July 10, 2017

F1 Update!: Austria 2017

There are F1 races that are tightly-fought, tense affairs.  They draw you in, focus your attention, rivet your gaze firmly upon the events transpiring before you.  Where random circumstance changes the entire complexion of the race.  Where an incredible performance makes you acknowledge, once again, that drivers in the Formula 1 world championship are the best in the world at what they do.  As the 20 cars made their way to the starting grid at Spielberg's Red Bull Ring, all and sundry were eagerly anticipating what was to come.  Would the feud brewing between Ferrari's Seb Vettel and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton come to a head?  How would the tires fare on the abrasive circuit?  Who would blink first?  THIS is your F1Update! for the 2017 Grand Prix of Austria!


*LIGHTS OUT: This was not one of those races that draw you in, focus your attention, rivet your gaze firmly upon the events transpiring before you.  The majority of the action and drama was over by the first turn, beginning with the actions of polesitter Valterri Bottas.  As the race officially began, the Finn's Mercedes had a blinder of a start, looking as if it were shot from a gun.  It was so good in fact that both Seb Vettel and Red Bull's Smiley Ricciardo immediately said to their respective pitwalls that he had jumped the start altogether.  Indeed, replays later showed that he had started moving before the red lights were extinguished.  This alone, however, does not constitute a jumped start!  A driver can begin to move like that legally (it's thought that the car moves because the clutch slipped... or whatever), as long as they're not accelerating within 200 milliseconds of the lights going out, that being the FIA-mandated limit of human reaction time.  Timing and scoring officially has telemetry showing that he had a reaction time of 201 milliseconds.  The race to the first turn was anticlimactic, Bottas getting there with time to spare.  

*THE RACE:  The predicted rain never came.  Indeed, the predicted tire wear never came either: Pirelli expected the ultra-softs to last about 18 laps.  Bottas stopped for new shoes on Lap 41.  Felipe Not Retired Massa made it to Lap 47 on his.  So much for tire degradation playing a vital role in the strategies for this race.  Even with Lewis Hamilton's incessant whining that his tires felt awful, his tires weren't gripping, his tires were actually onion bagels with cream cheese and lox, so on and so forth, couldn't disguise the fact that he had moved up to fourth place and (eventually) set fast lap of the race.  What was particularly odd was that everywhere we looked, we saw evidence of the tires suffering wear... more than once we here at F1U! were shocked, shocked we say, at the thick black wear lines appearing on the inside shoulders of whatever rubber a car was clad in.  Yet at no time did anybody suffer any particular indignities from excessive tire wear.  This pretty much guaranteed that we at home could walk down to the local parade and see more action (those shriners with their teeny cars, ha!).  Until something peculiar began to occur.

*"GET YOUR ELBOWS OUT, LAD.":  With four or so laps remaining, suddenly it seemed like everybody trailing someone caught up to them.  Hamilton had run down Ricciardo (which prompted this section's title when the Red Bull pitwall said that to him), Vettel had caught up Bottas, even a sad little struggle for 10th place between Pleasant Stroll, Jolyon Palmer, and Stoffelwaffle.  The last two laps were all frantic to-ing and fro-ing as Hamilton tried to use his superior straight-line speed to mug the Red Bull, and Vettel tried to take advantage of the one sign of tire wear on the day, as Bottas dealt with a blister that did Bad Things to his handling.  In the end, however, both Vettel and Ricciardo kept their respective challengers behind, but it was a near-run thing for both.  Bottas won by 6/10th of a second, and while Smiley was over a second ahead of Hamilton, it was only because Hamilton's final shot took him out of a closer position.  the final two laps gave the race the illusion of having been action-packed, when in fact it was nothing of the sort.

*HOW ABOUT A THREESOME?:  With Bottas winning his second race on the year, he moves into third place in the driver's championship, with 136 points.  Ahead of him is his teammate with 151 and Seb Vettel sits atop the leaderboard with 171 points.  We might seriously have three contenders for the championship... if Mercedes lets their men race.  We shall see in just a few days, as the next race is this Sunday at the so-called Home of F1: Silverstone!  We'll see ya there!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:01 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 805 words, total size 5 kb.




What colour is a green orange?




26kb generated in CPU 0.02, elapsed 0.0186 seconds.
47 queries taking 0.0084 seconds, 227 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.