April 08, 2007
*GAUNTLET THROWN...: McLaren announced in spades that they are back, and looking for a Championship. They qual'd second and fourth, were first and second by the second turn, and kept those spots for the rest of the race. Alonso's win puts him in the lead of the Drivers Championship, and Hamilton's second podium in his two-race career puts the team in the lead for the Constructors'.
*...TOES SMUSHED: Ferrari has got to be wondering just what they did wrong. When you qualify 1-3, and have the fastest car on the track, you've got to be expecting something more than finishing third and fifth. But yet, that's where they ended up after a repeated driver error and a worrisome engine. Jean Todt's Sweater must be concerned.
*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Lewis Hamilton drove like he was in his second decade of F1 racing, not his second race. He jumped from 4th to 2nd at the start, then forced a frantic Massa into making not one, but two errors on two consecutive laps at the SAME PLACE on the track, which killed any chance Massa had of being on the podium. He then drove a fast pace, made no errors, and didn't panic when Kimi Raikkonen made his last chance push in the final five laps. This guy's gooood. Honorable mention goes to Rubens Barrichello. He started from the pit lane, pushed his way through the field, and ended up 11th in the pathetic Honda car. Nicely done, lad.
*TEAM OF THE RACE: McLaren. As has been previously mentioned, McLaren had pretty much the perfect race. Alonso won going away, Hamilton played the role of wingman to perfection, there were no technical problems, even the tires worked well. What more could you ask for?
*MOVE OF THE RACE: Man-Mountain Wurz sold the proverbial dummy to David Coulthard's Chin on lap 12. Coming into the second-best passing spot on the track, turn 4, Wurz 'leaned' inside. DC'sC reacted by slamming the door on that line... which appears to be exactly what The Man They Call Man-Mountain wanted. Wurz calmly went to the outside and powered around DC'sC RB3 like it was standing still... showing exactly how to pass at turn 4. Sweet, but exactly what you'd expect from someone that's drive F1 cars for 10 years (okay, 8 of them as a tester, but still...).
*MOOOOOOOOO-OVE OF THE RACE: Even the best race drivers in the world have their cud-chewing moments, and the Moooooooo-ove 'rewards' those who make those mistakes on the biggest stage, a F1 race. Today's award goes to Felipe Massa. Knowing that he absolutely had to get past Lewis Hamilton lest Fernando Alonso go galloping off over the hills, on lap 3 Massa took a smidge too much speed into turn 4. He got past Hamilton, but wound up locking his brakes, falling victim to a pass-and-repass exchange. Jaw set, he grimly reeled the young McLaren driver back in and two laps later, he tried the same move again. This time, however, Massa peed the whole thing down the leg of his firesuit, winding up about four car-lengths into the grass. He also lost two positions and never came close to contending for a podium again. To add insult to injury, Man-Mountain Wurz showed exactly how to do it a few laps later with his pass on David Coulthard's Chin (see "Move of the Race"). Bravo, Felipe!
*QUOTES OF THE RACE: "I win again. Did you like my little bunny ears? It IS Easter, y'know. I'm sure that means that somewhere, someone is thinking that Michael Schumacher will be returning to F1. 'He Has Risen', or something like that..." - Fernando Alonso
"My first race, I finished third. My second race, I finished second. Hmm, I wonder what that progression suggests for next weekend?" - Lewis Hamilton
"mrmmbmlb mmmlblmbrr mbmbmml Massa mrmbl heh heh heh." - Kimi Raikonnen
"In the first corner, Robert (Kubica) touched me. He apologized - I didn't know he was that way. (pause) He didn't have to apologize... I wonder if he likes my beard?" - Nick Heidfeld
"I made a mistake and ended up off the track. I cannot blame myself. Moo." - Felipe Massa (note: real quote)
"Sixth place. Feels like home." - Giancarlo Fisichella
"The only pity was the start which wasn’t so great and meant that I ended up behind Fisichella for much of the race. Trapped behind a Renault... who'd've thought a Toyota could be trapped behind a Renault? Maybe I should give him my engineer's cap?" - Jarno Trulli
"mrmmbmrlb mrmbl mrmmbmbmmlmbl mrbm first point mrbmlm mrmmmrmblrmm." - Heikki Kovaleinenennenenn (note: we don't care if he really talks like this, he's Finnish. That means he's going to sound like Kimi)
"Grrrrrrrrr... WURZ SMASH!" - Alex (Man-Mountain) Wurz
"'A large aluminum pipe wrapped in bologna slices'? Who writes this stuff?" - Mark Webber
"Eleventh. *sob* I suppose I should be happy, considering that this is the highest we're going to place all season, but for some reason I'm not. Gimme another beer! *sob*" - Rubens Barrichello
"The car is crap." - Jensen Button (note: real quote, though not from today)
"ALL HAIL SUPERAGURI! WE WILL CRUSH YOU!" - Takuma SuperSato
"I've got a lot of blisters from pushing on the brake pedal." - American Scott Speed (note: real quote. We think that maybe you should be pushing on the accelerator, Scott...)
"I had a slow leak. And my tire had a puncture, too." - Ralf Schumacher
"Um... Taku? We finished behind the factory Hondas. Easy with the crushing, 'k?" - Ant Davidson
"I'm a lousy driver, but I'm going to blame this on Sato, who 'ran into me' (yeah, that's what happened) in turn four. It's all his fault. Uh-huh. Yep." - Vitantonio Liuzzi
"I like Nick's beard. Is that so wrong?" - Robert Kubica
"Lump go boom. Will I ever finish a race again?" - Nico (Wonderboy) Rosberg
"I'm retiring at the end of this year, and I'm aware of my mortality more than ever. My brake pedal was rubbing against the steering column. So I pulled out of the race. Next week, there's going to be a 'problem' with the padding in my seat." - David Coulthard's Chin
"I love the smell of burning aluminium and carbon fibre in the afternoon... it's the smell of... well, not victory. (pause) YOU WANT ME ON THAT WALL!" - Christijan Albers
"AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" - Adrian Sutil
...and that's a wrap! We'll be back next weekend from Bahrain!
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