MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2015 GRAND PRIX OF BRAZIL (13.11.2015 – 15.11.2015) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Good morning!
  • Who’s ready for the Brazilian Grand Prix?
  • Because, it’s ready to go.
  • And, NBCSN has it.
  • Interlagos!!!
  • …Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
  • …A city circuit that is not a street circuit.
  • …A full, purpose-built F1 track, situated between two lakes (hence, the nickname “Interlagos”).
  • …Right, smack dab, in the middle of one of the most impressive cityscapes in the world.
  • …São Paulo, Brazil.
  • …It is 4.309km (2.677mi) in length.
  • …With 15 turns.
  • …Giving it an E.T. meditating shape.
  • …Today, there will be 71 laps.
  • …Run counterclockwise.
  • …With a total distance goal of 305.909km (190.083mi).
  • Last year…
  • …Mercedes’ Rosberg took the win.
  • …With (teammate) Hamilton on the second step.
  • …And, with Williams’ Massa, thinking globally and acting locally, in third.
  • Qualifying…
  • …It was Rosberg and Hamilton, picking up where they left off.
  • …With Ferrari’s Vettel right on them.
  • …It was Rosberg’s fifth (consecutive) pole.
  • …And, apparently, as good of a time as any for Hamilton to revert to being a douchey, little baby.
  • …If we’re being honest.
  • …Hamilton started the week with a wee-hours car accident in Monaco.
  • …And, though he took immediate and full credit for hitting three parked cars (yep), faulting social life fatigue and a cold…
  • …And, even though he’s (already) collected his Championship win…
  • …His desire to win at Interlagos (which he’s yet to do) has turned him into a bit of a beast.
  • …One word answers at the press conference.
  • …Following failing to join Rosberg and Vettel for the post-qualifying top-three shot.
  • …Which, as I just learned (from the NBCSN guys), is mandatory.
  • …No word on any sort of action.
  • …But, why would there be?
  • …Again, if we’re being honest, Hamilton seems to be able to run people off left and right, and it’s all okay.
  • …Please, riddle me this, that, and everything.
  • …Really.
  • …The whole creation of this site was based on focusing on the lighter and brighter sides of motorsport.
  • …Keep it positive, don’t critique what I can’t (possibly, fully) begin to understand, and so on.
  • …But, really, I’m not the only one who’s noticed this allowance of questionable behavior.
  • …While others get slapped with penalties for far less.
  • …Please, explain.
  • Anyway…
  • …It’s an oddly nice looking sky over Interlagos.
  • …At 81f.
  • …But, in the middle of the Brazilian rain forest…
  • …Well, there aren’t many dry Brazilian Grands Prix, are there?
  • The starting grid…
  • …Mercedes’ Rosberg and Hamilton
  • …Ferrari’s Vettel and Räikkönen
  • …Force India’s Hülkenberg and Red Bull’s Kvyat
  • …Williams’ Bottas and Massa
  • …Toro Rosso’s Verstappen and Sainz
  • …Force India’s Perez and Sauber’s Ericsson
  • …Sauber’s Nasr and Lotus’ Grosjean
  • …Lotus’ Maldonado and McLaren’s Button
  • …Manor’s Rossi and Stevens
  • …And, Red Bull’s Ricciardo and McLaren’s Alonso.
  • …Bottas had a three-place penalty, courtesy of passing Nasr on a red flag (in P2).
  • …In turn, Nasr had a three-place penalty for blocking Massa (in Qualifying).
  • …Ricciardo dropped to the back, thanks to another engine change.
  • …And, Alonso is parked in a camp chair, after this McHonda crapped out during Q1.
  • …Look up the hashtag, “PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe”.
  • …It’s beautiful.
  • …No one should be ashamed of having “too much time on their hands”.
  • …It’s great.
  • …The world needed a laugh this weekend.
  • …And McLaren have opted to lead the movement.
  • …Taking the podium, commandeering camp chairs, and so on.
  • Here we go!
  • Two cars, off…
  • …A McLaren and a Sauber?
  • …I sound like Kimi.
  • …That guy and someone.
  • Oh, goddammit…
  • …In a Frogger rush through traffic, Bottas’ tires just missed the tires of Kimi.
  • …Those two.
  • …Seriously.
  • Yellow flag.
  • …As Sainz comes to a very quick halt.
  • …After having to start from pitlane.
  • …Following stopping on track during the recce.
  • …So, they tried.
  • At Lap 6…
  • …It’s Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, and Räikkönen in the lead.
  • Pitting, pitting, pitting.
  • …I do believe the general plan is to make this is a three-stop race.
  • That Rosberg stop seemed a little lengthy.
  • …But, I’ll avoid looking too deeply into it.
  • Despite all the pit stops…
  • …At Lap 17…
  • …Nothing has changed at the front.
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, and Kimi lead.
  • …The lone retirement remains Sainz.
  • My word count just hit 669.
  • …It’s evil, but more sexual.
  • Hamilton is radioing for a pit stop timeline.
  • …He has some tire concerns.
  • Do you want a leader update, or are you cool?
  • …At Lap 25…
  • …Nothing has changed.
  • News time?
  • Well, leadership at Manor is changing.
  • …(Team Principal) Booth and (President/Sporting Director) Lowdon have stepped down.
  • …Effective following Abu Dhabi.
  • …And, they’ve appointed Dave Ryan as Racing Director.
  • …-shrugs-
  • …A bit (very) odd, but let’s see where they’re going with this.
  • Texas has slashed funding, leaving F1 darling Austin in jeopardy.
  • …But, being a favorite, there’s (already) a movement to keep it active.
  • …Ricciardo, himself, vocalized an intention to start a petition if needed.
  • …But, hopefully, it won’t be needed.
  • Hamilton is radioing that he needs a new strategy.
  • …He’s been advised that Plan B is out of the question at this point.
  • …Yep, he’s doing his panicky thing.
  • …If he fails to win, he may just have to pull over, before knocking down his place sign at parc ferme.
  • …Oh, Monaco was beautiful, wasn’t it?
  • Serious wheel-to-wheel between Verstappen and Perez.
  • …Verstappen wins.
  • …#teen.
  • …Oh, and Grosjean slips on through in the middle of it all.
  • …Nice.
  • Hamilton pits.
  • …After being directed that “It’s Hammer time”.
  • Very bad touch between Maldonado and Ericsson.
  • …Maldonado keeps going, as the Swede bounces sideways.
  • …He (Ericsson) appears to (still) be going, though.
  • Mercedes have radioed Rosberg to move to Plan B.
  • …It’s OTC and available when needed, you know.
  • As Grosjean zips by Perez.
  • …Again.
  • At Lap 39…
  • …Rosberg and Hamilton continue to do their thing at the top.
  • …As Kimi and Vettel (momentarily) swap spots behind them.
  • …Eventually returning to their usual running order programming.
  • Maldonado has been slapped with a five-second time penalty for inappropriately touching Ericsson’s tires (earlier).
  • While Massa is being investigated for starting grid tire pressure and temperature infractions.
  • …Hey, if Mercedes weren’t punished (earlier in the season)…
  • …After Ricciardo lost his second-place finish at Australia 2014 for that (very similar) fuel gage silliness.
  • …This (absolutely) cannot be an issue (now).
  • …Pick a precedent and stick with it.
  • Kvyat passes Maldonado for seventh.
  • Back to some news?
  • The Red Bull power unit issue has (finally) been explained.
  • …Apparently, it was a Red Bull engineer, working with Renault, who solved their problem.
  • …So, basically, the issue was an intellectual property matter.
  • …The result of which will be a collaborative unit, running as “Infiniti” (next season).
  • …Which makes so much sense (now).
  • …The frustration, the secrecy, the lack of commitment to another supplier, and so on.
  • …Anyway, Red Bull have confirmed that they are locked and loaded for 2016.
  • Speaking of Red Bull…
  • …Ricciardo passes Perez (for 11th).
  • …As he continues to come back from that back row start.
  • Another pit stop for Rosberg.
  • …It’s clean.
  • …And, away he goes.
  • …Requesting an update on his teammate’s pitting as he goes.
  • …Everyone watching can help you, there, Nico.
  • …He’s got new tires.
  • …He’s right behind you.
  • At Lap 53…
  • …It’s (still) Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, and Kimi on top.
  • …With Bottas (still) behind them.
  • …And, Mr Incredible (still) behind him.
  • Apparently, Button has just given the world another Jenson Button radio byte.
  • …”Stop talking to me in the braking zone!  If you need to talk to me, you’ve got the whole straight!”
  • …Oh, those McHonda boys.
  • …They couldn’t have a better lineup for their development process.
  • …Two World Champions, both tremendously experienced and good for precise and clear feedback…
  • …And, both, just cool and with a great sense of humor.
  • Mr Incredible has radioed Force India, asking for a weather update.
  • …Noting that the track has darkened.
  • …It has.
  • …Substantially.
  • …There are storms forecasted within the next hour.
  • …But, looking at the satellite, I think they’ll be safe to the end.
  • …Give, or take, the possibility of a few warning droplets.
  • …As Vettel requests a weather update.
  • …With the same darkness concerns.
  • …By the way…
  • …Yes, I check the weather, myself.
  • …I (also) do my homework and run searches to answer any background questions.
  • …If you want to annoy me, be that person who asks easily searchable questions over social social media (first).
  • …Pet peeves of the modern world.
  • …Have you ever noticed that those people are (often) the same people who jump on others for (innocent, and assuming people will roll with the known limitations) 140-character-based information infractions?
  • …This is why I’m not allowed on Twitter any more.
  • …Too frustrating.
  • With 10 laps to go…
  • …Nothing has changed at the front.
  • …Your top 10 stands at Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Kimi, Bottas, Mr Incredible, Kvyat, Massa, Grosjean, and Maldonado.
  • Ricciardo has passed Perez (for 12th).
  • Verstappen passes Maldonado (for 10th).
  • Lap 69.
  • …Cue that heavy bass line!
  • Final lap…
  • Rosberg wins his second (consecutive) Brazilian Grand Prix!
  • Hamilton takes a disgruntled second.
  • And, Vettel takes the final step on the podium.
  • …So, they finished in the same order they qualified in.
  • The Finns round out the top five.
  • …Kimi in fourth, Bottas in fifth.
  • …Totally separate, not as one.
  • …Which is nice.
  • Mr Incredible, Kvyat, Massa, Grosjean, and Verstappen complete the top 10.
  • …So, points for those boys.
  • With Maldonado, Ricciardo, Perez, Nasr, Button, Alonso, Ericsson, Stevens, and Rossi completing the task.
  • …As Sainz remains the lone retirement.
  • So, we have some Championship news, then…
  • …Rosberg has secured second.
  • …Meaning Vettel takes third.
  • …Williams has secured third in the Constructors’ Championship.
  • …Behind Ferrari and (winners) Mercedes.
  • …As Red Bull secures fourth and Force India secures fifth.
  • …Force India has tweeted a memo that this is their best result to date.
  • …That said, they’re pretty stoked.
  • …And, to think that they missed out on pre-season test time.
  • …Running a slightly updated 2014 car through a good part of the season.
  • …The same goes for Red Bull.
  • …They’ve been an unreliable mess.
  • …But, these teams have solid drivers and good attitudes.
  • …Just rolling with the punches and looking ahead.
  • …So, great job to those guys.
  • …You earned it the hard way.
  • …You’re good to go from here.
  • Podium time!
  • …Man, Vettel is the wrong/right person to be up there with that Mercedes show.
  • …He’s got the right sense of humor for it.
  • …Just kick back and enjoy the show.
  • Hamilton’s face, behind Rosberg (while Brundle was interviewing him), was priceless.
  • …One of those sort of…frozen smiles.
  • …Forced in politeness, in show.
  • …Eyes, just checked out.
  • …Significantly less amusing was how quickly he rushed off.
  • …Yes, everyone has these days, these crushing moments.
  • …But, Hamilton has a lot of them.
  • …He needs to reel this behavior in.
  • …It’s not cool.
  • …Yes, he wants to win at Interlagos.
  • …The whole Senna-hero thing.
  • …But, I bet it’s at the top of a lot of to-do lists.
  • …Starting with the two Brazilian drivers.
  • …(Massa -has- won at Interlagos; in fact, he won in Brazil just moments before Hamilton took the Championship from him.  Which may have been hard to take.)
  • …It’s the home of Senna, Senna is an F1 god…
  • …Chill, dude; chill.
  • …Repeat for feeling a bit under the weather.
  • …How many times have we seen drivers, sick or hurt, get through with a little more tact?
  • …I think the kicker (here) is that Hamilton is so much better than this.
  • …There’s more than enough evidence out there that he’s a really (genuinely) good, nice guy, who’s worked very hard to get to where he is.
  • …He’s better than these toddler tantrums.
  • …Okay, I’m done.
  • …Sorry, but I go from writing about the inclusive, fun World Rally Championship community…
  • …To this spectacle.
  • …Not that there haven’t been shit shows in the WRC.
  • …Just…nothing quite like this.
  • Hey, but, you know…
  • …While I’m a bit fired up…
  • …Why don’t we get to the most upsetting F1 news as of late?
  • …After years in the world’s coolest dead-end job, (Williams’ test driver) Susie Wolff has announced her retirement from motorsport.
  • …Citing a vow she had made to herself that she would get out if/when she knew that it just wasn’t going to happen.
  • …Sadly, after gaining the respect of the F1 community since joining Williams as a development driver in 2012, Wolff concluded that she was never going to get the opportunity to race.
  • …Adding that she doesn’t see any opportunities for a woman to join the grid in the near future.
  • …Really, how upsetting is that?
  • …Not that she’s retiring.
  • …I mean, it’s a huge loss.
  • …But, that’s what you’re supposed to do with dead-end jobs.
  • …Leave, before it starts to destroy you.
  • …What’s upsetting is that F1 let this happen.
  • …Far more guys have been promoted with far less experience.
  • …Guys have just walked on, have bought seats.
  • …How hard is it to give women the opportunity to fail on their own.
  • …Is that too much to ask?
  • …Is there a fear that they might not fail at all?
  • …I mean, it’s not like football, where men have a massive physical advantage.
  • …If anything, wouldn’t women have a potential advantage?
  • …The car does a lot of the work, which much of the rest being mental and reactionary.
  • …Which are gender-blind qualities.
  • …With women (generally) having a size advantage in the smaller and lighter world of F1 racing.
  • …On top of it, it’s not like you can tell if a driver is a man or a woman.
  • …They’re tucked into cockpits, with full helmets on.
  • …So, someone, please, give me some actual, factual, valid answers as to what the issue is?
  • …And, yes, there’s an early development issue.
  • …That’s known.
  • …But, what about the women who -are- available?
  • …What’s the problem?
  • …And, it’s a widespread issue in motorsport.
  • …Not just F1.
  • …Which is -really- troubling.
  • …Are they not marketable?
  • …That seems incorrect.
  • …There’s a lot women can do outside of posing in bikinis, you know.
  • …And, guess what?
  • …Women are willing to play the game.
  • …We’re not stupid.
  • …But, maybe, it does come back to the Jennifer Lawrence issue of not being demanding enough.
  • …Do women have to be more demanding in their quest for a grid spot?
  • …Is that all?
  • …(I say this like it wouldn’t involve trying to reverse an existence of training in being passive.)
  • …What?
  • …What is it?
  • …Do tell.
  • …Because, it’s not just drivers.
  • …Look at how few women are involved in motorsport at all levels.
  • …Down to fans.
  • …And, I must say, from experience, there -is- a mentality problem, there.
  • …Oh, the times my points and recollections have been responded to with verbal pats on the head.
  • …Just the fact of preceding a title with “female”/”girl” is a little troubling.
  • …How about just “driver”/”engineer”/”reporter”/”writer”/”fan”?
  • …This news hit hard.
  • …Just an absolute blow to the chest, with a sensation of being knocked to the floor.
  • …It’s been hard to shake the feeling of, “what’s the point?”.
  • …And, if all you’re getting from this is that Wolff lacked qualifications, that her DTM record wasn’t very impressive, that it didn’t qualify her for a Super License (under the new rules)…
  • …Can we look at how quickly, and how well, she took to an F1 car?
  • …Can we look at all the drivers who have succeeded in F1 with little experience behind the wheel of anything?
  • …People take to things differently, often unexpectedly.
  • …There was (only) one way to test her abilities.
  • …Like I said, how hard is it to give someone the opportunity to fail?
  • …To prove you were right?
  • …I absolutely, positively believe that everyone out there tries their best.
  • …Give, or take, some off days.
  • …But, really, look at all the questionable drivers who have been on the grid over the years.
  • …Those guys constantly accused of buying seats and such.
  • …Why can’t women have that same sink-or-swim opportunity?
  • …That’s where I’m stumped.
  • …That said, retirement aside, if Manor would like to toss an offer out there…
  • …I’m sure Wolff would listen.
  • …She knows Mercedes engines, you know.
  • …And, it wouldn’t be the first woman to work with Manor/Marussia.
  • …Maria de Villota sustained her (ultimately) fatal accident while running straight line tests for Marussia.
  • …These girls are tough, and they’re just as willing to work and put their lives on the line as men.
  • …With her experience, a Super License would be attainable.
  • …If given the resources.
  • …I just thought I’d toss that idea out there.
  • …(Yes, now, I’m feeling bad for sacrificing Manor’s three existing drivers, all of whom have done so amazingly all season.)
  • …And, for crying out loud, do not let Carmen Jorda slip through the cracks.
  • …She’s here, now give her the opportunity to show what she can do.
  • …She may fail, but there’s just as good of a chance that she could succeed.
  • …There are a lot of changes in line for Lotus.
  • …Let’s not lose Jorda (in F1) in the process.
  • Okay, rant over.
  • More opportunities for women.
  • Less poopiness from Hamilton.
  • Cool?
  • Next up…
  • …The grand finale.
  • …Under the lights of Abu Dhabi.
  • …Abu Dhabi dooo!!!
  • …27-29 November.
  • …Yes, yes, yes, yes.
  • …Those Ferrari boys know what to do at Yas Marina, you know.
  • …Some of them do all time.
  • …In fact, you don’t have to remind every second.
  • …Can they send a clear letter of intent to Mercedes on this last stop?
  • …Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
  • …Until then…
  • …Just look back on this race weekend, at this international sport of so many backgrounds, coming together, competing, and sharing laughs, and remember that there -is- a hell of a lot of good in the world.
  • …Like in F1, there’s a lot of potential that can (only) be reached by trying.
  • Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
  • See you in Abu Dhabi.