MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2014 GRAND PRIX OF BRAZIL (7.11.2014 – 9.11.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE? /// P2…

  • Good morning.
  • Hey…
  • …One word…
  • …One name…
  • …Interlagos.
  • Yes, this is the Grand Prix of Brazil.
  • And, this is Free Practice 2.
  • So…Interlagos…
  • …Shall we?
  • …Yes, we shall.
  • …And, my advanced apologies for lapses in accents.
  • …I’m Portuguese incompetent.
  • …Anyway…
  • …The official name of this round, just for the record, is…
  • …Formula 1 Grande Prêmio Petrobas do Brasil 2014.
  • …Yep.
  • …The home circuit of which is, officially…
  • …Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
  • …Otherwise known as…
  • …The famous…
  • …Interlagos.
  • …(Which is what I will be rolling with.)
  • …In São Paulo, Brazil.
  • …Yep, all that.
  • …The circuit is 4.309km (2.677mi) in length.
  • …With 15 turns.
  • …Run counterclockwise.
  • …On race day, there will be 71 laps.
  • …Which will bring the grand(e) total to 305.909km (190.083mi).
  • …For those who finish.
  • …Which, well, brings me to weather.
  • …São Paulo in the Springtime.
  • …Any, any guesses as to what that might look like?
  • …Let me help those who are struggling with this one…
  • …Hot, humid, and raining.
  • …It’s in the middle of the Brazilian rainforest, people.
  • …The forecast calls for upper 80s today, upper 70s on Saturday, and mid-70s on Sunday.
  • …With storms and/or rain each day.
  • In 2013…
  • …Brazil was the final stop on the calendar.
  • …Red Bull’s Vettel capped off his fourth Championship season with a grand finale win.
  • …Teammate Webber ended his F1 career with second.
  • …And, Ferrari’s Alonso took third.
  • …Never has anyone looked so sad on a podium.
  • …Nothing to do with his accomplishment.
  • …His longtime teammate and friend, Massa, was headed to Williams and his F1 BFF, Webber, was retiring.
  • …Alonso was the last off the podium, picking up after the celebration, in a scene that could have been soundtracked with Charlie Brown-in-sad-mode music.
  • …He’s a very passionate Spaniard, that one.
  • Thus far, this year…
  • …As usual, it was another Mercedes show.
  • …With Rosberg leading Hamilton in P1.
  • …Toro Rosso rookie Kvyat took third.
  • …And Mr Alonso took fourth.
  • …And, it’s worth noting that 17-year-old Verstappen, who will be joining Toro Rosso next season, borrowed Vergne’s car and took it up to sixth.
  • …However, a resurfacing of Interlagos has resulted in one very slippery track.
  • …Basically, there was a lot of slipping, sliding, and crashing.
  • …Which is carrying over into P2.
  • …To those not experiencing mechanicals.
  • …Such as Vergne, who was halted on track with power unit failure and had to cannonball off the car to avoid any risk of electrocution.
  • …I’ve been over this in previous rounds.
  • …If the systems fry, they have to treat it as one would in a car that has encountered a power line or lightning strike, jumping from it with feet together to limit becoming a path of least resistance for the electrical current.
  • …SCIENCE!
  • …Why do I feel like I’m the only one who remembers these lessons from high school electronics courses?
  • …I (also) took honors-level microbiology to complement my interest in Ebola and Marburg, so I’m cool with chatting about that, too.
  • …(Nerd.)
  • There’s news, lots of news.
  • …But…I don’t know…
  • …Silly Season has reached and passed that point of being amusing in any way, shape, or form.
  • …As have the Marussia and Caterham situations.
  • …So, I’ll integrate as I go.
  • So, how about P2?
  • …Hamilton has radioed that the track is not-so-great for driving.
  • …Never a good sign.
  • …This was the guy who radioed (F1 director) Charlie Whiting directly during the Japanese Grand Prix to report that the track was, in fact, drivable.
  • …After starting the race under a Safety Car.
  • …So, if Hamilton is saying the track isn’t great, there may just be something to all that spinning and sliding.
  • …Novel concept, eh?
  • Ack, okay, news…
  • …I don’t know where to start.
  • …Last week, Sauber signed Caterham’s Ericsson.
  • …This week, they signed (Williams reserve) Felipe Nasr.
  • …Which leaves (both) Gutierrez and Sutil without seats.
  • …Weird, since…didn’t Sutil sign a two-year contract last year?
  • …Correct me if I’m wrong, but, isn’t 2014 one year?
  • …Math has never been my strongest ability.
  • …And, let’s be honest, I’m (really) not that bright.
  • …Also, what happened to Sauber, looking to bump (reserve and former race driver) van der Garde up to a race seat?
  • …Ooohhh…
  • …So, I just heard that Sutil had no idea what was going on until he read (in the news) that Nasr had been signed.
  • …What on earth is going on at Sauber?
  • …No, really.
  • …I don’t get it.
  • …Am I missing something or not understanding something?
  • …Or, is Sauber just up to something that either is or looks incredibly weird?
  • …Yeah, so there’s that news.
  • …Non-news.
  • …I don’t know.
  • More news…
  • …So…again, I’m a bit confuddled.
  • …I’ve heard two reports regarding the future of Marussia.
  • …The first, that they’ve been sold and renamed “Manor F1”.
  • …And, that they -are- on the preliminary 2015 roster.
  • …The second, that Marussia is no more.
  • …At all.
  • …That they’ve folded, that employees have been laid off, and so on.
  • …Which I find surprising, as they weren’t in the financial trouble that Caterham was.
  • …Plus, they had a few extra million to play with, having scored two Constructors’ points at Monaco.
  • …Courtesy of Bianchi.
  • …No, there’s no news on Bianchi.
  • …It’s been a month, he’s (still) ‘critical, but stable’ in Japan.
  • …Anyway, another situation that’s giving my eyebrows a workout.
  • …For the record, the prospect of losing Marussia is (genuinely) upsetting.
  • …On various levels.
  • …Losing an underdog who was just starting to make waves.
  • …And, losing two seats in F1.
  • …When there are so few to go around.
  • More Silly Season non-news…
  • …McLaren’s Boullier has (publicly) stated that Alonso has until Abu Dhabi to decide if he’s going there (or, not).
  • …What this means is that Alonso has not signed with McLaren.
  • …No secret contracts, no psych-outs, nothing.
  • …He doesn’t have a contract.
  • …And, everyone without a contract is waiting on his decision.
  • …Which, as this is the penultimate round of 2014, has gone from amusing to interesting to not funny to not funny at all.
  • …People’s futures, their careers, their lives are on hold while one person makes up their mind.
  • …I like Alonso, and people (really) do have to take these decisions very seriously.
  • …But, it’s to the point where so many other lives are being affected that it’s tipping into a selfish negative.
  • …So, hopefully, he’ll make a decision he’s comfortable with sooner than later.
  • With (about) half an hour to go…
  • …Rosberg leads the session.
  • …Hamilton tailgating.
  • …Because, they get separation anxiety (otherwise).
  • …Mr Kimi and his Ferrari are in third.
  • …Remember, he knows what to do, he does all time, you don’t have to remind every second.
  • …He knows the runoff exits.
  • …Kind of.
  • …If you’re confused, in 2012, just after his famous “leave me alone” radio transmissions, he slid off track (at a very wet Interlagos) and took an exit.
  • …Which turned out to lead to a closed gate.
  • …Which led to him, having to turn his fan boat around, head back, and put his rallying skills to work on the soaked grass.
  • …Yes, yes, yes, yes.
  • Oh!
  • …Alonso’s car has just burst into flame!
  • …As if on cue.
  • …(Sorry, Fernando.  I didn’t mean for your car to catch fire, I just wanted you to make up your mind soon.)
  • …He pulls out an extinguisher and gets to work before the marshals and fire crew can even get there.
  • …Calm, collected, experienced, two-time World Champion, right there, folks.
  • That does mean a red flag, though.
  • …And, a red flag (now) means that the cars halt in the pits.
  • Aaawww…
  • …A clip of Hamilton, saying, in repeat, and with absolute belief in his words, that “…there has to be space for him…”.
  • …On the prospect of losing Button in the Silly Season shuffle.
  • …Agreed, 100%.
  • …Button has years in him, he’s showed no signs of slowing, and he’s one of the true leaders in the sport.
  • …Another calm, collected, experienced World Champion.
  • …On top of that, he’s a guy who knows what to say and when to say it, without compromising honesty.
  • …And, from what I can tell, just an all-around good guy.
  • …Plus, who wouldn’t miss seeing what (Button’s fiancee) Jessica is wearing to races?
  • …Let’s be honest, here.
  • …It’s fun.
  • …No, I’m not going to rant and rave on the awesomeness and importance of WaGs.
  • …But, we’re looking at the possibility of losing Jessica Michibata  and (Sutil’s longtime girlfriend) Jennifer Becks.
  • …That’s a bonus load of crap, people.
  • …Come on.
  • …You know these girls bring style and fun to the sport.
  • …It takes a village.
  • Gutierrez has stopped on track.
  • …In (about) the same spot as Alonso did.
  • …But, sans flames.
  • …So, just note that this section is cursed.
  • …Important information.
  • …That’s what I offer.
  • The sky looks awesome, by the way.
  • …Watching onboards, the view is sunny with some fluffy white clouds…
  • …Turn…
  • …Big, black storm clouds.
  • …The yin and the yang of F1, right over everyone’s heads.
  • …With less than 10 minutes left, the storms should hold off long enough to finish the final practice session of the day.
  • …(Probably, possibly) getting a jump start on tomorrow, though.
  • …Lungs of the Earth, folks.
  • Oh!
  • …Just a reminder…
  • …Again, and for obvious reasons, Caterham and Marussia are not participating in this round.
  • …So, there are four fewer cars.
  • …Like last weekend (at the USGP).
  • …Same format, same conditions, apply this weekend.
  • Okay, session over…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Kimi, and Red Bull’s Ricciardo take this one.
  • …As we watch another round of “Virtual Safety Car” practice.
  • …Under Safety Car conditions, cars will be remotely slowed to ensure compliance down the grid.
  • …Jerk and a slow.
  • …I didn’t hear any complaints after last round’s (initial) trial.
  • …So, it may be a successful step in the right direction.
  • That’s that.
  • Tomorrow…
  • …If you’re in the US…
  • …Qualifying will be in CNBC at 10am (CT).
  • …A rebroadcast will air on NBCSN at 11:30am (CT).
  • …I will -not- be able to do commentary on either of these.
  • …But, as it’s Brazil, I may see if I can play a game of pick-up if I can get home and get my laptop going before the rebroadcast is over.
  • …Maybe.
  • …Or, I’ll just enjoy it.
  • …You don’t need my commentary.
  • Today…
  • …”Countdown to F1″ will air at 4pm (CT)
  • …And, a rebroadcast of P2 will air on NBCSN at 9:30pm (CT).
  • Sunday…
  • …The Grand Prix will air on CNBC at 9:30am (CT).
  • …And, a rebroadcast will air on NBC, starting at noon (CT).
  • …That will include the pre- and post- race shows.
  • …Which the original (CNBC) broadcast will not be airing.
  • …Because, that’s how CNBC rolls.
  • As always, check your local listings for details.
  • …Don’t rely on me for this stuff.
  • …I’m just reporting as I’m scanning and autotuning.
  • Okay, well, that’s that and that’s it for me.
  • Have a lovely rest of your Friday.
  • And, remember, it’s Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.
  • …Interlagos.
  • …Senna.
  • If nothing else, if nothing else is going your way, if the weather is crappy, if the approaching holiday season is getting to you…
  • …You have that.
  • So, enjoy it.
  • …You’re allowed.
  • …And, encouraged.
  • See you Sunday.
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