MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2017 GRAND PRIX OF BAHRAIN (14.4.2017 – 16.4.2017) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • Good morning!
  • Holy cripes, am I running late.
  • Okay.
  • So.
  • This is the 2017 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
  • And, it is being broadcast (in the US) on CNBC.
  • Let’s get to it, shall we?
  • (Sorry for the haste.  100% my own fault.  I was looking at this morning’s F1 tweets.)
  • Bahrain International Circuit…
  • …Sakhir, Bahrain.
  • …3.363mi (5.412km) in length…
  • …Shaped like a duck, flexing at itself…
  • …(Happy Easter, to those who do.)…
  • …15 turns…
  • …Run clockwise…
  • …For 57 laps…
  • …Which will bring the goal total distance to 191.530mi (308.238km)…
  • …Keeping in mind, as always, that this -is- F1…
  • …Anything, and everything, can, and will, happen.
  • Today’s tire options are…
  • …Supersofts (red)
  • …Softs (yellow)
  • …And, Mediums (white).
  • …As always, Intermediates (green) and Rains (blue) will be available as needed.
  • …But, it’s looking like a quite sunny 79F.
  • …(Ooo – 23mph winds at the airport?  Watch for sandblasting, dudes.)
  • …So, yeah.
  • The 2016 podium looked a little/lot/exactly like this…
  • …1 – Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (DEU)
  • …2 – Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen (FIN)
  • …3 – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (GBR)
  • Today’s Starting Grid looks like this…
  • …#77 – Valtteri Bottas – FIN – Mercedes / #44 – Lewis Hamilton – GBR – Mercedes
  • …#5 – Sebastian Vettel – DEU – Ferrari / #3 – Daniel Ricciardo – AUS – Red Bull
  • …#7 – Kimi Räikkönen – FIN – Ferrari / #33 – Max Verstappen – NLD – Red Bull
  • …#27 – Nico Hülkenberg – DEU – Renault / #19 – Felipe Massa – BRA – Williams
  • …#8 – Romain Grosjean – FRA – Haas / #30 – Jolyon Palmer – GBR – Renault
  • …#26 – Daniil Kvyat – RUS – Toro Rosso / #18 – Lance Stroll – CAN – Williams
  • …#94 – Pascal Wehrlein – DEU – Sauber / #31 – Esteban Ocon – FRA – Force India
  • …#14 – Fernando Alonso – ESP – McLaren / #55 – Carlos Sainz (Jr.) – ESP – Toro Rosso
  • …#2 – Stoffel Vandoorne – BEL – McLaren* / #11 – Sergio Perez – MEX – Force India
  • …#9 – Marcus Ericsson – SWE – Sauber / #20 – Kevin Magnussen – DNK – Haas
  • …*Vandoorne will not start (super-fun pre-race total power unit failure).
  • Here.  We.  Go!
  • Bottas holds the lead.
  • …Reminder: this was Bottas’ first F1 Pole.
  • …I know; crazy, right?
  • Vettel jumps Hamilton.
  • Kimi falls way back.
  • …Jumped by Ricciardo and (his BFF) Massa.
  • Kvyat runs off.
  • …And, (back) on.
  • Verstappen puts in Fastest Lap.
  • …Because…of course he did.
  • If you look at the trees (in the wise shots), you’ll (really) notice how strong the winds are.
  • These 2017 cars are (already) beasts.
  • …Just add wind.
  • …Like gremlins.
  • …With a different element.
  • …That is not fire.
  • …Hopefully.
  • This was the first time since 2008 that a Finn has started on Pole.
  • …And, it wasn’t Kimi.
  • …It was Heikki Kovalainen.
  • Also, this was the first time since 1892 that both Renault/Lotus cars have started in the top 10.
  • …Just trust me on that date.
  • …At Lap 10, The Incredible Hülkenberg is in eighth, with Palmer in 13th.
  • …Hey, it’s a long race, with ridiculous competition.
  • …Stay tuned.
  • Magnussen parks his Haas, just off track.
  • …(So, Local Yellow.)
  • …No bueno.
  • At Lap 11…
  • …Ah, fuck it.
  • …Vettel just pitted and ruined it (all).
  • …Jerk.
  • At Lap 12…
  • …Verstappen pits, and ruins more.
  • …Well, whatever…
  • …This is how it looks, while we wait to see where those two wander to…
  • Never mind…
  • …Verstappen crashed, just after release.
  • …Total brake failure.
  • …Oh, he is fucking pissed!
  • …As he should be.
  • …He was tailgating the front.
  • Jesus.
  • …(Happy Easter.)
  • …Stroll is stopped on track.
  • …Reporting that he was hit.
  • …As a shot of Sainz, parked against a wall, is shown.
  • Replay!
  • Wow!
  • …That was a hit and a half!
  • …That was an incredible “thud”.
  • …With a lot of debris.
  • …The NBCSN crew is bringing up that Maldonado/Gutierrez crash a few years ago.
  • …When Maldonado caught Gutierrez’s Sauber, and flipped it (with those Lotus tusks – remember those?).
  • …Which, on replay, as much as everyone loved to slam Maldonado, looked like Gutierrez was the one who came around that tight pit exit corner behind (and, into) the wider-turning Maldonado.
  • …And, that’s what it looked like (here).
  • …Stroll came in wide and in, with Sainz coming in tight, from behind.
  • …Honestly, I don’t see how Stroll could have seen Sainz.
  • …Which, Sainz -did- mention (that he doesn’t think Stroll could see him).
  • …Gottas what those turns, kids.
  • Ooo – look at that Toro Rosso, being hoisted up, in the wind!
  • …Yikes!
  • Okay, game (back) on.
  • …With lots of new tires (after that Safety Car period).
  • Grosjean is radioing with a loss of power.
  • …Remember, Magnussen’s Haas crapped out earlier.
  • Alonso is flying.
  • …Like he’s in anything other than a McHonda.
  • …Getting shit done, before heading to the Indy 500 (next month).
  • Five-second penalty for Hamilton.
  • …Driving unnecessarily slowly in the pitlane.
  • …And, getting in Ricciardo’s way (while doing it).
  • …Is this a first for Hamilton.
  • …He gets away with everything.
  • …Bygones.
  • Hey, let’s try this (again)…
  • At Lap 20…
  • …It’s Vettel, Bottas, Hamilton, and Massa on top.
  • …With Räikkönen, Ricciardo, Perez, Hülkenberg, Grosjean, and Ocon in the top ten.
  • …And, Alonso, Palmer, Ericsson, Kvyat, and Wehrlein (still) in it.
  • …(Welcome back, Pascal – yes, with the whole “Welcome Back, Kotter” theme.)
  • …Magnussen, Verstappen, Stroll, and Sainz remain (very much) out.
  • Kimi passes Massa (for fifth).
  • …If anyone was wondering if F1 was all about the kids these days.
  • …Nope.
  • “I’ve never raced with less power in my life!”
  • …Guess the driver.
  • …If you guessed Alonso, you would be correct.
  • …Though, technically, he -is- in the more powerful McHonda (today).
  • …Because, you know, Vandoorne couldn’t even start, as his power unit was dead.
  • Local Yellow.
  • …Debris.
  • Hamilton passes Bottas.
  • …Looking to compensate for that penalty time.
  • The F1 app is “…experiencing connection issues from the track…”
  • …Now is not the time, dudes.
  • Okay, eyeballs 100% to the TV.
  • At Lap 31…
  • …Vettel, Hamilton, Räikkönen, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …Bottas has juuust pitted, if you’re wondering.
  • Timing is (back) up!
  • Grosjean pits.
  • …It’s quick, he’s released.
  • …Which is worth noting, given his earlier power concerns.
  • Kimi is yelling about something.
  • …Ending with, “…it’s really disturbing.”.
  • …Agreed.
  • Vettel radios with tire concerns.
  • …Ferrari’s crew (promptly) prepares.
  • …Vettel pits.
  • …2.7 stop.
  • At Lap 34…
  • …Hamilton, Räikkönen, Vettel, and Ricciardo lead.
  • …With Bottas, Massa, Perez, Hülkenberg, Ocon, and Kvyat in the top ten.
  • …And, Alonso, Palmer, Grosjean, Wehrlein, and Ericsson (still) running on hope.
  • Vettel is coming up on Kimi.
  • …This will be a drama-free move.
  • …Because, they’re good like that.
  • …Yep, Kimi scoots over a bit, and lets his teammate F1 BFF by.
  • …Fun fact: Ferrari head Sergio Marchionne feels he needs to have a chat with Kimi.
  • …Over his performances.
  • …Running at the top, in the mix of other powerhouses, in the first two races.
  • …Yeah.
  • …Hey, how about a chat about shutting the fuck up and letting (all) your experts do their jobs?
  • …Seriously.
  • …I cannot be the only one who has far-beyond had it with the way Ferrari “operates”.
  • …It’s disgusting.
  • …Another fun fact: their failures are not down to the drivers, or lead personnel, they’ve hired (over the years).
  • …Bygones.
  • …It’s not worth the frustration.
  • At Lap 41…
  • …Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, and Räikkönen lead.
  • …(Bottas JUST passed Kimi, as I was typing.)
  • …With Ricciardo, Massa, Perez, Grosjean, Kvyat, and Hülkenberg in the points.
  • …Ocon, Wehrlein, Alonso, Ericsson, and Palmer remain (very much) in the mix.
  • Earlier, in a radio exchange (involving the possibility of going to “Plan B”), Alonso told his team, “Do whatever you want, man.”.
  • …Because, he’s Fernando Alonso, man.
  • Toro Rosso bumped tires (during Kvyat’s stop).
  • …Which shouldn’t happen.
  • …But, it’s race three with the new (giant) tires.
  • …So, continue to excuse the learning curve.
  • …Nothing happened.
  • …It’s just an interesting detail.
  • …Hamilton served his five-second penalty, by the way.
  • …During a pit stop.
  • …So, from here on, what you see (in the standings) is what you get.
  • I have to pee.
  • …Really badly.
  • …No one crash, okay?
  • …I heard that Hamilton was setting fastest times, and yelled “shut up”, as I was walking out of the bathroom.
  • …FYI.
  • …Sorry.
  • Hamilton passes Bottas.
  • …No, that wasn’t me, saying, “Shit.”.
  • …That was someone (else), who isn’t me.
  • Vettel has looped, and is (now) in the tail mix.
  • …Blue Flags are-a-wavin’.
  • …Palmer moves over.
  • Radio to Hamilton: “It’s (all) going to happen at the end.”
  • …As I say, at the same time as NBCSN’s David Hobbs, “What’s going to happen at the end?”.
  • …Echoing much of the viewing world, I suspect.
  • Vettel passes Ericsson.
  • …No drama, whatsoever.
  • …No weird, dirty revolting at the end.
  • …As we saw too many times last year.
  • …Much of it from Gutierrez, actually.
  • Aw, Ericsson is pulling over.
  • …”I give up, it’s broken.”
  • …Demolished gearbox for the lone Swede.
  • …Parking the Sauber in a trackside cloud.
  • …No Yellows.
  • …He parked it slowly, off, and in position to be pulled out of the way quickly.
  • Vettel is past Wehrlein.
  • …Who is in 11th, if you’re wondering how far through Vettel is.
  • …Or, how Wehrlein is doing (in his return).
  • …Or, both.
  • Hamilton has passed Alonso.
  • …Who is in 14th.
  • …To complete your visual (of the race for first).
  • Alonso is radioing with serious power unit issues.
  • …God, I hope it isn’t an Indy 475 for Alonso.
  • Yep, they’re retiring Alonso.
  • …McHonda is the exception to my rule of not worrying about anyone yet.
  • …It’s just a fucking shitshow.
  • …Honestly, it feels like they’ve taken way too many steps backward.
  • …When they’d barely (but, noticeably) moved forward (last year).
  • Final lap.
  • Vettel wins!
  • Hamilton takes second.
  • Bottas…sadly…third.
  • …Not that it’s bad.  Just…It would have been so sweet to see him turn that first Pole into a first win.
  • Kimi holds fourth.
  • …Which, I’m sure, despite all the superpowers in the mix, won’t be enough.
  • Ricciardo rocks fifth.
  • …Which -should- tell you how intense that competition is.
  • …Ferrari.
  • And, Massa, Perez, Grosjean, Hülkenberg, and Ocon yoink points.
  • …Yes, another double-points finish for Force India.
  • Wehrlein, in his return/first race of the season, just misses his first 2017 point (in eleventh).
  • And, Kvyat and Palmer finish in the losing end of that brutal “mid-field” mix.
  • …Which, isn’t (really) mid-field, is it?
  • …Thus far, we’re seeing a split.
  • …With brutal fights in each half.
  • …The reality is that it, at the end, everyone has to fall into some (numeric) place.
  • …That’s why it’s important to remember that the reasons numbers never lie…
  • …Is because they never tell the whole story.
  • …Ferrari.
  • …I say that like Pee-Wee says “Francis” (in ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’), by the way.
  • Christ on a cracker, Vettel’s stoked.
  • Bottas is smiling, while chatting with Vettel.
  • …So, I mean, it seems like he’s aware that he fought as hard as he could…
  • …Against those two multi-World Champions.
  • …In equal cars.
  • …He’ll get used to it.
  • …And, they (all) know it.
  • …I just want to put my fraction-of-a-cent in, and remind people of the facts.
  • …Starting with this being race number three.
  • …It’s a looong road ahead, folks.
  • …Don’t worry about anyone (quite) yet.
  • …Oh, except McHonda.
  • …But, do be aware that they are aware.
  • …Got all that…
  • …Ferarri?
  • Vettel’s favorite part…
  • …Podium photo shot.
  • …Getting to put his arm around that adorable, little Finn.
  • …He just loves Finns so much.
  • …Find a person who looks at you the way Vettel looks at Finns.
  • I really do hope that Hamilton continues to play nice with Bottas.
  • Oh!
  • …Right on cue…
  • …Coulthard asks Hamilton about his being so cool with not winning, etc.
  • …Seriously, was that much of all that toxicity of the past few seasons down to his dynamic with Rosberg, himself?
  • …I mean, it happens.
  • …There are just some people who drive you into being a crazy person.
  • …(Oh, admit it, you have one – if not several.  The reasons may be unknown, but they just bring out the absolute monster in you.  Lily Allen even has a song about it.)
  • …But, wow; that is one heck of a contrast.
  • …Not to say he (still) doesn’t have issues with being a dick during race weekends.
  • …”This guy”, anyone.
  • …But, he’s improving.
  • …And, he’s just not a dick.
  • Verstappen appears to have recovered.
  • …Now, it’s (still) very early…
  • …But, is it just me, or does it seem like Verstappen’s (really) settled into being a top F1 driver?
  • …Yes, I’m avoiding “grown up”, because he’s (still) a teenager.
  • …But, he’s just handled situations more maturely, more calmly.
  • …Like the successful driver, with several seasons behind him, that he is.
  • …Which, seriously, is all I wanted to see from that kid.
  • …Last year made me (really) nervous.
  • …All the defiance, (publicly) stating that he was just going to do his thing, etc.
  • …Which wasn’t looking good, in terms of a long career.
  • …Anyway, it seems like he’s settled in.
  • …Which is awesome.
  • Drivers’ Championship standings…
  • …#5 – Sebastian Vettel – DEU – Ferrari / 68
  • …#44 – Lewis Hamilton – GBR – Mercedes / 61
  • …#77 – Valtteri Bottas – FIN – Mercedes / 38
  • …#7 – Kimi Räikkönen – FIN – Ferrari / 34
  • …#33 – Max Verstappen – NLD – Red Bull / 25
  • …#3 – Daniel Ricciardo – AUS – Red Bull / 22
  • …#19 – Felipe Massa – BRA – Williams / 16
  • …#11 – Sergio Perez – MEX – Force India / 14
  • …#55 – Carlos Sainz – ESP – Toro Rosso / 10
  • …#8 – Romain Grosjean – FRA – Haas / 4
  • …#20 – Kevin Magnussen – DNK – Haas / 4
  • …#31 – Esteban Ocon – FRA – Force India / 3
  • …#27 – Nico Hülkenberg – DEU – Renault / 2
  • …#26 – Daniil Kvyat – RUS – Toro Rosso / 2
  • …#94 – Pascal Wehrlein – DEU – Sauber / 0
  • …#36 – Antonio Giovinazzi – ITA – Sauber (reserve) / 0
  • …#30 – Jolyon Palmer – GBR – Renault / 0
  • …#2 – Stoffel Vandoorne – BEL – McLaren / 0
  • …#14 – Fernando Alonso – ESP – McLaren / 0
  • …#9 – Marcus Ericsson – SWE – Sauber / 0
  • …#18 – Lance Stroll – CAN – Williams / 0
  • Constructors’ Championship standings…
  • …Ferrari (Ferrari) / 102
  • …Mercedes (Mercedes) / 99
  • …Red Bull (Tag Heuer) / 47
  • …Force India (Mercedes) / 17
  • …Williams (Mercedes) / 16
  • …Toro Rosso (Renault) / 12
  • …Haas (Ferrari) / 8
  • …Renault (Renault) / 2
  • …Sauber (Ferrari) / 0
  • …McLaren (Honda) / 0
  • Whelp…
  • …That’s that.
  • Next up…
  • …A weekend off.
  • But, then…
  • …Russia.
  • So…
  • …It’s Easter.
  • …Go watch some festive films.
  • …Like ‘Life of Brian’, ‘Donnie Darko’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, and ‘Steel Magnolias’.
  • …Or, some paranormal (specifically, ghost) shit.
  • …Because…
  • …-raises eyebrow-
  • Anyhoo…
  • …”See” you in Sochi!
  • (Oh, and, happy birthday, Frank Williams!!!)
Advertisements