MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2014 GRAND PRIX OF CANADA (6.6.2014 – 8.6.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE? /// QUALIFYING…

  • Bonjour!
  • Welcome back to North America.
  • This is Montreal.
  • And, this is Qualifying.
  • Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
  • …4.361km (2.71mi) in length.
  • …Fast, sweeping corners with long “straights”.
  • …(They’re not all 100% straight, but enough to get and keep a lot of speed.)
  • …The circuit is a bit old school, tree-lined and very Euro-lovely.
  • …The track is run clockwise.
  • …It will be looped 70 times on race day.
  • …Which will put the total distance traveled at 305.270km (189.686mi) on race day.
  • But, this is Qualifying.
  • …Three rounds.
  • …Drivers run until the clock runs down.
  • …Or, until the team has put in laps they’re happy with and confident in, etc.
  • …Their best times are recorded.
  • …The slowest drivers are eliminated in Q1 and Q2.
  • …The driver with the fastest time at the end of Q3 gets “pole position”.
  • …Which is the coveted, best spot at the front of the grid on race day.
  • …And, that, folks, is how F1 makes a Grand Prix grid.
  • …And, if we’re going really remedial, a grid is just the car lineup at the lights.
  • …Two per line.
  • …11 lines (this year, if all drivers qualify).
  • …And, they wait, engines running, for the lights to go out for the start.
  • …Oh, and engines are “power units” this season.
  • …They’ve got the power.
  • …Like Snap.
  • Sauber’s Gutierrez is not taking part in Qualifying.
  • …His car attempted to make sweet love to a wall (in P3).
  • …It was sexual and violent.
  • …Hey, Montreal is a very romantic city.
  • …Anyway, he damaged the chassis of the car beyond simple, quick repair.
  • Lotus’ Maldonado has pulled into a secret hiding spot.
  • …Very slow and controlled.
  • …(Probably) just one of those 2014 gremlins that live in the cars.
  • Caterham’s Ericsson has just plowed his own car into a wall.
  • …In an aggressive pirouette.
  • …Not that a Caterham was going to advance.
  • …Or, well…
  • …Remember that he nabbed 11th at Monaco.
  • …Which I will continue to bring up.
  • …Because, it was amazing.
  • …The rookie equalled the best result the team has ever had.
  • …At a circuit that snacks on cars.
  • …This incident, however, has resulted in a red flag.
  • …Pausing the action with seconds to go.
  • At the end of Q1…
  • …Hamilton, Magnussen, Rosberg, and Button lead the way.
  • …Yes, Magnussen, the rookie.
  • …The one who scored a trip to the podium in his first F1 grand prix.
  • …Two Mercedes and two McLarens.
  • …Behind them, are the two Williams boys.
  • …Massa and Bottas.
  • …Recall that Bottas, in his rookie season, made a great 2013 memory at Canada, when he blasted through pouring rain to qualify third.
  • …He should do that (again).
  • …In dry conditions.
  • …As it’s going to be a very warm, rather sunny weekend in Montreal.
  • I’m pretty sure that wall just moved for Räikkönen.
  • …Ooohhh, that was close.
  • …And, in typical form, Mr Of Espoo holds it without a concern.
  • …The wall was just, like, “No, you go.”
  • …Because, it’s Canadian.
  • …And, he’s Kimi.
  • …Kimi’s girlfriend is with him this weekend.
  • …As I said, Montreal is a very romantic city.
  • …And, Canada is a very boozy country.
  • …Win-win.
  • …Hot times for the Iceman.
  • Hey!
  • …Giedo van der Garde!
  • …Star!
  • …He lost his seat, became Sauber’s third man, and he’s (still) one of the most popular drivers.
  • …Because, the Dutchman is pretty amusing.
  • …Over Mother’s Day weekend, he posted a photo of his mum.
  • …And, added that she’s single.
  • …Giedo!
  • On board with Sauber’s Sutil.
  • …Terrible luck (this season) for the guy with the best number ever.
  • …99!
  • …I can’t see him without saying, “99!”.
  • …Unfortunately, he’s running last as time runs out.
  • Q2 ends…
  • …Guess what…
  • …Hamilton and Rosberg are at the top.
  • …Massa and Bottas buddy up behind them.
  • …Behind them, Red Bull’s Vettel and Ricciardo.
  • …What a cool field trip.
  • …Less cool, however, is the elimination of Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg.
  • …Mr Incredible.
  • …HÜLKENBERG NO LIKE ELIMINATION.
  • …No, I don’t like it, either.
  • …A few years ago, when I started covering F1, people (actually) thought I made that name up.
  • …Nope.
  • …Real name.
  • …Real boy.
  • …(He’s awesome.)
  • Since I’m being extra-blatantly biased…
  • …Finns.
  • …No, that’s not where I was going.
  • …You know who I’m really sick of seeing have crappy luck?
  • …Lotus.
  • …Grosjean has winning potential.
  • …And, make all the Maldonado jabs you want, but, over the years, there’s been a lot of evidence that the guy can (really) drive.
  • …The car is just so far behind the learning curve.
  • …Having missed the first practice round of the season.
  • …But, we’re not even at the halfway point.
  • …I’m not saying they can contend for the championship.
  • …I -am- saying that there is a lot of time for teams to tinker and problem-solve.
  • …Who knows what we’ll see as the season rolls on.
  • …I mean, if Bianchi can score Marussia’s first (ever) points at a place like Monaco…
  • Q3 kicks off with a lot of garage plotting.
  • …Pretty standard.
  • …This is the round that (really) counts.
  • Okay, shall I address this talk of Ferrari, asking Kimi to step down unless he steps it up?
  • …I shall.
  • …Because, it’s pretty simple.
  • …Fix your fucking car, Ferrari.
  • …No, really.
  • …Enough is enough with this.
  • …The car has been an issue for, what, two seasons?
  • …If you’re Ferrari, you don’t get excuses.
  • …They’re wasting one of the most successful, most reliable drivers in F1.
  • …Everyone and their mother knows that it’s the car.
  • …So, fix it.
  • …Seriously.
  • …Enough of this blame game.
  • …You have the drivers, now perfect your car.
  • Time is up.
  • …It’s Rosberg!  Rosberg gets pole!!!
  • …Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Massa, Ricciardo, Alonso, Vergne, Button, and Räikkönen round out the top ten.
  • …Row 5: The retirement community.
  • …(Button and Räikkönen, who, at 34, are the oldest drivers in F1.)
  • …(Pure snark, I love them both and think they both could have years ahead of them.  Easily.)
  • So…
  • …What do you suppose Hamilton’s “blessed” level is at the moment?
  • …”In with anger, out with love”?
  • Press conference…
  • …Ooohhh…
  • …So…
  • …Where do you think Hamilton’s “blessed” level is after Rosberg dropped that he doesn’t know what Hamilton’s record is?
  • …Look at Vettel!
  • …No one wants to be around these two!
  • …Even well-behaved (which they appear to be) and standing by their long-standing friendship, they seem to be putting not-so-great vibes out there.
  • …Vettel has had a very good attitude all season.
  • …He’s just rolling with it.
  • …He’s not winning, for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the Pangea Circuit, and he’s just working with it.
  • …Doing what he can.
  • …To (both) get a good result and figure out how to improve the car.
  • …And, yet, he looked very uncomfortable (up there).
  • …Good times!
  • …Hamilton -did- seem a lot cooler, though.
  • …He just needs to snuggle his puppies more.
  • …He’s a World Champion.
  • …He drives consistently and at the top.
  • …He has zero to be self-conscious about.
  • …Everyone knows, and will know (as they look back at this era in F1 history), that he is a great driver.
  • Um…Gene Haas just said that Danica Patrick would be a great addition to their 2016 team.
  • …Adding that it’s a long shot.
  • …Which, given so many factors, from commitments to training to time to age and so on, is true.
  • …But, how brilliant would it be to get her on board?
  • …In some capacity.
  • …If (only) to get testing started.
  • …I hope all parties consider giving this involvement some serious thought.
  • …It would be so huge for…everyone.
  • …If I can toss a personal plea out into the universe…
  • …Really, think about where this piece could fit into the puzzle.
  • …Also, I think I’m available for something.
  • …Not, you know, driving.
  • …But, I live in the US, I know F1, I’ve been covering it for a few years, now.
  • …Just tossing that out there.
  • I love that Ricciardo (always) tries to stay cool and serious.
  • …Then…
  • …It’s like he can’t not smile.
  • …He’s just so stoked to exist.
  • …It’s just so awesome to see.
  • Okay, that’s it for Qualifying.
  • The Grand Prix will be on NBC…
  • …Yes, NBC…
  • …At 2pm ET.
  • …The pre-show will be on NBCSN…
  • …NBCSN…
  • …At 1:30pm ET.
  • …I will try to remember that all if you will.
  • …The races in the Americas (always) throw me a bit.
  • …All those psychotic Euro and Asian times are the norm.
  • Anyway…
  • …Au revoir, mon amis!
  • …(It’s going to be an awesome race!)
  • …(CANADA!!!)
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