MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2015 GRAND PRIX OF THE UNITED STATES (23.10.2015 – 25.10.2015) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE? /// QUALIFYING…

  • Hi.
  • So…
  • …We are on our third half-hour Qualifying delay.
  • …Or, as I like to see it…
  • …Testing my suggestions for Qualifying.
  • …I’ve been tossing shit like dancing and swapping clothes out there for years.
  • …And, from what the F1 world has just seen…
  • …I may have been onto something.
  • This…
  • …Has been great.
  • …This may be my favorite race action to date.
  • The rain delay has seen…
  • Red Bull’s Kvyat and Ricciardo, dancing together.
  • …In perfect unison.
  • …Just beautiful.
  • The Williams mechanics…
  • …On the ground, lined up, for mock-rowing.
  • Force India…
  • …Starting with the wave…
  • …Before moving onto break dancing.
  • …Yes, break dancing.
  • …And, wearing little paper boat hats.
  • Sauber…
  • …Building a wagon…
  • …And pulling crew members down the pitlane.
  • …As (so often so very serious team principal) Monisha Kaltenborn kicks back, swinging her red rain boot-clad feet, with a huge smile.
  • Red Bull…
  • …Have moved onto bowling.
  • …Using Red Bull cans.
  • Lotus…
  • …Have Matt LeBlanc.
  • …And have reported that they’ve been practicing, “How you doin'” through the delays.
  • Toro Rosso…
  • …Have dressed Carlos Sainz and Jos Verstappen in Toro Rosso overalls…
  • …Complete with helmets on…
  • …And, putting them in their sons’ (respective) cars.
  • …It’s like ‘Freaky Friday’.
  • …For those whose Day of the Week underpants are all mixed up/lost.
  • Manor…
  • …Has been watching Stevens, using a blow dryer to dry out his gloves and shoes.
  • NBCSN’s Will Buxton…
  • …Has cornered (Ferrari reserve driver) Gutierrez…
  • …With absolutely no one to help him out, or save him…
  • …And asked him, “What are your plans next Friday?”.
  • …Eluding to Haas’ coming driver announcement.
  • …Gutierrez handled it like a pro, ultimately laughing, and adding, “Well, I hope it’s a Mexican driver!”.
  • …Buxton (also) captured a shot of water coming in, under the media center doors.
  • Meanwhile, at Mercedes…
  • …Rosberg and Lauda have started kicking (Rosberg) and throwing (Lauda) a soccer ball back and forth for the crowd.
  • …After Hamilton scaled the fencing to give the fans a wave and keep them stoked.
  • …And, after Rosberg reported a Mercedes 1-2 on track.
  • …With a photo of the safety cars, circling the circuit.
  • And, back to Force India…
  • …Home-enough driver Perez is out and doing his part to keep the crowd stoked.
  • …With the Mexican GP returning, and Manor’s introduction of Rossi…
  • …That doesn’t mean we have to return Perez and Gutierrez as “home” drivers, does it?
  • …I mean, the Americas stick together in these things.
  • …Canada/Mexico/The US are a package deal.
  • …It was a sad day, when passports became required to cross the borders.
  • …As far as I’m concerned, Perez can keep the USGP and Canadian GP as home races.
  • …Rossi can stick around and play, too.
  • …Now, just waiting for Gutierrez.
  • All that fun recapped…
  • …Another delay has been announced.
  • …We are onto two hours, now.
  • …But, everyone is holding out for something to change.
  • …Remember, Texas has a lot of daylight left.
  • Mercedes has requested that the fans, bracing the elements in the stands right now, be allowed on the paddock.
  • …Sauber and Lotus have retweeted and supported it.
  • …There are a lot of people out there…
  • …For the conditions.
  • …But, the number isn’t very high.
  • …So, do it.
  • …Give them an unexpected little treat.
  • Force India has accepted Sauber’s boat challenge.
  • …And have developed their own little wagon-boat-thing.
  • …Complete with passengers.
  • …There it goes, down the pitlane!
  • …Bonus…
  • …Force India has reported that it doubles as a bathtub.
  • …When left out in this crap.
  • …So, that’s cool.
  • Another 30-minute delay, folks.
  • …Bringing the grand total to…
  • …Two hours and thirty minutes.
  • The announcement was won by…
  • …Mercedes.
  • …Who used pure sarcasm.
  • …”Wait for it… wait for it…”
  • …”SHOCK REVELATION: #USGP #Quali delayed by… any guesses?”
  • Okay…
  • …That’s as far as the NBCSN coverage can go.
  • …I will…
  • …I guess I can keep this page up, keep an eye on things, and see how it goes.
  • …I mean, Lotus has just been challenged to instigate an all-inclusive conga line.
  • …And, they’re into it.
  • …I’m feeling it.
  • …I feel like it’s my duty to follow this story.
  • …Because, I’m so seriously and such.
  • I’m hearing that Rossi is giving football lessons at Manor.
  • …I’m waiting for photos.
  • Speaking of waiting…
  • …Official word is that, if things don’t clear up by 4pm…
  • …It’ll be time to call it a day.
  • …Qualifying will be held at 9am tomorrow.
  • …So, this is the final half hour delay.
  • …Whatchya got, F1?
  • Oh…
  • …Force India has suggested a cross-paddock origami contest.
  • …I’m into it.
  • …What else?
  • …How’s Lotus doing with that conga line?
  • …No word (yet).
  • Here…
  • …Here’s a photo from Coach Rossi’s football lessons at Manor…
  • … https://instagram.com/p/9O9mqGCzwE/?taken-by=manorf1team
  • …Go Longhorns.
  • …Which reminds me…
  • …I had college football scores up just a bit ago…
  • …But, forgot to confirm that the (home, at Austin) Texas-Kansas State game was cancelled.
  • …I just assume that it would be.
  • …I was distracted by Clemson, crushing Miami, 58-0.
  • …And, the 4OT 54-46 Arkansas over Auburn game.
  • …Oh, hey, they played.
  • …Texas won, 23-9.
  • …Baylor (also) hosted their game against Iowa State.
  • …Because, Texas.
  • …I’m not that invested.
  • …I used to watch college football.
  • …So, I like to keep up just a little.
  • Things are really winding down.
  • …With five minutes to the deadline.
  • …(Cue Europe’s “The Final Countdown”.)
  • …I think it’s time to call it a day.
  • …But, not before Pirelli’s Paul Hembery has dug up an old Pirelli raincoat advertisement…
  • …Suggesting they revisit the market.
  • …Force India, Sauber, and Lotus are enjoying the school buses on track.
  • …I think the winning comment goes to…
  • …Force India.
  • …”The Safety Car sure isn’t as fancy as it used to be.”
  • …While Sauber has retweeted F1’s photo of the Safety Car, on track, with a helpful reminder to…
  • …”Mind the buses ;-)”
  • …While Mercedes is taking in the track action…
  • …Yes, the Safety Cars.
  • Okay, well…
  • …That’s that.
  • …Qualifying will be at 9am (CT) tomorrow.
  • …Hopefully.
  • …Worst case scenario, you know the drill.
  • …The P3 results.
  • …Which would put Hamilton and Mr Incredible on the front row.
  • …Remember that he has a very good shot at clinching the Drivers’ Championship this weekend.
  • …And, if you’ve not gotten this memo…
  • …The last driver to take the Championship in the US was…
  • …Keke Rosberg.
  • …Nico’s dad.
  • …Take from that what you will.
  • Anyway…
  • …I have to say…
  • …For having so little action…
  • …This may be my favorite F1 GP of all time.
  • …Everyone looked so genuinely happy.
  • …Like they were really and truly having the time of their lives.
  • …All around the paddock.
  • …AND, in the stands!
  • …Look, it takes a lot to faze Americans, weatherwise.
  • …(There were no tornadoes; it was fine!)
  • …Those people looked not like they were huddled up, waiting for the action to start.
  • …But, like they were a part of something unique.
  • …And loving it.
  • …I would say that I’m so very, truly sorry for the terrible weather.
  • …But…
  • …This has been everything, and then some.
  • …Oh, my god.
  • …For all the words I’m putting down…
  • …None of them even begin to accurately encapsulate my love of what has happened (here) today.
  • …The thing that gets me down about F1 is how serious it gets.
  • …How untouchable.
  • …In the WRC, there’s constant fan-driver interaction.
  • …And a pretty loose atmosphere.
  • …It’s something I’ve wanted to see more of in F1.
  • …As much as I adore them equally.
  • …Like, I love Vettel’s screwing around and joking.
  • …I love when the teams get the silly banter going on social media.
  • …The basis of sports is fun.
  • …It’s why kids start playing sports.
  • …Not for glory.
  • …For the love of the feeling of playing.
  • …Isn’t holding onto that the ultimate goal?
  • …You know, the whole lesson of ‘Peter Pan’ and all?
  • …People tend to focus on the never growing up element.
  • …But, the message of the story was growing up, but never forgetting to stay a kid at heart.
  • …Also, try not to lose your marbles.
  • …Anyway…
  • …I hope everyone really did have as much fun as everyone appeared to be having.
  • …I loved watching it all go down.
  • …And, yes, thanks for rubbing that non-attendance in my face.
  • …Dicks.
  • Oh!
  • Hey!
  • “Bernie, Bobby and Mayor Adler invite all of our fans to come to the pit areas at 4:20PM.”
  • Signs with this and further details are flashing around COTA, with the message spreading across all media outlets.
  • Oh, now, that’s just cool!
  • Sauber’s Ericsson has (already) been mingling with the bus passengers.
  • Your dedication has not gone unnoticed, folks.
  • Everything is set up for (necessary) crowd control.
  • They’re waiting for ya, fans!
  • Enjoy!!!!!!!
  • …(Everyone!  Fans, teams, everyone!  Have fun, you just rode the storm out together!)
  • Now…
  • …Can I get the Manor boys to reenact the ‘Dirty Dancing’ lift (before I sign off)?
  • …No, it doesn’t matter who plays which role.
  • …Though, I do have a suggestion.
  • …(I’m pretty sure no one needs any psychic gifts, here.)
  • …Please?
  • …Please???
  • Aw…
  • …Mercedes has pulled out Rosberg’s car.
  • …So the fans can get a closer look.
  • …I suspect they’ve done this down the line.
  • …But, Mercedes is the first to relay a photo.
  • …Seriously.
  • …That’s so cool, guys.
  • …What you’re doing.
  • …Man, I’m a little sad to see THIS come to an end.
  • …Really…
  • …Find out how to inject more of this atmosphere into F1.
  • Have I mentioned that Fernando Alonso’s first photo out of Austin (this week) was of a squirrel?
  • …Who loves squirrels?
  • …This bitch.
  • …Me.
  • …I do.
  • …Like, you know how people get all giddy-weird over cat videos?
  • …I follow squirrels on Instagram.
  • …I just can’t get enough.
  • …The whole too-cute-to-handle physical responses and baby talk and all, yes.
  • …I love rodents so much.
  • …Squirrels are just so awesome.
  • …They have two modes: statue and spastic.
  • …There’s no in-between.
  • …I love squirrel brains.
  • …They get it.
  • …And, it would appear, Alonso gets it.
  • …I mean, that’s your photo?
  • …Clearly, someone has taken note of the awesomeness of squirrels.
  • …Or, at least, I like to believe this.
  • Well…
  • …Now that I’ve admitted to a weird love of squirrels…
  • I think it’s time to wrap this up.
  • Sad as I am to do this.
  • This has really and truly been such a pleasure.
  • I’m a pretty (very) emotionally detached robot.
  • I’m incapable of enjoying myself.
  • I don’t feel much.
  • …(There’s no explanation for the squirrel/rodent weakness thing.)
  • So, when I say that this was fun beyond words…
  • …There’s weight to it.
  • Think about it…
  • …P3 coverage started at 11:30am.
  • …It’s (now) after 5pm.
  • …That’s approaching six hours of sticking around for minimal track action.
  • …And, just think of how much longer the fans, teams, and official media stuck it out.
  • …Having the greatest time ever.
  • Okay, people…
  • …Kimi is out, in the rain, taking pictures with kids.
  • Best race weekend ever.
  • Loving this SO HARD.
  • Austin…
  • …You are a magical town.
  • …Just dancing to the beat of your own…
  • …Why did I just think of Matthew McConaughey and his naked bongos incident?
  • …Bygones…
  • …Anyway, stay weird, Austin.
  • And, F1…
  • …Keep coming back and flying your freak flags.
  • …Don’t let a little sunshine and dry track get in your way.
  • Okay, okay, okay…
  • …I’m going.
  • …Fine.
  • …Ack.
  • Tomorrow…
  • …CNBC will be airing Qualifying live, at 9am (CT).
  • …Got that?
  • …Qualifying.
  • …9am (CT).
  • …CNBC.
  • …Then, coverage will shift to NBC for the race.
  • …At 1:30pm (CT).
  • …USGP.
  • …1:30pm (CT).
  • …NBC.
  • …Weather-wise…
  • …I’m seeing a 70% chance of rain…
  • …But, significantly less.
  • …And, clearing out pretty early.
  • …It is expected to be windy, however.
  • …Like, 15-25mph.
  • …And, cooler.
  • …With a high of 66f.
  • …So, a (totally) new game, with new challenges.
  • …But, whatever happens, it’ll be great.
  • …Starting at 9am (CT).
  • …With Qualifying.
  • …Just making sure you caught that.
  • …CNBC, US.
  • …Got it?
  • Also…
  • …Here’s a (stetson-clad) Fernando Alonso fan selfie from the paddock…
  • https://instagram.com/p/9PJ4O5Bmnf/?taken-by=fernandoalo_oficial
  • …While you’re there…
  • …Squirrel photo.
  • …Just saying.
  • Bygones.
  • Cool.
  • A Sunday Qualifying-race double header.
  • Game.
  • On.
  • Oh, my god…
  • …The driver selfies (with fans) keep coming!
  • I’ve gotta go!
  • If you’re in Austin…
  • …Be safe.
  • Everyone…
  • …Just enjoy!
  • Over and out.