April 27, 2008

F1 UPDATE!: Spain 2008!

It wasn't a question of who would win, but which cars would survive... and was one driver uninjured?  Lets get to the updatin'!

*LUCK AND ENGINEERING:  Those are the only things that kept Heikki Kovaleininninninnie from being smeared across the inside of his cockpit after his front-left wheel rim failed at 160mph (a stone trapped between the rubber and the wheel is expected to be the reason for the failure).  His McLaren wound up burying itself into a tire barrier up to the front of the driver's compartment, completely destroying the nose and actually opening the 'bathtub'. 

Despite the violence of the accident, Heikki escaped with only a concussion and some bruising to his elbows and knees.  He's being kept in hospital overnight for observation, but it seems likely that he'll be allowed to drive in the GP of Turkey two weeks hence.

* THE KIMI & PHIL SHOW:  Ferrari ran away with this one, Massa getting past HWMNBN in the first turn, and the race was over.  It was just a question of who would be third.  Only two safety cars, one of which lasted 10 minutes, artificially kept Hamilton within spitting distance of the Ferraris.  Nope, this was a total blowout, and McLaren has got to be runnin' scared now.

* DRIVER OF THE RACE:  Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari.  He beat back any challenge his teammate tried to put together, drove a nearly flawless race, and delivered a little lost boy back to his parents to boot.  Throw in the evil glint he had in his eye when it came time to spray the champagne and King Juan Carlos of Spain was slow getting off the podium, and it was nearly the perfect performance.  If he had been able to seduce a grid girl in Parc Ferme, then it could have been better.

* TEAM OF THE RACE:  Ferrari.  1-3 on the grid, 1-2 on the podium, fast lap, two flawless drives, and never even close to being challenged?  Yeah, that's a good race.

* MOVE OF THE RACE:  Late in the race, Grizzly Nick Heidfeld was struggling back up the charts after suffering a 10sec. stop-and-go penalty for refueling before the pit lane had been opened during the Heikki Safety Car.  After fighting with Giancarlo Fisichella's Farce India for five or six laps, the BMW driver forced Fisi into a small bobble coming out of the final turn.  This was enough for Grizzly Nick to close up behind, getting a good tow from the other car.  He blew the metaphorical doors off the Italian, then pinned him to the outside where there was nothing he could do to defend his line.  Heidfeld then quickly pulled away.  While it was only for 9th place (and no points), it was still the class of the passing for the day.

* MOOOOOO-OOOOVE OF THE RACE:  Sometimes, even the best racers in the world act like cattle on the ranch.  The Mooo-otR was created just for them.  This race, there were two worthy candidates.  The first goes to Rubens Barrichello, who managed to knock his front wing off... in the pit lane without hitting anybody!  He then had to drive an entire lap with the wing jammed tightly into his suspension. 

The second goes to Timo Glock, who decided that he really needed to be right where David Coulthard's Chin was, implanting his nose into the rear of the Red Bull for no good reason that anybody could see.  Bravo and Moo! to both our winners.

*DRIVER QUOTES OF THE RACE:

 
First off, an early favorite for Quote of the Year, from McLaren Team Principal Ron Dennis.  Dennis, responding to Smarmy Windsor's comment regarding Robert Kubica's loss of 15kg at BMW's request:  "He could lose a lot more by getting his nose done."


"mrmmblm mrmbmlbll mrmb mrmblbmmblb, MRRRmmMmmble." - Kimi Raikkonen

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes... it rains." - Felipe Massa

"Felipe, what does that mean?!?!?" - Lewis Hamilton

"I hope Heikki is okay, but he's got a long way to go before he's in my league, car-wrecking-wise." - Robert Kubica

"I'm very very happy.  Really.  Very happy.  Can you tell how happy I am?  Happy, yep, that's me." - a not-so-happy Mark Webber

"I think my race can be summed up in one word: lucky.  Yes, I was lucky to get points today." - Jenson Button

"Surprisingly, I have five points in the first four races of the season, AND I haven't run over any of my pitcrew.  Not shabby!" - Kazoo Nakajima

"It was almost like someone was jamming my radio today." - Jarno Trulli  (note: somebody was.  With King Juan Carlos present for the race, the Spanish authorities were jamming radios, cellphones, and that sort of thing.  Most of Smarmy Windsor's gridwalk was done voice only, as his camera was unable to send a usable signal, and the team radios were noticeably fuzzier than normal.)

"So what did the FIA want me to do, run out of fuel behind the safety car?  It's a stupid rule, and it cost me points today." - Grizzly Nick Heidfeld (note: when the safety car comes out onto the track, the pitlane is closed until the field forms up behind it.  Heidfeld was about to pit when the lane was closed.  He stretched his fuel as long as he could, but had to pit or run out of gas.  The IRL has a similar rule, but allows cars that are going to run out to do a 'splash and dash', taking on just enough gas to keep running until the pit lane is reopened.)

"10th place is not so bad for Force India, right?" - Giancarlo Fisichella

"It's all The Chin's fault." - Timo Glock (note: essentially a real quote.)

"I'll kick your sodding arse!!!!" - David Coulthard's Chin

" 私は食糧のために運転する" - Takuma Sato

"Engine go *boom!*" - Nico Rosberg

"El motor va estallar." - HWMNBN

"What do you mean I 'didn't hit anybody'?  I hit Fisichella in the pitlane... if you're going to give me the Mooo, at least give me credit for what I DID do.  Sheesh." - Rubens Barrichello

"Brother, can you spare a drive?" - Ant Davidson

"I'll kick Piquet's sodding arse!" - SeaBass

"La la la la la la, I can't hear you." - Nelson Piquet Jr

"Disappointing.  Don't they all know not to be near me at the start?" - Adrian Sutil

"In four races, I've managed 30-some-odd laps.  This is NOT what I signed on for." - Sebastien Vettel

"AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" - Heikki Koveleienninninnie

So now we get two weeks before the Grand Prix of Turkey.  Will Nelson Piquet and Timo Glock make it to Istanbul, or will the newly-formed tag team of SeaBass and The Chin hit them with chairs before then?  Will Heikki be driving, or even be eating solid food?  Will Ferrari get even FASTER?   Stay tuned to The Pond for updates, and see ya here for the next F1 UPDATE!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:52 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 Glad there were enough cars left to finish the race.  And glad Heikki is going to be okay.  That was a nasty wreck.

Posted by: Mallory at April 27, 2008 02:52 PM (WJ2qy)

2

Amen to that.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 27, 2008 09:33 PM (+rSRq)

3 I too was glad to see Hekki out of the car and conscious. It was a gut-wrenching impact and I was left with that really bad pit-of-the-stomach feeling which was intensified when the Spanish media didn't give us even a glimpse of what was going on at the crash site.

Posted by: madmike at April 28, 2008 09:53 AM (o+iiH)

4 It's an indication of just how damned good the safety equipment has gotten. Twenty years ago a crash like that would have killed the driver instantly.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 28, 2008 06:09 PM (+rSRq)

5 Seven years ago, Dale Earnhardt was killed when he crashed into a wall at Daytona.  He wasn't wearing a HANS device.

Heikki was, and he also had the advantage of crashing into a tire barrier... but according to McLaren, the telemetry indicates that may not have helped much in this case, because he still suffered a 26g impact that lasted for an astounding 100ms.

Yeowtch!

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 28, 2008 06:38 PM (AW3EJ)

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