September 15, 2007

F1 Quals: SPA!

There is no justice in the world. Ferrari takes their first front row of the season, Raikkonen and Massa. Alonso then beat Hamilton to comprise the second row. Robert Kubica qualified 5th, but an engine change after Saturday practice means he'll be bumped 10 spots. Rosberg and Grizzly Nick Heidfeld were sixth and seventh, with Mark Webber, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Koveleinninnie rounding out the top 10.

I hate to say this, but I was actually cheering for a Spyker today. Q1 ended with a completely ridiculous flurry of activity that started with Adrian Sutil jumping from 22nd to 12th with about a minute left. Generally, that's a safe enough margin from the cutoff line with that little time remaining, but... (say it with me):

/300 on
This. IS. SPA.
/300 off

Spa is the longest circuit on the tour, however, taking around 1m48s to do a lap... and there were a LOT of cars on track. Sutil ended up 20th after all the drivers had finished their hot laps, and it seemed like everybody south of 6th place shifted position. Completely crazy, even the L.A.T. couldn't keep up with it all.

In Q2, however, came the most frightening thing if you want a demolishing of Ferrari on Sunday. Kimi Raikkonen turned in the fastest lap of The Swimming Pool ever, a blistering 1:45:007 for an AVERAGE speed of about 145mph. On a course with a 45mph hairpin, no less!

At least we got the joy of seeing Alonso spin in Q3, and Massa look like he wasn't going to get a lap in during Q1, when the Ferrari engineers suddenly panic-dove for the rear of his car with 7 minutes to go. In slightly over two minutes, they tore the rear of his car off, fixed whatever wasn't working, replaced the bodywork, and away he went. Dammit.

The rest of the grid:
11. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Renault 1:46.603
12. Ralf Schumacher Germany Toyota 1:46.618
13. David Coulthard Britain Red Bull-Renault 1:46.800
14. Jenson Button Britain Honda 1:46.955
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:47.115
16. Alexander Wurz Austria Williams-Toyota 1:47.394
17. Sebastian Vettel Germany Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:47.581
18. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Honda 1:47.954
19. Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 1:47.980
20. Adrian Sutil Germany Spyker-Ferrari 1:48.044
21. Anthony Davidson Britain Super Aguri-Honda 1:48.199
22. Sakon Yamamoto Japan Spyker-Ferrari 1:49.577

See you after the race.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 04:13 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 398 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I'd still like Hamilton to win, but I'll settle for Hamilton beating Alonso. But I'd really like him to grind Ferrari's face in it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 15, 2007 06:56 PM (+rSRq)

2 I really can't understand your rage about this.

1. They had access to information they knew was illegally obtained.
2. They distributed that information throughout all levels of the team.
3. They made several documented attempts to use that information to advantadge.
4. They originally denied having information, then they denied distributing it, then they denied trying to gain advantadge, now we're supposed to believe them when they say ok, they tried, but it didn't help them, and everyone is just biased in Ferrari's favor?

Sorry, I don't feel any sympathy. I understand that in F1 everyone tries for any advantage they can get, and that every team pushes the rules as far as they think they can get away with, but when McLaren has been lying about this at every stage, I'm not going to be upset when they get nailed.

I do feel bad about the damage done to the sport by this whole mess, and I'm sure the FIA could have done a better job, but rolling over and letting McLaren "win" the championship under these circumstances would be just as damaging.

Posted by: David at September 15, 2007 09:00 PM (eJmmz)

3 ...everyone is just biased in Ferrari's favor?

Yup. The FIA IS biased in favor of Ferrari. There's no question about it... check the histories.

Allow me to point out that this was all started because FERRARI allowed one of their employees to abscond with this data. McLaren may not be blameless, but they've handled themselves MUCH better than any guilty party would have... and MUCH better than Ferrari themselves have.

What information did McLaren "attempt to use for their advantage?" The balance of Ferrari's cars doesn't help McLaren. The gas used to inflate the tires? Maybe, but nitrogen seems to work just as well. The flexible floor? The FIA seemed to agree that was illegal, no?

Seriously, David, take a look at everything, then try to tell me that $100million and being kicked out of the constructor's championship is a fair penalty.

I'll say it again: the fact that the drivers weren't penalized tells me that the FIA knows they've handled this badly. They know they can't prove that McLaren used the information for their own benefit. And they know that if they didn't hit McLaren with a draconian penalty Ferrari would be unhappy... and they can't have THAT.

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 16, 2007 03:42 AM (DMnkh)

4 The fact is that McLaren did attempt, and that makes it punishable. Ferrari is guilty of improper handling of their confidential documents, and they have paid the price through this whole incident.

The drivers weren't punished because it would have been very detrimental to the sport (ratings and all).

Posted by: moony at September 20, 2007 02:08 AM (8mcHi)

5 Not just spam....Diesel powered Halo spam!

Posted by: Brickmuppet at October 23, 2007 04:25 PM (V5zw/)

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