MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2014 GRAND PRIX OF ABU DHABI (21.11.2014 – 23.11.2014) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Good morning.
  • As the sun comes up (here)…
  • …eventually…
  • …The sun sets on the 2014 Formula 1 season.
  • …(Both) metaphorically and literally.
  • …Because…
  • …This is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
  • Yes, Abu Dhabi.
  • …Yas Marina Circuit.
  • …Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • …21 turns.
  • …Counterclockwise.
  • …5.554km (3.451mi) in length.
  • …55 laps.
  • …Which will bring the total distance traveled to 305.470km (189.810mi).
  • …And, of course, that incredible, beautiful underground pit exit.
  • …Really, this may be the most gorgeous of races.
  • …With the clean, Middle Eastern circuit design, under the stunning, Middle Eastern sunset.
  • …Yes, don’t forget that this race is held at sunset, taking the action from daylight to floodlight.
  • …The 2013 winner was Red Bull’s Vettel.
  • …Who has won three times (here).
  • …And, who is in his final race with Red Bull, before heading to Ferrari.
  • …Which was announced this race weekend.
  • …(Immediately following Alonso’s announcement that he was leaving Ferrari.)
  • …(As I assumed would be how it would roll.)
  • …(Everyone waiting for that Alonso announcement and all.)
  • …The split is personal, a move he wants to make for himself after a career with Red Bull, and both parties seem genuinely okay.
  • …And, just to make sure they know, his helmet reads (simply),
  • …”danke.”.
  • …Second went to Red Bull’s Webber.
  • …In one of his final races in F1.
  • …And, third went to Mercedes’ Rosberg.
  • …Who is fighting for the World Championship today.
  • …If he wins, (teammate) Hamilton will have to do second/-.
  • …If he does second, Hamilton will need to come in fourth/-.
  • …And, so on.
  • …In the words of Futurama’s Bender Bending Rodriguez…
  • …”Whatcha got there?  Numbers?”
  • …Because, DO NOT forget…
  • …This grand finale is worth DOUBLE POINTS.
  • So, how has this weekend rolled (thus far)?
  • …As I’ve not done any commentary.
  • …(This one is worth double commentary points!).
  • …Hamilton.
  • …Basically.
  • …Then, once again, like Brazil, Rosberg gunned it to pole position in the third loop of Qualifying.
  • …Capitalizing on a late error by Hamilton which took his car wide, very wide.
  • …And, as usual, the Williams boys are right behind.
  • …Led by Bottas.
  • …They were followed by Red Bull’s Ricciardo and Vettel.
  • …However…
  • …Scrutineering decided their front wings were illegal.
  • …Their times were (promptly) disqualified.
  • …They will be starting from the back of the grid.
  • …They’re finishing the way they started, really.
  • …If you’ll recall Ricciardo’s first podium (at home, Australia, the opener) being taken away thanks to fuel illegalities.
  • …They’ll be behind Caterham’s Stevens.
  • …In his first F1 race.
  • …And, Lotus’ Grosjean.
  • …Who is serving a 20-spot grid penalty.
  • …With not enough spots, or races, to fulfill it.
  • …So, some time will be tacked on, via a drive-through penalty.
  • …By the way, yes, Caterham!!!
  • …They made it!!!
  • …Their crowd funding worked.
  • …And, they didn’t have to take that huge wad from Alice Powell’s grandpa (in exchange for putting her in Ericsson’s vacated seat this weekend) to make it happen.
  • …Kobayashi?
  • …In.  The.  House.
  • …!!!
  • In other news…
  • …God, there’s a lot of news.
  • …Really.
  • …Perez and Force India sealed a multi-season deal.
  • …Finally!
  • …So, Force India will be just as you see it today.
  • …Yay!
  • …Let’s see…
  • …Vettel is going to Ferrari.
  • …A three-year deal.
  • …Yep.
  • …And, to blast away the speculation that Ferrari was going to terminate Räikkönen’s contract midway through…
  • …Again, yeah…
  • …It was confirmed that the BFFs WILL be teammates.
  • …That this is Ferrari’s plan to get back to being everything Ferrari should be.
  • …You know, Mattiacci has terrified me since taking over.
  • …But, he seems to be rolling with the same thoughts I had on the situation.
  • …That Ferrari has been, sort of, resting on the laurels of being Ferrari, ignoring any suggestion that anything could be wrong, because they’re Ferrari, rather than looking at the downward spiral of performance and doing something to bring them back to everything they should be.
  • …But, I’m (still) scared of him.
  • …My take is more Pollyanna than, “heads will roll”.
  • …In the Christmas spirit, he may be a little “Futurama” Santa.
  • …With the whole thing about only wanting those who share a passion for Ferrari and such.
  • …Making his massive ‘naughty’ list and all.
  • …”You’ve all been very naughty.”
  • …As for Alonso…
  • …No idea.
  • …He said the most curious thing…
  • …That, “…from Monday, I am a Ferrari supporter”.
  • …Now, if we’ve learned nothing else about Alonso in this season, alone, it’s that he has a mastery of words that native English speakers could learn a lot from.
  • …So, like a bro and a double rainbow, what does it all mean?
  • …That said, the McLaren rumors are (still) alive.
  • …They’ve said that they’re not making a move until December.
  • …So, Button and Magnussen could be racing for the last time in F1 for a while, if not forever.
  • …I’m sorry, but…really…how shitty is that?
  • …Jenson Button, a World Champion, an all-around class act, (still) driving at the top…
  • …He deserves so much more.
  • …Even the other drivers have agreed on this.
  • …AND, that F1 would be making a huge mistake by not having a seat for him.
  • …You (really) want to lose a guy like that, McLaren?
  • …Especially, with the impending move to Honda power (in 2015 – it made its test debut this past week), when he has Honda experience?
  • …Come on.
  • …It just doesn’t make sense.
  • …Anyway…
  • …There was talk that Marussia would be making the trip to Abu Dhabi.
  • …But, sadly, they weren’t able to.
  • …However…
  • …Bianchi, though (still) unconscious, is out of his induced coma, is breathing on his own, and is doing well enough to have been transported home (to Nice) for continuing care.
  • …HUGE!!!
  • …Oh, so exciting!
  • …Nowhere near the same realm, but equally exciting…
  • …(Red Bull Team Principal) Christian Horner and Geri Halliwell are engaged!
  • …Woo to the hoo!!!
  • …And, speaking of…
  • …(Kimi’s girlfriend) Minttu Virtanen is sporting something spangly on her left ring finger.
  • …Now, she’s pregnant, so, you know, it may have just been the only finger she could get a ring on this weekend, but…yeah.
  • …(You go, kids!)
  • Here we go!
  • Hamilton zips past Rosberg!
  • Bottas gets lost in the shuffle.
  • …Again!
  • …He’s had some less-than-stellar starts lately.
  • Someone has gone wide.
  • …Helpful information, I know.
  • Button rolls up behind Massa.
  • Oh, McLaren’s Magnussen and Sauber’s Sutil bumped (earlier).
  • …It was Sutil who went wide.
  • …In what could be his final F1 race for a while.
  • …Or, forever.
  • …Sauber has yet to say anything, make any comment whatsoever, on that whole driver-hoarding drama.
  • …Which, really, and, again, I’m sorry, but I call absolute bullshit on.
  • …Really.
  • …No, actually, really would be…
  • …Fuck that shit.
  • …Whatever is going on is just wrong.
  • …And, I think the powers that be in these situations forget that these things do affect the fans.
  • …The fans that make the F1 world go ’round.
  • …I’ve been a huge supporter of Monisha Kaltenborn and have pulled for Sauber for years.
  • …But, you know what, I think I just like Sutil more.
  • …Oh, man; it was so exciting when he came back from his 2012 year away.
  • …And, definitely, (his girlfriend) Jennifer.
  • …Who, no joke, has brought a lot of fun to the sport, nabbing shots of herself in his helmets (tiny girl in cute outfits, massive helmet) and just being a very active supporter and all-around class act of positivity.
  • …With a sense of humor.
  • …I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, WaGs bring a lot to the sport.
  • …And, even putting that aside, things I do not like include sketchy behavior and business practices.
  • …Plus, who dumps one of the two Mexican drivers just before the return of the Mexican Grand Prix?
  • …I could see it if the driver was crappy.
  • …But, though he has some maturing to do, Gutierrez just isn’t a crappy driver.
  • …So, this F1 fan?
  • …Not happy.
  • Oh, on-track action…
  • …Eh, not much.
  • …No, really, everyone’s just moving along.
  • …No drama, of (either) the good or bad variety.
  • …Some pitting for tires.
  • Dudu peeks out of the Williams garage to watch Felipe’s pit stop.
  • …Go Dudu.
  • …(Dudu is Massa’s brother, if you missed that.)
  • …(He’s at every race.  Rather than questioning it, I’ve turned him into a character.  It’s not a party until Dudu’s in the house.)
  • …Pharrell is at the race, he should find Dudu.
  • …Party.
  • …He found Ginger Spice (earlier, this weekend).
  • …Sadly, I’ve not seen evidence that they found Dudu.
  • …Get on that, guys.
  • Oh, I forgot to mention that Williams had to ditch the Martini logos and drop the red stripes for this round.
  • …UAE dry laws.
  • Someone is being pulled into a garage.
  • …But, it’s in tiny screen commercial mode, so I can’t see who.
  • …Kvyat.
  • …The rookie, in his final race with Toro Rosso.
  • …Before he hops into Vettel’s vacated seat and partners Ricciardo at Red Bull.
  • …So, that’s the end of a pretty (very) impressive rookie season for the kid who turned 20 this year.
  • Oh!
  • …I’ve never seen that view (before)!
  • …An onboard shot of Rosberg’s face.
  • …One of my favorite things is seeing driving faces.
  • …Seeing the thinking, the reactions.
  • …But, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it in F1.
  • …With all the G-Force and all.
  • …Can we do more of that?
  • The sun has set on Yas Island.
  • …It’s all artificial light (now).
  • At Lap 21…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …In a pretty uneventful race.
  • …Understandable, as so many drivers are unconfirmed for 2015.
  • …No mistakes, boys.
  • Ooo-a small off for Rosberg.
  • …He regains control.
  • …But, this is F1.
  • …Every fraction of a second (actually) -does- count.
  • …And, Hamilton is in the lead.
  • Oh, no.
  • …Oh, god.
  • …Rosberg has just radioed in with a loss of power.
  • …The half-joke question, going into this race, was whose car was going to croak on track and decide the Championship.
  • …Mercedes has just confirmed that his ERS has gone.
  • …(Energy Recovery System.  Power.  What makes the cars go.)
  • …Wow.
  • …Shots of faces from other garages as this news comes in.
  • …Here’s the drama.
  • …Mercedes has radioed that the ERS failure has made the car reliant upon the rear brakes.
  • …Rosberg has radioed that there’s something else going on, requesting they investigate and tell him what he can do.
  • …He sounds frantic.
  • …Like, Hamilton-frantic.
  • Massa passes Rosberg.
  • …There wasn’t a thing Rosberg could do.
  • …Just get out of the way, ensure it’s clean for Massa, and keep going until they figure this out.
  • …The Williams garage goes wild.
  • …If you’re a person who doesn’t believe in luck, I’d like you to review Massa’s season.
  • …Because, I would (definitely) classify him as a victim of bad luck.
  • …Being run into several times and all.
  • …But, he’s had two podiums that (really) count.
  • …Italy and Brazil.
  • …And, knock on wood, he is on his way to another one in the double-points final round.
  • Button and Alonso go wheel-to-wheel around the turns.
  • …Two World Champions without confirmed seats.
  • Yellow flag.
  • …Um…
  • …That would be courtesy of Maldonado’s Lotus, bursting into flame.
  • …After some crazy puffs of smoke and fire farting.
  • …Drama.
  • …Ask and you shall receive.
  • Hamilton has slowed significantly.
  • …No explanation needed.
  • …Unless there is something wrong with the car.
  • …Nicole Scherzinger, Hamilton’s girlfriend, looks on and tried to breathe.
  • Hamilton pits.
  • Insult to injury…
  • …Hamilton comes out and meets Rosberg.
  • …And, Rosberg has to move aside.
  • …Ouch.
  • Because of Hamilton’s pit, Massa has taken the lead.
  • …Yes, Felipe Massa is leading the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
  • At Lap 34…
  • …Massa, Hamilton, Bottas, and Rosberg lead.
  • …Two Williams in podium position.
  • …Something they couldn’t have come up with in their wildest dreams just last season.
  • …Yes, Mercedes has dominated all season.
  • …But, this is the season of Williams.
  • …Whatever happens today, whether they hold their podium positions (or, not), this has been the season of Williams.
  • …At this point, Massa and Bottas are the ones making breathing difficult.
  • …(Just hang in there!!!)
  • Okay, fun fact…
  • …Even though Stevens is running last…
  • …In his first F1 race, the first time he’s driven an F1 car…
  • …Because Marussia weren’t able to make it…
  • …And, because Kvyat and Maldonado have retired…
  • …If he finishes, he will forever have an 18th-place+ F1 finish on his record.
  • …Cool, huh?
  • What?!
  • …Okay…
  • …So…
  • …Mercedes radioed Hamilton with an update on the gap between him and Massa.
  • …Adding that he needs to pick up the pace a tad.
  • …Hamilton responded that he’s “not racing Massa (anymore)”.
  • …No argument from Mercedes.
  • …If Hamilton’s not feeling it, if he’s secure in the solid finish he needs, the priority is getting that car home and getting that Championship.
  • …Plus, Massa has yet to make a second stop.
  • …So, there’s that to factor into strategy.
  • Rosberg’s going a little wild.
  • …Some serious control issues.
  • …Oh, and a radio transmission regarding just that.
  • …Reporting that the throttle is “all over the place” and all.
  • Ricciardo has passed Bottas for third.
  • …He does that.
  • …And, apparently, he even does that from a rear grid start.
  • …Remember that he started from the back.
  • …Third.
  • …Third.
  • …And, that, right there, is why he will be leading Red Bull next season.
  • Massa pits.
  • …The Storm Troopers respond quickly.
  • …He reenters in second.
  • At Lap 44…
  • …Hamilton, Massa, Ricciardo, and Bottas lead.
  • Can I just bring up that, while I love Abu Dhabi…
  • …They don’t even get champagne on the podium.
  • …At the final race of the season.
  • …I mean, come on.
  • …But, whatever.
  • Rosberg has dropped to eighth.
  • …With a hungry, hungry Spaniard behind him.
  • The Incredible Hülkenberg has decided to go on some sort of rampage.
  • …Overtaking Rosberg.
  • …Right on Button.
  • …Yes.
  • Ricciardo pits.
  • …Bottas regains third.
  • …He comes out in fourth.
  • Caterham’s Kobayashi has retired.
  • …Another awesome driver with a terrible season.
  • …Who might not be back next season.
  • …That puts Stevens into 17th.
  • …In his F1 debut.
  • At Lap 49…
  • …Hamilton, Massa, Bottas, and Ricciardo lead.
  • Lap 50 of 55.
  • …Are you (still) breathing?
  • …How’s your heart rate?
  • …Have you missed the race, due to that mesmerizing technicolor illumination that is the tracktastic Yas Marina hotel roof?
  • SLAPS!
  • …5 laps remain.
  • Rosberg’s car is dying.
  • …That thing is crawling for its life around the track.
  • …Mercedes has radioed Hamilton that Rosberg is “no longer a threat”.
  • …So, unless Hamilton’s car croaks, he’s got his second Championship.
  • The gap between Massa and Hamilton is just under 3.2.
  • …As they enter the final two laps.
  • Mercedes has radioed Rosberg, instructing him to box.
  • …”Too many problems with the car”.
  • …Rosberg responds with a plea to just finish the race.
  • …He gets the clear.
  • …As Hamilton laps him.
  • Shot of Nicole, booking it to the garage.
  • Final lap.
  • Prince Harry at the Mercedes pit wall.
  • …This is huge for British motorsport.
  • Hamilton wins!
  • …The race, the Championship, everything.
  • Williams holds their double podium!
  • …Susie Wolff, Claire Williams, and the Williams crew go crazy!
  • Ricciardo goes from 19th to fourth.
  • …Watch this guy next season.
  • …I mean, he took Drivers’ third this season.
  • …His first season with Red Bull.
  • …In a car that wasn’t expected to function at all.
  • And, Button held his own and came in fifth.
  • …The World Champion without a confirmed seat for 2015.
  • …Apples.
  • …You like ’em?
  • Prince Harry radios Hamilton with congratulations.
  • …He’s met with massive “WOO”-ing.
  • Oh…
  • …Hamilton has picked up a Union Jack to take on the slow-down.
  • …So…
  • …That’s illegal.
  • …Hopefully, under the circumstances, they’ll let it slide.
  • …Prince Harry liked it.
  • …It’s international relations, really.
  • Paddy Lowe radios Rosberg to apologize for the car and reassure him that he “drove like a champ” and telling him that next season will be great.
  • …There really was nothing more he could do.
  • …Good call by Mercedes, letting him finish.
  • Shot of what appeared to be a very genuine, very nice exchange and hug between the Mercedes drivers.
  • …Yes, it’s over, you two.
  • …Someone had to win.
  • …It could have been either one.
  • …Really.
  • …Not one person should dare claim to have known how this was going to go.
  • …They drove amazingly.
  • …Truly amazingly.
  • …As annoying as the domination was.
  • …With (only) Ricciardo busting up the win party and (only) Massa busting up the pole party and all.
  • …They drove great.
  • Podium time.
  • …Toto Wolff could pick them all up at once.
  • …And, he should.
  • …I suspect he’s -clap- pumped.
  • …(Toto is Austrian.  Very.)
  • …Massa and Bottas take turns, stretching and standing on their toes to shower the Merc boys with…rose water (if I remember correctly).
  • …The bonus magic of Williams is their compactness and portability.
  • Man, people LOVE Massa.
  • …The crowd goes nuts for him.
  • …He’s just a likable guy with years of experience, packed full of talent and passion.
  • Bottas.
  • …Finnish as usual.
  • …Super-modest with a hint of Nordic disappointment.
  • …Definitely one of the, if not the, driver of the season.
  • …I’d toss the rookies (Magnussen, Kvyat, and Caterham’s Ericsson) into the mix.
  • …And, Bianchi.
  • …Who figured out how to make a Marussia competitive.
  • …Making life very difficult for many higher tier teams and drivers.
  • …And, collecting his and Marussia’s first two points ever.
  • …Bottas’ third-place finish gives him the win in the battle for Drivers’ fourth (with Vettel and Alonso).
  • …Let me repeat that…
  • …Bottas was battling Red Bull’s World Champion Vettel and Ferrari’s World Champion Alonso for fourth.
  • …And won.
  • …Also, did everyone notice that he and Rosberg engaged in a firm, pasty handshake (after the race)?
  • …Everyone else hugged.
  • …They handled it the Finnish way.
  • Observations on the non-champagne…
  • …Bottas didn’t bother with it, going straight to dumping it over people, rather than chugging it in typical Nordic fashion.
  • …Remember that even Magnussen chugged the crap out of the champagne (when he took his first podium in his first F1 race at Australia).
  • …Hamilton took a swig, made a face, smiled, laughed, and made some inaudible comment.
  • …It’s fun for everyone, really.
  • Toto picks the drivers up and carries them off.
  • …After what looked like a family photo.
  • …They should (all) send that out as a Christmas card.
  • …Which reminds me…
  • …Good race for the Wolff household, eh?
  • Interview with Rosberg.
  • …As Nordic dejection kicks in.
  • …Dude, you can’t get much closer than taking it to the final race.
  • …The final race.
  • …Contingent upon double points.
  • …It took a near-perfect race from Hamilton and a mechanical failure from Rosberg to settle it.
  • …He’s hoping to focus on the positives enough to party tonight.
  • …That would be the German.
  • …What is with Germans and partying?
  • …No, really.
  • …They default to it.
  • …I’m just not sold on this element of the culture.
  • Okay, I have to address Force India.
  • …Because, I do.
  • …I like them, it’s my babbling.
  • …After a string of second-half bad luck, they finished this race in sixth (Mr Incredible) and seventh (Perez).
  • …And, really, looking at the drivers ahead, that was as good as they were going to get.
  • …They fought for it and got it.
  • …And, they will have the same lineup next season.
  • …So, on top of talented drivers, they will have stability on their side.
  • Okay, so, Silly Season.
  • …Yuck.
  • …Anyway…
  • …Confirmed seats are…
  • …Mercedes: Hamilton, Rosberg.
  • …Red Bull: Ricciardo, Kvyat.
  • …Ferrari: Kimi, Vettel.
  • …Williams: Bottas, Massa.
  • …Force India: Mr Incredible, Perez.
  • …Lotus: Grosjean, Maldonado
  • …Toro Rosso: Verstappen.
  • …And, Sauber is saying that their lineup will be Nasr and Ericsson.
  • …But, they seem to have five drivers with agreements.
  • …So, who knows.
  • …If someone would like a seat, there’s no harm in asking Sauber.
  • …I guess.
  • …The following drivers are unsigned…
  • …Ferrari’s Alonso, McLaren’s Button, McLaren’s Magnussen, Sauber’s Sutil, Sauber’s Gutierrez, Caterham’s Kobayashi, and Toro Rosso’s Vergne.
  • …Teams with unconfirmed seats…
  • …McLaren (2), Toro Rosso (1).
  • …And, Caterham and Marussia’s existence remains unconfirmed.
  • …So, four seats (completely) up in the air.
  • …Math.
  • So, Abu Dhabi…
  • …Hamilton, Massa, Bottas, Ricciardo, Button, Mr Incredible, Perez, Vettel, Alonso, Kimi, Magnussen, Vergne, Grosjean, Rosberg, Gutierrez, Sutil, and Stevens.
  • …Kvyat, Maldonado, and Kobayashi retired.
  • The Drivers’ Championship ends as such…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Bottas, Vettel, Alonso, Massa, Button, Mr Incredible, Perez, Magnussen & Kimi (tied at 55), Vergne, Grosjean & Kvyat (tied at 8), Maldonado and Bianchi (tied at 2).
  • …Sutil, Ericsson, Gutierrez, Marussia’s Chilton, Kobayashi, and one-off-ers Stevens and Lotterer (both for Caterham) end with no points.
  • The Constructors’ Championship ends like this…
  • …Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India, Toro Rosso, Lotus, and Marussia.
  • …Sauber and Caterham end the season with no points.
  • …If you didn’t catch that in the Drivers’ results.
  • Well, that’s that.
  • …For Abu Dhabi.
  • …For the season.
  • …For my 2014 motorsport babbling.
  • …(The WRC ended last weekend.)
  • Frankly, I thought the season was amazing.
  • …These guys fought those cars.
  • …They pushed them.
  • …With every race, a completely new experience for even the most experienced drivers.
  • …Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who sucked.
  • …Some cars did.
  • …But, the drivers?
  • …Nah.
  • …Even Chilton stepped it up, once Bianchi scored those points for Marussia.
  • …Which was great to see, after watching him play it so safe that one couldn’t help but wonder why he’s there.
  • …The little teams who may not exist next year battled like the big boys.
  • …Thanks to mechanical issues and struggles to learn the cars across the board this season.
  • …I just think it’s unfortunate that anyone has to go, when this season was more like an extended round of testing.
  • …And everyone gave their all, littering the track with as many surprises as there was drama.
  • …A little Pollyanna?
  • …Of course.
  • …But, really, look back, look at the ups and downs over the entirety of the lineup, look beyond the results, and try to single out anyone as crappy and at fault.
  • …(Because, again, there were some dodgy cars; definitely.)
  • …They either made it happen or made it work.
  • …With all eyes on 2015.
  • …Collecting data and learning from every race.
  • …It was development.
  • …It evened things out a bit.
  • …And, it was awesome.
  • …As for me?
  • …I took this year to experiment, to find what works and what doesn’t.
  • …What might look like lapse-filled chaos is methodical madness.
  • …”F1 Friday”?
  • …Didn’t work.
  • …It’s too much to cram into one day.
  • …Especially, on race weekends.
  • …And, it battles time sensitivity and spontaneity.
  • …It didn’t work.
  • …But, quite a few posts were written and the lesson was a valuable one.
  • …Ido believe I will, however, keep doing the handwritten Cheat Sheets and grids.
  • …I like adding that personality to the site.
  • …It worked.
  • …As did just rolling commentary when I could.
  • …Last season, I ditched Practice coverage, focusing on Qualifying and the race.
  • …This year, I went back to covering everything I could.
  • …Which, I think, works best.
  • …It gives me more of an opportunity to cover more topics.
  • …Rather than cram them all into one or two.
  • …(Like this one.)
  • …Which, also, gives me more wiggle room, should I (unexpectedly) miss something, my site be down (this -did- happen a few times this year), or I just not feel like doing it, like I don’t have anything to offer or just want to enjoy the action.
  • …(Okay, I admit it, there was a rebroadcast of Qualifying at midnight.  I watched it.  It was nice to just watch it.  I think I should follow those instincts more, that it might give me a periodic reboot I may not even know I need.)
  • …Also, I found that backing away from social media helped immensely.
  • …Though I check driver and team accounts (directly), the rest is just a bunch of noise.
  • …Most of it, annoying.
  • …At best.
  • …And, kid you not, every time I back away from social media, my site stats go not just up, but freakishly up.
  • …I’d rather put my energy into the site content than clever blurbs for people to take out of context at their convenience and waste my time with aggressive attention-seeking.
  • …You know the ones.
  • …Trying to boost their confidence by bringing others down through making them look stupid by pointing out mistakes or 140-character generalizations and such.
  • …I (recently) read that employers (now) take social media clout into consideration when hiring.
  • …Not taking the story behind the numbers into consideration, of course.
  • …I think I’ll take my chances and opt out.
  • …Strive for quality over quantity.
  • …Not to say this is permanent or that it’s a 100% commitment.
  • …But, as of now, it’s just not a club I want to be in.
  • …All in all, it was a pretty okay year for this site.
  • …Fingers crossed that these lessons hold in the off-seasons.
  • …A month-ish to the Dakar.
  • …Two-ish months to Rallye Monte-Carlo.
  • …F1 returns in March.
  • …No, no plans of (actually) attending anything and trying my hand at live commentary.
  • …Anyway, I hope some of this managed mess was enjoyed by someone out there.
  • I don’t know how to end this.
  • …Tack, kiitos, merci, danke, gracias, and thank you, thank you, thank you…
  • …To anyone who has read these posts.
  • …You’re weird.
  • …In the best way possible.
  • …To F1 (and, while I’m here, the WRC, as none of the final round was covered).
  • …To every team, every driver, every reserve driver, every mechanic, every boss, everyone behind the scenes, everyone who makes this magic happen every session of every race, Bernie, the wonderful wives and girlfriends, and everyone, just everyone in F1.
  • …I’m a big believer in the good of F1.
  • …I see it every race.
  • …To the NBCSN crew of Steve Matchett, David Hobbs, Leigh Diffey, and Will Buxton.
  • …Because, really, these stupid commentary posts wouldn’t exist without the NBCSN/NBC/CNBC broadcasts.
  • …I cannot recommend watching these broadcasts enough.
  • …These guys are awesome.
  • …They make me laugh every round.
  • …I have zero firsthand experience, they do.
  • …I’ve learned so much, going from fan to babbler, paying more attention to the technical knowledge these guys drop every race.
  • …Thank you.
  • …After three years of F1 commentary and coverage, I think I’m getting into the swing of it.
  • …Thank you for offering so much to go off of.
  • …Every race is a new adventure.
  • ….So many stories behind those numbers.
  • …Thank you.
  • See you in 2015!
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