MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2014 GRAND PRIX OF GREAT BRITAIN (4.7.2014 – 6.7.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS ON DELAY? /// QUALIFYING……

  • Well, hello, there.
  • This is the Qualifying round of the 2014 British Grand Prix.
  • And, this is on delay.
  • I do know what went down.
  • …But, my god, I cannot want to see how it happened.
  • Okay, Silverstone…
  • …It started as a military airfield.
  • …It became the home of F1 in 1950.
  • …The circuit is…
  • …My connection just croaked.
  • …Again.
  • …I have no idea what’s going on with that.
  • …Anyway…
  • …The circuit is 5.891km (3.660mi) in length.
  • …On race day, there will be 52 laps.
  • …Which brings the total distance to 306.198km (190.262mi).
  • Qualifying…
  • …Three rounds of elimination.
  • …The top finisher (after three) gets the coveted pole position.
  • …The grid lines up, two by two.
  • How’s the weather (today)?
  • …Well, reports were that it started raining Friday evening, and hadn’t stopped by morning.
  • …In other words, this is a very slippery track with unsteady conditions.
  • …Basically, it’s Britain.
  • …Temperature-wise, it’s upper 60s-ish Fahrenheit.
  • …So, keeping those sensitive tires warm will be an added concern.
  • …That is, after teams have settled on which tires to use.
  • …What I am looking at now includes a lot of sliding around and rain on the onboard cameras.
  • Free Practice 3…
  • …The P3 timesheet looked as if it were written in reverse.
  • …While the Red Bulls of Vettel and Ricciardo led, they were followed by the Lotus of Maldonado and the Marussia of Bianchi.
  • …File that under weirdest results I’ve ever recorded.
  • Currently…
  • …Toro Rosso rookie Kvyat is leading.
  • …Followed by Bianchi.
  • …Bianchi’s teammate, Chilton is in fourth.
  • …It is confusing, to say the least.
  • …But, in the best way.
  • …I knew this would be a great year for the traditional underdogs!
  • Q1 wraps…
  • …Sutil’s Sauber ends the session, buried in the gravel.
  • …And…
  • …Get this amazingness…
  • …Both Marussias move onto Q2.
  • …Bianchi in fourth, Chilton in sixth.
  • …I knew they were up to something with Max ‘Play it Safe’ Chilton and that they’d let loose, now that they have points!
  • …This is so unbelievable in the very best, most exciting of ways.
  • …(You go, Marussia!)
  • …(You next, Caterham; I know you’ve got some magic somewhere.)
  • …Even crazier?
  • …Both Williams (Bottas and Massa) and both Ferraris (Alonso and Räikkönen) are out.
  • …Mercedes’ Rosberg tops the times, followed by Russian rookie Kvyat, Mercedes’ Hamilton, and Bianchi.
  • …And even with the trip to the gravel trap, Sutil, Mr 99, a guy who has had nothing but crap luck this season, finishes Q1 in ninth and moves onto Q2.
  • …Yes, just to make things as bad as possible for Williams and Ferrari, not only did everyone, their mother, their mother’s best friend, and so on qualify ahead of them, Sutil did it, sitting with his nose buried in the gravel.
  • …(Yes, yes, yes; it’s based on fastest times set, but you get the ridiculousness.  Or, you should, at least.)
  • …What’s really weird about the Finns’ results is that they’re notoriously amazing in tricky conditions.
  • …But, that’s racing.
  • …So many factors, so little time.
  • …It’s impossible to control anywhere near everything.
  • Moving onto Q2.
  • …Is that the sun?
  • …Kind of?
  • …The track appears to have prominent dry lines.
  • Oh!  Yes!  Rules and regulations!
  • …Like last time (Austria), track limits are being enforced.
  • …Drivers cannot – cannot – put all four tires over the line.
  • …What that means for qualifying is that the time of the lap in question will be wiped, it will not count.
  • …I do believe that multiple infractions will result in warnings and punishments (as well).
  • Bianchi has just set fastest lap.
  • …I repeat, Jules Bianchi, of Marussia, has set fastest lap.
  • …He has (now) shot to the top of the time sheet.
  • …And, Chilton is keeping up with him.
  • …Though (still) on a very modest budget, Marussia -is- Ferrari-powered this season.
  • …They -do- have a bit of power on their side.
  • …And, they (definitely) have talent in Bianchi.
  • …I think we’ll be seeing that Chilton has a lot to offer from here on out, as well.
  • Gutierrez’s Sauber flies into the wall.
  • …End of session for the Mexican driver.
  • …Gutierrez already has a 10-place grid penalty against him.
  • …For an unsafe release at Austria.
  • …If you missed it, the Sauber mechanics didn’t properly secure a wheel during a pit stop.
  • …They caught their mistake quickly and were able to flag Gutierrez down and push him back.
  • …But, an unsafe release is an unsafe release and they’re taken very seriously.
  • …It took a cameraman, taking a rogue Red Bull wheel (Webber’s) to the leg, to get F1 to take it seriously, but, yes, they do take it seriously.
  • Q2 comes to a close…
  • …The amazing journey comes to an end for Marussia, as both cars are knocked out.
  • …But, that was fierce competition under less that great conditions.
  • …Always remember that numbers never lie, because they never tell the whole story.
  • …Though, in this case, the evidence that Bianchi was the fastest driver in track -is- there.
  • …So, good job, kids.
  • …Hamilton took the top, followed by Rosberg, Vettel, and Button.
  • …A huge result for Button.
  • …It’s his home event, everyone is celebrating the life of his father, who passed away several months ago, and the 34-year-old World Champion is in his second season with an underperforming McMerc.
  • Ooo-a little interview with Alonso.
  • …Is his accent getting more insane?
  • …It just seemed more intensified.
  • …I have no problem with this.
  • …It matches his eyebrows.
  • Q3 in full force.
  • …Button radios that there is rain on track.
  • …He’s requesting that the team monitor what other teams are doing , tire-wise.
  • …McLaren is (now) pulling him into the garage for some final push work and regrouping.
  • …Standard procedure, nothing odd.
  • …The track is pretty empty at the moment, with cars either being held or pulled back as the weather shifts a tad.
  • …It seems to be raining over the entire track at the moment.
  • …Okay, you know how weather is spotty, how rain can vary by block?
  • …Tracks are no different.
  • …One corner can see rain, another can be dry.
  • …At least the wind doesn’t seem as bad as yesterday.
  • With half a minute to go, drivers are getting out of their cars, rather than pulling out of the garage to see what they can do.
  • …Vettel, however, has opted to give it a go.
  • …Red Bull splits their odds, with Ricciardo parking and taking his best time.
  • …Likewise, Force India’s Incredible Hülkenberg is out.
  • …And the flying laps are shifting everything!
  • …Mr Incredible tops the times!
  • …Vettel bumps Mr Incredible!
  • …Rosberg bumps Vettel!
  • …Button bumps Mr Incredible and takes third!!!
  • …Rosberg, Vettel, Button, Hülkenberg.
  • …Wow!
  • …A crazy end to a crazy Qualifying round!
  • …That was cool, it just was.
  • Okay, because I’m doing this on delay, I do have some updates…
  • …First off, remember that Gutierrez, who qualified 14th, has that 10-spot penalty.
  • …Sadly, Chilton’s impressive 13th will be brought down by a five-place penalty, courtesy of a late gearbox change.
  • …Maldonado’s 15th-place Qualifying results were wiped out altogether, thanks to a fuel level issue.
  • …His name (currently) shows up as 20th.
  • …Neither Caterham made the 107% requirement, so the stewards will decide whether to let them race (or, not).
  • …If allowed (in all likelihood), Ericsson is expected to start in 21st, Kobayashi in 22nd.
  • …Hopefully, that is that for Qualifying drama.
  • …And, hopefully, the race will run more smoothly (less terrifyingly) than last year’s tire explosion-fest.
  • Aw, Hamilton seems so down.
  • …There’s just nothing there, totally defeated.
  • …Lewis Mistreated.
  • …He needs to understand that you can only control so much in racing and that all he needs to do is be his own best self.
  • …Because, really, he’s an amazingly talented driver.
  • …He has nothing to prove.
  • …Nothing.
  • …He just needs to stop trying so hard.
  • …To prove that he’s the best, to force results, to look cool with celebrities and glamorous on vacation, and to be so “blessed” all the time.
  • …He doesn’t need to do or be any of that.
  • …He’s Lewis Hamilton.
  • …And Lewis Hamilton seems like a very nice guy with an unbelievable knack for driving.
  • …Those are my two cents worth of Pollyanna-based psychological analysis.
  • Question regarding Mr Incredible…
  • …Is anyone else intrigued that we have the very similar handwriting?
  • …I think we should form a special club.
  • …Because, it’s very distinctive and stylized.
  • …Freaky, just freaky.
  • …High-five to the big German.
  • …Oh, man, I have big hands, but I’m pretty sure that dude could pick me up in one of his.
  • …He’s very big.
  • On that note…
  • …The 2014 Grand Prix of Great Britain kicks off at 7:30am ET on CNBC.
  • …Not the usual NBCSN.
  • …Get your predictions ready.
  • …Then, toss them in the air.
  • …Because, who knows what will happen (tomorrow).
  • …Just don’t rule out Marussia for anything.
  • …That’s for sure.
  • Have a lovely rest of your July 4th Hangover Day, ‘Murka!
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