MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2016 GRAND PRIX OF CHINA (15.4.2016 – 17.4.2016) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Good whatever!
  • It’s 1am in my part of the world.
  • But, more importantly…
  • It’s F1 time in Shanghai.
  • Yep.
  • It’s time for the 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix.
  • Shanghai International Circuit…
  • …Shaped like a boxing bunny.
  • …5.451km (3.387mi) in length.
  • …16 turns.
  • …Run clockwise.
  • …With 56 laps scheduled for today.
  • …Bringing the total distance goal to 305.066km (189.559mi).
  • Here we go!
  • Ricciardo takes the lead!!!
  • Contact!
  • …Kvyat and a Ferrari!!!
  • …The Ferrari’s hit each other!!!
  • …If you’re looking to define “disastrous start”…
  • …Look no further than  Ferrari!
  • …And, for those of us, wondering what trouble Ferrari would find themselves in today…
  • …Yep…
  • …Red is lucky in China…
  • …But not so much in this case.
  • Hamilton comes away from that first turn with front wing damage.
  • …Because, sure, why not?
  • …Join the party.
  • There’s just a lot happening here.
  • And, now, a lot of emergency pitting.
  • Ricciardo loses a tire!!!
  • …Ricciardo’s rear-left has just split and flown off!!!
  • Dear, god; who’s left?!
  • At Lap 7…
  • …Under a Safety Car…
  • …It’s Rosberg, Massa, Alonso, and Wehrlein in the lead.
  • …Yep.
  • …The Manor, that started from Row 11.
  • …After that Q1 off.
  • …Want the rest?
  • …Gutierrez, Kvyat, Palmer, Haryanto, Perez, and Bottas complete the top 10.
  • …With Button, Sainz, Hülkenberg, Ericsson, Vettel, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Räikkönen, Grosjean, Hamilton, and Nasr completing the conga line.
  • Oh, hey, if you thought that the pitlane was immune from all the crashing…
  • …Nope.
  • …It looks like both Toro Rosso cars had near-misses.
  • …With Button joining in the fun.
  • Race on!
  • By the way…
  • …On replay…
  • …It doesn’t appear that Kvyat did anything at all.
  • …He just seemed to take Vettel off guard.
  • …Vettel, then slammed into Kimi.
  • …Further back, Nasr and Hamilton bumped…
  • …When Nasr tried to avoid a reentering Kimi…
  • …At the same time that Hamilton tried to avoid debris.
  • …And, in the middle…
  • …Ericsson and Grosjean touched in what looked like a pretty innocent racing incident.
  • …They just got too close in that T1 squeeze.
  • At Lap 12…
  • …It’s Rosberg on top…
  • …With Massa, Kvyat, and Alonso racing for the podium.
  • …Vettel has worked his way up to sixth.
  • …With Perez defending fifth with everything he’s got.
  • But, ultimately, a Force India’s everything is no match for Vettel’s Ferrari.
  • Kvyat passes Massa for second.
  • Vettel has just passed Alonso (for fourth).
  • …Remember when Vettel went from pitlane to podium at Abu Dhabi 2012?
  • …It -was- 2012?wasn’t it?
  • …The year of Kimi’s radio magic?
  • …Bygones.
  • …It happened.
  • …Vettel is a guy who can do this.
  • …And, do it with ease.
  • Perez passes Alonso (for fifth).
  • …Alonso did -not- take a pit stop through all that madness.
  • …So, no need to be alarmed.
  • …Yep, now, he’s going in for a stop.
  • By the way, there was contact between Bottas and Vettel a bit earlier.
  • …Because, of course there was.
  • …So very many bad touches today.
  • Another guy who isn’t too worried about a rear start is Hamilton.
  • …Who is up to eighth.
  • …After all that.
  • If I could pick one concern…
  • …It would be Kimi.
  • …He was up to 15th.
  • …But, has dropped…
  • …Yes, dropped…
  • …To 19th.
  • Alonso reenters in 16th.
  • …Okay, well, that sucks.
  • …But, let’s see what he can do.
  • Kvyat and Massa (both) pit.
  • Kvyat reenters ahead of Vettel.
  • …Race…
  • …On.
  • …Kvyat is defending, and defending hard.
  • …However…
  • …He’s got Hamilton ahead of him.
  • …Yes, Hamilton.
  • …With Bottas running in second.
  • Rosberg pits.
  • …It’s good.
  • …He maintains the lead.
  • Hülkenberg is under investigation…
  • …For driving unnecessarily slowly in pitlane entry.
  • …Well…
  • …You don’t see that every day.
  • …In a quick decision, he’s slapped with a five-second penalty.
  • …Mr Incredible is up to two penalties this weekend.
  • …He’s this weekend’s naughty boy.
  • …Or, a patsy for Force India’s boo-boos.
  • At Lap 24…
  • …Rosberg (still) leads…
  • …With Kvyat, Vettel, and Button shooting for the podium.
  • …Perez completes the top five…
  • …With Massa, Bottas, Ricciardo, Sainz, and…
  • …Well, hello, Kimi…
  • …Holding points positions.
  • …Kimi gets pissy and Nordic-y bummed.
  • …But, when he wakes up, he really goes.
  • Mr Incredible radios his team…
  • …”I think we should consider an alternative strategy guys…”
  • …Receiving the response…
  • …”We’re on it.”
  • …Yeah, I’m not sure anyone is actually -on- a strategy at this point.
  • …Just, uh, go, and try not to make any more contact?
  • Button is dropping…
  • …And, not fighting to defend…
  • …Which entails a pit stop coming up.
  • It’s worth noting that not one car has retired…
  • …Thus far.
  • …Knock on wood.
  • Button (finally) stops.
  • As do Perez and Ericsson.
  • At Lap 30…
  • …It’s Rosberg, Kvyat, Vettel, Massa, and Bottas on top.
  • …With Ricciardo, Sainz, Räikkönen, Hamilton, and Verstappen completing the top ten.
  • …With everything changing with every look at the standings.
  • …With a little less than half the race remaining…
  • …There’s (still) a lot of time for more craziness.
  • …And, you know, good racing.
  • …That, too.
  • If you’re wondering where Haas is…
  • …Well…
  • …Everyone knew there would be days like this in their first year.
  • …Currently, Gutierrez is running in 12th…
  • …To complete his disastrous weekend…
  • …While Grosjean hasn’t been able to recover from that early wing damage…
  • …Running in 18th.
  • …But, actually, it’s not bad, given how their weekend has been going.
  • …And, still, pretty amazing for it being (only) their third race.
  • …Ever.
  • …They’re not worried.
  • …These things happen to every team, all the time.
  • …No matter how successful, or how established.
  • …It’s all good.
  • …Happy 30th birthday, Romain.
  • …Yes, only 30.
  • …He’s just getting started.
  • Kvyat and Vettel pit.
  • …From second and third, respectively.
  • …The reenter in the order they entered…
  • …But, behind Rosberg and…
  • …Ricciardo.
  • …And, just ahead of…
  • …Kimi.
  • …It’s come full-circle, kids.
  • …I just don’t know what to say.
  • …Other than that, anyone poo-poo-ing F1 as ‘boring’ needs their head checked.
  • …Seriously.
  • …As a psych nerd, and F1 fan, I’m very fascinated by the psychology of those bored by this.
  • Vettel overtakes Kvyat.
  • …He is (now) in a former-team sammich.
  • Kimi pits.
  • …You can see some fragments of strategy, now.
  • …In-team position guarding.
  • …In more successful ways than Force India’s slow ride.
  • …They gang up, then send the lead car in.
  • …Pretty simple.
  • …In theory.
  • …And, usually, in practice.
  • At Lap 40…
  • …Rosberg, Vettel, Kvyat, Massa, and Bottas lead.
  • …Hamilton, Ricciardo, Perez, Kimi, and Button complete the top ten.
  • Hamilton passes Bottas.
  • Ricciardo passes Bottas.
  • Ricciardo wants Hamilton.
  • Kimi passes Perez.
  • Sainz passes Button.
  • Ricciardo passes Hamilton!!!
  • …The Red Bull on the reigning World Champion Mercedes.
  • Ricciardo passes Massa (for fourth)!
  • …Red Bull is (now) in third and fourth.
  • Kimi passes Bottas.
  • …Cleanly.
  • …None of that…
  • …What they’ve been known to do.
  • Hamilton is (now) in a pretty miserable spot.
  • …Massa is not going to make his life easy.
  • …As Kimi fills his mirrors.
  • Kimi passes Hamilton.
  • …Close, but no contact.
  • …Because, that would be bad.
  • …Let’s avoid that, kids.
  • Button has just set the fastest lap.
  • …Yes, Button.
  • …In the McHonda.
  • As I’ve said…
  • …There’s just no set order this season (thus far).
  • …Everyone has a shot.
  • …We are witnessing something truly incredible.
  • …Every race is everyone’s game.
  • Grosjean sets fastest lap.
  • …I mean, as I was saying…
  • Kimi has passed Massa, by the way.
  • …For fifth.
  • …Both Ferraris are running.
  • …Even after colliding at that first turn.
  • …And, dropping all the way down the grid.
  • …They are not only running…
  • …A first this season…
  • …They are (both) in the top five.
  • Hülkenberg sets fastest lap.
  • …In case you were finding yourself (almost) able to even.
  • …It’s okay, if you can’t.
  • …Accept the insanity.
  • …Feel the insanity.
  • …Embrace the insanity.
  • At Lap 53…
  • …Rosberg, Vettel, and Kvyat are in podium position.
  • …With Ricciardo and Räikkönen rounding out the top five.
  • …And, Massa, Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, and Sainz in the points.
  • …But, it’s not over.
  • …A lot can happen in a sport of micro seconds.
  • Verstappen passes Bottas.
  • …With Sainz coming up on the Finn, fast.
  • Final lap.
  • Checkered flag…
  • …Rosberg takes it!
  • …His sixth consecutive win!
  • …Vettel takes second!
  • …Back from disaster!
  • …Kvyat, third!
  • …Yes, Kvyat, third!
  • …Ricciardo and Räikkönen bounce back to complete the top five.
  • …Because, they can.
  • …Massa, Hamilton, Verstappen, Sainz, and Bottas complete a very hard-earned top ten.
  • …With Perez, Alonso, Button, Gutierrez, Hülkenberg, Ericsson, Magnussen, Wehrlein, Grosjean, Nasr, Haryanto, and Palmer rounding out the grid.
  • …Yes, 22 of 22 cars finished.
  • …Against all odds, given that crazy start.
  • …And, for the first time this season, Gutierrez’s car has made it to the end.
  • …Yes, the magical start for Haas ran out of glitter.
  • …But, to have both cars finish, and finish pretty honorably…
  • …With that fastest lap and all…
  • …They can consider that another win.
  • …The same goes for McHonda.
  • …This is exactly why I (always) say that numbers never lie, because they never tell the whole story.
  • …Just look at that rotation (today).
  • …Wehrlein was in the top five.
  • …Alonso was in podium position.
  • Ooo…
  • …Drama in the holding tank.
  • …Vettel is (absolutely) blowing up on Kvyat.
  • …And, Kvyat and Rosberg know it.
  • …Rosberg just hangs back, smiling, staying out of it.
  • …Kvyat’s holding his ground, trying to diffuse it, reminding Vettel that they’re (both) on the podium, it’s all good…
  • …But, Vettel’s not having it.
  • …But, I mean, really, Kvyat didn’t do anything wrong.
  • …It was close, but that first turn (always) is.
  • …Vettel’s just pissed at himself and feeling bad for nailing his teammate.
  • …He’ll calm down.
  • Podium time.
  • …That may be the most violent champagne spraying I’ve ever seen.
  • …Vettel and Kvyat.
  • …Right in each other’s faces.
  • …As Rosberg stays back.
  • …Vettel appears to have downgraded to ‘annoyed’.
  • …Rosberg’s face, listening to the other two, answering questions about their start, is pretty priceless.
  • …I mean, it’s got to be nice for him, not being in the middle of that kind of stuff.
  • …Given his podium history with Hamilton.
  • …Kvyat seems determined to make sure Vettel doesn’t come away angry.
  • …They’re talking, it’s improving.
  • …Vettel’s not a dick, he’s just pissed, and everyone knows it.
  • …So, major points to Kvyat, not just for racing, but for sportsmanship.
  • …When asked about his damaged front wing (from the Bottas ding), Vettel is taken by surprise.
  • …He claims to not have noticed.
  • …So, basically, he was just being propelled up the grid by fury.
  • …But, it’s (all) over.
  • …What’s done is done.
  • …And, quite honestly, it was such a spectacular race…
  • …Such big disasters…
  • …With even bigger comebacks.
  • …And, just a grid-ful of amazing drives.
  • …People can only do so much, when absolutely everyone is just on it.
  • …It all comes down to relative performances, being in the exact right place at the exact right time, and just letting the chips fall where they may.
  • …No one should come away from that, feeling less than awesome.
  • …Even Vettel, who is (clearly) struggling with himself.
  • …I mean, it was pretty clear what happened.
  • …In fact, everything that happened today came down to simple, honest, (virtually) unavoidable racing incidents.
  • …Everyone should focus on how well they recovered.
  • …There was not one retirement.
  • …There wasn’t even heavy limping around the track.
  • …Even when Riccardo’s tire flew away, he kept a decent pace all the way to the pits.
  • …And, toward the end of the race, Grosjean radioed that the car was ‘un-drivable’ this weekend.
  • …If that was the Haas in shit mode…
  • …As all cars have…
  • …Then, Haas can come away from this, feeling pretty rad.
  • …Not to mention, they’re (still) in Constructors’ fifth.
  • …Just a truly spectacular race.
  • …Up and down the grid.
  • …Everyone rocked it.
  • Well, that’s that.
  • Next up…
  • Following Kvyat’s sneaky, little podium, F1 is heading to the motherland.
  • …Mother Russia.
  • …Practice 1 kicks off April 29th…
  • …With the race, speeding by Putin Land, on May 1st.
  • …Oh, my god, I love Russia.
  • …I think they should screw Qualifying, and just do it, nesting doll style.
  • …By driver height.
  • …I don’t care if they give pole to Massa or Hülkenberg.
  • …It’s all good.
  • …So, yeah.
  • …There’s your festive start.
  • …Boom.
  • And, with that, I’m calling it a night.
  • Sweet dreams, weirdos!