July 20, 2008

F1 UPDATE!: Germany 2008!

Oh, the difference a safety car makes.  THIS is the F1 UPDATE! for the German Grand Prix!

*NIP/TUCK: From the start of the race, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton ran away and hid from the rest of the field.  To be honest, it was quite unexciting, and we here at F1 UPDATE! were giving serious thought to taking a nap.  It didn't even look like we were going to get any rain to make it a little more interesting.  And then, as they say in Heidelberg, "Glock Happens."  Specifically, Timo Glock ran very wide on the last turn  of lap 35.  He jounced over the curb, and his right rear suspension completely collapsed.

Note to Toyota: suspensions should not be made of sillyputty.
His car smashed against the inside wall, shredding the Toyota and spewing shard of carbon fiber across the front straight.  The safety car was deployed, and Hamilton's 12-second lead was gone.  Everybody dove for the pits, wanting to get their cars refueled and new rubber put on... except for Hamilton; McLaren mysteriously kept him out on track.  Suddenly, it was not only a new race, but one at which Lewis was at a distinct disadvantage, for he had to pit before the end of the race.  When the safety car period ended, Hamilton, lighter on fuel than everybody else, began to reopen his lead.  Eventually it was up to 15 seconds when he guided the Glare On Wheels into the pits.  Here's the problem: to enter the pit lane, drive to your box, get serviced, then exit the pits takes about 25 seconds.  When Hamilton returned to the track on lap 50, he was in fifth with 15 laps to go.  BMW's Grizzly Nick Heidfeld, who also ignored the free pitstop offered by the safety car, went in for fuel and tires.  Lewis' teammate, Heikki Koveleinninninnie let Hamilton by after a (very) token battle.  He caught up to Massa on lap 57 (see: Move of the Race below), and then, with five laps to go, he took the lead from the Renault of Nelson Piquet (who was just pitting when Glock crashed, jumping him about 12 places in one instant) and ran away for the win.  A truly amazing display of driving ability and car performance, nearly Slappy-esque in it's quality.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Lewis Hamilton.  He was going to win this race before the safety car came out, then after McLaren fscked up by not bringing him in, he went out and won it again.  At least as impressive a drive in the last 15 laps as his victory by over 60 seconds in the wet at Silverstone, there's no question that Hamilton deserves to be the Driver of the Race.

*TEAM OF THE RACE:  Renault.  A lucky break gave them a gift podium, to be sure, but you HAVE to be lucky to be good, and it's their first podium in since 2006.  Perhaps more importantly, they managed to hold of Massa's Ferrari to stay in 2nd place.  Don't count on it happening again this season, but for now, Renault gets the TotR.

*MOVE OF THE RACE:  On lap 57, Lewis Hamilton was closing in on Felipe Massa for second place.  He got close behind the Brazillian in Parabolika and was rewarded with a massive tow down the fastest part of the circuit, and headed into the hairpin in perfect position, just behind and inside of the Ferrari.  Hamilton held off on braking as long as he could, then decelerated like he had thrown an anchor out of the cockpit.  Massa, however, was having none of it willingly.  He tried to slam the door in the McLaren's face... but Hamilton was having none of that, either.  He shoved Massa outside, refusing to give him an inch of room.  Massa wound up in the runoff area off-track.  Still game, however, Massa tried to get the position back in turn 8.  Hamilton shouldered the Ferrari offline again, which almost let Heidfeld jump into third.  A gorgeous bar-room brawl of a passing sequence, well deserving of the Move of the Race... and, if this turns out to be the race where Hamilton takes the Driver's Championship lead for good, perhaps the Move of the Year.

*MOOOOOO-OOOVE OF THE RACE:  From the sublime to the ridiculous, the Mooooo-ooove celebrates the performances that make the best drivers in the world look like they only got their learner's permits last week.  While McLaren's attempt at giving the race away by not calling Hamilton in during the safety car period nearly won, saved only by Hamilton's victory, instead we'll be giving the award to an on-track incident.  On lap 49, Rubens Barrichello, the most experienced driver in F1 today, tried to pass David Coulthard's Chin, the oldest driver in F1 today, on the outside.  A dodgy attempt to begin with became much, much worse, when The Chin slipped outside to block... and wound up running into the Honda.  The Red Bull went wobbling away, the Honda lost it's nose, and both cars wound up losing a handful of positions for no real good reason.  Both of you should have known better, and that's why we lovingly present you with a joint Moooooo-ooove.  Well done.

*DRIVER QUOTES OF THE RACE:

"Damn, but I'm good.  Look in the dictionary for the definition of the word 'good', and you'll see my picture there.  Did I mention?  I'm gooooooooood.  Yup, that's me." - Lewis Hamilton

"Damn, but I'm lucky.  Look in the dictionary for the definition of the word 'lucky', and you'll see my picture there.  Did I mention?  I'm luuuuuuuuuuuucky.  Yup, that's me." - Nelson Piquet Jr.

"If he pushed me any farther outside, I'd've been in fscking France." - Felipe Massa

"Yup.  Shoulda pitted.  Crap." - Grizzly Nick Heidfeld

"Nope, no team orders in McLaren.  Nuh-uh.  I don't know what you're talking about.  Why would I let my teammate by that easily?  I was racing him for position.  Now, where are my kneepads?" - Heikki Koveleinninninnie

"mrmmbl mrmmblblbbl mrmmrmmrmmrm mrbllbbbmrmr. mrb." - Kimi Raikkonen

"It is difficult to be happy after a race like this, but the first one of you to ask 'why the long face?' is gonna get a starter cart up the hiney." - Robert Kubica

"Big fun!  Loved it!  Wheeeeee!" - Sebastian Vettel

"My hair caused a lot of extra drag, which is why I sucked like a Hoover today." - Jarno Trulli

"It was great to race here in front of my home fans.  It wasn't so great to suck like an Electrolux, though." - Nico Rosberg

"I demand that my teammate be barred from driving a Renault ever again.  I'M the number one driver in this team, and I should be on the podium, not him!" - HWMNBN

"I can't believe that I'm thrilled to have finished 12th.  But I am!  Indy Cars were a lot easier." - SeaBass

"Pants." - David Coulthard's Chin

"I was penalized 25 seconds after the race for passing the Safety Car before I was supposed to, meaning that I actually ended up 17th.  In truth, I should probably be ranked 21st.  I'm just not good enough to be 20th." - Giancarlo Fisichella

"Smarmy Windsor said that I'm smart and a good driver.  I think he likes me!" - Kazoo Nakajima

"I'm the only driver in the history of F1 to actually LOSE time behind the safety car, legally!" - Adrian Sutil (note: when the pit lane opened, Sutil missed the pit-in.  He therefore had to wait to enter until others went by.)

"I'm being paid a lot of money to finish 17th.  I've got the best job in the world." - Jenson Button

"Oops." - Rubens Barrichello

"Lump go 'pffffffft.'  I can't even blow my engine up right anymore." - Mark Webber

"Timo Glock has been taken to the hospital complaining of lower back pain, where he will be kept for observation.  However, he did make a brief statement, which I shall now read to you: 'AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!'  Thank you." - Unnamed Toyota Representative

And so, a surprisingly fun German Grand Prix comes to a close.  We'll be back in two weeks with coverage of the Hungarian Grand Prix.  Will there be a Zsolt Baumgartner sighting?  We'll see you then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:59 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 1380 words, total size 9 kb.

1

Wow, that was a great race!  I was rooting for Piquet to win, but second wasn't bad.  Have you ever seen a happier smile on podium? 

Hamilton elbowing his way back to the front was also good stuff.

And the Sarcasm Network was in fine form, too. 

All in all, two hours (mostly) well spent.

I think Zsolt may be traded Mickie Dee's for Burger King.  ;-)

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Mallory at July 20, 2008 04:40 PM (WJ2qy)

2

Earlier I was looking at the driver and team standings as of this race. Ferrari has 105 points, BMW-Sauber has 89, and McLaren has 86. (Everyone else is off in the dust. #4 team is Toyota with 25.)

Which seemed weird, until I looked at the driver standings. For McLaren, Hamilton is 1st but Kovalainen is 6th. For Ferrari, Massa is 2 and Raikkonen is 3. BMW-Sauber's drivers are 4 and 5, and they have got to be damned happy with how Kubica and Heidfeld have been driving this year!

Hamilton's got 58 points. HWMNBN only has 13, and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. (Heh heh heh; his best finishes were 3rd in Turkey and 3rd in England.)

The season is still wide open, with 8 races left.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 20, 2008 06:44 PM (+rSRq)

3 Moreso than I can remember, Steven.  Last year belonged to Lewis Hamilton until the last race, and even then he was a shoe-in to win the Championship until he peed it down the leg of his firesuit.

In fact, there has never been a three-way tie in Driver's Championship points this late in a season (as we were at the beginning of the race).  I suspect a lot of it will be decided at the two new race courses... which team and which drivers adapt best to them might just decide everything.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 20, 2008 08:15 PM (AW3EJ)

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