June 30, 2008

F1 on TV: Britain!

After the snoozefest of Mangy-Curs, we find ourselves in jolly olde England this week, at one of the truly great F1 tracks: Silverstone.  Like many tracks of long history, Silverstone was built at the site of a WWII air base; in this particular case, the home of No 17 Operational Training Unit flying the Vickers Wellington bomber.  In fact, the runways are still extant and can be made out on the track map quite clearly, and Hangar Straight is called such because it used to run along the row of hangars that serviced the airbase.

Silverstone is a very fast track, even after all the attempts to slow it for safety's sake.  As an example, the original track layout did not have turns 8 and 9 (meaning it was a straight run from a gentler Stowe to Club), and turns 12 thru 18 didn't exist either, meaning Woodcote was run at a much higher speed than it is now. 

Silverstone has my favorite complex of turns, the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel sequence.  If you want to see just how nimble your average F1 car is, this is the place to do it.  They run through it as if they were slotcars, zip-zip-zip! 

Unfortunately, Darth Ecclestone wants to do away with Silverstone, and has been threatening moving the British GP to some other location like Brands Hatch (which is a fine track in it's own right... but it's not Silverstone).  Fortunately, his efforts have thus far come to naught, and we'll enjoy this wonderful circuit for a while yet.

As an humorous aside, on Grand Prix race day Silverstone becomes the UK's busiest airport, as many spectators fly helicopters into Silverstone Heliport.  Indeed, for some time it was touted as the World's Busiest Airport on race day, with flights arriving every 15 seconds.

Well, except for our British readers, the rest of us will have to make do with the telly.  Fortunately, the good folks at SPEED and FOX will be bringing us their usual excellent coverage. 

This coverage begins on Friday, July 4th, from 7a to 840a, with SPEED's live coverage of Friday Practice 2.  Will we see a resurgence of BMW this weekend, or will the Red Team and the Glare On Wheels continue their recent dominance?

If you are to race at Silverstone, you first must qualify, and SPEED will bring it all to us.  Saturday, July 5th, from 7a to 830a, we get plausibly live coverage of the Quals session.  Nine out of the past 10 races have been won by Ferrari (five times) or McLaren (four), and it all starts with the quals.

Finally, the race itself will be shown on FOX in tape-delay, Sunday, July 6th from 12n to 2pm.  Will BMW play the part of Renault (the one team to win here in the past 10 years that isn't Ferrari or McLaren)?  Heck, will RENAULT play the part of Renault?  Will it be a Red Car Walkover?  Will the Glare On Wheels rally on their home track?  Will Lewis Hamilton win his biggest race ever?  This is where and when we find out!

If you can't catch the race on FOX, SPEED will replay it in it's entirety Wednesday, July 9th from 1130a to 130p.  Don't miss it!

All times Pond Central; add one hour for East Coast, subtract two for San Francisco, and add 12 kilopascals and a blanket for the South Pole.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:25 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 571 words, total size 4 kb.

June 24, 2008


The type of blogging I'm doing is supposed to be fun.  It's light-hearted, humorous, and occasionally witty.  To be frank, it hasn't been very fun recently.  It's been a lot more like... work, and I do enough of that at the Duck U. Bookstore. 

So I'm going to take a few days off.  I've got other stuff I'm working on right now that's taking a lot of my free time... and you folks will get to be involved soon... and trying to blog coherently takes time I can't begrudge right now. 

So The Pond is going quiet until Monday, June 30th, unless something very important breaks loose between now and then.

Thank you.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:16 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 115 words, total size 1 kb.

June 22, 2008

F1 Update!: FRANCE 2008

Ugh.  This is your F1 UPDATE!

*MERDE: Wow, this was dull.  How dull was this race?  Here's a picture of a piece of french bread:

That picture is more interesting than the 2008 French Grand Prix.  Even the rain that began to fall with 15 laps to go was uninteresting, being just a light sprinkle.

*FERRARI IS ALL: Halfway through the race, Kimi Raikkonen had a problem develop with his exhaust system: it started to fall off his car.  The right-hand exhaust pipe somehow broke and, held on only by the heat sensor, began to bounce and flail against the Ferrari's bodywork.

It was obvious that the piece of pipe was going to break free sooner or later, and thus constituted a hazard to everybody behind him... imagine the damage that could result if it came off and speared into a car following!  Therefore, the track marshals should have forced him to pit so it could be removed.  Of course, the Ferrari would have lost track position, but that's a minor thing considering the safety problems.  That Kimi was leading at the time shouldn't have any bearing on the situation.  Also of course, the FIA did nothing.  Even more surprising, neither did Ferrari when Kimi DID pit!  They left the pipe as-is.  It was only luck that there wasn't anybody nearby when it finally broke free, rocketing off the rear wing and headed for low-earth orbit.  The overheating Ferrari eventually finished second.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: We never thought we'd say this, but Jarno Trulli.  Bringing Toyota their first podium finish since the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix, Trulli was under fire the entire race.  Somehow, he managed to beat back challenges from Heikki Kovaleinninninnie, Robert Kubica and Mark Webber.  Even Jarno's great nemesis, the rain, couldn't keep him from third place.  The lone bright spot in a very boring race.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: Ferrari.  Podium sweep, fast lap, a friendly FIA, and a McLaren team that seems to be spinning its wheels all point to Ferrari running away and hiding the rest of the season. 

*MOVE OF THE RACE:  On Lap 19, Lewis Hamilton, who had been bothering HWMNBN for 12th place for a while, ran low while the Renault swung wide into the turn named Estoril.  HWMNBN apparently had no idea what was going on, for he began to swing himself onto the inside line even as Hamilton occupied it.  Surprised, he twitched and Hamilton zipped by.  A nice, if ultimately pointless (Hamilton at the end of the lap), Move of the Race.

*MOOOOO-OOOVE OF THE RACE:  Even the Moooo-ooove for this race is dull!  Jenson Button bumped into SeaBass going into turn 1 at the start of the race, which broke his front wing and eventually led to his retirement (the only one of the race).  Congratulations, Jenson, you're the most boring MoootR winner EVER!



Posted by: Wonderduck at 06:33 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 696 words, total size 5 kb.

June 21, 2008

NHRA Driver Scott Kalitta Killed.

Story here.

From what I'm hearing from ESPN2, which was televising the qualifying rounds of Sunday's event, the NHRA SuperNationals in New Jersey, the car overran the runoff area (the "kittylitter") at the end of the dragstrip, but I haven't seen it, so I don't know for sure.

Sorry, Steven

UPDATE: Okay, I've seen the video (no, I'm not linking it), and it's not pretty.  Kalitta was just about at the end of his run, and he was timed at 300mph, when, I assume, his engine blows, enveloping the car completely in fire.  It was so bad that when his 'chutes deployed, they were already aflame.  The car goes off the end of the track, through the kittylitter, and into a wall.  For what it's worth, the dust kicked up when the car goes through the gravel prevents the camera from seeing the final crash, but the fireball that results is quite visible. 

Before you wonder, I gather that beyond that wall is a highway or four-lane street.  The runoff  area looks very, very small, way too small considering the speeds funnycars and dragsters can hit.  And whomever thought that having a dragstrip that ends just short of a street might have something to do with this accident.

Not being familiar with other dragstrips, though, I can't really say if the track at Englishtown has a smaller-than-normal runoff area.  I'll bet it is, though.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:34 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 239 words, total size 2 kb.

F1 Quals: France 2008!

Then there's that whole "I love Formula 1 racing" thing too, I suppose.

With those words echoing in my head, I managed to pee the recording of today's Quals for the French Grand Prix straight down the leg of my firesuit.  No, I didn't set the time on my VCR wrong, I didn't set it at all!  I realized that miserable fact at 805am, in the middle of my morning shower.

I caught the last two minutes of Q3, which was enough to get some impressions from the Legendary Announce Team.  To be specific, there seemed to be no energy whatsoever at Mangy-Curs, as if the matter was never in doubt.  Which seems right, considering the results.  Here's the provisional grid:

Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 Kimi Räikkönen               
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:15.024 1:15.041 1:16.490
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.634 1:15.293 1:16.693
4 HWMNBN Renault 1:15.754 1:15.483 1:16.840
5 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:15.521 1:15.362 1:16.920
6 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.965 1:15.639 1:16.944
7 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:15.687 1:15.723 1:17.037
8 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:16.020 1:15.488 1:17.233
9 David Coulthard's Chin      
Red Bull-Renault 1:15.802 1:15.654 1:17.426
10 Timo Glock Toyota 1:15.727 1:15.558 1:17.596
11 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 1:15.848 1:15.770
12 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:16.006 1:15.786
13 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 1:15.918 1:15.816
14 SeaBass STR-Ferrari 1:16.072 1:16.045
15 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:16.085 1:16.235
16 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:16.243

17 Jenson Button Honda 1:16.306

18 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:16.330

19 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:16.971

20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:17.053

I have no idea what happened to the BMWs.  Seventh for Kubica is bad enough, but 12th for Heidfeld?  That's awful.  Both Williams are behind the Toro Rossos?  That's embarrassing.  Note that Lewis Hamilton has a 10-spot grid penalty coming for his "ramming speed" manuever in Canada, and Rosberg has a (ridiculous) 5-spot penalty for his bumping of the already dead McLaren in the same incident.

So, there you go.  Quals are in, Ferrari is dominating, this looks like a blowout-in-the-making... unless it rains.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:00 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 344 words, total size 11 kb.

June 20, 2008

F1 Practice: France 2008!

Over time, I've come to the realization that practices for F1 teams are actually... dull.  The main reasons I watch them is to refamiliarize myself with the circuit (after all, for the most part we only see these tracks once a year), and to make sure that if something horrible or fantastic happens, I know about it (fortunately the bad stuff doesn't occur that often).

Then there's that whole "I love Formula 1 racing" thing too, I suppose.

The main thing I gleaned from today's P2 session was that the race on Sunday has a chance of being interesting.  The removal of traction control from the cars has made this very flat, very smooth track very, very ungrippy.  There were a lot of visits to the kittylitter and runoff areas today as the drivers struggled with the asphalt-like-glass.

I also learned that there's a 60% chance of thunderstorms at Mangy-Curs on Sunday.  That would go a long way towards making the race interesting, all on it's own.

Finally, I discovered that the curbing at Mangy-Curs might have replaced Montreal as "the deadliest curbs in F1."  They're nowhere near as high as they were at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve, but there's an interesting thing going on here.  Since the track in France is so flat and smooth, the teams are running their cars very, very low to the ground.  After all, there's no bumps to worry about, so get the bottom of the car as close as possible to the asphalt and improve the aerodynamics under the car.

But to get a fast lap around Mangy-Curs, you MUST use the curbs.  Do it right, and it's a beautiful display of what the blend of man and machine can do in the quest for speed.  Do it wrong, and... well, you're Adrian Sutil:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for flying Kingfisher Air.
I'm Adrian Sutil, and I'll be your pilot today.

And just like Montreal in 2007, somehow he didn't break the darn thing on landing.  They build 'em tough down there in the Force India garages!

Not so much in the McLaren pits, though, where both Heikki and Lewis broke bits off their chargers (Hamilton a strake off his diffuser, Heikki the dip on his front wing) by going over curbs and into the kittylitter. 

So until Saturday's Quals, just remember: when all your wheels are on the ground, this is GOOD.  Wheels in air?  BAD.  Can't steer well then.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:08 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 416 words, total size 3 kb.

June 18, 2008

Random Anime Picture #20

-ARIA the Origination, ep06

For some reason, this just amuses me to no end.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:36 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 18 words, total size 1 kb.

June 17, 2008

F1 on TV: France 2008!

From the rip-snortin' good times of Montreal, we find ourselves back in Europe for the French Grand Prix.


Yeah, it hurts for me to read that, too.  Unless it rains, the French GP is usually a really dull, slow-paced parade.  In France.  In rural France.  To give you an idea of where Magny-Cours is in France, it'd be like having a Grand Prix somewhere in eastern Iowa (without the flooding)... with a very very small town hosting.

The good news is that the 2009 French GP is going to be held somewhere else, perhaps in Paris.  No, it won't be at the track used for the 24 Hours of LeMans (which is a real shame; a seven mile course with a straightaway nearly as long as the entire track length of Monaco?  With a F1 car?  Sign me up!), alas.

But, for this year, Magny-Cours is what we've got, so lets look at the track map, shall we?

The predominant feature of Mangy-Curs is slow turns mixed with obscene hairpins.  Just when it seems like there's an opportunity for a passing manuever there's another stinkin' bend in the road.  Turn 1 is the alleged best passing location.

A few years back, the track was reprofiled to add a chicane (turns 16/17) to help increase passing.  While that didn't work at all, it did shorten the pitlane to the point that running a three-stop strategy is actually quite workable at Mangy-Curs, and Slappy Schumacher won in 2004 (I think it was) using an unheard-of four-stop plan. 

So expect lots of red-hot pitlane action.  Whee.  And our friends, the Legendary Announce Team, will be there for all of it.

Friday, from 7am to 830am, we'll have LIVE coverage of Practice 2 on SPEED.

Saturday, from 7am to 830am, there'll be plausibly LIVE coverage of Quals, also on SPEED.  Will Robert Kubica take a second pole?  Will Ferrari and McLaren scrape their jaws up off the floor after BMW's win at Canada?  Will home team Renault actually get on the podium?  It all starts on Saturday!

Sunday, the actual Grand Prix of France will be shown on FOX, from 12n to 2pm.  That's tape-delayed, by the way, but at least it's the SPEED announce team.  For those of you who can't stand the 'Big Four' networks, the race'll be replayed on Wednesday from 11a to 130p on SPEED.

All times, of course, are Central.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:35 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 407 words, total size 3 kb.

June 15, 2008

Ikkitousen: Great Guardians ep01

So the third installment of the Ikkitousen story has begun!  The first told the story of Hakufu, Nanyou High School's ditzy fighter and her rise to become the "Junior Lord of Lords", the person destined to command all the "kingdoms" (or, in this case, high schools) of the land.  The second dealt with Seito's fighters, and how they join forces with Nanyou's group to fight against the most powerful school.

Ikkitousen is best known for it's fanservice, but at least with the second series, Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny, there began to be signs of actual story behind the pantsu.  But what of the third series?  What does it bring us?

Click on to continue, but be warned: this review is picture-intensive and distinctly NSFW!


Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:55 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 313 words, total size 8 kb.

June 14, 2008

I:GG is in Process

It's taking much longer than expected to do the writeup for Ikkitousen: Great Guardians, ep01.  It'll be up on Sunday.

To tide you, the readers, over, here's a picture that shows exactly how they're "toning down the fanservice" for broadcast:

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:46 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 45 words, total size 1 kb.

June 12, 2008

An Excuse.

So I had planned to do the writeup of the first episode of Ikktousen: Great Guardians tonight... but then life happened:  Ph.Duck's aunt is in the hospital, perhaps having suffered a TIA.  Unfortunately, the information got to me via my grandmother, who started the conversation by saying "(Momzerduck) is at the hospital, (Ph.Duck) took her there."

After my heart started beating again (and I wondered where five years of my life had gone), I managed to understand that she had garbled the story.

Then it was just down to waiting to hear from Momzerduck or Ph.Duck to hear exactly what was going on.  Of course, I was more than a little worried and NOT interested in watching anime (or doing much of anything else... I might have read the same page of my current novel about five times).

So, I:GG will debut tomorrow.  God help us all.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:45 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 149 words, total size 1 kb.

June 11, 2008

Random Anime Picture #19: When Librarians Attack!

-Toshokan Sensou, ep01

Silly concept, but fun show nevertheless.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 16 words, total size 1 kb.

June 09, 2008

T-Bird Sunday

So as has been previously related, the weather around The Pond on Sunday was pretty miserable.  Until around 1230pm, there were thunderstorms and high winds which caused no end of havoc, which prevented the Duckford AirFest from doing anything at all.

But the storms blew away, and with a four hour window before the next ones were supposed to happen, AirFest threw the schedule out the window and went for broke: how many teams can we get in the air in a limited amount of time?

The answer was "most of them."  The Pond was alive with the roars of jet engines and the growls of prop planes for a good while, but the prevailing winds were such that none of the actual planes came anywhere near Pond Central.

330pm.  The Thunderbirds could be clearly heard taking off in the distance.  I couldn't take my usual position off in the field behind Pond Central, since there were small rivers running through it, rivers that only form when it rains really hard, so I had to hope that I'd be able to get a pic or two from Pond Balcony.


I had to adjust the contrast on this, but otherwise, it's as it came out of the camera.

Not bad, but I like this one better:

Different pass from them, same nice tight formation.  Less zoom, too. 

The Thunderbirds didn't come into view for the rest of the performance.  Drat.  Never saw the two solos, either.  Double-drat.  The diamond is amazing to see, holding that ridiculously tight formation as they blitz by at high speed, low altitude. 

Oh, and the Snowbirds?  They were at the Canadian Grand Prix.  Good reason not to be here!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:14 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 286 words, total size 2 kb.

June 08, 2008

F1 UPDATE!: Montreal 2008!

A historic race, a lucky break in the weather here at The Pond, and this is F1 UPDATE!

*A RACE FOR FIRSTS:  Robert Kubica, one year removed from a horrendous crash at this same track, won today's Canadian Grand Prix and in the process took over the lead in the Driver's Championship.  This is not only his first win, but the first win for BMW as a Constructor to boot.  And for the first time in F1 history, the Polish national anthem was played in the podium ceremony.

*A TRACK FOR ALL SEASONS (EXCEPT RACE SEASON): There's no denying that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has brought us some marvelous races in the past, but the condition of the track left a lot to be desired.  The breakup of the surface, particularly in the hairpin, contributed to a number of unforced errors today. The worst part is, this has happened every race for the past three seasons.  As much as we hate to say it, the FIA needs to wield some of its power to get this dealt with, and soon.   We at F1 UPDATE! like the circuit a lot, but it's getting ridiculous.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Is there any doubt? 

Robert Kubica has shown that he's a serious contender for the Driver's Championship and earned a pole, but hasn't quite won a race.  Well, today he has, and is now leading Kimi Raikkonen in the points. 

*TEAM OF THE RACE:  Is there any doubt?  BMW-Sauber not only got their first ever win (not counting the handful of Sauber victories before BMW came in), but Grizzly Nick Heidfeld was second on the podium as well.  To make things even better, the team has now jumped into second in the Constructor's Championship.  The team got their 1-2 by doing everything right today, from calling their cars into the pits at the right time, following the rules and paying attention to the red light in the pits, to running their drivers under two different fuel strategies to make SURE they'd get the win, and some great work by the pit crew to get Kubica re-tired, refueled, and out before his teammate came around.  A flat-out dominant performance by the now-confirmed newest member of the Grade-A teams.

*MOVE OF THE RACE:  Ferrari had a particularly poor race today, with Kimi being knocked out early (see the Moooo-ooove of the Race, below), and Massa's race being compromised by some miserable work in the pits, the MotR is small consolation.  However, with the race beginning to wind down, Massa found himself behind both Rubens Barrichello and Heikki Kovaleinninninnie, faster than both, but unable to get past either.  Heading down into the hairpin, both the McLaren and Honda drivers stayed high to avoid the crumbling inner line through the turn.  Massa took a gamble and went low, into the gravel that used to be aspahlt, then even lower, actually getting a tire onto the grass. 

Nice to see the track's in good shape...
By the end of the turn, he had passed Barrichello and pulled even with Heikki.  Heikki, seeing the Ferrari very close indeed to his right tires, twitched to the left just a hair, and Massa powered past.  Two positions in one pass?  Oh yeah, that's the Move of the Race right there.

*MOOOOOO-OOOVE OF THE RACE:  Even the best racers in the world can't be on all the time, and that's what the Mooooo-ooove celebrates (or denigrates, if you've won it).  Adrian Sutil's race came to a premature end on lap 17, breaking his suspension after smacking the wall.  After coming to a halt, his brakes caught fire.  As his car came to a halt in a location that a crane couldn't get to, marshals had to go out and push his Force India behind the wall, which brought out the Safety Car.  Once the pitlane opened, all the leaders dove in for fuel and tires.  Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari and Robert Kubica's BMW won the pit crew duel and began to exit.  However, the red light signifying that the cars could not exit was still on, forcing both to stop at the end of the lane.  Lewis Hamilton, distracted by something bright and shiny in his McLaren, didn't notice that they had stopped and continued to accelerate down the lane.  When he next looked up, he swerved to avoid the two... and failed, ramming hard into the Ferrari.  Kimi lost his rear wing, Lewis lost his front suspension.

Red means stop.  Red light, red car... what more do you need?
He was then rear-ended by Williams' Nico Rosberg, but that was just icing on the cake.  Hamilton had already won the Moooooo-ooove of the Race... and has been hit with a 10-grid spot penalty for the next race.



Posted by: Wonderduck at 03:15 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 1281 words, total size 9 kb.

F1 Update: Montreal will NOT be delayed!!!

My picture firmed up around lap 20 of the 70 lap race!  Unless is goes to hell again, there WILL be a F1 Update today!

And it's gonna be a doozy!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 12:09 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 38 words, total size 1 kb.

F1 Update: Montreal will be delayed.

Okay, here's the story.  There's bad weather around The Pond, and my local Fox affiliate is taking it on the chin.  I've got a weak signal via my satellite-based system (provided by the apartment complex), so about half the time, I'm looking at the race thru a bunch of static and double-images.  The other half of the time, I've got no picture at all.  Unless it strengthens up quickly, I'll be having to watch the race via download or on Wednesday night, after SPEED runs the replay.

Sorry about that.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:17 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 96 words, total size 1 kb.

June 07, 2008

Thunderbirds Are GO!

Yes, this is the best I could do today...
Today was a weird weather day for the Duckford AirFest.  Sudden downpours, hot, muggy, and very windy played hob with the schedule.  Out of the shot, about ten or 15 miles in the direction of travel, was a VERY ugly looking storm front, which was headed towards The Pond at a good clip. 

In fact, it was such an ugly looking storm, that the Thunderbirds ended their (roughly hour-long) program after about 20 minutes.  Good thing, too: about five minutes after they landed, just as I made it back to Pond Central,  it became as night and the rain began to bucket down.

Even before that, though, I pretty much knew that I wasn't going to get any pictures as interesting as last year's.  The Thunderbirds' F-16 is smaller than the F/A-18 flown by the Blue Angels, seemed to be flying higher than last year's show, and the mostly white colorscheme did nothing to make them stand out against the low-ish clouds.  Hopefully Sunday will be a nicer day (the weather forecast doesn't look promising, though) and let me take some better pics.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 03:43 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 195 words, total size 1 kb.

F1 Quals: Montreal 2008!

Nailbiter time!  The rain never came, though the skies were gray and there was a distinct crosswind that was causing quite the problems for some drivers.  On top of all that, the track, which had been patched and resurfaced in some places during the offseason, was being ripped up by the cars and their incredible levels of grip.  This, combined with the slightly higher-than-expected tire wear, made it seem like it HAD been raining in a few of the turns, simply because of all the rubber "marbles" and loose tiny chunks of asphalt lying around.  The track marshals actually had to sweep the track clean between the Qual sessions.

Of course, they won't be able to do that during the race.  If it DOES rain on top of all that, we'll be lucky to have ANY car take the checkers.

Before we can go racing, though, we have to have qualifying.  Lewis Hamilton's McLaren is sitting on pole, after an astounding lap at the final possible time.  He had been at the top of the charts all throughout Q3, until the BMW of Robert Kubica, late taking to the track for one reason or another, set out and knocked him off pole with a time of 1:18.498.  When Raikkonen and Massa couldn't answer, and Kovalaninninnie couldn't get his McLaren to cooperate, it looked like we'd have another case of "Pole on pole action".  Then Hamilton, who looked like he had done everything he could with his McLaren, set sail on his last run.  And what a run it was!  It was almost like he had traction control running or something, because there were no bobbles, not a tire put wrong, great acceleration out of the hairpin (something Massa's Ferrari had problems with all day, with wheel-spin and a twitchy-looking car under braking), and hitting every corner perfectly.  He wound up his lap over six-tenths of a second better than Kubica, a lifetime in F1 terms.

Raikkonen's Ferrari could do no better than third, right alongside the surprising performance of HWMNBN's Renault.  Nico Rosberg's Williams looked quite quick in getting 5th, ahead of the struggling Massa.  The second McLaren of Heikki Kovaleininninnie was a disappointing seventh.  Whether it was the car or the driver has yet to be determined.  Grizzly Nick Heidfeld is probably wondering just what he's doing wrong, putting his BMW eighth on the grid.  A HUGE disappointment, considering where his teammate is.  The biggest surprise of the day, however, has to be Rubens Barrichello in the Honda.  Ninth may not sound like much, but for Honda F1 this year, it's almost as good as a win, and it's the first time Rubens has made it to Q3 all season.  Mark Webber is 10th, with no time set in Q3; like his teammate, David Coulthard's Chin, in Monaco, Webber spun and damaged his car at the end of Q2 and was unable to take to the track.

The rest of the provisional grid:

Driver Team Q1
1 Lewis Hamilton                

2 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:17.471
1:17.679 1:18.498
3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:17.301
1:17.364 1:18.735
4 HWMNBN Renault 1:17.415
1:17.488 1:18.746
5 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:17.991
1:17.891 1:18.844
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:17.231
1:17.353 1:19.048
7 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.287
1:17.684 1:19.089
8 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:18.082
1:17.781 1:19.633
9 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:18.256
1:18.020 1:20.848
10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:17.582
1:17.523 no time
11 Timo Glock Toyota 1:18.321
12 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:17.638
13 David Coulthard's Chin
Red Bull-Renault 1:18.168
14 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:18.039
15 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 1:18.505
16 SeaBass STR-Ferrari 1:18.916

17 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:19.108

18 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:19.165

19 Jenson Button Honda 1:23.565

20 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari no time

Sebastian Vettel comprehensively destroyed his Toro Rosso in the Saturday practice with a wreck that had tires flying everywhere.  He did so much damage, as a matter of fact, that the team couldn't even salvage the monocoque, and are currently building a new car around the spare cockpit they are allowed to bring to the track.  This is not a huge thing, they shouldn't have any problem with that, but it does take time.  As a result, he could not take to the track for Quals and will be forced to start from the pit lane.  Jenson Button, 19th on the grid, suffered a gearbox problem and withdrew to the pits with five minutes left in Q1. 

Rain is still in the forecast, the track is breaking up, the top of the grid looks like someone was drawing names out of a hat... I'd say there's a good chance of a heckuva race tomorrow.  If it's anything like the Grand Prix of Canada was last year, it'll be a doozy!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:48 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 806 words, total size 14 kb.

June 06, 2008

F1 Practice: Montreal 2008!

Men with nerves of steel and lightning reflexes.  Multi-million dollar machines packed full of the highest of high-tech equipment.  Incredibly powerful engines screaming at deafening volume.

But enough about the Duckford AirFest, which began this afternoon (look for USAF Thunderbird pictures tomorrow and Sunday!).  We're here to discuss today's 2nd Practice session at Montreal. 


Well, that about covers it.  I wish I could say there was excitement a-plenty, but there really kinda wasn't.  Sure, I'll mention that Felipe Massa's Ferrari rolled to a stop with a steering wheel flashing enough error messages to look like the legendary blinkenlights, and that Robert Kubica had fast lap until the last minute or so of the session (odd for a BMW to be fast in practice), and that Lewis Hamilton had to dodge a marmot in the Casino Hairpin, but other than that?  Nothing.  Lots of high speed, lots of frantic braking (and loads of brake dust billowing out of the wheels), but... meh.

Quals tomorrow.

Oh, nearly forgot: rain is expected all weekend.  *evil grin*

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:55 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 178 words, total size 1 kb.

June 04, 2008

Where'd It Go?

My recent post on Max Mosley's survival in the FIA "extraordinary meeting" had a little bit of a nasty javascript thingy in one of the pictures.  Instead of messing with it, I just decided to get rid of the whole thing.  Thanks to Steven for the head's-up and the e-mail explanation of what was wrong.

No, it shouldn't wasn't an ickyvirus, but better safe than sorry.  Sorry about the that, folks.  Here's something to make it up to you:

One week to go until I:GG debuts!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:21 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 89 words, total size 1 kb.

<< Page 1 of 2 >>
131kb generated in CPU 0.0485, elapsed 0.4803 seconds.
60 queries taking 0.458 seconds, 371 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.