MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2016 GRAND PRIX OF AUSTRIA (1.7.2016 – 3.7.2016) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Good morning.
  • Unless you’re just coming off watching the WRC Rally Poland finale.
  • Then…
  • …Eh, (maybe) it could have be a bit better.
  • …Not that the end result wasn’t good and exciting.
  • …But, it was so close to being spectacular.
  • Anyhoo…
  • The hills are alive…
  • …With the sound of F1 cars.
  • Because…
  • …It’s time for the Austrian Grand Prix.
  • …Which is on CNBC, if you’re in the US.
  • Let’s get pumped up with some factoids, shall we?
  • The Formula 1 Großer Preis von Österreich 2016…
  • …Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria.
  • …4.326km/2.688mi in length.
  • …9 turns.
  • …Shaped like a strappy wedge.
  • …And, run clockwise.
  • …There are 71 laps scheduled today.
  • …Which will bring the goal total distance to 307.020km/190.773mi.
  • …But, always remember that this is F1.
  • …Anything can happen.
  • …And, most of those things will.
  • Here is your starting grid…
  • …With last year’s results in parentheses…
  • …Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (2) / Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg (6)
  • …McLaren’s Jenson Button (DNF) / Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen (DNF)
  • …Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (10) / Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg* (1)
  • …Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (5) / Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (8)
  • …Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel** (4) / Williams’ Felipe Massa (3)
  • …Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez (N/A) / Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein (N/A)
  • …Haas’ Romain Grosjean (DNF) / McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (DNF)
  • …Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Jr. (DNF) / Force India’s Sergio Perez (9)
  • …Renault’s Kevin Magnussen (N/A) / Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson (13)
  • …Renault’s Jolyon Palmer (N/A) / Manor’s Rio Haryanto (N/A)
  • …Sauber’s Felipe Nasr (11)
  • …And, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat (12) will start from pitlane.
  • …*Rosberg qualified second, but drops five (after a gearbox change, following his P3 crash).
  • …**Vettel qualified fourth, but drops five (another gearbox change, following carryover damage from Baku).
  • …Just in, Massa will start from pitlane (Williams has opted to change a troubling front wing and take the penalty, rather than risk a potential safety issue on track).
  • Yesterday, it was 127F on the grid.
  • Today, it’s a mere 57F.
  • The skies are grey.
  • And, here we go!
  • Hamilton zips away.
  • Button and Räikkönen follow.
  • …Yes, the two oldest guys on the grid.
  • …At an unimaginable -gasp- 36.
  • Hülkenberg falls back, but holds after that.
  • Kvyat is off.
  • …And, out.
  • …It appears mechanical.
  • …Nothing remotely as dramatic as yesterday’s Qualifying crash.
  • Rosberg passes Hülkenberg.
  • As does Verstappen.
  • Räikkönen passes Button.
  • …And, here’s where shit could start getting real for the underpowered McHonda.
  • …But, don’t stop believin’.
  • …There’s a World Champion behind the wheel who will hold his own as best as he can.
  • Rosberg passes Button.
  • And, again, Verstappen follows.
  • …He’s like Rosberg’s little shadow today.
  • Just a reminder…
  • …Watch those curbs.
  • …After four (different) constructors saw suspension failure after contact with the curbs…
  • …The FIA, along with the likes of Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe, have taken a close look at them.
  • …The findings were that the increased tire pressure (in play this weekend) is a bad combination with the (otherwise) to-code outer curbs (past the first red/whites).
  • …With the band-aid solution being to instruct drivers to avoid them.
  • …Simple as that.
  • …Yep.
  • …Just, you know, stay within the lines.
  • …There will be no incidents to avoid over those 71 laps, so it should be okay.
  • Just a note…
  • …Wehrlein is in sixth.
  • …I repeat, Wehrlein is in sixth.
  • …And, radioing his team with a ‘light rain’ report.
  • Perez and Sainz have a moment.
  • …Which ended in a Perez pass.
  • …Following an angry Perez hand wave.
  • …Bad touch.
  • Lots of pit stops.
  • …Making the standings messy, messy, messy.
  • Here we go…
  • …Raindrops on roses…
  • …And whiskers on kittens…
  • …Hamilton is leading…
  • …But, Kimi’s hard-hitting…
  • …Lederhosen race suits…
  • …Are just Red Bull’s thing…
  • …Isn’t F1 just a favorite thing?
  • …I’m done.
  • …It’s cool.
  • …I’m cool.
  • Remember when Alonso ran over Räikkönen last year?
  • …The McLaren, parked right on top of the front of the Ferrari?
  • …That has nothing to do with anything going on right now.
  • …But, I thought I’d damage your brain with that memory.
  • Hamilton pits…
  • …It’s not great.
  • …Oh!
  • …Here comes Rosberg!
  • …Hamilton exits behind Rosberg!
  • …Oh, yikes!
  • Kimi (also) pits.
  • …And, exits behind everyone.
  • …Jesus.
  • …That timing did not work at all.
  • …He drops from the lead…
  • …To sixth.
  • …Slow clap.
  • At Lap 26…
  • …Vettel, Rosberg, Hamilton, Verstappen, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …With Räikkönen, Button, Grosjean, Bottas, and Nasr rounding out the top ten.
  • …Kvyat remains the only retirement.
  • Vettel has crashed!!!
  • …He’s stuck on track…
  • …With his rear-right wheel stick under the car.
  • …Oh!  It’s not under him…
  • …The tire is just (completely) blown!
  • …On replay, the tire just exploded…
  • …Flinging the Ferrari into the barriers…
  • …And bouncing it off.
  • …Hosing Rosberg with debris.
  • …Rosberg, immediately radioing his team, requesting checks.
  • So…
  • …Two Ferrari cars…
  • …Two strategies, blown to bits.
  • …Quite literally, in Vettel’s case.
  • Safety Car deployed.
  • At Lap 30…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, and Räikkönen lead.
  • …Bottas, Nasr, Button, Grosjean, and Magnussen hold the top ten.
  • …With Massa, Palmer, Alonso, Perez, Ericsson, Hülkenberg, Sainz, Gutierrez, Haryanto, and Wehrlein (still) running.
  • …Kvyat and Vettel being the retirements thus far.
  • Shot of Vettel…
  • …Already in jeans…
  • …Storming through to the Ferrari offices.
  • …Looking for his birthday cake?
  • …Happy birthday?
  • A little while back, Wehrlein had complained that Magnussen had been weaving in front of him.
  • …Very blatant blocking.
  • …Oh, speak of the devil…
  • …Just in…
  • …Magnussen has been served a five-second time penalty.
  • Sainz passes Palmer.
  • …In a cloud of brake dust.
  • I do hope Vettel busted in and shouted, “Where’s my fucking cake?”.
  • …I mean, what else is there to say?
  • …At least, civilly?
  • Five-second penalties for Grosjean and Hülkenberg.
  • …Both were busted, speeding in the pitlane.
  • Nasr has pitted…
  • …After 43 laps.
  • …Sauber’s weird.
  • …There you have it.
  • …My analysis and summary of the Sauber situation.
  • …So much working for them.
  • …But, all of it, cancelled out by a hideous financial situation.
  • …Though, I did hear that employees are being paid (again).
  • …So, that’s a start.
  • …You have to start somewhere, and that’s a good place.
  • …Don’t give up on Sauber yet, folks.
  • At Lap 49…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, and Räikkönen lead.
  • …Bottas, Button, Grosjean, Massa, and Perez round out the top ten.
  • …With Sainz, Alonso, Hülkenberg, Magnussen, Palmer, Ericsson, Wehrlein, Haryanto, Gutierrez, and Nasr (still) very much in the race.
  • …Unlike Kvyat and Vettel, who are out.
  • …Sad.  Pandas.
  • If anyone is wondering if Vettel is pissed…
  • …Why, yes, yes he is.
  • …He’s just grumbled through a brief statement…
  • …Before walking away in German rage.
  • …But, I mean, raise your hand if you’ve had it with years of Ferrari crap.
  • …Years of blaming drivers and throwing away leaders.
  • …There’s good, encouraging pressure.
  • …And, there’s bad, discouraging pressure.
  • …The world is a witness, Ferrari.
  • At Lap 58…
  • …Following a Rosberg pit…
  • …Verstappen, Rosberg, Hamilton, Räikkönen, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …Button, Grosjean, Perez, Sainz, and Alonso complete the top ten.
  • …Bottas, Wehrlein, Gutierrez, Massa, Nasr, Palmer, Hülkenberg, Magnussen, Ericsson, and Haryanto follow.
  • …With Kvyat and Vettel, out and about.
  • …Off track, in the world.
  • Rosberg goes in for a pass (on Verstappen).
  • …Denied.
  • …And, again.
  • …Gets the pass.
  • …It’s (now) a Red Bull on Mercedes sammich at the front.
  • It’s that time of the race!
  • …Lapping traffic!
  • …Kimi is shouting about Blue Flags!
  • …Always a crowd pleaser.
  • Hamilton, in the middle of that lapping traffic, slips in a pass on Verstappen.
  • …Sneaky-sneaky!
  • At Lap 66…
  • …Rosberg, Hamilton, Verstappen, Räikkönen, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …Button, Grosjean, Perez, Sainz, and Bottas complete the top ten.
  • …With some new retirements to report/throw off the list of those remaining.
  • Williams is pulling Massa into the garage.
  • …For fun?
  • Alonso has (also) ended his run.
  • As has Hülkenberg.
  • Boy, that’s a lotta lotta.
  • So…
  • …That’s Kvyat, Vettel, Massa, Hülkenberg, and Alonso out.
  • Hamilton is closing in on Rosberg.
  • …At Lap 69.
  • …Making it sexual and violent.
  • Final lap.
  • The Mercs hit!!!
  • Hamilton bounces ahead.
  • Rosberg limps away.
  • Perez crashes!
  • …He’s out in the final lap!
  • Did you catch all that?!
  • Toto Wolff caught what his boys did.
  • …And, now, he has to kill the pod people they’d had to use…
  • …After killing their drivers, following their last collision.
  • …Fun fact.
  • Uh…
  • …That’s that?
  • Checkered flag.
  • Hamilton takes the win.
  • Verstappen takes second.
  • Räikkönen yoinks third.
  • …Which means that everyone gets to see Kimi, tossing weirded-out looks in Verstappen’s direction.
  • …He’s made no secret that he finds their age-gap ‘scary’.
  • …Verstappen is literally, mathematically, half Kimi’s age.
  • Rosberg limps to fourth.
  • Ricciardo yodels to fifth.
  • Button takes a hard-earned sixth.
  • Grosjean wrangles a seventh-place return to the points for Haas.
  • …Happy Fourth of July weekend!
  • …Have some fireworks.
  • …Boom.
  • Sainz hangs onto eighth.
  • Bottas brings the remaining Williams a ninth.
  • And, for the first time since Jules Bianchi’s ninth at Monaco 2014…
  • …Which was the first for the team…
  • …Wehrlein takes a 10th-place point home for Manor.
  • …Boom.
  • Then, we have Gutierrez, Palmer, Nasr, Magnussen, Ericsson, and Haryanto.
  • …With Kvyat, Vettel, Massa, Hülkenberg, Alonso, and Perez retiring to the beautiful mountains.
  • Just in…
  • …Rosberg is under investigation for failing to stop his damaged car.
  • Is anyone (else) pretty stoked to see one of those Red Bull lederhosen race suits on the podium?
  • …Because, they’re lederhosen overalls.
  • …They should be on display and celebrated.
  • …For how many years (now) have I been saying that teams should consider tuxedo t-shirt-style overalls?
  • …Many.
  • …So, see?
  • …I was right.
  • …Fancy pants are awesome.
  • SO much booing for the podium.
  • …Okay, okay, okay.
  • …That’s enough.
  • …It was ugly, questionable racing from the Mercs.
  • …But, Toto’s going to send Paddy to kill them.
  • …What more do you need?
  • Shot of Niki Lauda, telling Christian Horner all about the impending fate of their drivers.
  • …Horner, looking very intrigued.
  • …In his lederhosen.
  • …Taking notes, as he’s got a teen on his hands.
  • Shot of Toto Wolff, clearly telling Paddy Lowe, “I need them gone now.”.
  • …You just don’t pull that shit on Toto’s home turf.
  • …Especially, after they’ve been warned/killed before.
  • Oh, my god.
  • …Can we discuss Wehrlein?
  • …He’s been lost in the shuffle.
  • …He’s had an amazing weekend.
  • …Like, spin in the mountains amazing.
  • …Making it to Q2.
  • …Just missing Q3.
  • …Qualifying and starting 12th.
  • …Then, climbing up to sixth.
  • …Getting stuck behind Magnussen’s weird blocking.
  • …Dropping to the back.
  • …Then, coming back to finish tenth.
  • …I’d like to nominate Wehrlein and Button for drives of the day.
  • …With honorable mention to Grosjean.
  • …Underdogs, getting shit done.
  • …I told you that everyone had a chance this season.
  • I’ve just heard Toto Wolff, in his Austrian accent, say…
  • …”It takes two to tango…”.
  • …I’m done.
  • …Forever.
  • …I’ll be saying that all the time (now).
  • …A warning to those around me, who have been dealing with a near-lifetime of Austrian accent-ing.
  • …I’m pretty pumped about this.
  • …Thank you for this gift, Toto Wolff.
  • A chat with Wehrlein…
  • …”I don’t know what happened today.”
  • …Eyes, absolutely sparkling.
  • …Speaking quickly and excitedly.
  • …Like a kid whose just gotten exactly what they wanted, but didn’t think they’d get, on Christmas.
  • …He doesn’t think they can repeat this at Silverstone (the British Grand Prix, next weekend).
  • …But, I think it’s clear that Manor is, in fact, a confirmed contender for points…
  • …Plural…
  • …This season.
  • …Honestly, I stand by my initial take on this season.
  • …Everyone has a chance.
  • And, with that…
  • …So long…
  • …Farewell…
  • …Auf wiedersehen…
  • …Adieu…
  • See you next weekend…
  • …At Silverstone.