October 31, 2009

F1 Quals: Abu Dhabi 2009!

A quals session without surprises.  Let's take a look as the grid, shall we?

Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.873 1:39.695 1:40.948
2 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:40.666 1:39.984 1:41.615
3 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:40.667 1:40.272 1:41.726
4 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:40.574 1:40.421 1:41.786
5 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:40.378 1:40.148 1:41.892
6 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:40.517 1:40.373 1:41.897
7 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:40.520 1:40.545 1:41.992
8 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:40.558 1:40.635 1:42.343
9 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:40.842 1:40.661 1:42.583
10 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:40.908 1:40.430 1:42.713
11 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:41.100 1:40.726
12 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 1:41.035 1:40.777
13 Heikki Kovalaineninnie McLaren-Mercedes 1:40.808 1:40.983
14 Kazoo Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:41.096 1:41.148
15 NKOTT STR-Ferrari 1:41.503 1:41.689
16 HWMNBN Renault 1:41.667

17 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:41.701

18 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:41.863

19 Lettuce Grosjean Renault 1:41.950

20 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 1:42.184


The top five positions are held by five of the six race winners this season, which is exactly how it should be for a race that, effectively, means nothing.  Only Kimi Raikkonen, winner at Belgium, is out of the fun. 

Which, for Ferrari, is a disaster.  One of the few worthwhile things still up for grabs is third place in the Constructor's Championship, between McLaren and the Prancing Horse.  The two teams are separated by one point, and with Lewis Hamilton at the head of the grid, Kimi's 11th is not what they needed.  The only saving grace for the Red Team is that Heikki Kovalaineninninnie, Hamilton's teammate, has to take a five-spot grid penalty after changing his gearbox.  That'll drop him down to Giancarlo Fisichella territory, so they might have a little struggle.  For what it's worth, the financial difference between third and fourth in the Constructor's standings is about $5million... not chump change, not even for a F1 team.

Second in the Driver's Championship is still up for grabs, and other than having Seb Vettel and Rubens Barrichello 1-2 on the grid, this is probably the best way for the two of them to line up.  They're both on the dirty side of the track, neither have any experience with the circuit, and they've both got teammates nearby.  The only difference is that Seb's got more fuel on board, by about 8kg.  That gives him the advantage, but it'll be close either way.

Spare a second and feel bad for HWMNBN: this is his worst qualifying position (pre-penalty) since 2001, when he drove for Minardi.

I take it back.  Don't feel bad for him in the least.  When he was interviewed by Peter (Smarmy) Windsor after he was eliminated in Q1, he sounded exactly like a man who didn't give a damn.  And why should he?  He's going to Ferrari next season for a lot of money.  A demonic convergence, right there... it'll be SO easy to hate them.

And let's talk about our polesitter, Lewis Hamilton.  He pretty much dominated Quals today, setting fast time in all three sessions, and blowing everybody out of the water in Q3.  Hell, he was almost three-quarters of a second faster than second-place Vettel; it was impressive enough that Sebby even made mention of it in the post-qual interview session ("I think both Mark and I were surprised by the gap to Lewis.").  Now, to be fair, he does have less fuel on board, but not THAT much less: 658.5kg to 663kg for Vettel.  Nope, he just had a fantastic lap, simple as that.

Gonna be a fun ending to a bizarro season... see you tomorrow!

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Halloween 2009

Booooooooooo...

Trick or treat!

Thanks to the Duck U. Business Office!
Happy Halloween to all the readers of The Pond!  Make sure you're stocked up on rye bread for all the scary lil' ducklings!

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October 30, 2009

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory Of The Coming Of The Ducks In Anime


-A Certain Scientific Railgun, ep03

I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of the rubber duckie icon is on this workspace, but I want one anyway.  We do see in ep04 that it moves, so it's not part of the wallpaper... maybe some widget.  Don't care, want one.

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F1 Practice: Abu Dhabi 2009!

Evening at Yas Marina... actually sounds kind of nice, has a ring to it.  Kinda like 'chupathingy.'  As with most practice sessions, this one was rather dull and boring.  To be honest, the only reason I watched the whole thing was to get used to the new circuit.

Interesting to watch the way the falling of night affected the lighting across the track.  Unlike Singapore, which uses light trusses that follow the layout of the circuit, Abu Dhabi is using the more familiar (and permanent) light standards, much like you'd see in a baseball stadium... just a lot more of them. 

I think I actually prefer Singapore's truss system over Abu Dhabi's towers, but only because it looks cooler, like a ribbon of light taking the shape of a racetrack..  Functionally, there doesn't appear to be any difference, though; the track was brightly lighted and visibility appeared to be excellent.

I find it somewhat amusing that the system in Abu Dhabi was designed and built by Musco Lighting of Oskaloosa, Iowa.  Or at least I did until I took a look at their website and saw that Musco may very well be the company for motorsports lighting setups in the world.  Learn something new every day.

On track, the only real news was that McLaren was 1-2 on the timesheet, Ferrari was lousy, and Robert Kubica's engine done blowed up reeeeal good.  That'll pose an interesting quandry for him, as it was the last of the eight engines he was allowed for the season.  He can either install a pre-raced one and suffer no grid penalty (since it occurred on Friday), but then have to worry about reliability issues, or put in a new one and take a 10-spot penalty. 

Please note that Seb Vettel has been dealing with this problem for the past three races; he's been using his Monza and Spa engines.  Lord knows which he's using for here.

The last thing I'll mention here is how amazing the Yas Marina Motorsports complex is.  Air-conditioned pit stalls, a first for F1.  Two full sets of pits on opposite sides of the track, so the GP2 boys finally get a first-class pit lane (instead of using temporary trailers and tents, essentially).  Hell, two full race control towers, which are fairly impressive structures:

And, in another first for F1, all the grandstands are covered, which makes sense considering that Abu Dhabi is kinda warm... the yearly average high temperature is 88 degrees, and humid.  Of course, the race is sold out.

Which isn't all that impressive, when you realize that this multi-billion dollar facility seats fewer than 50000 people... 41093, to be exact.  Wrigley Field in Chicago, one of the smallest ballparks in Major League Baseball, seats 41118 for baseball, and sells out 81 times a season.

Quals tomorrow.

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October 28, 2009

FWIW

It's been a bad couple of days, emotionally.

Here's Yotsuba! and some penguins.

Even she hasn't been able to cheer me up.
I'll be back on Friday with coverage of P2.

Sorry.

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October 26, 2009

F1 on SPEED!: Abu Dhabi 2009!

And so we come to the end.  The final race of the 2009 season is upon us.  The F1 Circus is packing up its tents for the year.  Unlike the past couple of years, though, there's little to race for at the top of the grid.  The drivers' championship has been clinched and the constructors' championship is decided.  Certainly 2nd place in the DC is up for grabs, with Seb Vettel leading Rubens Barrichello by two points, and the fight between McLaren and Ferrari for third in the constructors title has only a one point difference, but for all intents and purposes the season is over.  In the old days, it wasn't unheard of for a team to skip the final race if they had nothing to gain or lose (Ferrari and Phil Hill in 1961, for example).  Now, however, the teams are contractually obligated to run the whole season.

But there's another reason to run the final race this year, that being the location.  Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit is a brand new track, one the teams have never turned a wheel on.  So what mysteries will the fresh asphalt reveal?  Let's see what we can figure out with the track map for the 5.5km long circuit:

The first thing that leaps out at a casual glance is the long, long back straight from turns 7 to 8.  At 1.2km, it becomes the longest in Formula 1, and after a chicane, is followed by another high-speed stretch.  The next thing one notices is the dual nature of the circuit.  No less a personality than David Coulthard's Chin himself, one of the only F1-experienced drivers ever to run laps on the track, says it feels like both a modern (read 'Hermann Tilke') track and a street circuit. 

The GP2 series ran a weekend's worth of test sessions here this past weekend.  This allowed the FIA to get a sense of how the track runs, and the organizers to stage a dry run for the race weekend.  Both groups came away satisfied.  The GP2 drivers praised the layout, complementing the wide turns and the long straights, saying that they should be quite conductive to on-track passing.  They also suggested that it'll be hard on the brakes.

A closer look at the circuit reveals an odd feature of the pit lane.  The exit appears to cross the track at turn 1... and for once, appearances are NOT deceiving.  The pit lane exit actually runs through a tunnel under the track!  Here, take a look:


...and yes, that IS a two-seater F1 car;  I suspect its the former Minardi 2-seater that the team ran as a funds-raiser, but I don't know for sure.  Just pay X amount, and a driver would take you on a couple of laps at speed around the circuit.  In this video, the driver is Bruno Senna, the soon-to-be F1 driver and nephew of the late Ayrton Senna.

I think the pit exit will be only a minor concern only after the first couple of practices and the drivers get used to it.  It is narrow, for sure, but not unduly so.  It'll sure cut down on pit lane speed violations!  I wonder what'll happen the first time someone breaks their suspension in the tunnel... I also wonder what the lighting is like in there.  After all, this is going to be F1's first day/night race, beginning around 5pm local time.  Like Singapore, there's a high-powered lighting system around the circuit, so the drivers probably won't have any difficulties with visibility, but that tunnel makes me nervous.

Bridgestone is bringing their medium and soft compound tires, so they don't appear to be too concerned about the abrasiveness of the circuit.  They are worried about the track surface temperatures, though, and fully expect the tires to blister during the first practices until the teams get used to the layout.

Initial reactions make it look like a medium downforce circuit, at least for this race.  As usual, it's all a trade-off between the high-speed first half and the low-speed second half.  You can't crank on a lot of wing, otherwise you'll compromise the car down those long, long straights, but if you take off too much wing, you'll be hurt from turn 11 thru 21.  I'm going to guess that most teams'll sacrifice top speed... sometimes you've got to go slow to go fast.


Finally, one may notice that, like Brazil, Abu Dhabi runs counter-clockwise.  There's only a few tracks in F1 that are run that way, so there'll be some extra stress on the driver's necks.  It's expected to be warm, but not excessively so, on race day... maybe 90 degrees F.

All in all, Abu Dhabi seems to be an interesting track to end the season with.  As usual, the good folks at SPEED will be bringing us their usual stellar coverage from their high-tech headquarters in Charlotte, NC.  There, the Legendary Announce Team is waited upon hand and foot in their palatial studios...

(L to R: Matchett, Hobbs, Varsha)
...oh. 

I must admit, I expected something more.  Other than all the TVs, this looks like something you'd find in someone's basement.  Well, no matter, they still do a great job!  Friday's Second Practice comes to us from 8am to 940am, LIVE.  Quals will be from 8am to 930am on Saturday, plausibly live.

We here in the US go back to Standard Time early Sunday morning, so don't forget to set your clocks back an hour!  You'll mess up your recording times otherwise, and with the race coming to us LIVE from 630am to 9am, you'll probably want to set the VCR.  If you mess up, there's a replay from 330pm to 6pm Sunday afternoon, too.

Of course, F1U! will be here with all the usual coverage.  Don't miss it!

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October 25, 2009

My Fourth Birthday

October 25th, 2005 dawned cool and clear.  My alarm clock went off at 730am, as I was scheduled to open at the Duck U. Bookstore, but I just couldn't manage to wake up.  Even a good shower couldn't manage to clear my head.  Well, I'd been up late the night before, I just needed more sleep, right?  I got dressed and drove to work.

I assume.  Even at the time, I couldn't remember doing so.  One of the store's part-timers, who worked with me that morning, said that I seemed really out of it that morning, and I'm sure that's right.  But I was at work, and I had some stuff to do: a stack of invoices and credit memos that needed to be sorted and matched to their respective store-generated paperwork.

In the middle of doing that, however, something happened.  Something bad.

My heart gave a huge grinding thump.  Then it felt like it was tumbling down a flight of stairs for a moment, and then... it began to race.  I felt a cold sweat forming on my forehead and was, suddenly, very very warm.  I got up from my desk in the back room and walked unsteadily to the bathroom, wondering just what was happening.

When my heart kept racing, and seemed to be going faster and faster, I began to get scared... which, of course, made my heart go even faster.  I staggered back to the store and asked my co-worker to call 911.

A lifetime (or maybe 10 minutes) later, two EMTs showed up.  One of them starting asking me questions ("How do you feel?" "Tired." "Do you know where you are?" "Duck U." "Do you know who you are?" "I'm Batman."), while the other began pumping up a blood pressure cuff on my arm and holding my wrist.  After a second, he said "I can't get a pulse."

My heart was going so fast that the EMT could not distinguish one individual beat from another.  My blood pressure was too high for the cuff to read.  They got me on a stretcher and began to roll me out of the Bookstore, just as my boss walked in.  "Are you okay, Wonderduck?" "I'm going to the Hospital, Andi."

In the ambulance, the EMTs hooked me up to high-tech sensors and discovered my pulse was around 250bpm, my bp was a number I can't remember now, but was something like 300/200.  Ook.  Fortunately, they knew just what to do.  "We're going to give you a drug that'll stop your heart for a real short time.  It might be a little uncomfortable."

Yeah.  Uncomfortable.  Go ahead.  Zap.  Yup, he was right... a brick rested on my chest, but the heart didn't slow down.  Zap again.  Bigger brick... and my heart slowed down.  Ahh.

In the ER, they discovered my magnesium and potassium levels had cratered.  Since these control the heart AND brain function, which explained my fuzzyheadedness and my heart going faster than a dance club on speed. 

They kept me overnight, and the only thing on the TV was a World Series game that had gone into extra innings... which the hated White Sox won, dammit.  A bad day all around.

I had suffered something called Superventricular Tachycardia.  It isn't usually life-threatening, but that hardly matters when it's happening to you... and the longer it lasts, the more dangerous it gets.  In my case, it had gone on for nearly 45 minutes before they dropped the bricks on my chest, which is plenty long enough.  I now take a medication to hopefully prevent it from ever happening again, and potassium and magnesium supplements, just in case.  I've also stopped drinking caffeine (coffee or colas) and alcohol completely since the former is a stimulant and the second fights with the preventative medication. 

So today is the 4th anniversary of my first brush with mortality... and what could have been my last, too, if I hadn't done one simple thing.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you feel something odd going on with your heart, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.  You might think "eh, it's nothing", but you'd feel really dumb if it stopped altogether, wouldn't you?

So, please, if you get nothing else from The Pond, ever: call 911. 

I can't afford to lose more readers.

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"Band Geek" My @$$.


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October 24, 2009

Another HidaSketch Ep, Another Duck In Anime!


-Hidamari Sketch x365, Broadcast Special 01

This hasn't been a good day at all.  Ph.Duck and I had to begin trying to decide what our plans for the Holidays are going to be, and without Momzerduck around, it's going to be a very, very bad time.

When I got home, though, I found a new episode of HSx365 waiting on the torrent site, and I knew that, whatever else, there'd be 24 minutes where I'd be able to not think about the bad stuff, and that there'd likely also be a Duck In Anime entry tonight.

And lo, there is.  Good ol' Yuno... I can always count on her to put a smile on my face, even if for a short time.

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October 23, 2009

Hotblack Desiato Called

...he wants his car back:

The limited edition Lotus Exige Scura.

"It’s the weird colour scheme that freaks me. Every time you try to operate one of these weird black controls, which are labeled in black on a black background, a small black light lights up black to let you know you’ve done it..."
- Zaphod Beeblebrox, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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Aw, Crap: Todt Elected FIA President


Ladies and Gentlemen, your new President of the FIA, Jean Todt.

It's gonna be like the Emperor Mosley never left.

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October 22, 2009

Stark, Raving Sane

As long-time readers of The Pond know, in my prior life I was involved in the theatre... or should that be The Theatre?  In amongst all the myriad shows I worked on or performed in (somewhere close to 200), there had to be a favorite, right?

Well, yes, but nobody's ever heard of The Mating Rituals of the Male, which was a one-man show/senior project that a friend of mine wrote and starred in.  After that, however, I find that I have to go with a pair of plays that will be forever joined at the hip.

The first, everybody knows... or, at least, they should: William Shakespeare's Hamlet.  The second is not so well known, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, R&GAD is about two minor characters in Hamlet, characters who are confused about why they're in the play Hamlet, and confused about what's going on in Hamlet, since all they see of it is what occurs in the precious little time they're in the script. 

It doesn't so much "break the fourth wall" as not believe the fourth wall exists in the first place; the play is, the audience is integral to the existence of said play, and that's that.  While the titular characters don't ever actually dialogue directly with the audience, they quickly realize the situation they're in, and therefore there must BE an audience, Q.E.D. ("We're actors-- we're the opposite of people!" is a line that will never fail to make a theatre person laugh)

The movie of R&GAD is a minor masterpiece in and of itself, starring Tim Roth and Gary Oldman as the two leads.  As indicated in the play, however, neither is entirely sure which is Rosencrantz and which Guildenstern (though the credits reveal Oldman is Rosencrantz, Roth Guildenstern).  Richard Dreyfuss, as the scenery-masticating Player King, is also present to good effect.

I bring this up because this evening, I stumbled upon a short story that is brilliant in concept: what would happen if Shakespeare managed somehow to see R&GAD?  Fortunately, the author of this work is up to the challenge, but then Harry Turtledove does have a thing for alternative history, doesn't he?

SF publisher Tor has made the entire short story, "We Haven't Got There Yet", available on their website, for which fact I am eternally grateful. 

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October 21, 2009

Random Anime Picture #49: THAT'S One I Haven't Heard Before


-Kiddy Girl -and, ep01

I lasted about seven minutes before I couldn't take it anymore, but really, how could you expect me to pass that screencap up?

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October 20, 2009

We Gots Photos!

And how!  Take a gander at this baby:

That's the TF108 Jarno Trulli drove at the 2008 Grand Prix of Japan, near as I can figure... that's certainly the one-off helmet he wore.  It's probably sans engine, and is on slicks as opposed to the grooved tires they used last year, but it's one helluva looker!

Pete Z kindly sent this to me a couple of days ago.  He's over in Japan and visited a place called Toyota Mega Web, the website for which describes it as "Look! Ride! Feel! Car Theme Park!"

Sounds like a fun way to kill a few hours to me... particularly in "motorsports square", where this picture was almost certainly taken, or in the "history garage", with the GP Archive (with replicas of old F1 cars) or the Alessandro Nannini Cafe.  The whole place is located on the manmade island of Odaiba, in Tokyo Bay.  Tokyo Big Sight is located there, too, so it becomes a complete geek haven for a while, what with Comiket and all.

Hmmm... Formula 1 and anime/manga... sounds kinda familiar...

Thanks, Pete!

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October 18, 2009

F1 UPDATE!: Brazil 2009!

The rain held off, but could Button hold off Barrichello and Vettel?  THIS is your F1 UPDATE! for the 2009 Grand Prix of Brazil!

*YEP:

Congratulations to Jenson Button, the 2009 FIA Formula 1 Driver's Championship winner.  His fifth-place finish clinched the title; Seb Vettel managed to finish fourth, Rubens Barrichello a sad eighth after a late tire puncture.

*OH, THE REST OF THE RACE: A few more races, and Red Bull might have caught BrawnGP for the Constructors' Championship.  They certainly gave it their best shot, with Mark Webber winning his second race of the season and Vettel turning in an excellent fourth after starting 15th, but it was not to be. 

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Lewis Hamilton started 17th after the confused and delayed Quals on Saturday.  The confusion of the first lap brought out a safety car, which allowed Hamilton to get into the pits, get off the bad supersoft tires and load up with gas without losing much time, switching on the fly to an early-stopping one-stop strategy.  He then managed to drive a fine race, ending up with a VERY impressive third-place podium finish.  Ohbytheway, with the six points he earned, McLaren has moved into third place in the Constructor's Championship, just ahead of Ferrari.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: BrawnGP.  Under a year ago, the team known as Honda was dead.  Purchased by Ross Brawn with barely enough time to get any testing done, they dominated the first half of the season.  While the other teams caught up with rookies in the second half, they had enough of a lead to make it a mere formality.  A formality that was confirmed today when BrawnGP clinched the 2009 FIA Formula 1 Constructor's Championship.


*MOVE OF THE RACE:  There were a ton of good on-track passes today, but the one that lept out at us here at F1U! was on lap 6.  Jenson Button, knowing that he had to score points if he wanted to win the Driver's Championship today, found himself behind Kazoo Nakajima's Williams heading down into turn 1 just after the restart.  He held off on braking as long as he could, then slipped nicely inside Kazoo, who did try to slam the door on the Brawn.  Realizing that by doing so he'd wreck them both, Nakajima quickly gave up on that plan and tried to outdrag Button through the Senna Esses, but couldn't make it happen.  Button pulled away, a clean pass for sixth, another standing point, extra pressure on Vettel and Barrichello, and a declaration that he wanted the Driver's Championship over.  Gutsy move, and an important one, to boot.

*MOOOOO-OOOVE OF THE RACE: While Jarno Trulli's dumb attempt at a pass on Adrian Sutil, and his subsequent playground-class temper-tantrum, was a solid contender for today's Mooooo-ooove, today we're giving the award to the McLaren lollypop man.  When Heikki Kovaleinninninnie came in for fuel and tires during the safety car period caused by Trulli's Mooo-contender, the Lollypop Man was more concerned with getting him out ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who had also stopped.  When Lollypop Man saw Ferrari release Kimi, he lifted the lollypop... and Heikki, as he was trained to do, hit the gas and left the pit... knocking two mechanics to the ground and pulling the hose off the refuelling rig.  That's bad enough, but what happened next was worse:



Fortunately there were no injuries, but I suspect Kimi might have had to change his fire-resistant underwear.  Nice job Lollypop Man!  A Moooo is you!

*DRIVER QUOTES OF THE RACE:


more...

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Brazil 2009 Pandemonium on the First Lap!

Button is up to P9 after the most wild opening lap I've ever seen!  Sutil, Trulli and HWMNBN were all involved in a wild accident that saw Trulli try a suicidal pass of Sutil and fail, taking them both out.  Trulli's Toyota went left into the wall, Sutil went right onto the grass and, skidding out of control, gathered the Renault when his car re-entered the racing line.

Meanwhile, both McLarens needed to hit the pits for tires or a new nose, as did Kimi Raikkonen who tried a little too hard to get past Sutil at the start.  He succeeded, but wound up with a flat and a broken nose.  And that's when the SECOND incident began.

Kovaleininninnie pulled out of his pit stall too early, ripping the fuel hose out and dragging it down the pit lane, fuel spilling out everywhere... just as Kimi pulled out.  The Ferrari drove right into the fuel spray, which hit the hot exhaust pipes.  FWOOM, fireball.  It did no damage, but was frightening to say the least.

The race has restarted, and Button has passed TWO cars in one lap; he's up to 7th! 

This looks like a fun one, folks!

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Rain Expected for Brazil GP

...and it's supposed to be heavy.  Now, the race itself would only be affected if it's ridiculously bad, but it becomes a question about the medical helicopter.  If it can't fly, be it because of rain or because of cloud-cover at the hospital, the race is red flagged until it's safe again.

Racey, the official owl of Formula 1, approves.
If it DOES rain, or is a wet race, we may as well scratch Vettel out of the championship picture right now.  He's set up for dry, which is why he qual'd so poorly... and rain'll just bring that problem back.

More later.

UPDATE @ 1035: As the cars make their way to the grid, there is no rain.  Vettel is in the garage, reportedly with a broken bargeboard; his mechanics were looking quite exercised about something.

UPDATE @ 1045: The Red Bull mechanics left a bag of dry ice in one of the radiator ducts of Vettel's car as he went out for the recon lap.  The bag fell out and the car ran over it, breaking some of the bodywork.  The mechanics are working furiously on the grid to patch over the crack.  Looks like the pressure is getting to the team as a whole...

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October 17, 2009

F1 Quals: Brazil 2009

So it rained a little bit at Interlagos today during Quals.

Yes, just a wee tad.

It took nearly three hours to get all three qualy sessions in because of the rain.  The medical car, subbing for the safety car today, turned many, many more laps checking the track than any racer actually put on the cars.  Unfortunately, I only set the VCR to run for two hours.  As a result, I have yet to actually see Q2 or Q3... after Vitantonio Liuzzi ripped the back of his Force India off after hydroplaning and spinning on the front straight at the very start of Q2, a red flag stopped the session until the weather improved.

You don't usually see the axle severed from the car like that... 

90 minutes later, the tape ran out before they restarted.  But restart they did, despite Mark Webber, the president of the Grand Prix Driver's Association, saying "I don't think it was the right thing to probably start in those conditions, every driver I spoke to was of the same opinion, fortunately the right decision was made in the end, but TV drives things and we have to start."

Here's the provisional grid:
Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:24.100 1:21.659 1:19.576
2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:24.722 1:20.803 1:19.668
3 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:24.447 1:20.753 1:19.912
4 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:24.621 1:20.635 1:20.097
5 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:23.047 1:21.378 1:20.168
6 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:24.591 1:20.701 1:20.250
7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:22.828 1:20.368 1:20.326
8 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:23.072 1:21.147 1:20.631
9 Kazoo Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:23.161 1:20.427 1:20.674
10 HWMNBN Renault 1:24.842 1:21.657 1:21.422
11 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 1:24.335 1:21.960
12 NKOTT STR-Ferrari 1:24.773 1:22.231
13 Lettuce Grosjean Renault 1:24.394 1:22.477
14 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:24.297 1:22.504
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:24.645No Time

16 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:25.009

17 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.052

18 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.192

19 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:25.515

20 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 1:40.703


Vettel, Heikki and Lewis are all reported to have a dry weather setup, gambling on there being no rain tomorrow.  Unfortunately for Vettel, he's GOT to win to have any real chance for the driver's championship, and starting sixteenth ain't gonna make that easy for him.

To be honest, they never should have run this Quals today.  There is plenty of precedent to have quals on Sunday before the race, and if there has ever been a weather-related reason to delay them, this was it.

Still, you race with what you got, and this is what they got.

See you Sunday.


Posted by: Wonderduck at 06:30 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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October 16, 2009

F1 Practice: Brazil 2009!

I watched it.

I don't care.

UPDATE:  ...so here's a picture of a bird on the track.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:08 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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October 15, 2009

Killer Lolis and The Amazing Return of Ducks In Anime


-Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, ep01

Sure, it's a white duckie, but it's still a duckie!  The Librarian and I began Higurashi (aka When They Cry) tonight... seemed appropriate, considering Halloween is just a couple of weeks away.  We made it through the first story arc, "Spirited away by the demon", and there's no doubt we'll push onwards... if we don't get sidetracked by Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog next week.

Creepy show.  Higurashi that is, not Dr Horrible.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:51 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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