July 04, 2008

F1 Practice: Silverstone!

For once, a relatively interesting practice session this morning... if for all the wrong reasons.

The most important thing to come out was the dreadful news that, beginning in 2010, the British Grand Prix will no longer be held at Silverstone.  Instead, it'll be held at Donington Park, a track which will need some serious renovation to be ready for F1.  Indeed, the Legendary Announce Team were frankly skeptical that it could be done in time for the race.  They also said that $100 million was earmarked for the renovations... which might be enough to bring the track up to the current level of Silverstone.

Darth Ecclestone has won.

Coming close on the heels of that bombshell came the announcement that David Coulthard's Chin will be hanging up it's helmet at the end of the season. 


While this doesn't come as a surprise, it's still not something the F1 UPDATE! crew is jumping up and down about.  In fact, to use a term we learned from The Chin, we think it's bloody Pants.  Well, we still have half-a-season to enjoy his cantankerous old grump act... get off his damn lawn, you whippersnappers.

Now, in ON-TRACK news from Practice 2, there were quite a few incidents that may have bearing on the race.  Foremost amongst them was Felipe Massa just destroying his Ferrari in P1.  He drove through an oil slick left by HWMNBN at high speed and just punished the tirewall.  Damage was so severe that Ferrari wrote off the car immediately and began to build up another from the spare chassis.  Much to my surprise (as well as that of the Legendary Announce Team), Massa managed to get back out on track in P2 in the new car, just a few hours after the accident.  Say what you want about the team (heaven knows I surely have!), their mechanics really know their stuff.  Unsurprisingly, the new car was not handling well, but the team has plenty of time before Quals to get the setup right.

More scary, Jarno Trulli's Toyota crashed in the same place that Massa wrecked, but for a much different reason: his rear wing fell off.

Yes, you read that right: his rear wing fell off.  At one of the fastest parts of the circuit.  One minute, the car is fine.  The next?  "Hmmm... the handling's gone bad."  In an interview with Smarmy Windsor afterwards, Trulli said that the whole rear of the car was wrecked, but the engine should be fine.  We'll see, but that's not what they should be concerned about... they should be concerned about WHY the wing fell off.

Finally, we discovered that Montreal is not the only F1 track with a 'wildlife' difficulty level, courtesy of Sebastian Vettel:

"I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque..."
Bugs up there set a better lap time than either Honda.

Quals tomorrow.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:43 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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1

I assume Bugs made it across the track and did not become a hood ornament.  ;-)

Guess it's Silly Season now with The Chin opening up a seat and a lot of drivers licking their chops to get it.

 

Posted by: Mallory at July 04, 2008 12:54 PM (WJ2qy)

2 With DC retiring, maybe Kaz will be able to get back into the game.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2008 03:48 PM (+rSRq)

3 You mean Takuma Sato, Steven?

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 05, 2008 05:29 PM (AW3EJ)

4

That may be it. The name I was thinking was "Kaz Nakajima" but I am probably confused.

I'm thinking of the Japanese guy who was racing earlier this season but who lost his ride when his team got dumped by its sponsor.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2008 07:55 PM (+rSRq)

5 ...and I'm an idiot. He's still got a ride. (sheesh)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2008 08:48 PM (+rSRq)

6 Nakajima, I mean.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2008 08:48 PM (+rSRq)

7 Yep, that's Takuma (aka "Suicide") Sato, of the late lamented SuperAguri team...

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 05, 2008 08:51 PM (DcSb+)

8

Silverstone to Donington....

Bah bloody Humbug!!!!

While the news of this move has been welcomed in the Castle Donington area, it is not being welcomed by fans.

While many have wondered why the three main circuits in the UK (Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington, Donington being the lesser of the 3), Silverstone remains the home of racing in the UK and it should.

The Problem with Silverstone (I believe) is simply the management.

The Donington circuit has two major issues – 1, circuit design and 2, (and more importantly) it’s location at the foot of a busy international airport (East Midlands).

Basically the track is covered with years of aviation fuel build up and this means persistent relaying of the track every couple of years.

At the end of the day it’ll came down to how many fans turn up, and this alone could prove serious damage to the Ecclestone Empire – finally!

 

Posted by: Simon at July 06, 2008 04:48 AM (ZZLQm)

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