MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2014 GRAND PRIX OF THE UNITED STATES (31.10.2014 – 2.11.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Hello, hi, howdy, and hola!
  • The US Grand Prix.
  • It’s happening.
  • Now.
  • Merry Daylight Saving to ‘Murka.
  • And, to ‘Murka, a merry Daylight Saving.
  • No, once again, I am not there.
  • But, as always, I am here and I am ready for some vroom-vroom.
  • So, shall we review the beautiful Circuit of the Americas?
  • …Yes, I think we shall.
  • …20 Texas-sized turns.
  • …Starting with the rollercoaster that is Turn 1.
  • …A 130-ish climb, ascending to a blind corner and descending into a series of S turns.
  • …The track is 3.426mi (5.513km) in length.
  • …There will be 56 laps (today).
  • …Which brings the total distance to 191.634mi (308.405km).
  • …To those drivers and cars who make it to the end of the race.
  • …Which is one longhorn of a question mark for most of the grid.
  • …Power is an issue.
  • …Turn 1, alone, takes an enormous amount of power.
  • …Brakes are an issue.
  • …This is a heavy-braking circuit.
  • …And, going into this round, it was estimated that it would be a one-stop race.
  • …After severe tire wear through the three Practice sessions and Qualifying, that has been amended to a very real possibility of three.
  • …It’s a tough track, set in the brutal center of a tough country.
  • …Just this weekend, Austin has seen rain, heat, beating sun, and a chilly Saturday.
  • …Welcome to the middle.
  • …It’s, you know, interesting.
  • …Weather-wise (today)…
  • …It is (currently) 73f and sunny.
  • …So, like Friday was.
  • In 2013…
  • …Red Bull’s Vettel celebrated his eighth win of the season with some doughnuts and a few words of wisdom, reminding everyone to remember and cherish the good times, that nothing lasts forever.
  • …Lotus’ Grosjean took second and embarked upon a new life as a guy who wears cowboy hats.
  • …Not really, but he sure did seem to have trouble letting go of that podium prize.
  • …And, Red Bull’s Webber added another podium to his career stats as he exited F1.
  • …And, he rocked some Jagermeister.
  • …Party at Red Bull, people.
  • Thus far, this weekend…
  • …It has all been Mercedes.
  • …Yeah, go figure.
  • …However, after dominating all three practice rounds and Q1, Rosberg knocked Hamilton out of the lead, taking Q2 and, ultimately, Pole Position.
  • …And, right behind the Mercedes boys were Mercedes’-powered Williams, with Massa leading Bottas through Q1 and 2, but Bottas coming out ahead in Q3.
  • A few grid notes…
  • …McLaren’s Button qualified seventh, but will be serving a 5-place gearbox change penalty.
  • …Likewise, Toro Rosso’s Kvyat placed 14th, but drops 10, courtesy of an engine change.
  • …And, moving onto his sixth engine of the season moves Vettel to a pitlane start.
  • …Finally, just a reminder, Marussia and Caterham are not participating, as they are reassessing their (respective) financial situations.
  • …Caterham were locked out of their facilities (for failure to pay), with the cars (still) inside.
  • …And, Marussia, well, Marussia’s state isn’t as dire, with a few extra million to play with, thanks to those first-ever points earned at Monaco.
  • …But, in the wake of the Bianchi accident, they’ve just had a hard time and now is the time to duck out and reassess things.
  • Drivers are lining up on the grid…
  • Ready?
  • Ever watched Turn 1?
  • Get ready to have your breath taken away…
  • Here.
  • We.
  • GO!!!
  • Up the hill!
  • Hamilton tries to get around Rosberg.
  • …No-go!
  • Ferrari’s Alonso is right on the Williams cars.
  • …From sixth-place.
  • Oh, no!
  • …Contact between Sauber’s Sutil and Force India’s Perez.
  • …Deja vu for Sutil, who exited the USGP in crash-y fashion last year.
  • …Oh, it was so exciting, Sutil starting in ninth.
  • …With such a crappy season for the German.
  • …And, very disappointing for Perez, at the Mexican’s “home” race.
  • …Both these guys are in danger of losing their seats in F1.
  • …Especially, after Sauber announced that they’ve signed Caterham’s Ericsson (for 2015), leaving (only) one seat open at that firm.
  • …So, not good; not good at all.
  • …Also involved in the collision was Ferrari’s Räikkönen.
  • …Perez’s contact with Mr Of Espoo was what sent him into Sutil’s Sauber.
  • …No word on Kimi’s Ferrari thus far.
  • …Both Sutil and Perez have retired, however, with Sutil’s car stranded in pieces on track.
  • Safety Car remains out.
  • …Flurry of pit stops.
  • …Just a reminder, a “virtual safety car” was tested this weekend.
  • …What that does is slows the cars remotely.
  • …You’ll see a bit of a jerk, then, a slow-down.
  • …Kind of weird to watch and, I would suspect, weirder to feel.
  • …But, a step in the right direction.
  • Safety Car, back in its lair.
  • Wheel-to-wheel, Alonso and Red Bull’s Ricciardo!
  • …Ricciardo gets him!
  • And, the Williams boys do a little wheel-to-wheel around T1!
  • …But, like good boys, they make space.
  • At Lap 7…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Bottas, and Massa lead.
  • …Ricciardo and Alonso are in fifth and sixth (respectively).
  • Can I address Lotus for a moment?
  • …Yes, yes I can.
  • …Lotus, having a horrifyingly terrible year is rocking this circuit at the moment.
  • …Maldonado is in eighth and Grosjean is in 10th.
  • …Maldonado started in 10th.
  • …Grosjean started in 16th.
  • …By the way, if you didn’t catch the memo, Lotus tossed their 1970s album cover double-tusk nose this weekend.
  • …It will be illegal next season, so why not give it a go, eh?
  • …(Pssst…it may be working for you.)
  • As you watch Ricciardo overtake Alonso, Vettel zip his way up the grid, and the Lotus boys rock it, recall that Renault was worried about their engine’s ability to compete at COTA.
  • …Well, whether adjustments were made with those early warnings or it turned out to be silliness, they seem to be doing pretty okay.
  • It seems everyone and their mother is under investigation for speeding behind the Safety Car.
  • …Except Sutil and Perez.
  • …They didn’t.
  • …But, the stewards’ eyes are on Button, Magnussen, Maldonado, and Vergne.
  • …Dirty.
  • …Anyway, it seems like a large enough number to raise a red flag on it (maybe) being some mass issue.
  • (Both) Hamilton and Rosberg are radioing with tire issues.
  • …At Lap 13, Rosberg is reporting that the “front-right is shot”.
  • Sutil, on Perez…
  • …”a silly move, in my opinion”
  • …And, he thinks that Perez should “see (him) soon…for an apology, an explanation, something”.
  • …Agreed.  100%.
  • …I think Perez has amazing potential and, when he’s good, he’s great.
  • …But, there are (still) these moments of ruthless immaturity.
  • …He’s gotten so much better, but (still) has some work to do.
  • …Can I flash back to Monaco 2013 for a moment?
  • …After Perez collided with Kimi, Kimi remarked that talking to Perez won’t help, that “…(maybe) someone should punch him in the face”.
  • …Just saying.
  • The stewards have just added Gutierrez to their investigation list.
  • …Unsafe release, was that alert?
  • Matt LeBlanc!
  • …How you doin’?
  • Ah, crap.
  • …Force India’s Incredible Hülkenberg has pulled off.
  • …He’s out of the car, pulling off his gloves.
  • …Oh!  His car is rolling backward!
  • …Very slowly, but rolling.
  • …He gives the rear-left tire a little kick.
  • …HÜLKENBERG NO LIKE ROLL BACK.
  • …He’s had such a rough second half of the season.
  • …Aaawww, Nico.
  • …Never, but especially at Austin.
  • …Mr Incredible.
  • …Out.
  • …Both Force Indias.
  • …Out.
  • Oh, my god!
  • …Alonso and Button are dancing around the turns!
  • …Back and forth, back and forth!
  • …Two World Champions.
  • …Two guys without signed contracts for 2015.
  • …Two guys in that scary over-30 club.
  • …Look at them go!
  • …Watch and learn, kids!
  • At Lap 23…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …Bottas has dropped to fifth.
  • …Magnussen, Button, Alonso, Vettel, and Kimi round out the top 10.
  • …Yes, Vettel.
  • …From the pits.
  • …In a Renault-powered car.
  • Alonso and Button are (still) going at it!
  • Hamilton passes Rosberg for the lead!
  • Grosjean jumps over Kimi for 10th.
  • …Oh, and the battle between Grosjean and Toro Rosso’s Vergne continues, as Vergne leapfrogs Kimi (as well).
  • …Battles, battles, wheel-to-wheel battles!
  • Maldonado joins in on the Kimi-jumping fun.
  • And, Grosjean leaps over Button.
  • …Oh, hey!
  • …Magnussen pits, moving Grosjean up to seventh.
  • So, at Lap 29…
  • …Your top 10 are…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa, Ricciardo, Bottas, Alonso, Grosjean, Vergne, Button, Maldonado.
  • …Oh, Button pits.
  • …So, adjust accordingly.
  • Flurry of pitting.
  • …So, if you’re new to F1, what that means for the standings is…
  • …Let me put it this way…
  • …Remember how the swirling sounds of The Beatles’ “Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!” was created by cutting the tape, tossing it up in the air, and piecing it (back) together?
  • …That’s what pit flurries do to the standings.
  • …You see some weird things, but it all works itself out.
  • At Lap 32…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa, Ricciardo, and Bottas (still) lead.
  • So, with no Americans on the grid, who do you think is the most American?
  • …The honoraries are…
  • …Perez and Gutierrez.
  • …Who are Mexican.
  • …Massa and Maldonado.
  • …Who are South American.
  • …Massa, from Brazil, and Maldonado, from Venezuela.
  • …Hamilton.
  • …Whose family hails from the Caribbean, some of whom went to Britain, some of whom went to the US.
  • …And, whose longtime (if not off-and-on at times) girlfriend is American (born in Hawaii, raised in Louisville).
  • …So, he spends a lot of time and owns property here.
  • …And, Button.
  • …Who spends a lot of time here (especially Hawaii).
  • …And, whose fiancee has written guides (or, at least, a guide) to Hawaii.
  • …However, I think the most Texan may be Kimi.
  • …Why? (Or, how?!)
  • …He loves drinking to the floor, sounds like an angry, drunken pirate, and he drove in the NASCAR Truck series.
  • …Boom.
  • …Dang ol’ logic, man.
  • …Dropped it right on ya, right there.
  • Yes, if you are watching and wondering…
  • …The cars are exceeding 200mph.
  • …F1 is fast.
  • …And, for as many tight turns as COTA has, it’s an incredibly fast track.
  • …How very Texas, eh?
  • …International viewers, no, you cannot drive with a loaded gun and an open bottle in Texas…
  • …Anymore.
  • …(Yeah, it was perfectly legal; absolutely true.)
  • Now, the stewards are looking at Maldonado for speeding in the pitlane.
  • So, that would be Vince Neil.
  • …He’s got some great ghost stories.
  • …”Celebrity Ghost Stories”.
  • …Look it up, Nurse Feelokay.
  • At Lap 42…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Massa, and Bottas lead.
  • …And, Button is (still) finding people to go wheel-to-wheel with.
  • …Button is a World Champion with no sign of slowing down.
  • …And, yet, there’s huge speculation that this could be the end of his F1 career.
  • …Well, you mess with the bull, you’re going to get the horns.
  • Speaking of wheel-to-wheel…
  • …Alonso is going at it with…
  • …Vettel.
  • …And, who’s trying to leapfrog who?
  • …Alonso is trying to get sixth from Vettel.
  • …This is how Vettel rolls, people.
  • …A pitlane start is like swatting away a mosquito for Hans Strudel.
  • …Annoying, a bit bite-y, but nothing, really.
  • …And, of course, the moment I say that, Alonso overtakes him.
  • …But, stay tuned.
  • At Lap 47, your top 10 is…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Massa, Bottas, Alonso, Vettel, Magnussen, Button, and Grosjean.
  • By the way, I just passed 1776 words.
  • …Happy USGP weekend, ‘Murka!
  • Ooo-was that contact between Grosjean and Vergne?
  • …On T1?
  • Oh!
  • …And Maldonado zips right past Grosjean as he tries to get all four back on track.
  • Reports of carbon fiber shards on T12 and loose astroturf on T19.
  • …At Lap 52.
  • SLAPS.
  • …Btw.
  • …(5 laps remaining.)
  • Also, reports of trouble with Ricciardo’s car.
  • …But, he’s (still) got a good gap on Massa.
  • …So, again, stay tuned.
  • Vergne is under investigation for forcing Grosjean off track.
  • …As he continues to whip up the standings.
  • …Dearest Toro Rosso,
  • …Cut the crap and re-sign the dude.
  • …The entire world is watching.
  • …And, judging.
  • …You.
  • Huge wide for Grosjean as he approaches T1.
  • …To start Lap 55.
  • …Come on, little Lotuses; come on!!!
  • My phone is lighting up.
  • …Okay, who’s trying to annoy me at Lap frigging 56?
  • …Tip: Unless you’re (already) in a race conversation with me, don’t ever, ever, ever do anything with my number late in a race.
  • …Unless it’s throwing it away.
  • …Earlier, I had a wrong number voicemail, reminding me to vote.
  • …So, I’m a tad phone cranky today.
  • Hamilton wins his second USGP!
  • But, it’s not over!
  • Vergne and Grosjean!
  • …Again!
  • …Contact!
  • Maldonado hangs on!
  • …Ninth!
  • …His first two points of the season!
  • Vergne comes out ahead in the battle with Grosjean.
  • …He takes the final point.
  • …But, remember that he’s under investigation for forcing Grosjean off track and may have time taken off.
  • Final…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Massa, Bottas, Alonso, Vettel, Magnussen, Vergne, Maldonado, Grosjean, Button, Räikkönen, Gutierrez, and Kvyat.
  • …I’m a little confused on the Vergne-Maldonado-Grosjean situation.
  • …I thought Maldonado was ahead of Vergne.
  • …And, I’m not sure that investigation came to a conclusion by the end of the race.
  • …Retirees were Sutil (accident), Perez (accident), and Mr Incredible (power loss).
  • …None of which were authorized by me.
  • …I would never authorize those, especially Mr Incredible.
  • …Or, Sutil.
  • …I am 100% convinced that his season has been shit luck and an even shittier car.
  • …And, I am going to guess that Kimi’s issues stemmed from that contact with Perez.
  • …So, no, not authorized.
  • …Can I complain?
  • …As a US citizen?
  • …No?
  • …Well, fine; but consider this a record of my disappointment in you, Universe.
  • Podium…
  • …Governor Perry?
  • …Well, okay.
  • …Hamilton crosses himself.
  • …Yes, Texas will respond favorably to that, yes.
  • …Ricciardo just wants the hat.
  • …You can see it.
  • …He needs a stetson in his life.
  • …The prospect gets him uber-stoked.
  • Andretti, bitches!
  • …Hamilton has just told Andretti that he wants the hat and asked if he could have his.
  • …Mario is not giving up that hat.
  • …People love stetsons, man.
  • …Australian is American enough.
  • …Huge, isolated countries in which everything can kill you.
  • …Very casual English.
  • …Sure.
  • …Add Ricciardo to that list of honoraries.
  • …Oh!  Andretti handed his hat over to Hamilton!
  • …Hamilton is in his glory
  • Hey, how about that Svettel, though?!
  • …The guy’s a goddamn animal!
  • …Pitlane to seventh.
  • …In that Red Bull that’s been so much trouble this season.
  • …With an engine not expected to perform very well at COTA.
  • …Yeah, Vettel is -that- good, folks.
  • Did anyone else smirk when Massa noted that they came out so far ahead of Ferrari?
  • …Seriously, your more diabolical/evil side cannot deny that Massa’s successful move to Williams (after being booted by Ferrari), with everyone happy with everything and all, as Ferrari struggles has been pretty awesome.
  • …Nothing against Ferrari, of course.
  • …But, it -has- been pretty cool, hasn’t it?
  • Oh, what’s this about health issues with Sir Frank?
  • …(Williams)
  • …Frank and (daughter/deputy team principal) Claire are, I guess, not at COTA, due to some health issues with Frank.
  • …He’s had such a great year, he’s looked so much happier and mind-blowingly healthier than he has in a long time.
  • …I hope everything is okay.
  • …Whatever’s going on, rock it, Sir Frank!
  • Can I revisit my phone issue?
  • …It was another wrong-number voicemail regarding voting.
  • …I don’t know who you are (that messed up the numbers), but I am sending incredibly horrendous vibes your way.
  • …I’m sending them with my intense Nordic eyes.
  • …That people claim scare them.
  • …Those ones.
  • …You.
  • …Whoever you are.
  • So, anyway…
  • Sorry, did Alonso just blow off Ferrari?
  • …That was crazy not-giving-one-fuck body language and responding.
  • …Not rude, of course.
  • …He’s Fernando Alonso.
  • …But, wow.
  • …What is going on with Alonso and Ferrari?
  • …Is this one, big game?
  • …Are these contract release battles (really) that brutal?
  • …I love that he’s handling it all like this.
  • …Really, I’m not a fan of speculation.
  • …All it is, is glorified rumor.
  • …Word from the sources, like drivers and teams saying that they’re close on negotiations and all, that’s cool.
  • …Speculation?
  • …That is the worst part of Silly Season.
  • …For me.
  • …So, I like that he’s playing with it, manipulating it, shoving faces in the pile of crap that it is.
  • …Alonso is a great driver, a double World Champion, ridiculously talented and dangerously driven.
  • …Whatever he has up his sleeve, he knows what he’s doing and he’s enough of a grownup to do it and do it well.
  • …For the record, I’d (really) miss him and his insanely exaggerated accent if he were to leave, though.
  • …Just my two cents.
  • …He seems like a really good guy, so I wish him nothing but the best of luck in whatever he’s up to.
  • …He deserves it.
  • …And, it’s cool, because I just cursed whoever is responsible for adding my number to that voter-information list, so there’s extra luck available in the universe!
  • …Yay!
  • How about the Drivers’ Championship standings?
  • …Hamilton (now) leads Rosberg by 24 points.
  • …Two races to go.
  • …And, don’t forget that the Abu Dhabi finale will be worth double-points.
  • …From there, Ricciardo, Bottas, Alonso, Vettel, Button, Massa, Mr Incredible, and Magnussen round out the top 10.
  • …But, again, there are a lot of races up in the air that could be settled with those double points.
  • …Brace for varying levels of annoyance and fury.
  • I keep forgetting to mention Hamilton’s records.
  • …I don’t catch it until the end, I lose it in the shuffle, then, I forget to mention it as the next race weekend kicks off.
  • …So…
  • …Hamilton has just won his 10th race of the season.
  • …Which puts him at fifth (I think) for all-time in wins in a season.
  • …And, this is his 32nd win, making him the most successful British driver of all time.
  • …Passing Mansell and his mustaches on both boards.
  • …But, the important question remains…
  • …Can Hamilton ever match the love he has for the “Top Gear” reasonably priced Chevy?
  • Toto Wolff.
  • …Just know that, because it’s Austin, someone within earshot is certain Govahnah Ahnold is there.
  • …Or, that someone is doing a “Saturday Night Live” ‘Hans and Franz’ impression.
  • …AT LEAST one.
  • …(Probably) more.
  • Well, it kills me to say it, but…
  • …That’s that for the USGP.
  • …But, technically, it is less than a year until the next one.
  • …(Actually, I don’t remember the date, but I think it’s the same-ish weekend, so just roll with it.)
  • …Until then, how about Brazil next weekend?
  • …Yes, the penultimate round is (already) next weekend.
  • …It’s going to be fantastic as always.
  • …So, if you liked Austin, check out Sao Paulo.
  • …The third of the three American rounds.
  • …So, the times should be very similar to those of the US and Canadian rounds.
  • …Broadcasts will swing back to NBCSN.
  • …As always, I’ll be doing my thing.
  • …I have had an absolute blast and a half, running commentary through every single session this round.
  • …And, I hope someone got some amusement out of something in my thousands of words of babbling (I average over 2000-per-F1 “Unwanted Commentary” post, having passed 3100 on this one, alone).
  • …Especially, if someone is reading with no clue as to what is going on, just wondering what I’m on or if I’m seeking help.
  • …Until then…
  • Ya’ll come back, nah, ya, heah?!
  • (Yeah, okay, fine; let’s do this…)
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