think those juniors can give the seniors a run for their oodles of money.
  • Kimi is all over the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez.
  • …A fight for ninth.
  • …But, the Mexican is feisty and -will- put up a fight.
  • At Lap 56…
  • …It remains Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo, and Alonso on top.
  • Okay, NBC is airing commercials, with just a fraction of the screen showing the race.
  • …I’m pretty sure I just saw Gutierrez force Williams’ Bottas off, with Kimi right behind.
  • …The car of Bottas is being craned off the circuit.
  • …However, he was not forced off.
  • …The Williams, like the Toro Rosso of Vergne, started leaving a trail of smoke.
  • …Gutierrez and Räikkönen had to squeeze by as they rounded the hairpin.
  • …No crazy pills, there.
  • Bianchi moves up to 11th.
  • …I think this may be the nerve-destroying run of this race.
  • …Go, Jules, just go!!!!!!!
  • Gutierrez is stopped on track.
  • …He hit a barrier, popped a tire, and stopped immediately.
  • …However, the car is just sitting there, in the way.
  • You know what that means…
  • …Just go, Bianchi!!!  Go!!!
  • …He moves into 10th.
  • …Points.
  • …There is some investigation involving his car.
  • …But…
  • …Just go!!!
  • At Lap 64…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo, and Alonso remain on top.
  • You know…
  • …If those Mercs -were- to collide…
  • …And, the standings were to hold…
  • …That would be one interesting podium.
  • …Ricciardo, Alonso, and Mr Incredible.
  • No.
  • …No.
  • …Penalty for Bianchi.
  • …He’s (still) listed as being in 10th.
  • …Hold for details and confirmation.
  • Uh oh…
  • …Okay, now, this is weird.
  • …After some radio silence and Mercedes requesting he just say something…
  • …Hamilton is reporting that he has something in his eye and can’t see.
  • …Basically, all he can do is try to blink it out as he keeps moving.
  • At some point, Lotus’ Maldonado retired.
  • …No idea how or when.
  • …I think everyone’s just given up on reporting on Maldonado.
  • …Especially, when it comes to retirements.
  • Bianchi is putting off his drive-through penalty.
  • …Wouldn’t you?
  • Hamilton snaps over the radio that he doesn’t care about any update other than the gap between Rosberg and himself.
  • …As Red Bull radios Ricciardo to inform him that Hamilton is battling vision issues.
  • Marussia appear to have failed to serve that penalty within the allotted three laps.
  • …I have zero idea what their thinking is.
  • …Debating it seems tremendously risky.
  • Kimi has just moved over to let the front contenders by.
  • …You don’t see that every day.
  • Ooohhh….uh-oh!
  • …Magnussen and Kimi have just locked horns!
  • …As Magnussen continues to climb Kimi’s shit list.
  • …And, as Kimi’s issues with inexperienced drivers continue at Monaco.
  • …Though, on replay, it looked like Kimi may have gone a tad wider than he expected and gotten in Magnussen’s way.
  • …Was it the Finn, over reaching, or the Dane, refusing to back off?
  • …Either way, no points earned for Nordic stubbornness, there.
  • Final lap…
  • …Everyone is just on each other.
  • …Ricciardo is right on Hamilton.
  • …But, in Monaco, you have to be 100% sure.
  • …Especially, when you’re in podium position.
  • Rosberg wins again!
  • …A second (consecutive) home win for the German-Finn.
  • …Hamilton holds second, Ricciardo takes his third.
  • …Alonso retains fourth.
  • …Mr Incredible stays in a well-earned fifth, after starting in 11th.
  • Everyone is just waiting to see Hamilton’s reaction, right?
  • …You know…
  • …They’re (both) amazingly talented drivers.
  • …And, they (both) seem like good, likable guys.
  • …They need to knock the crap off, enjoy that they’re (both) on top and going back and forth, and just drive.
  • …Hamilton’s been on a streak, this is just the start, he should be stoked.
  • …Let Rosberg take a turn at his home race.
  • …It’s so cool for him.
  • Now, onto important things…
  • …Princess Charlene.
  • …As usual, I love her choice.
  • …This year, she’s gone with a knee-length, white, sleeveless dress with a red stripe down the middle.
  • …It’s simple, sporty, and very Monaco.
  • …(If you’re not aware, the Monaco flag is red and white.)
  • …I love her.
  • Did anyone else notice that Albert, Charlene, and the rest of the party were watching Hamilton as he leapt off and away from the podium?
  • …I would say that is a sign that this crap has gone too far.
  • …As if avoiding Rosberg (there wasn’t so much as a handshake) wasn’t enough as a sign.
  • …And, it’s wrecking it for Ricciardo, who has nothing to do with this.
  • …It’s a sort of punishment for doing well at this point.
  • …For all involved.
  • Well, I don’t know if someone pulled him aside and told him to shape up or if he pulled himself together, but (at least) Hamilton was able to get through his podium interview in a civil manner.
  • …He left quickly, but…yeah.
  • And, there’s that huge Ricciardo smile!
  • …This is the first time he’s finished at Monaco.
  • …And, he did it well.
  • Ack, what an icky overcast of poor sportsmanship, though.
  • No updates on Bianchi.
  • …He’s listed as finishing ninth.
  • Interestingly, Caterham’s Ericsson finished in 11th.
  • …So, either a Marussia or a Caterham is coming away with a point/several points.
  • …At Monaco.
  • …They (both) drove amazingly.
  • …Bianchi started from the back.
  • …Ericsson started from the pits.
  • …Both, in underpowered cars and with underfunded teams.
  • …That’s amazing.
  • …I knew those guys could make magic this season!
  • …No matter what happens, I hope both teams come away with a boost, motivated to keep pushing, knowing that they can, in fact, play with the big boys.
  • Drivers’ Standings…
  • …Rosberg reclaims first, Hamilton drops to second.
  • …Alonso and Ricciardo round out the top four.
  • Constructors’ Standings…
  • …Mercedes continue to hoard points in first.
  • …Red Bull, Ferrari, and Force India follow.
  • NBC Sports F1 commentator David Hobbs has just uttered a shockingly odd sentence:
  • …”Red Bull is the best of the rest”
  • …It’s true (this season).
  • …But, still, it sounds odd, doesn’t it?
  • …It’s a phrase you (usually) associate with the likes of Force India and drivers such as Mr Incredible.
  • …Solid performers with smaller budgets and/or underperforming cars.
  • Okay, what happened with Bianchi was that he was in eighth for a flash, took a five-second penalty, and ended in ninth.
  • …So, their tactics paid off, ensuring points safety pre-penalty serving.
  • …A great drive from Bianchi and and great management from Marussia.
  • …And, yes, those were their first ever points as an F1 team.
  • …Just keep going, guys.
  • …Marussia and Caterham, they’ve got this.
  • Okay, that’s that.
  • NBC Sports Network is rebroadcasting the race right now.
  • …So, I’m going to go enjoy it.
  • …And, cringe at everything I missed or got wrong.
  • …Eh, it happens.
  • …A lot, in fact.
  • Next up will be the Canadian Grand Prix.
  • …6-8 June.
  • …A nice home continent race for me.
  • …I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m between Austin and Montreal.
  • …(About equidistant.)
  • …So, that will be nice.
  • Anyway…
  • …Another amazing Monaco in the books.
  • …Filled with the definition of surprises.
  • To those in the US…
  • …Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend.
  • …(Whether you’re working or not, it’s a gateway to summer that leaves a certain feeling in the air.)
  • To those around the world…
  • …Enjoy any rebroadcasts you can take in.
  • …If you want to (really) get into it, look up the “Grace Cocktail”.
  • …It’s a cocktail inspired by Kelly’s love of roses, using both rose jelly and rose liqueur (with champagne. of course).
  • …I’m boring and don’t drink, but, with my lifelong adoration of Grace, I could (probably) be swayed.
  • …If in Monaco.
  • …Which I doubt I will ever be.
  • …I (definitely) recommend getting into the spirit of this lovely, grandest of grands prix, though.
  • Also, don’t forget that the Indy 500 takes place later today.
  • …Whether you’re into Indy, or not, it’s a classic worth having on.
  • Au revoir!
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