MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2014 GRAND PRIX OF BELGIUM (22.8.2014 – 24.8.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Good morning!
  • Hey, this is going to be fun.
  • This is the Belgian Grand Prix.
  • And, I’ve just finished WRC Rallye Deutschland commentary and have yet to go to bed.
  • So, my apologies for whatever I might mix up.
  • …I will try not to though.
  • …Fun fact: the Belgian Grand Prix home of Francorchamps and the Rally Germany base of Trier are (only, about) and hour and a half away from one another.
  • Quickly…
  • …Belgian Grand Prix.
  • …Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
  • …Francorchamps, Belgium.
  • …7.004km (4.352mi).
  • …44 laps.
  • …A total of 308.052km (191.415mi).
  • …Clockwise, twisty, turny, hilly, super fast.
  • …Shaped like a ray gun water pistol.
  • …And, freaky weather non-patterns.
  • Last year’s podium…
  • …Red Bull’s Vettel.
  • …Ferrari’s Alonso.
  • …Mercedes’ Hamilton.
  • …All of whom are (still) with those teams.
  • Qualifying…
  • …Mercedes’ Rosberg is on pole.
  • …Hamilton.
  • …Vettel.
  • …Yes, after sitting out P2 with (continuing) engine issues.
  • …And, Alonso in fourth.
  • No news since Friday.
  • …But, remember that Caterham has swapped out Kobayashi for LeMans winner Andre Lotterer (DEU) for this round.
  • …Because, well, it’s Caterham and they’re doing things, lots of things, new things.
  • Weather-wise…
  • …It is 47 (Fahrenheit).
  • …With a serious threat of rain.
  • …As opposed to a free and clear, sunshiny day at Spa, right?
  • Something is going on with Alonso’s Ferrari.
  • …Mechanics are (still) hovering around the car.
  • …This will bring a penalty.
  • …Reports are saying and one would assume.
  • …A drive-through.
  • McLaren’s Magnussen is radioing light rain.
  • As the cars line up on the grid.
  • Here.  We.  Go!
  • Huge breaking from…Massa’s Williams?
  • Everyone through Turn 1 safely!
  • …Phew!
  • Vettel is attacking from the get-go!
  • …Ooohhh, and he loses it a bit and has to take a little detour.
  • Marussia’s Bianchi is pulling in with right wing damage.
  • …Go-go-go!!!
  • Contact between the Mercedes!!!
  • …Rosberg loses a front wing to Hamilton’s tire!!!
  • …Hamilton detours as his tire deflates.
  • …He’s trying to get back to the pits.
  • …Angrily radioing all the way.
  • …He’s in, they swap wheels, he’s back out.
  • …Rosberg (finally) radios with wing damage.
  • …They advise him to stick it out.
  • Sauber’s Sutil had some contact in that first lap.
  • …But, no updates on that.
  • …And, he’s (still) on track.
  • Also, there’s been no word on Alonso.
  • …The car is out there.
  • Lotterer and Lotus’ Maldonado are showing as ‘out’.
  • …No idea what happened (yet).
  • …The Lotus Twitter account is simply saying Maldonado is “parked”.
  • …Nothing from Caterham.
  • …Yet.
  • …Lost in the frenzy of a GP start and the drama of the Mercs.
  • Alonso is “under investigation” for having those mechanics, still working on the car past the allotted time.
  • Okay, now Lotus is reporting “A lack of forward motion…”
  • …They’re saying they’re sending Poirot out to investigate.
  • …Can they get points for that reference?
  • …Silly Lotus.
  • …Bottom line, no one is quite sure yet.
  • At Lap 8…
  • …Rosberg, Red Bull’s Ricciardo, Vettel, and Williams’ Bottas.
  • …Bottas had just overtaken Alonso.
  • …In a typically swift move.
  • …A Finnish flash, if you will.
  • …Clothed, though.
  • …Finns.
  • Good god!
  • …Who put bike streamers on Rosberg’s nose?
  • …It’s slapping him in the face.
  • …Oh, my god; he’s trying to grab for it.
  • …It’s like a cat with a teaser toy.
  • …While he’s driving.
  • …At Spa.
  • …He’s pulling in to get this stupid thing out of his face.
  • Alonso has been given a five-second drive-through penalty.
  • …For the whole mechanics, car on jacks, etc thing.
  • …He is (currently) running in second.
  • Everyone is in and out of the pits.
  • …The standings keep changing.
  • …So nice that everyone is taking a turn at the top.
  • …Bottas had a turn.
  • …Now, it’s Button’s turn.
  • …All very sweet.
  • …Mr Kimi Räikkönen has slipped his troubled Ferrari into second.
  • At Lap 15…
  • …Ricciardo, Kimi, Kimi’s BFF Vettel, and Rosberg lead.
  • Bottas zips past Rosberg for fourth.
  • …Because, he does that.
  • I’m going to assume that Maldonado and Lotterer went for waffles.
  • …That’s what happened.
  • …And, frankly, I’d call that a win.
  • …Because…
  • …Waffles.
  • Bottas is right on Vettel.
  • As Rosberg seems to be struggling to catch Bottas.
  • Kimi pits.
  • …His second.
  • …At the midway point.
  • Alonso has fallen behind Magnussen.
  • …Who is in fourth.
  • …And, he’s having trouble getting around the Dane.
  • Caterham is reporting that Lotterer’s car suddenly lost power.
  • …Not the first time we’ve seen this.
  • …Such a shame for the 32-year old first-timer.
  • …Who qualified one-spot ahead of his Super Swede teammate, Ericsson.
  • Button is right on Kimi.
  • …As Kimi works his way back up.
  • …Mr Of Espoo is in fourth, with everyone’s favorite children’s book character in fifth.
  • Mercedes is radioing Rosberg…
  • …Yeah…this is…yeah…
  • …So, they’ve informed him that Bottas and Ricciardo have yet to pit…
  • …And, that they “want to do something different”.
  • …Something different?
  • …Like…take out their tires with a wing?
  • …What?
  • …And, it was relayed with clear over-enunciation.
  • …Like the verbal version of a blatant, exaggerated “gotcha” wink.
  • Bottas pits.
  • ….Re-enters in fifth.
  • At Lap29…
  • …Ricciardo, Rosberg, Räikkönen, and Vettel lead.
  • Bottas zips past Vettel in one, swift move.
  • …No defensive risks from Vettel.
  • A bit of a stutter from Hamilton as the pit crew releases him.
  • Red Bull asks Vettel if he thinks his tires will last to the end.
  • …Hans Strudel reponds, “…they don’t feel good (now)”.
  • Lotus’ Grosjean has just retired.
  • …Grosjean had acknowledged that this wouldn’t be a good race for Lotus.
  • …Based on car performance and just the difficulties of Spa.
  • …Lotus is reporting the reason is that they’ve run out of tweets for this race.
  • …Fair enough.
  • Magnussen continues to give Alonso trouble.
  • …So, Alonso gives Magnussen passionate Mediterranean hand gestures.
  • …I bet he put his eyebrows into those.
  • …He so Spanish.
  • …SPANISH.
  • At Lap 39…
  • …It’s Ricciardo, Rosberg, Räikkönen, and Bottas on top.
  • SLAPS!!!
  • …5 Laps remaining.
  • Hamilton’s Merc is pulled into the garage.
  • Bottas passes Kimi for third.
  • …How Finntastic is that battle?
  • A shot of Christian Horner’s bouncing feet.
  • …Gives you nerves.
  • Rosberg is closing in on Ricciardo.
  • …Shit’s getting real, sons.
  • …It’s not over until it’s over.
  • Oh!
  • …It’s a cluster of both McLarens on Alonso’s Ferrari, with Vettel joining in.
  • …Now, they’ve formed a conga line.
  • …Magnussen in fifth.
  • …Followed by Alonso, Vettel, and Button.
  • …All right on one another.
  • …Alonso goes for a pass.
  • …Denied!
  • …Vettel right on Alonso all the way.
  • …Alonso into the grass.
  • …As Vettel moves in and past Alonso.
  • Marussia’s Bianchi has retired.
  • …After such a good Qualifying (yesterday).
  • Vettel goes to pass Magnussen.
  • …Denied!
  • …Vettel swings to block Alonso.
  • …They’re so close to a hideous pileup with every thought!
  • Ricciardo crosses the finish line!
  • …His second (consecutive) win.
  • …His third of the season.
  • Rosberg takes second.
  • Bottas takes third.
  • And, The Iceman makes a major comeback, taking fourth.
  • Vettel -did- manage to get around Magnussen at the very last moment.
  • …They take fifth and sixth (respectively).
  • In other fudge cluster news…
  • …Button got around Alonso for seventh.
  • I guess I might as well give you ninth…
  • …Force India’s Perez…
  • …And 10th…
  • …Toro Rosso’s Kvyat.
  • So…booing.
  • …Rosberg is the new Vettel.
  • …I thought I was going to get a little break from being annoyed with douchey fan behavior.
  • …But, I guess not.
  • Newey.
  • …Looking socially awkward as ever.
  • …The dude is such a nerd, it’s just fantastic.
  • Oh, for crimeny cripes…
  • …More booing as Rosberg is presented with his trophy.
  • …Oh, open your eyes.
  • …They’re playing rough, it’s a brutal battle, things are going to happen.
  • …I’m pretty sure Rosberg didn’t think, “You know what would rule?  If I sacrificed my front wing to rip Lewis’ tire open and (very possibly) cause a hideous accident”.
  • …It could have been the other way around.
  • …And, very well could be sometime.
  • …As far as his position…
  • …He had to work his way up to that place.
  • …Like Vettel, he’s just a very good driver.
  • …And, I may be wrong, but I think he’s never so much as started on the front at Spa.
  • …It’s a tough circuit and a tough race for him.
  • …And, he rocked it.
  • …Oh, shut up.
  • …There’s just no reason for that level of rudeness.
  • …Sorry, for a dangerously patient person, I have very little patience for smack-talking “fans”.
  • …The fair weathers, the armchair critics, the ones who make it all about themselves, the ones who can’t see the bright side, and so on.
  • …I just think this booing stuff is, well, mean.
  • Bottas, Finnish as ever.
  • …Extra swigs.
  • …Teamwork.
  • …Exacts.
  • Has a new term been invented to describe the emotion past “stoked”?
  • …Should it just be “Ricciardo”.
  • …”Oh, I am SO Ricciardoed!!!”.
  • Yes…
  • …Let’s hear from Kimi.
  • …A treat for the ears as always.
  • …As expected, he takes the Nordic route.
  • …The reality of which is that he rocked the crap out of that race.
  • …It’s looking like Ferrari has improved the car and it’s starting to click for Kimi.
  • …He’s bouncing back.
  • …Everyone knew (or, should have known) that this would be a tough season for everyone.
  • …Some (teams and drivers) would get it and adapt quicker than others, but the rest would come around at their own pace.
  • …Which is exactly how it’s rolling.
  • …Note that the younger drivers are having better luck (in general).
  • …It’s a bit of old dogs, new tricks.
  • …They’re getting it.
  • …As are the teams, who have had to solve (totally) new problems associated with completely redesigned machines.
  • …Frustrating as it may be for everyone, from drivers to engineers to fans and everyone in-between, it’s all going very well.
  • …It’s been an exciting season.
  • …For better -and- worse.
  • I don’t know what the rest of the world is watching, but we’re getting updates on the 6.1 that rattled Northern California earlier.
  • …As IndyCar will be racing there soon.
  • …My mom is from the area (Petaluma), so an eye is that direction.
  • …My family’s migrated since, so no immediate worries.
  • …But, it’s of interest.
  • …Sounds like all is pretty okay for being so big.
  • …Now, had it been a tad south…
  • Back to the Belgian GP…
  • Talking with Hamilton…
  • …(Obviously) upset.
  • …He thinks Rosberg should have backed off.
  • …Ooohhh…he’s opening up a tad about his relationship with Rosberg.
  • …He confirms that they work well together.
  • …But…
  • …They don’t (really) talk at this point?
  • …Rosberg “…doesn’t (really) talk to me”?
  • …Wow.
  • …Sad.
  • …He just sounds so defeated.
  • …And, he shouldn’t be.
  • …Yes, yes, yes; the numbers are there.
  • …But, it’s amazing how quickly things can change.
  • …F1 moves fast.
  • …Life moves faster.
  • …He’s just so good, so much talent.
  • …It drives me nuts when these drivers lose their confidence.
  • …Yes, I want to shake them!
  • …Let people like me think those thoughts!
  • …You’ve got so much talent, so much going for you, and you bring so much to the world!
  • …Be bummed, get it out; letting it fester is unhealthy.
  • …But, let yourself bounce back and just be the best you.
  • …That includes you, Lewis Hamilton.
  • …Go snuggle your puppies and give Nicole a giant hug.
  • …You know what?
  • …Between Rally Germany and the Belgian GP, it’s been a tough day.
  • …Everyone go hug someone.
  • …Except me.
  • …I’m uncomfortable with touching.
  • Onto Rosberg…
  • …He’s cool as usual.
  • …But, you can see it in his eyes that he’s bothered by the booing, the consequences of that love tap gone wrong, just…a bad day like we all have.
  • …The ones that just get to you, whether there’s a reason or not.
  • …Aw, he walked off after saying that he agrees that the contact was bad.
  • …He’s feeling bad, Hamilton’s feeling bad…
  • …It was an accident.
  • …A racing accident.
  • …These things happen.
  • …(Especially at Spa.)
  • …It could have just as easily gone the other way.
  • …It could have just as easily gone without a problem.
  • …It’s racing.
  • …Bottom line, they’re good, experienced drivers.
  • …Mercedes opted to let them fight.
  • …They fought.
  • …There was a casualty.
  • …What can they learn from it to move forward and up?
  • …I’d apologize, but, I’ve been running racing commentary since 2011 (2012 on this site).
  • …By now, it should be clear that I’m a Pollyanna fan with a psych background.
  • …Hey, man, you clicked!
  • On that note…
  • …That was a fantastic race.
  • …So many great performances.
  • …Some great comebacks.
  • …And, a lot to build on in this second half of the season.
  • …(Only) five retirements (including Bianchi).
  • …And…
  • …No crashes!!!
  • …Did you notice?!
  • …No destroyed cars, no Safety Car…
  • …Nothing!
  • …And, there was no rain!
  • …That bit of light rain Magnussen had reported  at the start could have just been the tears of emotional tween girls in the crowd, overwhelmed by being so close to that adorable Nico Hülkenberg, caught in a brief gust of wind.
  • …No rain, no crashes…
  • …Now, THAT is a sign of a great race at Spa.
  • …And, Ricciardo and Bottas…
  • …Seeing those guys doing so well, challenging the more experienced guys, is just fun.
  • So…
  • …Next up is Italy.
  • …Monza!
  • …5-7 September.
  • …Let’s see what those Ferraris can do.
  • Have a lovely day!!!
  • …(I’m -finally- going to bed.  I will update standings later.  Sorry.)
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