June 07, 2009
THIS is your F1 Update! for the Grand Prix of Turkey!
*A CHINK IN THE ARMOR?: Not so much, no. In fact, the Grand Prix of Turkey turned out to be the least interesting race on the calendar so far. At the start, it looked like it was going to be a true potboiler, with Rubens Barrichello completely blowing the start and dropping nine places in the blink of an eye and his teammate Jenson Button slotting in behind Sebastian Vettel and holding close despite being heavier on fuel. Halfway through the second lap, Vettel went off-track for just an instant, which was all that Button needed. He blew by the RB5, rocketed away, and never looked back. It just became a question of which Red Bull driver would end up in second.
*BARRICHELLO BALLAST: In what should be a legendary season full of unicorns and rainbows for the Brawn team, Rubens Barrichello is doing everything in his power to drag their glory through the mud. First he complained about not getting to win a race earlier this season. Then there was the pit-strategy change at Spain.
Now, after cocking up his start, spinning out after bumping into Heikki Kovaleinninninnie, then tearing up his front wing when he collided with Adrian Sutil, he brought BrawnGP their first retirement with a broken gearbox on lap 48. Of course, Barrichello is whining about all of this: "It's just frustrating because it has been happening too much on my side." Meanwhile, his teammate is running away with the driver's championship with nary a fault or bobble. What does Rubens think is happening here?
*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Button would be the easy choice with another of his flawless drives to victory, but we're going to give the award to Mark Webber. Starting from fourth, promoted automatically to third when Barrichello tried to leave half his gearbox on the grid, then had the unenviable challenge of hanging on to the tail of his teammate and Button as they tried to break the sound barrier. As usual, Webber was up to the challenge and was rewarded with 2nd place when Red Bull's gambit of changing Vettel to a 3-stop strategy didn't pay off. Couldn't've happened to a better guy on the grid.
*TEAM OF THE RACE: Red Bull. 2nd and 3rd on the podium is nothing to sneeze at when you're in a Constructor's Championship race, and when one of your rivals winds up in the garage, all the better. While their overall race strategies appear to need work if they're going to have a chance to catch Brawn, days like this are important. Well done, lads.
*MOVE OF THE RACE: Last year, hearing that a Renault passing a McLaren for the MotR, you'd probably think it was for 3rd or 4th place, right? Just goes to show that we're truly in Bizarro Season, for the pass was Nelson Piquet Jr passing Lewis Hamilton for 16th place. On lap 34, Hamilton was flush with fuel, Piquet not so much, but the KERS advantage had shown that it could be insurmountable when used defensively. Going into Turn 12, Piquet put himself on the outside of Hamilton and held off on his braking as long as he could. Through the turn they were side-by-side, wheels with maybe two inches between them. Being on the outside of 12 meant that the Renault was on the inside for 13, a clear advantage. Hamilton wisely backed off slightly, while Piquet kept his foot down and overshot the turn, fishtailing slightly while Hamilton took a slower, yet shorter, line through 13. Piquet's overshoot turned out to be strategy, however, as Hamilton, though in the lead at this point, was on the outside for 14. As they came through the final turn the Renault re-re-claimed the lead and even pulled away slightly. Great racing between two poor cars, and a well-earned MotR for the embattled Piquet.
*MOOOOOO-OOOVE OF THE RACE: Ruben Barrichello's ill-advised attempt at a pass on Heikki Kovlaleinninninnie was bad, and he paid for it with a drop to 17th place. His stupid move on Adrian Sutil, however, was worse. He stuck his nose in from too far back and got most of his right endplane taken off for his trouble. A hasty pitstop and a new nose dropped him down to 19th... last place, in other words, since Giancarlo Fisichella had already retired. Bravo, Rubens, your weekend wasn't completely wasted... you won the Moooooo-ooove!
*DRIVER QUOTES OF THE RACE:
"I wish I could have the entire team up here on the podium with me today!" - Jenson Button (take note, Lewis and Rubens... this is how a professional acts)
"Jenson was on another planet. It was all about who'd finish behind him. Dammit." - Mark Webber, who's run more races than anybody else without a victory.
"Chink in the armor. Riiiiiiight." - Sebastian Vettel
"Guess it was just Monte Carlo, huh?" - Jarno Trulli
"I finished 5th? Really? Not like anybody saw it today." - Nico Rosberg
"I've won this race three years running. Everybody should have moved over and let me win again! I'm in a Ferrari, dammit!" - Felipe Massa
"Would you believe these are my first points of the season? WHERE did I finish in the driver's championship last year?" - Robert Kubica
"A point is a point." - Timo Glockenspiel
"mrmrmbl mrmrmrmmblbbblb mrmrmrmmmmmmrmrm. mmr. bl." - Kimi Raikkonen
"So Rubens thinks he's got it bad? I'll trade cars with him anytime he wants." - HWMNBN
"Car's gotten better. I just sucked." - Grizzly Nick Heidfeld
"I had a great first lap. I had the best race of my career today... until the second pit stop." - Kazoo Nakajima, who was victimized by a mysterious front-left-wheel change problem. No idea what went wrong, but they tried four or five times to either tighten or loosen the nut and couldn't get it right. Then the cameras cut away, so we never did find out what was going on.
"When the team gives me a car that can win, I will win." - Lewis Hamilton (note: real quote)
"This was a character-building race for everybody in the team." - Heikki Kovaleinninninnie (note: real quote)
"Hm." - Sebastian Buemi
"At least I got the MotR, that's gotta count for something, right Flavio?" - Nelson Pinkslip Piquet Jr
"I had hoped for more. I also hope for rainbow-farting unicorns to be track marshals, too." - Adrian Sutil
"Is ChampCar still hiring?" - SeaBass
"there's no quote here, stop looking, you're ruining the joke for yourself." - Rubens Barrichello (note: whine inaudible to all but dogs)
"I expected this. Oh, and 'Aiiee,' I guess." - Giancarlo Fisichella
That's it from a disappointing Turkish Grand Prix. In two weeks, we'll be paying our final visit to Silverstone... see you there!
I can't see how Barrichello can expect anyone to take his bitching seriously. He's driving the same car as Button (isn't it?) and Button is doing far, far better. Clearly it's driver skill that's making the difference here.
Button is embarassing everyone else. It seems as if the only thing that can stop him now is for someone to ram him. Man, 6 wins in the first 7 races? He's making it look easy.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 07, 2009 07:07 PM (+rSRq)
You know what else is on your side of the garage, Rubens? You.
Steven, we can only assume it's the same car. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that there are minor differences from race to race, however. That's not uncommon, particularly because it's done at the driver's behest. A perfect example of that is brake composition... one driver might prefer Hitco brakes, the other Brembo, for example.
But major differences, like a completely different underside, or something like that? Incredibly unlikely.
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 07, 2009 08:32 PM (hlGBx)
And they also do different fuel loadouts sometimes, right? At least one of the races you reported, one team used a strategy of one more pitstop for one of their drivers, which meant he could carry less fuel and presumably drive faster.
I vaguely remember they even use different tires sometimes. But that's little stuff. It's not like Barrichello is driving a second-hand McLaren or something.
(And oh! how painful it is that I find myself using McLaren as an example of a car that's total crap.)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 08, 2009 01:45 AM (+rSRq)
Great job on the F1 UPDATE!
Reubens had better look around and see who might like to fill his seat in a heartbeat if he keep up the sour grapes. Providence put him in an incredible ride this year when his year had looked to be over before it started.
Looking forward to Silverstone.
Posted by: Mallory at June 08, 2009 05:30 AM (WJ2qy)
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