March 17, 2007

F1 UPDATE!: Australia

Formula 1 is back, and so is F1 UPDATE! Let's get right to it, shall we?

*THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...: ...the more they stay the same. Kimi Raikkonen, moving from McLaren to Ferrari, ran away with the race from the very beginning. He was never challenged, and lapped up to fifth or sixth by the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso, moving from Renault to McLaren, finished in second, challenged only by his teammate. By the end, there was something like ten seconds between himself and third. Dominating performances all over the place.

*NO TIRE WARS, NO PROBLEM: To be honest, the neverending battle between Bridgestone and Michelin really might have detracted from the racing. Now that there's a single tire maker, that part of the playing field has been leveled, and it's back to being a sport of cars and drivers... like it should be.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Kimi Raikkonen has a pleasant drive out there today, but didn't really have to race, so the first winner of the Driver of the Race for the season goes to Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren rookie, driving in his first Grand Prix, on his first visit to Australia, managed a podium finish and led the race during the first round of pitstops. Likely a sign of things to come for the lad, we'd not be surprised to see him win one this season. Honorable mention goes to Felipe Massa, who finished sixth (and nearly passed Giancarlo Fisichella for fifth on the last lap) after starting last on the grid. That's got to be cause for some concern in the McLaren and Renault pits.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: While Ferrari had a runaway victory, McLaren is leading the Constructor's Championship. Their double-podium finish, particularly after last year's relatively dismal season, certainly makes them look pretty shiny (or maybe that's just the paint job).

*MOVE OF THE RACE: For most of the race, we at F1 UPDATE! thought we were going to give this to Lewis Hamilton. His "I'm-inside-crap-theres-a-car-in-my-way-lets-go-outside-and-pass-my-teammate" move at the start of the race was altogether enjoyable to watch, but we frown on giving the MotR to events at race start. Fortunately for us, Felipe Massa saved our souls by just depantsing Nico Rosberg around lap 50. Pulled along by slipstream effect, Massa ran up on Rosberg, snapped to the inside so hard we thought something had broken, and zing!, the Brazillian was up and gone. We may never particularly like Felipe Massa here at F1 UPDATE!, but the man with the biggest eyebrows in the sport does know what to do behind the wheel.

*MOOOOOOO-OVE OF THE RACE: Celebrating the latent bovine behind the wheel of every racer, the Moooooo-ove goes to the most cowlike manuever seen. We thought we'd be giving this to Mark Webber and his spin into the pitlane, but this race's winner came a few laps later. David Coulthard's Chin, appropriately enough driving for RedBull, decided that he could make a pass on Man-Mountain Wurz from, oh, about half-a-mile back. Going into the turn, DC'sC ran inside on Wurz... very inside. Like "in the Williams' cockpit" inside. DC'sC wound up launching himself into the air and onto Man-Mountain's car, his front-left tire just missing the very exposed head of the tallest man in F1. Wurz slammed on the brakes, causing the RedBovine to slide off the nose of the Williams into the graveltrap, breaking off the front suspension of the RB3. The Williams continued on for another few laps before the damage caused did it in. For this frightening moment (another couple of inches back, and chances are Wurz would have been decapitated), we're pleased to give David Coulthard's Chin the season's inaugural Mooooooo-ove of the Race. Well done, lad.

*QUOTES OF THE RACE: "mmrmmbl mbmmblmbl mrrmrmmb mbmbmblmml." - Kimi Raikkonen

"Maybe I should have gone to Ferrari instead?" - Fernando Alonso

"You do that, teammate. You won't be needed here much longer." - Lewis Hamilton

"Do you know me? I just finished fourth in the 2007 Australian GP, yet was never seen on the World Feed from the FIA. I carry the American Expre... oh, what's the use, this mic isn't on anyway." - Nick Heidfeld

"Renault named me lead driver for 2007. Considering the performance of my teammate, that's no big feat." - Giancarlo Fisichella

"Those aren't eyebrows." - Felipe Massa

"Remember last year? When everybody thought I was going to be a rookie sensation? Good times, good times." - Nico 'Ex-Wonderboy' Rosberg

"I just scored more points than my brother. I'll beat him this year for sure!" - Ralf Schumacher (editor's note: yeah, by one.)

"That wasn't oil smoke at the start, that was me electing a new Pope." - Jarno Trulli (editor's note: Juan Pablo Montoya, please pick up the red courtesy phone)

"If I keep this up, I'll manage to make Giancarlo look like a good driver." - Heikki Kovaleinen

"At least I beat SuperAguri. My GOD, what did I just say?!?!? Gimme another Fosters *sob*." - Rubens Barrichello

"At this rate, we'll win the Constructor's Championship in no time!" - Takuma Sato, after the highest finish ever for a SuperAguri.

"Didn't you see that kangaroo? It lept right out at me!!!" - Mark Webber

"*evil glare*" - Vitantonio Liuzzi

"I'm Britain's Great Hope? No wonder we lost the Empire." - Jensen Button

"Now THIS is more like what a SuperAguri should be doing." - Ant Davidson

"Spyker Chicane Sutil, that's me!" - Adrian Sutil

"AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" - Alexander Wurz

"Oh, calm down, I missed you by at least three inches." - David Coulthard's Chin

"Gearbox. Pfeh. I hope this isn't the way the whole season is going to go. Want a pierogi?" - Robert Kubica

"Yes, please. Might last longer than my tire did." - American Scott Speed

"Fiddling with my earplugs? THAT's what they said I was doing when I crashed? You're kidding, right? No, I crashed because the koalabear that I had in the cockpit with me started to... oh, who am I kidding? It was the earplugs." - Christijan Albers

And so that wraps the first edition of F1 UPDATE! for the new season! Join us again in THREE FRICKIN' WEEKS (thanks, Bernie!) for the next race is Sepang!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 06:01 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 What are you talking about regarding Bridgestone and Michelin?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 19, 2007 12:01 AM (+rSRq)

2 Real quotes in the winners' press conference:

KIMI: At least people will not ask when you are going to win.

(Jenson must be hurting _a lot_ hearing that).

ALONSO: It's true that it has been a good fight [with Lewis], as I always seem to have had with my teammates here in Australia. I remember Fisichella winning races here, it's very interesting for the people.

(OMG, did he really compared Lewis to Fisi? With the implicit promise to deal with him similarily? What a nasty man :-). He watered it down a bit in the free Q&A session.)

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at March 19, 2007 11:31 AM (9imyF)

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