MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2016 GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN (13.5.2016 – 15.5.2016) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Good morning.
  • Hey…
  • …You…
  • …Wake up and smell the F1!
  • Yep…
  • …This is F1…
  • …This is the Spanish Grand Prix…
  • …Or….
  • …Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Pirelli 2016.
  • And, if you are in the US…
  • …It is on NBCSN.
  • Okay, thanks to connectivity issues, I am running late…
  • …So, how about we just get to the most important thing…
  • …The track.
  • Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
  • …Which is in…
  • …If you didn’t make the connection…
  • …The coastal metropolis of Barcelona, Catalonia…
  • …In the east of Spain.
  • …Baaarthelona.
  • …It is 4.655km (2.892mi) in length.
  • …With 16 turns.
  • …Shaped like a very manly Spaniard, flexing for the ladies.
  • …And, run clockwise.
  • …Today, there are 66 laps scheduled.
  • …Bringing the total distance goal to 307.104km (190.826mi).
  • …Which, as always, I say because…
  • …Well…
  • …This is F1.
  • …Anything can happen.
  • …And, usually…
  • …Does.
  • …It is 70ish degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • …It is sunny.
  • …It is beautiful.
  • …It is around 30F where I am.
  • …When will I learn that I have to take a vacation for once, and make it there?
  • …(Never.)
  • How about the starting grid?
  • …First off, there were zero changes.
  • …No penalties, no anything.
  • …So…
  • …With last year’s result, if applicable…
  • …Mercedes’ Hamilton (2) / Mercedes’ Rosberg (1)
  • …Red Bull’s reliable toy, Ricciardo (7) / Red Bull’s newest toy, Verstappen (11)
  • …Ferrari’s Räikkönen (5) / Ferrari’s Vettel (3)
  • …Williams’ Bottas (4) / Toro Rosso’s Sainz (9)
  • …Force India’s Perez (13) McLaren’s Alonso (DNF)
  • …Force India’s Hülkenberg (15) / McLaren’s Button (16)
  • …Toro Rosso’s newly demoted* Kvyat (10) / Haas’ Grosjean (8)
  • …(*And, sole Red Bull podium-holder)
  • …Renault’s Magnussen (N/A) / Haas’ Gutiérrez (N/A)
  • …Renault’s Palmer (N/A) / Williams’ Massa (6)
  • …Sauber’s Ericsson (14) / Sauber’s Nasr (12)
  • …Manor’s Wehrlein (N/A) / Manor’s Haryanto (N/A)
  • Current Drivers’ Championship standings…
  • …ROS / 100
  • …HAM / 57
  • …RAI / 43
  • …RIC / 36
  • …VET / 33
  • …MAS / 32
  • …GRO / 22
  • …KVY / 21
  • …BOT / 19
  • …VES / 13
  • …ALO / 8
  • …MAG / 6
  • …HUL / 6
  • …SAI / 4
  • …PER / 2
  • …BUT / 1
  • …Vandoorne (McLaren, in for Alonso) / 1
  • Current Constructors’ Championship standings…
  • …Mercedes / 157
  • …Ferrari / 76
  • …Red Bull / 57
  • …Williams / 51
  • …Haas / 22
  • …Toro Rosso / 17
  • …McLaren / 10
  • …Force India / 8
  • …Renault / 6
  • Cool.
  • Let’s go crazy.
  • Let’s get nuts.
  • Let’s go!!!
  • Turn 1, clear.
  • Mercedes did it!!!
  • They FINALLY did it!!!
  • They took each other out!!!!!!!
  • Reigning World Champion Hamilton and Championship leader Rosberg are out!
  • Rosberg’s seven-race winning streak, over.
  • Hamilton’s hope of a return to winning, over.
  • After so many years, of so many people around the world, not-so-secretly hoping to see this…
  • …Fully expecting to see this one of these races…
  • …They’ve (finally) done it.
  • …With Rosberg in the lead.
  • …And, Hamilton, trying to get the lead.
  • So…
  • …With a Safety Car out…
  • …At Lap 4…
  • …It’s Ricciardo, Verstappen, Sainz, and Vettel in the lead.
  • …Yes, you read that correctly.
  • …Whatever part you’re wondering about.
  • …Except that, no matter what, that crash will be the (actual) winner today.
  • …With bonus points for Hamilton, straight-shot whipping his steering handheld game console.
  • 20 non-Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 cars remain.
  • …Which entails two being out.
  • …No, I am (definitely) not done (here).
  • Vettel passes Sainz.
  • …For third.
  • Toro Rosso radios Kvyat…
  • …He passed under the Safety car.
  • …And, has to give the position back to the Incredible Hülkenberg.
  • …Kvyat’s response?
  • …An unfortunate, “You’re kidding”.
  • …Reel it in, kid; reel it in.
  • Sainz forces Kimi to detour over the speed bumps.
  • Sainz pits.
  • …So, Kimi takes that position, anyway.
  • …(Fourth.)
  • Ricciardo pits.
  • …From the lead.
  • So, Verstappen, in his first race with Red Bull, takes over.
  • …But, just a guess, Red Bull will be pitting Verstappen soon.
  • …One in, on out.
  • …Pretty standard.
  • …Yep, Verstappen pits.
  • Vettel takes the lead.
  • …Making everyone’s life just a little more difficult.
  • By the way, with this flurry of pitting, Grosjean is in second.
  • …Gutiérrez is in fifth.
  • …There’s your Haas update.
  • Shot of Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe, walking to the wonderland that will be Mercedes’ office.
  • …It is reported that their drivers are waiting.
  • …I want to be in that room.
  • …Can we get a crew in to cover that?
  • Verstappen passes Grosjean.
  • Kimi passes Gutiérrez.
  • Vettel pits.
  • Niki Lauda is walking the stairs to the meeting room of magic.
  • …Fuck the race!
  • …Go to the room!!!
  • Okay, lots of debate over what happened.
  • …My take?
  • …Bottom line, if Hamilton saw that Rosberg was going to make it difficult to pass…
  • …He should have backed off.
  • …To avoid a collision.
  • …I don’t think it looked like a force-off, or full-on block.
  • …I think Hamilton’s eyes were too fixated on the prize, running either a bit overconfidently, or with some excess desperation.
  • …Rosberg was ahead, Hamilton should have backed off to avoid a collision.
  • …Bottom line.
  • …Whether it sucks, or not.
  • …But, it’s not up to me, is it?
  • At Lap 22…
  • …Ricciardo, Verstappen, Vettel, and Räikkönen lead.
  • …With Bottas, Sainz, Perez, Button, Alonso, and Massa in the top ten.
  • …Which, if you’re new to this, is the points cutoff.
  • Is someone’s car on fire?
  • …NBCSN is on a commercial split screen.
  • …I thought I saw a flaming Force India.
  • …I’m seeing Hülkenberg as stopped (on the F1 app).
  • …Yep.
  • …Mr Incredible is out.
  • …Feel free to insert Madeline Kahn’s ‘Clue’ “Flames!” – with motion.
  • Toto has left the magic room.
  • …Did he have to kill them?
  • …I mean, that’s viable, isn’t it?
  • …Were they fired?
  • …Was Toto…
  • …Very disappointed in them?
  • …The world needs to know what happened.
  • …Needs.
  • Ricciardo pits.
  • …Again, Hashtag Teen takes holds the Red Bull lead.
  • I haven’t touched on the whole Red Bull thing (yet).
  • …Frankly, I’m bored with it.
  • …I do think there’s some shady Red Bullshit going on.
  • …But, then, again, Verstappen is holding second.
  • …While Kvyat is debating giving a place back.
  • …I guess the thing I have the biggest issue I have is with the matter of fairness.
  • …Other teams can’t just swap out drivers at will.
  • …So, whether Toro Rosso is a junior team, or not, how can this be okay…
  • …Unless F1 opens up trading (as you see in baseball)?
  • …It just feels wrong.
  • Gutiérrez passes Nasr (for 13th).
  • …A pass loaded with that new car smell.
  • Verstappen pits.
  • …From the lead.
  • …2.7 second stop.
  • The Haas boys touch.
  • …A little love tap, but…
  • …No.
  • …Just, don’t.
  • Kimi pits.
  • …From the lead.
  • …2.6.
  • A little chat with Toto…
  • …He can’t even.
  • …The boys were (both) apologetic, they haven’t placed blame (strictly) on either, etc.
  • …And, he saw, as a racer, what everyone (else) saw…
  • …Hamilton came in aggressively, Rosberg made life a little difficult, Hamilton went wide, hit the grass, and that was that.
  • …Also, Paddy had to kill them.
  • Grosjean goes into the gravel.
  • …Guns it through.
  • …Ride ’em, cowboy.
  • …Yee-haw.
  • At Lap 39…
  • …Ricciardo, Verstappen, Räikkönen, and Vettel lead.
  • …All of them have pitted recently, so…
  • …Stay tuned.
  • Bottas pits.
  • …From fifth.
  • …Where he’s been hanging out.
  • …Quietly.
  • …Like the good Finn he is.
  • Oh, no…
  • …It seems that the Mercedes crash used up all the action allotted for the race.
  • …(Very little is happening.)
  • Ricciardo pits.
  • The Saubers just miss colliding.
  • …Because…
  • …Every team misinterpreted using The Beatles’ “Come Together” as a motivator (today)?
  • Oh, no!!!
  • …Alonso’s McHonda is stopped, trackside.
  • …”No power, no power.”
  • …As the tiny Spaniard walks away in (visible) frustration.
  • …In front of his home crowd.
  • …But, as always, he sticks around to help the crew remove his car.
  • …God, such a good guy.
  • …I mean, seriously.
  • …Who -is- Fernando Alonso.
  • …A two-time World Champion.
  • …Who chooses to pay ridiculous taxes, to remain at home (in Spain).
  • …Whose focus is on running a karting school.
  • …And, an F1 museum.
  • …Collecting mementos from his fellow racers (for his museum).
  • …And, collecting his fellow racers (to give the kids a thrill at his karting school).
  • …He’s caring, he’s emotional, everyone loves him, he’s (always) trying to get as many fans in his selfies…
  • …Who -is- this guy?
  • At Lap 52…
  • …Verstappen, Räikkönen, Vettel, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …Bottas, Sainz, Perez, Gutiérrez, Massa, and Kvyat hold the top ten.
  • …Ooop – Kvyat pits, Button moves up.
  • …By the way, when you’re watching Kimi, right on Verstappen, remember that…
  • …Kimi is (literally, actually, mathematically) twice Max Emilian’s age.
  • …Currently, Kimi is 36, while Verstappen is 18.
  • …Math.
  • Button radios, “I know he thinks he’s fast, but he’s not”…
  • …He, being Massa.
  • …Old driver fight!!!
  • …Shame on those who think these mid-30s drivers have no place in F1.
  • …They’re kicking ass.
  • …And, goddamn hilarious while doing it.
  • …Because, they just don’t give a shit (anymore).
  • Ricciardo laps Kvyat.
  • …Just thought I’d mention that.
  • …But…
  • …And, it’s one worth mentioning…
  • …Kvyat just had the fastest lap.
  • Shot of Geri Halliwell.
  • …The Spicy wife of (Red Bull Team Principal) Christian Horner.
  • …It’s their first anniversary (today).
  • …So, choose your (own) applicable Spice Girls song.
  • …I’m more than cool with whatever.
  • …Zig-a-zag-ah.
  • Vettel and Ricciardo come together!
  • …Ex-teammate love tap!
  • …Vettel, gesturing at Ricciardo as he retains his place.
  • …Shouting over the radio all the way.
  • By the way, Haas -did- retire Grosjean’s car.
  • …Oh, no need to hit the panic switch.
  • …First season, ups and downs, they’ve had more ups, all good.
  • Ricciardo went after Vettel again.
  • …Geez, kids.
  • …You’re going to cause (at least) three stroke-outs in your respective teams.
  • SLAPS!
  • …5 laps remaining.
  • …Verstappen leads, followed by Kimi, Vettel, and Ricciardo.
  • …Kimi is all over Verstappen, Ricciardo is all over Vettel.
  • …It’s a goddamn conga line!
  • …(Maybe) they’ll all take each other out.
  • …Bottas wins?
  • …Perez and Sainz follow?
  • …Surprise?
  • Ricciardo has a puncture!
  • …That thing’s gone.
  • …He has to pit.
  • …Pressure is off Vettel.
  • Lap 66.
  • Oh, you are watching history, kids!!!
  • Max Verstappen has won the Spanish Grand Prix!!!!!!!
  • …In his first run in the Red Bull.
  • …With zero testing.
  • …At age 18.
  • …The youngest F1 race winner of all time.
  • …And, everyone knew this was a very serious possibility.
  • …Everyone is standing a cheering.
  • …All the marshals are cheering, many doing praise bow-downs.
  • Um…
  • …Okay…
  • Räikkönen takes a brilliant, very close second.
  • Vettel wins the vicious battle for third.
  • Ricciardo holds fourth.
  • And, Bottas maintains that quiet fifth.
  • Sainz comes in sixth…
  • …The remaining Spaniard, cruises around, flying the Spanish flag.
  • Perez, Massa, Button, and Kvyat complete the top ten.
  • Gutiérrez, Ericsson, Palmer, Magnussen, Nasr, Wehrlein, and Haryanto round out the grid.
  • With Hamilton, Rosberg, Hülkenberg, Alonso, and Grosjean retiring.
  • Everyone rushes over to Verstappen.
  • …Vettel even helps him with his belts.
  • …Alonso runs over, from wherever he was, to bear hug the kid.
  • …Lauda…everyone…
  • …Just an amazing showing of genuine excitement.
  • Podium time.
  • …So, that’s the Dutch national anthem.
  • …Which hasn’t been heard (in this context) since…
  • …His dad?
  • …Shot of Horner and Halliwell.
  • …Horner, with Halliwell’s daughter on his shoulders.
  • …Bluebell just celebrated her 10th birthday (yesterday).
  • …So, could this weekend be more exciting for the Horner-Halliwell clan?
  • …I’m going to go with…
  • …No.
  • …Not possible.
  • …Yes, again, you are seeing this 100% correctly.
  • …No need to adjust your television sets.
  • …This is not “The Outer Limits”.
  • …That is 18-year-old Max Verstappen, on the top of the podium.
  • …Hovering above Ferrari’s World Champions, Räikkönen and Vettel.
  • …Just legal enough to be drinking that champagne.
  • Okay…
  • …NBCSN’s coverage has yielded to FA Cup coverage.
  • …Yes, in lieu of what just may be the most exciting, interesting podium of the season.
  • …I guess Friday’s P2 coverage was halted by an early morning abridged rebroadcast of a Stanley Cup finals game, too.
  • …But, to be fair, there’s no way anyone could have prepared for this.
  • …The whole Verstappen/Red Bull thing (all) happened in just a matter of days.
  • …A definite shame.
  • …But, survival is very possible.
  • …Unlike the two Mercedes drivers, who were never heard from again.
  • So…
  • Drivers’ Championship Standings…
  • …#6 ROS / 100
  • …#7 RAI / 61
  • …#44 HAM / 57
  • …#5 VET / 48
  • …#3 RIC / 48
  • …#33 VES / 38
  • …#19 MAS / 36
  • …#77 BOT / 29
  • …#26 KVY / 22
  • …#8 GRO / 22
  • …#55 SAI / 12
  • …#14 ALO / 8
  • …#11 PER / 8
  • …#20 MAG / 6
  • …#27 HUL / 6
  • …#22 BUT / 3
  • …#47 VAN / 1
  • …#30 PAL / 0
  • …#21 GUT / 0
  • …#9 ERI / 0
  • …#94 WEH / 0
  • …#12 NAS / 0
  • …#88 HAR / 0
  • Constructors’ Championship…
  • …Mercedes / 157
  • …Ferrari / 109
  • …Red Bull / 94
  • …Williams / 65
  • …Toro Rosso / 26
  • …Haas / 22
  • …Force India / 14
  • …McLaren / 12
  • …Renault / 6
  • …Sauber / 0
  • …Manor / 0
  • Now, as you’re looking at those standings, try to review (in your mind) just how each race has gone.
  • …How everyone-everywhere the races have been.
  • …How competitive these cars (really) are this season.
  • …How fierce battles, up and down the grid, have been.
  • …How difficult it has been to pinpoint a midfield.
  • …How even the Manors have danced, not just in the top ten, but in the top five.
  • …Fleeting, yes.
  • …But, often, that’s all it takes in F1.
  • …And, as we’ve seen, even the top teams have struggled with serious ups and downs.
  • …Every single driver is in this Championship.
  • …Whether they have points at this time, or not.
  • …Do not jump to underestimate any driver, any car.
  • …Everyone is in it.
  • …And, as we saw here (today), ageism has no place in F1.
  • …Whether you’re in your teens, 20s, or 30s, is beside the point of ‘can you drive?’.
  • …28-year-old Vettel can just as well as 36-year-old Räikkönen can as well as 18-year-old Verstappen can.
  • …So, let’s just knock the shit off and accept that.
  • Okay…
  • …Well…
  • …As much as I hate to do it…
  • …On such an exciting, historic day…
  • …That’s that for the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
  • Next up…
  • …The big one…
  • …Thee one…
  • …The one -I- remember watching on a massive console TV, as a kid, in suburban Minneapolis…
  • …The one that dragged me into F1…
  • …Monaco.
  • …Which kicks off with P1 and P2 on…
  • …I (almost) said Friday…
  • …No, Friday is an off day in Monaco.
  • …Thursday, May 26th.
  • …With P3 and Qualifying on Saturday, the 28th.
  • …And, finally, the weird, wild race that is the Monaco Grand Prix, on the 29th.
  • …So, note that, and note it again.
  • Until then…
  • …Toodles!
  • ***Added***
  • …The Mercedes Instagram account has posted…
  • …’TW: “We won’t change our approach.  We owe it to #F1 and to the fans to let them race.”…’
  • …So, I wonder who he’s talking about.
  • …As Paddy and Niki had to kill Rosberg and Hamilton.
  • …Anyway, really, I don’t see what happened as anything other than a racing incident.
  • …Yes, it could have been avoided, has either Rosberg given Hamilton more room (to pass him for the lead?), or Hamilton backed off (to open Rosberg’s lead?).
  • …Shit happens, and this one was a long time in the making.
  • …There’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
  • …I assume they (both) are more than painfully-fully aware of what this cost (both) the team, and their selves.
  • …So, everyone should just kick back and focus on the comedy error.
  • …That, ultimately, made a teenage boy’s dream came true, while making F1 history.
  • …Now, let’s move onto the big question…
  • …Where do you think they disposed of the bodies?
  • Have a sexy Sunday!