MOTORSPORT /// F1 /// 2017 GRAND PRIX OF MONACO (25.5.2017 – 28.5.2017) /// UNWANTED COMMENTARY: SHALL WE DO THIS LIVE?…

  • -silent stare-
  • -eyebrow raise-
  • MONACO!!!!!!!
  • It’s the 75th running of the Monaco Grand Prix!!!
  • And, it’s on NBC (in the US).
  • Let’s do this!!!
  • (Oh, my god!!!)
  • Okay…
  • …A little bit about the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2017…
  • …Which is run around the Circuit de Monaco…
  • …In Monte-Carlo and La Condamine.
  • …The circuit is 2.074 mi (3.337 km) long.
  • …In a principality that is .78 sq mi (2.02 sq km).
  • …It has 19 tight-ass turns.
  • …Including the tightest hairpin in F1.
  • …So tight that teams have to bust out a special steering system once a year.
  • …And, today, there are 78 laps scheduled.
  • …Bringing the grand total target distance to 161.734 mi (260.286 km).
  • …As always, I word that very selectively, as anything can happen in F1.
  • …And, most of it will.
  • …Especially, on the narrow streets of Monaco.
  • …On a related note, remember that the cars and tires are significantly wider this year.
  • …It’s been a barrier-bumpy ride thus far (this weekend).
  • Tire-wise…
  • …The three options are Ultrasoft (purple), Supersoft (red), and Soft (yellow).
  • …Of which they -have- to use two.
  • …(Wah-wah-waaahhh)
  • …With Intermediate (green) and Rain (blue) variations (always) available.
  • Weather-wise…
  • …It’s a sunny 78F in the principality.
  • …The unicorn of the Monaco Grand Prix.
  • …So, they (probably) won’t be needing those wet-weather options.
  • In 2016…
  • …Mercedes’ Hamilton, Red Bull’s Ricciardo, and Force India’s Perez took the podium.
  • …But, let’s just scootch on past that whole dramafest, shall we?
  • …Focusing on Perez’s drive as we mosey to 2017.
  • Today’s starting grid (with 2016 results in parentheses)…
  • …#7 – Kimi Räikkönen – FIN – Ferrari (DNF) / #5 – Sebastian Vettel – DEU – Ferrari
  • …#77 – Valtteri Bottas – FIN – Mercedes (12) / #33 – Max Verstappen – NLD – Red Bull (DNF)
  • …#3 – Daniel Ricciardo – AUS – Red Bull (2) / #55 – Carlos Sainz, Jr. – ESP – Toro Rosso (8)
  • …#11 – Sergio Perez – MEX – Force India (3) / #8 – Romain Grosjean – FRA – Haas (13)
  • …#26 – Daniil Kvyat – RUS – Toro Rosso (DNF) / #27 – Nico Hülkenberg – DEU – Renault (6)
  • …#20 – Kevin Magnussen – DNK – Haas (DNF) / #2 – Stoffel Vandoorne – BEL – McLaren (N/A)*
  • …#44 – Lewis Hamilton – GBR – Mercedes (1) / #19 – Felipe Massa – BRA – Williams (10)
  • …#31 – Esteban Ocon – FRA – Force India (N/A) / #30 – Jolyon Palmer – GBR – Renault (DNF)
  • …#18 – Lance Stroll – CAN – Williams (N/A) / #94 – Pascal Wehrlein – DEU – Sauber (14)
  • …#9 – Marcus Ericsson – SWE – Sauber (DNF) / #22 – Jenson Button – GBR – McLaren**
  • …*Vandoorne qualified 10th, but is serving a three-place penalty for causing a collision at Spain.
  • …**Button qualified ninth, but was smacked with a 15-place power-unit-compenent-swap penalty.
  • …And, has opted to start from pitlane.
  • Here we go!!!!!!!
  • No one crashes into anyone!!!
  • …Or, anything.
  • …It’s amazing!!!
  • Everything is running smoothly thus far.
  • There is nothing to report.
  • Before the start, Button received a radio patch-in from Fernando Alonso.
  • …Who, if you’ll recall, is taking this weekend off, to give the Indy 500 a shot.
  • …(Which, he’s been rocking the shit out of.)
  • …Entrusting the semi-retired Button (who hadn’t touched a 2017 model prior to this weekend) with his car.
  • …He wished his friend well, and directed him to take care of his car.
  • …To which Button responded, “I’m going to pee in your seat.”
  • …And, then, like the professional F1 veterans they are, they busted-out laughing.
  • A little drama in the pitlane, as Wehrlein and Button nearly do the bump.
  • …During P2, Button radioed that nothing has changed, that there are (still) a lot of idiots.
  • …Calmly, with bleeping.
  • …Because, he’s right, some things just never change.
  • …Anyhoo, that pitlane incident is under investigation.
  • Okay, here’s the thing about Monaco…
  • …It’s frustratingly difficult to pass anywhere on the circuit.
  • …Factor in the expansion of the tires and cars, and…
  • …Well…
  • …Keep an eye on the standings, but…
  • …Yeah…
  • …Just enjoy the race, and all that it is.
  • Five-second penalty for Wehrlein.
  • …Unsafe release.
  • I haven’t updated standings, as there’s been some early pitting, tossing up the standings.
  • …But…
  • At Lap 15…
  • …Räikkönen, Vettel, Bottas, and Verstappen lead.
  • …With Ricciardo, Sainz, Perez, Grosjean, Magnussen, and Hülkenberg running in the top ten.
  • …And, Kvyat, Hamilton, Vandoorne, Massa, Ocon, Palmer, Stroll, Ericsson, Wehrlein, and Button (still) very much in it.
  • …No retirements thus far.
  • So, can I revise that last part?
  • The Incredible Hülkenberg is out.
  • …Total gearbox failure.
  • But, still, no crashes.
  • However, there is a long way to go.
  • Do you want to discuss Kimi?
  • …His first pole since 2008.
  • …A record 129 race gap.
  • …And, other negative-adjacent factoids.
  • …How about that this is only the second Ferrari front row lockout in, like, 40 years?
  • …The other one?
  • …Kimi and Massa.
  • …Sooo…
  • …What are these problems Ferrari keeps inventing?
  • …About a lack of motivation, not getting shit done, etc?
  • …Because, looking at it, he’s their most steadily reliable asset.
  • …And, as far as motivation goes…
  • …He’ll be 38 (this Fall).
  • …He could buy the planet.
  • …If he didn’t want to be there, he wouldn’t be.
  • …He’s left before (to try WRC and NASCAR truck racing).
  • …Maybe the real problem is that the Ferrari powers that be are on goddamn crack.
  • …Bygones.
  • …Anyway, yesterday, F1’s Twitter account posted a fastest sector graphic…
  • …Räikkönen / Räikkönen / Räikkönen.
  • …I joked that it was like Beetlejuice…
  • …If you say his name three times, he’ll appear on the top of the podium.
  • …Then, he got pole.
  • …So, feel free to try that.
  • …If you’re wondering, if drivers try it, he’ll appear in their mirrors.
  • …Like Bloody Mary, or Candyman.
  • …But, darker and scarier, and right on them.
  • At Lap 23…
  • …Räikkönen, Vettel, Bottas, and Verstappen lead.
  • …With Ricciardo, Sainz, Grosjean, Magnussen, Kvyat, and Hamilton in the top ten.
  • …And, Vandoorne, Massa, Ocon, Palmer, Stroll, Perez, Ericsson, Wehrlein, and Button, ready to pounce on any points-openings.
  • …Thus far, the lone retirement stands at Hülkenberg.
  • …Who can just walk home to his beloved couch and TV (from the circuit).
  • Ericsson, the quiet Swede, is getting shouty over the radio.
  • …Over a lack of grip.
  • …Which can be seen very easily on TV.
  • …It has been a problem all weekend for drivers.
  • Vettel is right on Kimi.
  • …As they approach tail-end traffic.
  • …Which, I mean, navigating through, on these narrow roads, isn’t as simple as it seems.
  • …Button finds a spot to (safely and securely) scootch over, and does so.
  • If you’re watching, and wondering why the fuck George Lucas is there…
  • …Well, he does love showing up at these races.
  • …If you’re wondering why his ‘Star Wars’ friends are there…
  • …Last week marked the 40th anniversary of ‘Star Wars’.
  • …Which coincided with the 40th anniversary of Renault in F1.
  • …So, they decided to celebrate together.
  • A 3.5 second stop for Verstappen.
  • …Verstappen has yet to finish at Monaco.
  • …And, it’s nice to see that Red Bull was ready for him.
  • …Unlike last year…
  • …When they called Ricciardo in…
  • …And, weren’t ready for him.
  • …Which ruined the race he was on track to win.
  • Bottas pits.
  • …3.7 seconds.
  • …And, comes out ahead of Verstappen.
  • Kimi pits.
  • …3.4 seconds.
  • …He comes out behind Ricciardo and Vettel.
  • Ericsson pits…
  • …Which gives him a few seconds away from wrestling that car.
  • Sainz pits.
  • …With the pitting, he’d jumped up to fourth.
  • …Causing problems for the Red Bulls.
  • Red Bull calls Ricciardo in…
  • …Oh, that’s cheek-clenching…
  • …Whoa!
  • …2.8 seconds!
  • …Think they’d been preparing for that?
  • Vettel pits.
  • …3.1 seconds.
  • …Oh, shit!
  • …He re-enters ahead of Kimi.
  • …So…I mean…given the difficulty of the circuit…
  • …That could be that for any hopes of a Kimi pole-to-win story.
  • Verstappen has been amazingly mature all season.
  • …Very calm and collected.
  • …He’s (totally) settled into his place in F1.
  • …But, this is Monaco.
  • …And, he’s joined the frustrated radio screaming club.
  • Puncture for Ocon.
  • …Ocon has finished with points in every race this season.
  • …But, this is the rookie’s first time at Monaco.
  • …Like, ever.
  • …In any racing.
  • …And, he’s struggling.
  • …Now, this.
  • …On the bright side, he’s driven a pretty uneventful race.
  • …As he radioed, he didn’t touch anything.
  • …So, though an unbelievable streak may be ending (though, there’s still a long way to go)…
  • …It is far from a loss for the smily rookie.
  • At Lap 45…
  • …Vettel, Räikkönen, Ricciardo, and Bottas lead.
  • …Followed by Verstappen, Hamilton, Sainz, Grosjean, Kvyat, and Vandoorne (in the points).
  • …With Perez, Massa, Magnussen, Palmer, Stroll, Ericsson, Ocon, Wehrlein, and Button…
  • …Outside, looking in.
  • …Mr Incredible remains the lone retirement.
  • …From mechanical failure, not a crash.
  • …So, remember this goddamn miracle of a run.
  • By the way…
  • …I am 100% convinced that Ferrari sacrificed Kimi on purpose.
  • …In the name of advancing Vettel’s Championship lead.
  • …Oh, hey, (now) the NBC Sports crew is discussing it!
  • …So, we’re (all) seeing the same thing, then?
  • …WE SEE YOU, FERRARI.
  • …-Does eye to subject pointing motion-
  • …I better not hear one fucking word about a lack of motivation, or any sort of blame on Kimi.
  • …So help me fucking god.
  • Now, Magnussen has a puncture.
  • …Is there something on track?
  • …The only incident has been Perez’s minor front wing ding (at the start).
  • …Sooo…I have no idea what’s going on.
  • …Maybe it’s all the sharp dressed men.
  • …(I can bring up ZZ Top more than once in a season, right?)
  • At Lap 53…
  • …Vettel, Räikkönen, Ricciardo, and Bottas lead.
  • …With Verstappen, Sainz, Hamilton, Grosjean, Kvyat, and Vandoorne in the top ten.
  • …And, Perez, Massa, Magnussen, Palmer, Stroll, Ericsson, Ocon, Wehrlein, and Button (still) rolling.
  • Uuuhhh…
  • …There are calls coming in that the tire-puncture culprit is a dislodged manhole cover.
  • …Which has happened before.
  • …And, if you’ll recall, they went crazy, making sure all the covers were secure on every street circuit (following that incident).
  • …Whelp, it appears one has gone rogue.
  • …So…will there be a Safety Car period (to ensure it doesn’t flip up and kill someone, or whatever)?
  • …Hmmm…
  • Did you know that the tunnel is the only inside section in F1?
  • …You (probably) did.
  • …You just didn’t know you did.
  • …And, now, you know that, too.
  • What the fuck kind of a call is that?!
  • …”Track is breaking up.”?!
  • …So…they did some resurfacing, and it didn’t take?
  • …On top of having a rogue manhole cover?
  • …Good lord.
  • …The circuit is (actually) trying to cause a crash.
  • Holy shit!
  • Is that a car?!
  • There’s a car, flipped on its side, against a wall.
  • …Like, top, against the rail.
  • …Bottom, facing out.
  • …It was camo.
  • …Oh, shit; it’s Wehrlein.
  • …Just after a very close scuffle with Perez.
  • …Yellow Flag, and a Safety Car.
  • Oh, Button is stopped on track!
  • …Are they connected?
  • Sauber, radioing Wehrlein…
  • …”Are you okay?”
  • …”Yeah.  I’d be better if I could get out.”
  • …Awesome response, sir.
  • Okay, on replay…
  • …Button just clipped Wehrlein, turning into the tunnel.
  • …The McHonda’s front wing just got under the Sauber, and flipped it into the barrier.
  • …With Button, coming to a halt with a full view of the new billboard.
  • …I guess that was something he hadn’t seen in his long career.
  • …(This -is- his 400th start, tying him with Schumacher for second-most F1 starts.)
  • …Check.
  • …Welcome back, Jenson.
  • …Also, on replay, was Button’s front wing, which was -just- dinged and dragging on the front-left edge.
  • …Crazy.
  • Aaannnddd, there you go…
  • …Ericsson has crashed.
  • …Under a Safety Car, yes.
  • …So, the Yellow Flags continue to fly.
  • …That was a weird, slo-mo crash.
  • …Anyhoo.
  • Green light go!
  • And, the guys at the front are getting aggressive!
  • Aw, fuck it.
  • Vandoorne has crashed.
  • …From a points position.
  • …It looked like too-evasive action, trying to avoid Perez, who was going for it.
  • So much for a historically uneventful race.
  • …As we play out to English Beat’s  “Save it for Later”.
  • Close call for Ricciardo.
  • …Because, yeah, sure. why not?
  • We’ve made it to Lap 70…
  • …Will the entire fucking grid just pile up (now)?
  • By the way, at Lap 70…
  • …Your top ten is…
  • …Vettel, Räikkönen, Ricciardo, Bottas, Verstappen, Sainz, Hamilton, Grosjean, Kvyat, and Perez.
  • …With Massa, Magnussen, Palmer, Ocon, and Stroll (still) going for it.
  • …”It” being, you know, finishing sans drama.
  • Scratch that.
  • …Kvyat’s car is stopped.
  • …Yellow Flag.
  • …So, just remove Kvyat from those standings, adjust as needed.
  • …Oh, Perez ran into him.
  • …Perez has been driving with a mission, and had shushed his team a bit earlier.
  • …It seems to have backfired.
  • …Now, Perez has pitted.
  • …More than likely, due to damage.
  • Williams is pulling Stroll’s car into the garage.
  • …He’d radioed with serious handling issues a while back.
  • …Which continues the sad modern legacy of Williams, sucking at Monaco.
  • Three laps left…
  • …With 13 (of 20) cars remaining.
  • …Hülkenberg, Wehrlein, Button, Ericsson, Vandoorne, Kvyat, and Stroll have exited.
  • …All (but Hülkenberg) in just the last few laps.
  • …Because, welcome to Monaco.
  • Final lap.
  • …And, it’s gone a full 78.
  • Finnish flags all around.
  • …Waiting for an expected win, that just isn’t going to happen.
  • Vettel wins.
  • Kimi, second.
  • Ricciardo, third.
  • With Bottas and Verstappen rounding out the top five.
  • …Yes, Verstappen has finished a Monaco Grand Prix.
  • And, Sainz, Hamilton, Grosjean, Massa, and Magnussen taking points home.
  • …A nice, double-points finish to boost the mood of Haas, in their sophomore slump.
  • While Palmer, Ocon, and Perez complete the task, but leave with “only” valuable experience.
  • …Yes, this ends Perez’s long-ass points streak, not to mention Force India’s double-points run.
  • Shot of Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco.
  • …Charlene, rocking a red dress, with red lips, as if anticipating a Ferrari win.
  • …When, really, it’s just in honor of the Monaco flag.
  • …Waiting at the podium.
  • …The…new…balcony?  I’m second guessing myself, but that -is- new, right?
  • …Anyhoo, they’re waiting…
  • …For Kimi.
  • …You know they were hoping for a Kimi win.
  • Man, Kimi doesn’t look stoked.
  • …Join the club, bro.
  • Albert presents the first-place trophy to Svettel.
  • But, Charlene gets the win, giving Kimi his.
  • And, Andrea Casiraghi (son of Princess Caroline) presents Ricciardo with his third-place trophy.
  • …(I keep typing “Princesse”.  God, could I be any snobbier/nerdier?  Jeez.)
  • …(Sorry, lifelong Grace Kelly worshipper.  I’m surrounded by Grace and Grimaldi books as I type.)
  • Kimi looks disturbed.
  • …Like, even icier than usual.
  • …Oh, strike that, he’s starting to look pissed.
  • …Yeah, he’s not playing the champagne-spraying game.
  • …If you weren’t feeling it before, Kimi will make you feel it (now).
  • …Dude…look at everyone…
  • …You can tell that Ricciardo’s feeling it.
  • …And, probably, having flashbacks to last year, when he was robbed – and pissed.
  • …Also, if you’ve never paid attention before, always watch Albert and Charlene.
  • …Especially, Charlene.
  • …They pay attention.
  • …And, they’re (both) Olympic athletes, who know the game.
  • …If something is shitty or shady, they WILL notice.
  • …And, they won’t hide it very well.
  • …Fun fact to keep in mind (for future Monaco Grands Prix).
  • Hey, look who’s doing the podium interviews!
  • …It’s Monacan reigning World Champion, Nico Rosberg!
  • …Who is wondering where the Ferrari guys are.
  • …So, he’s just hanging with Ricciardo.
  • …Oh, hey, he (actually) went straight into the strategic move (with Vettel).
  • …Then, he goes right for it (with Kimi), ending with telling him that he gets it.
  • …Rosberg knows this crap all-too well.
  • …He wasn’t fucking around, and getting right to what everyone saw.
  • …Oh, Kimi just walked off (after Rosberg wrapped the interviews).
  • …(Nothing standout with Ricciardo, by the way; they discussed the tough race, and laughed.)
  • …(Between Ricciardo’s face, assessing the mood.)
  • Magnussen, talking about having such a nightmare season.
  • …And, not a great race.
  • …But, yes, please, let’s focus on both Haas cars, getting points.
  • …At Monaco.
  • …This is (only) the team’s second year.
  • …And, Magnussen’s first year with the team.
  • …Not to mention, everyone is running brand, new, wider, more powerful cars.
  • …This is a good thing!
  • Ooo – Button!
  • …Discussing the Wehrlein accident.
  • …I mean, what he described is exactly what it looked like…
  • …That the cars had enough room, then, suddenly, very suddenly, as they turned, they didn’t.
  • …Adding that, yes, it’s an unusual sight to see.
  • …And, a very scary, uncertain sight to see.
  • …Emphasizing that the important thing is that, thankfully, it was a very slow-speed crash, and that Wehrlein is okay.
  • …And, that he’ll take away yesterday’s Qualifying result as his memory (from this weekend).
  • …As he rides (back) into the California sunset.
  • …(I miss Button.)
  • Good god, Hamilton seems genuinely upset.
  • …Like, near tears.
  • …Someone get his dogs!!!
  • …GIVE HIM HIS DOGS!!!
  • …Where’s his friend, Lindsey Vonn?!
  • …GET LINDSEY VONN!!!
  • …AND, SERENA WILLIAMS!!!
  • Okay, well, that’s that (for Monaco).
  • Here are your Drivers’ Championship standings…
  • …Vettel – 129 / Hamilton – 104 / Bottas – 75 / Räikkönen – 67
  • …Ricciardo – 52 / Verstappen – 45 / Perez – 34 / Sainz – 25
  • …Massa – 20 / Ocon – 19 / Hülkenberg – 14 / Grosjean – 9
  • …Magnussen – 5 / Wehrlein – 4 / Kvyat – 4 / Palmer – 0
  • …Ericsson – 0 / Stroll – 0 / Alonso – 0 / Vandoorne – 0
  • …Giovinazzi – 0 / Button – 0
  • And, here are your Constructors’ (Constrictors’) Championship standings…
  • …Ferrari – 196 / Mercedes – 179 / Red Bull – 97 / Force India – 53
  • …Toro Rosso – 29 / Williams – 20 / Renault – 14 / Haas – 14
  • …Sauber – 4 / McLaren – 0
  • Next up…
  • …Well, folks, get ready to roll on my time.
  • …Because, it’s the Canadian Grand Prix.
  • …So, Montréal, which runs one hour ahead of me.
  • …(And, fun fact, is about the same distance away as Austin.)
  • …Action kicks off the afternoon of Friday, June 9th.
  • …With the race on Sunday, June 11th.
  • …So, back to the standard Friday (P1, P2), Saturday (P3, Q), Sunday (GP) deal-y-o.
  • Now…
  • …NBCSN is re-airing the race right now.
  • …But, don’t forget that the Indy 500 starts at 11a (CT), on ABC.
  • …Which, if you don’t (already) tune in every year (for at least the last few laps)…
  • …You’re (probably) going to want to this year.
  • …Alonso takes the Hoo-thee-er Thate!
  • …I should assume I’m not allowed in either Indiana or Spain, right?
  • …Hey, fun game to play with your mom…
  • …”I’ve been thinking about going (back) to school.  I’ve been looking at Indiana University.  I could be a Hoo-thee-er.”
  • …Yeah, watch her face go from stoked to an array of not + disgusted.
  • …Good times.
  • …I’ve driven through northwest Indiana.
  • …Gary smelled (kinda) rank.
  • …(In high school, my best friend pointed out that I initially describe places by scent; it’s been noted by others since then.  So, I guess I do that.)
  • …But, it’s okay.
  • …I thought going through Milwaukee was worse.
  • …And, Thunder Bay smelled like demonic possession.
  • …Sweet dunes on Lake Michigan.
  • …Though, if you want your mind blown, check out the dunes in Michigan.
  • …Anyhoo…
  • …I haven’t made it any further into the Indiana, though.
  • …The thought of driving through tollway-ass Illinois just doesn’t appeal to me.
  • …Yeah.
  • Anyway…
  • Have a racetastic day!!!
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