July 16, 2017

F1 Update!: Britain 2017

A low, ominous sky squatted just a few miles away from the Silverstone circuit, while directly above was a hardly better overcast, reminding us that rain was an everpresent possibility here in this chunk of Albion.  Would it grace the F1 Circus with its presence, or would the upcoming race be left to its own devices?  THIS is your F1Update! for the 2017 Grand Prix of Britain!  


*JUST BEFORE:  We here at F1U! were left with a smile upon our collective faces when the legendary Zsolt Baumgartner was both mentioned by name and seen on our television screen during pre-race coverage.  He's part of "F1 Experience", an expensive way to enjoy a race weekend... but does include a few laps of the circuit in the old Minardi two-seater F1 car, and that has to be driven by someone!  Oh, and on the parade lap, Jolyon Palmer's Renault blew its hydraulics and died on track.  The start of the race was delayed for one lap as a result.

*LIGHTS OUT:  When the race finally began, polesitter Lewis Hamilton made a clean start and led the field into the first turn with no muss, no fuss.  Trailing behind was the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, followed by a dust-up between Seb Vettel's Ferrari and the Red Bull of Embryo Verstappen.  The two exchanged passes before settling down with Verstappen in third.  Vettel was clearly having none of it, and we may have been in line for something spectacular had the two Toro Rosso drivers not decided that their little internecine squabbles were more important than the actual race.  Carlos Sainz and Kid Kyvat did Very Bad Things to each other, with Sainz's car dead, Kvyat limping around to the pit lane, and Herelein Wehrlein, an innocent bystander, damaged as well.  The amount of carbon fiber scattered across the circuit made a Safety Car unavoidable, and Berndt Maylander was awoken from his dark slumber to guide the field for four laps.

*RESTART: ...and this is what's wrong with Formula 1 today.  Asking Lewis Hamilton to lead a flying restart is like giving a velociraptor open access to an old folks' home.  He took control and headed out over the horizon, a grimly determined Raikkonen trailing farther and farther behind.  When the Mercedes driver finally pitted on Lap 26, one lap after the Ferrari, it was no trouble at all for him to rejoin in the lead.

*ALMOST THERE:  As the laps ran down, Mercedes' Valterri Bottas managed to wrest third place from Vettel, and then turned his sights on Raikkonen some five seconds up the road.  Try as he might, however, he could not reel him in enough to legitimately attempt a pass.  And then it happened.  The front left tire on Raikkonen's Ferrari suddenly deflated sending him skittering around the circuit desperately trying to control his car.  It took no time at all for Bottas to move past him for second, followed eventually by Vettel.  Once the Prancing Horse of the Finn had been reshod, he returned to the track with two laps to go in fourth place.  And then Seb Vettel's Ferrari suffered a slightly more violent deflation of his front left tire in almost the same place on track as Raikkonen's.  The Finn was thus promoted back up to third place, while Vettel eventually ended up in seventh.

*OH, HIM?: It may seem like we here at F1U! haven't mentioned what was going on with Hamilton up in the lead of the race.  There's a very good reason for that: we never saw him.  Except during his single pitstop, it seemed like the cameras stayed very far away from the local hero.  To be fair, his was a non-exciting race, alone up front with nothing interesting going on.  In fact, he had himself another Grand Slam: pole, win, led every lap, fast lap of the race.  Not quite as dominant on the timesheet as some of his races the last few years when he'd win by two minutes, and that after stopping for a danish and a cup of coffee... but still and all, unstoppable today.  With the way things wrung out, he now trails Seb Vettel in the championship fight by only one point.

If this seems short to you, that's because it is.  Other than the two Ferrari tire failures, there wasn't much in the way of action after the few few laps... a singularly uninspiring race indeed.  Next time around though... we're in Hungary!  See ya in two weeks!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:03 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 I dunno, I thought Ricciardo's climb from last to fifth (aided at the last moment by Vettel's tire giving up the ghost) was pretty exciting.

Posted by: Mrs. Will at July 16, 2017 08:48 PM (dCQ2c)

2 I thought it inevitable, actually.  That's the problem with having three teams that are so ahead of all the others.  Was it a good drive?  Oh yes, surely!  But there wasn't a car out there that could stop him that wasn't a Mercedes or a Ferrari.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 16, 2017 09:07 PM (BCjxQ)

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