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

  • In the words of Roddy Frame and Mick Jones, from the Aztec Camera album ‘Stray’…
  • …Goooooood mooooooorn-ing, Britain.
  • This is the 2014 Santander British Grand Prix.
  • Okay, where to start?
  • Silverstone Circuit.
  • …Recycled from an airfield (like many British tracks), Formula One was born at Silverstone in 1950.
  • …How’s that for history?
  • …And, because of that, most of the teams are based within a few miles of the circuit.
  • …If you look at a map, the headquarters circle it.
  • …The circuit is 5.891km (3.660mi) in length.
  • …There will be 52 laps.
  • …All run clockwise.
  • …No tricky direction changing, mid-race, yet.
  • …Which brings the total distance traveled to 306.198km (190.262mi).
  • Thinking globally, acting locally…
  • …Not only is this a home race for most of the teams, it is a home race for a handful of drivers…
  • …Marussia’s Max Chilton, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, and McLaren’s Jenson Button.
  • …This is an extra special home visit for Button, whose father passed away several months ago.
  • …In his memory, Jenson is wearing an impossible to miss pink helmet.
  • …”Pink for Papa”, to commemorate the man who (always) rocked pink button downs and white jeans while supporting his son.
  • …You’ll see people in pink shirts around the stands and paddock (today).
  • …So, that’s the story.
  • Another detail to notice…
  • …”FM200″.
  • …You will see this on the Williams’ side mirrors.
  • …Why?
  • …Because, this is Felipe Massa’s 200th F1 grand prix.
  • …Sadly, Williams ran into hideously bad luck in yesterday’s spastic weather, with Bottas and Massa qualifying, failing to make it past Q1.
  • …They will be starting 14th and 15th (respectively) on the grid.
  • …But, they’re not alone, as Ferrari’s Alonso will be starting next to Massa (in 16th) while Räikkönen starts behind Alonso (in 18th).
  • In 2013…
  • …The podium was Mercedes’ Rosberg, Red Bull’s Webber, and Ferrari’s Alonso.
  • …Yes, the same one.
  • In 2014…
  • …Rosberg won pole, followed by Red Bull’s Vettel, Button, and Force India’s Hülkenberg.
  • …It was a mad dash for flying laps, with each car just pushing the previous one down a spot.
  • …For those who opted to take a chance and head out for those last laps.
  • …Many, such as Hamilton, suffered consequences for opting to bet on their best laps.
  • …But, that’s F1.
  • …You cannot control everything and you can predict nothing.
  • A few grid penalty reminders…
  • …Sauber’s Gutierrez carries a 10-place penalty over from Austria.
  • …Unsafe release.
  • …His crew caught it and pulled him back, but the rules are strict and it was too late.
  • …Chilton was given a five-place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
  • …Chilton had qualified an impressive (awesome) 13th, after hanging out with the big boys in Q1.
  • …So, that is quite sad.
  • …But, (still) pretty awesome.
  • …Lotus’ Maldonado qualified an equally impressive 15th, but was disqualified, courtesy of a fuel infringement.
  • …Lotus has had an incredibly rough season, they were expecting Britain to be a turning point, it went quite well, then…
  • …That.
  • …It happens.
  • Also of note…
  • …Neither Caterham made the 107% Qualifying requirement.
  • …The stewards are allowing (both) Ericsson and Kobayashi to start.
  • …At the back of the grid.
  • I know I’m forgetting something.
  • …Many things.
  • …But…
  • Here we go!!!
  • Hamilton is speeding through the traffic.
  • Massive accident!
  • …Massa, Kimi…
  • …Those were the two direct hits.
  • …Kobayashi had to take serious evasive action.
  • …Massa is back on track, trying to get the car back to the pits.
  • …The right-front wheel is not moving as it should.
  • …Not at all at times, in fact.
  • …Kimi’s Ferrari is in the wall.
  • …After a long sit, Kimi is out of the car.
  • …But, not moving well.
  • …He is quickly put in the medical car and evacuated.
  • …Red flag.
  • …Man, that was a serious, completely out-of-control, spinout.
  • …High speed, across the track, throwing everyone into a tizzy, scattering debris everywhere…
  • …Massa just got caught in the crossfire as everyone was going everywhere, trying to avoid the pinball.
  • …Just after avoiding a collision ahead of him, involving Vergne.
  • …Massa’s car has been pulled into the garage.
  • …The Brazilian has put his cap on.
  • …On his 200th race.
  • …He has a knack for that.
  • …And, it sounds like it is going to be a while, as the barrier Kimi landed against was damaged quite badly.
  • …That is how bad that impact was.
  • …Things just continue to deteriorate in the racing world of Espoo’s 2007 F1 World Champion, Kimi Räikkönen.
  • Shot of Kobayashi, smiling and laughing.
  • …As he should be.
  • …He was incredibly lucky to make it out of that crash.
  • …He tried to go wide, to the left, but the Ferrari careened out of control right on his tail.
  • The estimated restart time will be in (about) 15 minutes.
  • …Teams -are- allowed to work on their cars a bit.
  • …So, anyone who had a ding in those accidents…
  • …There was some bad touching between Vettel and Hamilton off the start, as well…
  • …Will get a little save, here.
  • …Excellent for Vettel, whose Red Bull looked troubled off the start line.
  • Another replay of Massa’s exit.
  • …Insult to injury, Kimi’s tire rolled into him as he was trying to turn around and get back on track.
  • …He (actually) ran over that tire.
  • …You don’t see that every day.
  • Drivers are nowhere near their cars at this time.
  • …They’re walking around, hanging out, chatting…
  • …Magnussen is sitting alone on the grass, being Scandinavian.
  • The thrashed guardrail (still) looks thrashed.
  • Prince Harry is in attendance.
  • …There are photos popping up of him with Jackie “Plaid” Stewart and Alain Prost.
  • …Stewart and Prost appear to be moving in unison, with their arms around one another.
  • Interview with Massa…
  • …He sounds fine.
  • …Obviously not happy.
  • …But, like he knows he did what he could.
  • …His concern seems to be directed toward Kimi’s wellbeing.
  • …Remember that the two were teammates at Ferrari for a few seasons.
  • …Yesterday, there were shots of a smily Kimi with Massa, celebrating his 200th race.
  • Apparently, Chilton entered the pitlane illegally (during the red flag) and there will be action of some sort.
  • Also under investigation is that little accident between Toro Rosso’s Vergne and Force India’s Perez.
  • …Oh, it’s been sorted (already).
  • …No further action.
  • …Pure accident.
  • The latest update on Kimi is that he was experiencing ankle pain.
  • …But, that’s just an initial report.
  • …Remember when he retired from Abu Dhabi last season?
  • …He was last seen, hopping into his rental car, in flip flops, and driving into a tequila sunset.
  • …He wasn’t seen again until 2014.
  • …Opting for back surgery, rather than dealing with the troubles at Lotus for a few more races.
  • …I mention this because there has been so much talk about the possibility of an early termination of his contract at Ferrari, followed by his comments on the very real possibility of retiring when his Ferrari contract is up (after next season).
  • …You can see where I’m going with this.
  • Another shot of Magnussen.
  • …This time, sitting alone in the McLaren garage.
  • …Who’s a solitary man?
  • …That guy, right there.
  • Update on Chilton…
  • …He will be serving a drive-through penalty.
  • …Once this thing gets going (again).
  • So…
  • …I bet no one guessed this was going to be the weird thing that happens at Silverstone (today).
  • …My bets were on more bodywork, flying off.
  • …Like that of Bottas and Ericsson as P2 wound down.
  • Caterham has tweeted some comments from Kobayashi.
  • …Basically, it was exactly what it looked like.
  • …He wanted to avoid the debris, but, then, Kimi’s car went out of control just behind him, following him.
  • …He reports that the car is fine.
  • …And, like Massa, expressed a primary concern for Kimi.
  • …It (really) was a massive impact.
  • …That car was crushed.
  • Further reports are that Kimi is okay.
  • …But, has major bruising to his leg.
  • …The left one, I do believe.
  • Eccelstone has just said that Monza is all good.
  • …Well, he said that he doesn’t know if it will be good, but that everything is in order to keep it on the calendar.
  • …Perfect answer.
  • The barrier appears to be patched.
  • …Should be just prep (now).
  • …Rosberg is putting his balaclava on.
  • …Alonso is stretching.
  • …And, getting a bear hug?
  • …Some sort of alignment boost with a little help, I suspect.
  • …Or, a bear hug.
  • Remember the race is (only) in Lap 2.
  • …So, (maybe) I should grab some more coffee.
  • …Here is your restart order…
  • …ROS, BUT, MAG, HAM, VET, HÜL, RIC, KVY, BOT, BIA, SUT, GUT, ALO, MAL, ERI, GRO, VER, PER, KOB, CHI
  • Mercedes’ boss and resident Schwarzenegger impersonator, Mr Susie (Toto Wolff), may win for best comment on the incident.
  • …He was glad to see Kimi get out of the car and hopes that he has a “nice nurse”.
  • …Good call, Toto; good call.
  • Okay…
  • …One lap behind the Safety Car.
  • …To warm up.
  • …If you’re wondering why they’re slowly swerving.
  • …They’re getting heat in their tires (for grip).
  • …Remember that they’re getting rid of that and going back to standing restarts next season.
  • …Actually, it sounds a little dodgy after watching this, doesn’t it?
  • …Those cars are just so sensitive.
  • …Anyway, one lap behind the safety car.
  • …Then, we get back to business.
  • …Hopefully.
  • …After an hour delay.
  • …Yes, that was an hour delay.
  • Bottas does his usual, magical, ‘Frogger’ thing.
  • …Working his way up, maneuvering through the traffic as if on a moped.
  • …He’s up to sixth, from his (original) 14th start.
  • Hamilton pushes his way past Button.
  • …Battle of Britain.
  • …Eh, too easy.
  • Can we get some Ferrari engineers on the radio, just to talk about Ricciardo?
  • …If you’ve not heard transmissions between Alonso and his engineers, regarding Ricciardo, they not only use the proper (Italian) pronunciation, they sound like they’re kicking back with some cappuccino while doing it.
  • …”Riii-chaaard-ooo”
  • Magnussen had a little off, but remains in fourth.
  • Alonso, another ‘Frogger’ fan, is inventing spaces to move through.
  • …Some of these guys are just, really and truly, magical when it comes to seeing, judging, and taking advantage of spaces.
  • …Position escape routes, if you will.
  • Ricciardo is reporting grip issues.
  • Uh oh…
  • …Race control is investigating the placement of Alonso’s tires at the start.
  • …The fronts may have been over the line.
  • …Hey, I never said he was amazing at staying within lines.
  • Bad touch between Gutierrez and Maldonado.
  • …Remember when Maldonado launched Gutierrez into an airborne flip?
  • …Gutierrez has just flung Maldonado into the air.
  • …Both cars appear okay and moving.
  • …But, that was some major air.
  • …The incident is under investigation.
  • Ericsson’s suspension appears to have collapsed.
  • …The left side has gone very low rider.
  • …And, sparking.
  • …But, he’s pitted.
  • …So, we’ll see if they can save the Swede.
  • Alonso -has- been given a five-second stop-go penalty.
  • …For having his tires over his grid perimeter.
  • In other coloring news…
  • …Force India reminds Mr Incredible to make sure to keep all four tires within the lines.
  • …Remember that the stewards are taking a very strict stand on keeping all four within the track boundaries.
  • …One warning, then penalties and docks on their racing licenses.
  • The Gutierrez/Maldonado incident will be addressed post-race.
  • …The stewards want to talk to both drivers.
  • …Yeah, they’re doing that this time.
  • …I would suspect they would be taking a little more care after it came out that neither driver was interviewed following that massive last lap accident between Perez and Massa at Canada.
  • Bottas has worked his way up to third.
  • …He started in 14th.
  • …He restarted in ninth.
  • …Sisu, people; sisu.
  • …He had to fight Magnussen to get there.
  • …Because, again, Nordic will.
  • …It’s a beautiful thing.
  • …There’s a lot going on behind those intense faces and blunt, monosyllabic responses.
  • …A lot of determination and efficiency.
  • Ooo-that’s interesting…
  • …That whole conspiracy issue regarding the differences in pit stop times between Hamilton and Rosberg has been addressed.
  • …In typical German/Finnish form, Rosberg hits his marks with more accuracy than Hamilton.
  • …That makes sense.
  • …Cool to know.
  • …Maybe I’m just nerdy, but I find that incredibly interesting.
  • …These little things do add up in a game decided by fractions of seconds.
  • Alonso is fighting Button for fourth.
  • …A) Button has maintained a high spot.
  • …B) Alonso (originally) started in 16th.
  • Oh, my god.
  • …My satellite just went out.
  • …Storm.
  • …Oh, god.
  • …Remember when SPEEDTV went out during the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix and I was going to loot?
  • …This is worse.
  • …It’s supposed to be Silverstone that has the weather issues today, not me!
  • …Okay, back.
  • …For the moment.
  • …On this new, sweet TV I have just “obtained”.
  • Rosberg radioed with gearbox issues.
  • …Then, he set fastest lap.
  • Hamilton pits.
  • …His pit was 4.1 seconds.
  • …Rosberg’s last stop was 2.7.
  • …Just to demonstrate the aforementioned differences.
  • At Lap 25…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Bottas, and Button lead.
  • …Ericsson and Gutierrez have retired.
  • …To update that list.
  • Lovely replay of Alonso’s questionable starting position.
  • …Let me put it this way…
  • …A) The investigation wasn’t necessary.
  • …B) At least he has the rears in the box.
  • …He adds the five seconds to a pit stop and reenters in ninth.
  • Rosberg is reporting more gearbox issues.
  • Hamilton takes the lead!
  • …The crowd is going insane.
  • Rosberg is at a crawl.
  • …He’s pulling into the grass, out of everyone’s way.
  • …Still moving.
  • …But just barely.
  • …They’re trying things.
  • …He’s stopped.
  • …That’s it for the race leader, Championship leader, and reigning British GP winner.
  • …He was playing with the shifter, but has removed the steering wheel.
  • …And, he’s out.
  • One Mercedes down means that the other is at risk.
  • …The team has ordered Hamilton to take care of the car.
  • …Make sure he gets it home.
  • …So, we’ll see.
  • At Lap 31…
  • …Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, and Ricciardo take the lead.
  • …No, I’m not (entirely) sure where that Red Bull frenzy came from, either.
  • …I mean, they were toward the top, but, now they’re (both) in podium position.
  • Bottas pits.
  • …He drops to third.
  • …Vettel inherits second.
  • …And, Bottas says, “No.”.
  • …He takes his position right back.
  • …And, with that, Vettel pits.
  • Vettel rejoins.
  • …And is (promptly) overtaken by Alonso.
  • …Fifth and sixth.
  • It is mid-60s (Fahrenheit) and rather sunny at Silverstone.
  • …At this second.
  • …If you were wondering.
  • Vettel and Alonso are going back and forth around the corners.
  • …With Magnussen right behind, watching the show.
  • …Waiting for some inappropriate touching.
  • …It’s very close.
  • …Vettel even radioed that they almost ran into each other.
  • Sutil radios with more brake issues.
  • …He wants to know what’s going on with the brakes “again”.
  • …99 problems.
  • Fun fact, regarding Magnussen.
  • …Let me just drop a little history on ya…
  • …Vikings were (primarily) based out of Norway and Denmark.
  • …Did you know that Vikings were major European slave holders?
  • …And, by that, I mean that they were major holders in Europe.
  • …And, that their slaves were Europeans from the more “civilized” world.
  • …I’m just saying.
  • …Nordics aren’t very good at being anyone’s bitches.
  • …They’re far better at making people their bitches.
  • Alonso and Vettel are going wheel-to-wheel.
  • …Vettel is yelling over the radio – again.
  • …”He didn’t leave a space!”
  • …As amazing as he is with finding magical gaps, the reality is that his Spanish eyebrows can hinder his spacial awareness at times.
  • …They’re very powerful.
  • …As Vettel’s quest to drive well for his BFF Kimi makes it a very frustrating experience for the German.
  • At Lap 43…
  • …Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, and Button lead.
  • …Though, all the focus is on Alonso and Vettel.
  • …So, really, all other action is just rumored.
  • …There is very little evidence that there are any other cars on track.
  • …(Maybe) everyone else has pulled off to watch.
  • …And, position holding has been approved by the stewards.
  • …It’s that interesting.
  • …Oh, there’s Magnussen.
  • …In for a better view.
  • …Vettel just cannot get around Alonso!!!
  • …He does it!!!
  • …As he yells more over the radio.
  • …Same complaints.
  • …No room, etc.
  • …He’s just trying to do this for Kimi, people.
  • …But, then again, so is Alonso.
  • …Being his teammate and carrying the weight of points and all.
  • …Just remember how relaxed the Ferrari transmissions are.
  • …If you want an entertaining contrast.
  • …Strike that.
  • …Alonso is yelling, now.
  • …I’m pretty sure it ended with, “I have to poop!”.
  • …He must be mad.
  • That smackdown was going down under SLAPS, by the way.
  • …5 Laps.
  • …Five laps remaining.
  • As we enter the final three laps…
  • …Button is catching Ricciardo.
  • …At his home race.
  • …With his Pink for Papa helmet.
  • Vettel is radioing that he’s smelling smoke.
  • …But, it looks like the source is Maldonado’s car.
  • …It’s leaving a trail.
  • With two laps to go, Maldonado retires.
  • …What a great run for the Venezuelan driver, though.
  • …Ride that wave, Lotus.
  • Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix!
  • …His home race.
  • …After qualifying sixth.
  • …The crowd goes insane!!!
  • …A great day for Great Britain if you’re an F1 fan.
  • Bottas outdoes his previous best (his first podium, at Austria) by taking second.
  • …After qualifying 14th.
  • Ricciardo just barely holds onto third.
  • …After qualifying eighth.
  • Which means that Button just misses third.
  • …But takes a major win (in his troubled season) with fourth.
  • …At home.
  • …With the stands and paddock, filled with so much Pink for Papa love.
  • Vettel clings to fifth, while Alonso takes sixth.
  • …Not bad for the Spaniard.
  • …Who started in 16th.
  • …And, served a five-second penalty.
  • …Likewise for Vettel.
  • …Whose car showed signs of struggle off the line.
  • The Williams crew have picked up the petite Finn.
  • …And, I’m just not sure they’re going to let him go.
  • Kids, pay attention to Alonso and Bottas.
  • …That is how it is done.
  • …Very clever driving with extraordinary attention to details.
  • …With a side of big balls, of course.
  • …”Balls” is “pallit” in Finnish.
  • …Fun fact.
  • Podium time!
  • …Let’s hope Hamilton doesn’t get cocky and/or find a way to attack Rosberg.
  • Another trophy for Turbo Bottas to rub against.
  • …Turbo is Valtteri’s giant cat.
  • …Seriously, that is one, massive kitty.
  • …His girlfriend, Olympic swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen, (recently) posted a great photo of Turbo to Instagram.
  • …Showing off how huge the beast is.
  • …(She’s under her first and last name, if you want to take a peek.)
  • No one is listening to Bottas.
  • …The crowd is too busy, embellishing their patriotic superiority.
  • …You know it’s true, Britain.
  • …You and ‘Murka, you’re not that different in that way.
  • …You just have a far better sense of humor.
  • …And, Lewis Hamilton on the podium.
  • Man, I hope that happiness is genuine.
  • …And, not some sort of diabolical fuel.
  • …By the way, I hope everyone is prepared for a heavy influx of #blessed and #godisthegreatest tweets.
  • …He should take a little credit for his work.
  • …God did not put his foot down and cruise to first.
  • …It’s just a fact.
  • …God has shit to do on Sundays.
  • …Lots of ranting and raving from sweaty dudes in polyester.
  • Again, it needs to be noted that most of these teams are based around Silverstone, in the Midlands of England.
  • …This was a home race for all three podium teams.
  • …100% home for Williams.
  • …Who are very British.
  • …”Sir Frank”.
  • …Need I say more?
  • …Mercedes power unit, aside, of course.
  • …But, your options are German Mercedes, Italian Ferrari, or French Renault.
  • …So, whatchya gonna do, eh?
  • Well, that’s another exciting race in the books.
  • Next up…
  • …Should I do this in German?
  • …Sure…
  • …Großer Preis Santander von Deutschland.
  • …Boom.
  • …I’ve sucked at German since I was a kid, so I’m pretty excited to be getting some things, here and there, as an adult.
  • …Let me have that.
  • …Anyway…
  • …After rotating Nürburgring and Hockenheim, this will be the last round at Hockenheim for a while.
  • …Yes, after looking like the Nürburgring was in trouble for years, it’s Hockenheim that loses its F1 contract.
  • …It will be a home race for Mercedes and Mercedes power units.
  • …It will (also) be a home race for Sutil, Vettel, Hülkenberg, and Rosberg.
  • …Mr Incredible grew up around Hockenheim, in fact.
  • …As for Rosberg…
  • …After retiring at Britain, revenge will be in order.
  • …Expect an extra vicious push.
  • …The combination of that, Hamilton coming off a win, and it being a home race for the team should be tons of fun for everyone.
  • …So, you have a week and a half to prepare yourself.
  • Next weekend is an off week…
  • …Go ahead and sleep in.
  • …As much as I love racing and covering racing, it’s summer break for the WRC, so I am very much looking forward to crashing on my face for more than three hours (max) next Sunday.
  • …I know I have a lot of backlogged work to do.
  • …And, I will.
  • …But, it’s midseason slump and a little nap will help.
  • …So, do the same.
  • …Because, the German Grand Prix is going to be one wild ride.
  • …Let’s enjoy it to its fullest, eh?
  • That said…
  • …This race will re-air on NBCSN at 5pm ET.
  • …Have a lovely rest of your Sunday, wherever you are.
  • …Especially, if you’re in Britain.
  • …Well done…chaps…?
  • …(Just so we’re clear, I can read and write British English, I just cannot get away with speaking it; I’m from the Midwest and not a pretentious douche.)
  • …(Things I cannot say without being pretentious include “holiday”, “university”, “telly”, anything else in the form of weird “-y”-ending baby talk.  Sorry, I just can’t.  Being from Minnesota, I am prone to Nordic and Canadian accent and phrase slips, however.)
  • Cheerio!
  • …(Nope, not working.)
  • (Kimi, feel better; rakastan ja onnea!!!)
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