MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2016 GRAND PRIX OF GREAT BRITAIN (8.7.2016 – 10.7.2016) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Good morning.
  • A very special one.
  • A…
  • …5.891km/3.660mi in length…
  • …18 turns…
  • …Shaped like a laughing Jay Leno…
  • …Run clockwise…
  • …For a (scheduled) 52 laps…
  • …Which will bring the total distance to 306.198km/190.263mi…
  • …At Silverstone Circuit…
  • …2016 Formula 1 British Grand Prix…
  • …Kinda morning.
  • Welcome to Towcester, England.
  • …(Via CNBC, if you’re watching in the US.)
  • …Where it is 68F.
  • …And, is pouring so hard at the moment…
  • …It has been announced that the race -will- start behind the Safety Car.
  • And, here’s how the cars will roll out for that start…
  • …With their 2015 results in parentheses…
  • …Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton(1) / Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (2)
  • …Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (DNF) / Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (DNF)
  • …Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen (8) / Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (5)
  • …Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg (7) / Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Jr. (DNF)
  • …McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (10) / Force India’s Sergio Perez (9)
  • …Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel* (3) / Williams’ Felipe Massa (4)
  • …Haas’ Romain Grosjean (DNF) / Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez (N/A)
  • …Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat (6) / Renault’s Kevin Magnussen (N/A)
  • …McLaren’s Jenson Button (DNF) / Renault’s Jolyon Palmer (N/A)
  • …Manor’s Haryanto (N/A) / Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein (N/A)
  • …Sauber’s Felipe Nasr (DNS)
  • …And, following his Q1 crash, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson (11) will start from pitlane.
  • …*Vettel Qualified fourth, but an unscheduled gearbox change drops him five.
  • …Yes, again.
  • …Ericsson (also) received a five-place gearbox penalty.
  • …Which kinda/sorta proves the ridiculousness of these mechanical penalties.
  • …I mean, what are the alternatives (to changing broken components)?
  • …Please, I would love to hear them.
  • …If teams started showing a trend of swapping components for an advantage, couldn’t they just launch an investigation and penalize the teams accordingly?
  • …They do love their investigations.
  • …When you see Vettel getting consecutive penalties for confirmed damage-related issues, how can you not see the ridiculousness.
  • Okay…
  • …At Lap 6…
  • …The Safety  Car is in…
  • …Here we go!
  • Here we go to the pits…
  • …To swap Wet for Intermediate tires.
  • …So many close calls in the pitlane frenzy!!!
  • Speaking of close calls…
  • …Through the Safety Car period…
  • …The Safety Car was having grip issues and running a bit slowly.
  • …And, with the Mercs right behind…
  • …I was thinking that it would be okay if they (both) crashed into the Safety Car.
  • …It was an option that I didn’t know existed.
  • …But, now that I do…
  • …Yes.
  • …Then, towards the end of the Safety Car…
  • …Hamilton had a little moment of evasive action…
  • …When he (almost) hit the Safety Car.
  • …It was a nearly magical moment.
  • …And, a lesson in tailgating.
  • …Don’t do it.
  • …Especially in the rain.
  • Ooohhh…
  • …After his brilliant 10th-place run at Austria…
  • …Wehrlein has hydroplaned right off track…
  • …And, into the very wet sand.
  • …Leaving him beached…
  • …But, exiting with huge applause from the crowd.
  • Also, there was a second round of pitting for tires…
  • …With more close calls.
  • …Because, sure.
  • Hülkenberg and Bottas, wheel-to-wheel through the puddles.
  • …Bottas emerges from the spray ahead.
  • …For ninth.
  • Bottas spins!
  • Kids, it’s wet out there.
  • Though the drivers have swapped Wets for Intermediates…
  • …They (still) look like fan boats, flying through the Everglades.
  • …In what is turning out to be a classic British Grand Prix.
  • By the way…
  • …Anxious to pull away…
  • …Hamilton was very vocal in proclaiming the track a-ok as he rode the Safety Car.
  • …I would like to toss out the reminder that he did the same thing at Japan in 2014.
  • …Moral of the story?
  • …Don’t go to Hamilton for weather updates.
  • …His confident focus is 100% on racing.
  • …Go to guys like Ricciardo, who will lean more toward safety…
  • …And, reality.
  • At Lap 13…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Perez, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …With Räikkönen, Sainz, Massa, Hülkenberg, and Alonso running in the top 10.
  • …And, Vettel, Kvyat, Bottas, Button, Nasr, Grosjean, Palmer, Magnussen, Gutierrez, and Haryanto (still) in the running.
  • …Ericsson has joined Wehrlein on the retirement list, after pulling in with engine trouble.
  • Both Mercs pit.
  • …Which gives Verstappen the lead.
  • …And, this 18-year-old kid is going to be a beast to compete with.
  • Alonso and Kimi do a little dance.
  • …But, as two of the four old (mid-thirties) men out there…
  • …They handle it like the responsible World Champions they are.
  • …Angry as Alonso’s radio transmissions sound.
  • Aaannnddd, Vettel spins.
  • Sainz goes into a spin…
  • …But, holds it…
  • …And, treats the crowd to a little drifting.
  • …Rock and fucking roll, kids.
  • Alonso and Massa…
  • …Massa, the same age as Alonso…
  • …Who proclaimed, “I’m too old for this”, after a high-action race ending in 2014…
  • …Go wheel-to-wheel through the puddles.
  • …So, what has this season taught us?
  • …With Rosberg, Hamilton, and Kimi at the front.
  • …Button’s recent surge at the top…
  • …And all that scrappy action between Alonso and Massa just now?
  • …The over-thirties aren’t going anywhere.
  • …Max Verstappen, stay on this track, and you have a very long career ahead of you.
  • Palmer has been slapped with a penalty.
  • …For…
  • …And, this is one of the best pit mishaps, of all the great pit mishaps I’ve seen in a while…
  • …Unsafe release…
  • …After they released him with three wheels.
  • …I mean…
  • Alonso tanks it into the gravel.
  • …Oh, but he’s (still) going!
  • …He’s plowed his way (back) on track!
  • …He’s saved it!
  • …Now, what was I just saying (about these “old” drivers)?
  • Another save from Sainz.
  • Verstappen lost his lead to a slide a bit earlier (as well).
  • Aw…
  • …Haryanto (totally) loses it.
  • …Leaving very clear, very straight, parallel lines all the way to the wall.
  • …Just feet from where Alonso had his off.
  • …So, after such a great run at Austria…
  • …Manor sees a double retirement at Silverstone.
  • …But, everyone’s everywhere.
  • …And, that’s (often) how the Universe’s sick sense of humor works.
  • …So, they shouldn’t feel too bad.
  • Hamilton slides toward the gravel.
  • …But, saves it and carries on.
  • Verstappen, too, takes another escapade onto the grass.
  • …But, also, saves it.
  • At Lap 30…
  • …It’s Hamilton, Verstappen, Rosberg, Ricciardo, and Perez in the lead.
  • …With Räikkönen, Hülkenberg, Sainz, Massa, and Vettel in the points.
  • …And, Kvyat, Button, Alonso, Nasr, Bottas, Magnussen, Gutierrez, and Palmer, just watching and waiting.
  • …Thus far, Wehrlein, Ericsson, Grosjean, and Haryanto are the retirements.
  • …Yes, Grosjean retired.
  • …I lost that in the mix.
  • …And, what a mix it’s been.
  • Usually, it’s Kimi we hear shouting about delays on Blue Flags.
  • …Today, it’s Verstappen.
  • …There’s a lot of traffic, in not-so-great conditions.
  • …So, I’m thinking the more warning these guys get (to get out of the way), the better.
  • Perez takes a huge slide.
  • …But, saves it.
  • …And, his position.
  • Speaking of positions…
  • …Rosberg has tried everything, and then some, to get around Verstappen.
  • …But, the flying Dutchman is in defensive teen mode.
  • …And, we all know how that goes.
  • Shot of Team Principal Spice.
  • Vettel and Massa, through the corners.
  • …However…
  • …Unfortunately…
  • …Vettel lost grip, and slid…
  • …Right in front of Massa.
  • …Massa radioed, “He pushed me off”…
  • …But, honestly, it just looked like Vettel lost it at the worst possible time.
  • …Anyway, they’re (both) fine.
  • Rosberg has (finally) passed Verstappen.
  • …For second.
  • At Lap 40…
  • …Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Ricciardo, and Perez lead.
  • …Räikkönen, Hülkenberg, Sainz, Vettel, and Kvyat round out the top ten.
  • …And, Button, Massa, Bottas, Alonso, Nasr, Gutierrez, Magnussen, and Palmer are (still) very much in it.
  • Strike that.
  • …Palmer is listed as stopped.
  • …At his home race debut.
  • Alonso on Bottas.
  • …I just want to hear Alonso say, “Fuck everyone!”.
  • …I’ve got time.
  • …I would (also) like to stop seeing shots of the Williams cars.
  • …It hurts.
  • …Those cars are so bad this season.
  • …Relatively, of course.
  • …But, kind of not relatively.
  • …If those guys can’t squeeze anything out of these cars…
  • …No one can.
  • …It’s just bad, sad, and wrong.
  • Five-second penalty for Vettel.
  • …Yes, the Massa thing.
  • …Unfortunate circumstances, but legitimate.
  • The sun is out…
  • …But, the track remains quite moist.
  • …There was no real reason for that update.
  • …Other than that I’d come this far, and not abused “moist”.
  • …Mmmoooiiisssttt.
  • Jackie Stewart.
  • …Gettin’ his plaid on.
  • …Jackie, Jackie, Jackie…
  • …You need to up your game.
  • …Match your plaid everything to everything next time.
  • …I want a wall of plaid.
  • …Sure, you can mix plaids.
  • Kimi is trying (just about) everything to get around Perez.
  • …But, Perez is Perez.
  • …And, Perez is just one of those walls.
  • Rosberg is losing time.
  • …Mercedes, at the risk of getting slapped with a coaching penalty…
  • …Has informed Rosberg that he’s in ‘chassis default’.
  • …That he has to avoid seventh gear.
  • …And, directly, have instructed him to push through it.
  • …In my mind, this is not performance coaching.
  • …I would classify these conversations under ‘safety’.
  • …But, that’s just me.
  • …I’m not a fan of massive accidents, or fatalities, that could have been prevented through just a few directives.
  • Ginger and Baby Spice!!!
  • …They win!!!
  • …Those are my drivers of the day!!!
  • …I’d seen Geri’s Instagram updates (earlier).
  • …But, it’s (still) everything to see such a Spicy sight.
  • Final lap.
  • Rosberg is running in second.
  • …However, he is not only under investigation.
  • …It will be addressed after the race.
  • …So, if they decide to penalize that ‘coaching’, he could lose his trophy.
  • …And, the guys behind him would lose out on their respective podium.
  • …The second step and trophy for Verstappen.
  • …The podium (altogether) and trophy for Ricciardo.
  • …Which I think is one of the worst evils of motorsport.
  • …I really do.
  • …Total bullshit.
  • …Just mean.
  • Well, that’s that.
  • Hamilton takes his third (consecutive) home Grand Prix.
  • Rosberg takes a tentative second.
  • …No one has any idea how that discussion will go.
  • …Or, what the penalty, if handed down, might be.
  • …So, place and Championship points are up, in the air.
  • And, Verstappen takes the final step of the podium (in third).
  • Ricciardo and Räikkönen complete the top five.
  • …Yes, Kimi passed Perez.
  • …Thus leaving Ferrari with a pretty fresh feeling over re-signing him (for 2017).
  • Perez, Hülkenberg, Sainz, Vettel, and Kvyat round out the top ten, and come away with points.
  • And, Massa, Button, Alonso, Bottas, Nasr, and Gutierrez survive everything that came at them, to finish the race.
  • …With Magnussen, being a late retirement (so late, that his drive -will- count as complete).
  • …Joining Wehrlein, Ericsson, Grosjean, Haryanto, and Palmer as today’s casualties.
  • …22 cars started, 16 passed the checkered flag.
  • Was there a single word between the Mercedes drivers in that backroom?
  • …Hamilton and Verstappen went back and forth a bit.
  • …Debating speed and merit.
  • …Hamilton is on a high, and Verstappen is a teenager.
  • …But, Rosberg just stood back, silently, annoyed.
  • …I mean, I can’t imagine why.
  • …Any of the reasons why.
  • …I don’t know which I like more…
  • …The nice, friendly, happy for one another backrooms.
  • …Or, the hostile ones.
  • …Because, things like Rosberg’s cap throw are just precious.
  • Podium time.
  • Rosberg went to clink with Hamilton…
  • …Hamilton went into a celebration hoist.
  • …Meaningless and coincidental.
  • …But, amusing, nonetheless.
  • …As was Verstappen’s chugging.
  • …Living the teenage dream.
  • Mark Webber has…
  • …A) Pointed out that Verstappen has passed his dad in F1 podiums.
  • …B) Instructed him to enjoy the champagne, as he’s “just legal”.
  • …Because, Webber’s old enough to recognize a party.
  • …Hashtag that ‘TeenageDream’.
  • As the crowd continues to boo Rosberg.
  • …In a combination of being British…
  • …And, retaliation for the booing Hamilton received at Austria.
  • …Stay classy, F1 fans.
  • It has been announced that Rosberg and Mercedes are set to meet with the Stewards at 4pm local to discuss the ‘incident’.
  • …So, in a little under an hour.
  • …10am CT.
  • NBC Sports’ Will Buxton, interviewing Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe.
  • …Who had very little to say…
  • …Other than that the question is where the conversation sits on the legality spectrum.
  • …That there’s no (real) set precedent.
  • …And, that he doesn’t (really) want to comment on it, just because he doesn’t (really) know what’s going to happen (under those circumstances).
  • …Which is all true and correct.
  • …And, is part of the problem at hand.
  • …I mean, really, I think most people would agree that there’s safety at stake in these matters.
  • …So, shouldn’t safety directives override this preconceived notion of every direction being “performance coaching”?
  • …But, it’s (all) up to the stewards.
  • …And, if we’re being honest, what the stewards are feeling on any given day.
  • …But, if anyone needs a random spectator to break down the concerns, I’m available.
  • …I believe very strongly that there is a line between mechanical breakdown prevention and directing drivers through traffic.
  • …One prevents the drivers from (potentially) plowing into said traffic.
  • …Or…
  • …Suck on this one for a bit…
  • …Breaking down and causing a Safety Car period.
  • …Which, in turn, would lead to a grid-load of strategy shifting.
  • …Performance coaching, essentially.
  • …Boom.
  • Also…
  • …I hate to rain (sure) on Hamilton’s British parade, but…
  • …How was riding the Safety Car like that…
  • …So closely that he had to go into the grass to avoid hitting it…
  • …Perfectly okay?
  • …Shouldn’t there be some sort of mandatory distance rule?
  • …Not unlike speeding under a Safety Car period?
  • …Just saying.
  • …No, not that punishments should be across the board…
  • …No Hamilton v. Rosberg silliness…
  • …Just Steward consistency…
  • …And, attention to very real safety concerns.
  • …Should the bottom line not be “crashing, bad”…
  • …Making that the primary focus, and doing what they can to prevent accidents…
  • …Whether it be a mechanical, causing a driver to lose control or break down…
  • …Or, a driver, following a Safety Car at an unsafe distance?
  • …Consistency and logic.
  • …Safety first.
  • …Bottom line.
  • With that said, I’ll just go ahead, drop the mic, and wave my buh-byes to Britain.
  • As of now (subject to change, following the Rosberg/Mercedes decision)…
  • …The Championships standings look like this…
  • Driver’s Championship…
  • …Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg – 171 / Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton – 167
  • …Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen – 106 / Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo – 100
  • …Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – 98 / Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – 87
  • …Williams’ Valtteri Bottas – 54 / Force India’s Sergio Perez – 47
  • …Williams’ Felipe Massa – 38 / Haas’ Romain Grosjean – 28
  • …Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg – 26 / Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Jr. – 26
  • …Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat – 23 / McLaren’s Fernando Alonso – 18
  • …McLaren’s Jenson Button – 13 / Renault’s Kevin Magnussen – 6
  • …Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein – 1 / McLaren’s (Reserve) Stoffel Vandoorne – 1
  • …Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez – 0 / Renault’s Jolyon Palmer – 0
  • …Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson – 0 / Sauber’s Felipe Nasr – 0
  • …Manor’s Rio Haryanto – 0
  • Constructor’s Championship…
  • …Mercedes – 338 / Ferrari – 204
  • …Red Bull – 195 / Williams – 92
  • …Force India – 73 / Toro Rosso – 41
  • …McLaren – 32 / Haas – 28
  • …Renault – 6 / Manor – 1
  • …Sauber – 0
  • Next up…
  • …Hungary.
  • …Not next weekend.
  • …But, the following weekend.
  • …So, everyone (finally) gets a weekend off.
  • …Which is pretty precious this season.
  • …So, everyone, enjoy it.
  • …Unless you’re (Force India boss) Vijay Mallya.
  • …Then, you’re (probably) going to be pretty busy, going back into hiding.
  • …And, trying not to, you know, make any more shitty deals via money laundering and tax evasion, et al.
  • …As for me…
  • …I’m going to sleep in!
  • …So exciting; yay!
  • Have a lovely week-and-a-half-ish!
  • Stay tuned for that Rosberg/Mercedes news.
  • See you in Budapest!