October 13, 2012

F1 Quals: Korea 2012

It wasn't raining at Yeongam, but it sure looked like it was going to as the clock started on Q1.  Wonder of wonders, it stayed dry the entire session, making it two days in a row... something of a record for this track!  So how did the weather (or lack thereof) affect the grid order?  Let's take a look at the provisional grid for the 2012 Grand Prix of Korea:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:38.397 1:38.220 1:37.242
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:38.208 1:37.767 1:37.316
3 Shiv Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.180 1:38.000 1:37.469
4 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:39.144 1:37.987 1:37.534
5 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:38.887 1:38.227 1:37.625
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:38.937 1:38.253 1:37.884
7 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:38.863 1:38.275 1:37.934
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:38.981 1:38.428 1:38.266
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.999 1:38.417 1:38.361
10 Slappy Schumacher Mercedes 1:38.808 1:38.436 1:38.513
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:38.615 1:38.441
12 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:38.630 1:38.460
13 Gandalf Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:38.719 1:38.594
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:38.942 1:38.643
15 Kannushi Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:39.024 1:38.725
16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:38.784 1:39.084
17 Jules Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:38.744 1:39.340
18 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:39.443

19 The Red Menace
Caterham-Renault 1:40.207

20 Heikki Kovalaineninnie Caterham-Renault 1:40.333

21 Charles ToothPic Marussia-Cosworth 1:41.317

22 Tim O'Glockenspiel Marussia-Cosworth 1:41.371

23 Pete Rose
HRT-Cosworth 1:42.881

24 Narain Kittylitter HRT-Cosworth No time


Q1 107% Time
1:45.082


A Red Bull front row lockout of the only circuit they didn't have pole position on last year has got to be pleasing to the team.  Sebby Vettel, on the other hand, looked distinctly morose at the fact that he wasn't the one leading the pack.  That honor went to Australian Mark Webber, whose RB8 threw a scare into the team when it seemingly developed some engine unhappiness just before Quals began.  Obviously it couldn't have been all that serious, but it might be something to look for come race day.

Behind those two teammates come a pair of ex-teammates, Shiv Hamilton and HWMNBN.  Of course, the Ferrari driver is leading the championship, and will be desperate to get beyond Vettel, who sits second in the fight.  Shiv stands fourth in the race for the driver's championship, just behind Kimi Raikkonen, who's fifth on the grid. 

So what this all means is that the top five drivers in the points race are in the top five positions for the race.  That seems fitting, doesn't it?  What seems horribly wrong is that the sixth place driver, Jenson Button, was eliminated in Q2 by a poorly timed yellow flag.  Yes, it happens, and realistically he didn't have much of a shot at the championship, but it's a shame nevertheless. 

In other doings on the grid, Charles ToothPic will be starting from somewhere near Seoul's Gangnam district after using his ninth engine of the season.  Since there's a limit of eight engines per car per year, he'll suffer a 10-spot grid demotion.  Narain Kittylitter had a rather dramatic loss of brakes in Q1 and was unable to set a time; he'll race at the Steward's discretion.  Seems like it'll be approved as he set acceptable times in practice, but one never knows.  Slappy Schumacher earned a reprimand for impeding another driver during P2.  He cut across the nose of Pete Rose's HRT, then brake-checked him for some supposed slight.  The reprimand is his second of the year for the same offense... one more, and he earns an instant 10-spot penalty.  That'd be quite the way for his his career to end, no?

Finally, terrible news for F1 fans here in the US.  After this season is over, SPEED will no longer be carrying the broadcasts for the racing we love so much.  The broadcast rights were won by NBC, which doesn't mean that the races will be on the network... more likely, they'll be on NBCSports... which Pond Central does not get.  Worse still, it seems likely that the Legendary Announce Team will be no more... dammit.  SPEED itself will become FOX's 24-hour sports channel, designed to compete with ESPN.  No more twenty hours of coverage for LeMans.  No more V8 Supercars.  No more motorcycle GP.  No more F1.

What will we here at F1U! do?  Right now, we're not worrying about it; there's five more races to go in this season.  The GP of Korea is Sunday morning; we'll see you there!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:27 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 The broadcast rights were won by NBC...

Wasn't NBC the network that first had the over-air broadcast (as opposed to cable) coverage of a few F1 races, when Bernie re-jigged the US TV rights a few years back?  I remember what a train wreck that coverage was, before FOX won the broadcast rights and put Varsha/Matchett/Hobbs on the job.  ("They're bouncing! Off the curbs!"--that got really old, really fast.)

SPEED itself will become FOX's 24-hour sports channel, designed to compete with ESPN.  No more twenty hours of coverage for LeMans.  No more V8 Supercars.  No more motorcycle GP.  No more F1.

I remember the good old days, when SPEED was called Speedvision, and it really was all about speed.  Cars, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, ocean-going speedboats, lawnmowers--if people were racing them, Speedvision would cover the races.  The rot started quite a while ago, but when SPEED started showing English Premier League soccer matches, I knew it was the beginning of the end.

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at October 13, 2012 01:05 PM (ElBzz)

2 Peter tnsg, it was CBS that was "bouncing!  Off the curbs!"  Ralph Shaheen and Derek Daly... they also tried to explain why the pit crew wore firesuits and helmets during a race.

I hope it doesn't come back to that.

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 13, 2012 02:30 PM (O7Ufu)

3 I have gotten into the habit of having the official live timing & scoring, as well as Twitter, pulled up on my laptop while watching the races on TV.  If, as I suspect, NBC ends up tape-delaying most of the races, or has a lousy commentary team, then I will seriously have to look into the options for pirating a live stream of the BBC/Sky coverage or something.

Posted by: flatdarkmars at October 13, 2012 04:07 PM (I55Es)

4 Wonderduck:  It was CBS that was "bouncing!  Off the curbs!...I hope it doesn't come back to that.

Oops, I thought it was NBC...my mistake.  Hopefully NBC won't make such a hash of Formula One coverage as CBS did; if their top brass have any brains at all, they'll try to poach the Legendary Announce Team from the smouldering ruins of SPEED.  (Or as much of it as they can--David Hobbs has been a race commentator for more than 35 years, he may just decide to retire when FOX shuts their F1 coverage down.)

flatdarkmars:  ...I will seriously have to look into the options for pirating a live stream of the BBC/Sky coverage or something.

Up here in Canada, the station that has the F1 broadcast rights simulcasts the BBC coverage (with the pre- and post-race coverage cropped off).  For what my opinion is worth, I like the BBC commentators; Ben Edwards is decent, but David Coulthard does it for me, and having Eddie Jordan doing additional colour commentary from time to time is icing on the cake.

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at October 13, 2012 10:41 PM (ElBzz)

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