May 29, 2006

F1 UPDATE!: MONACO

The glitz, the glamour, the F1 UPDATE!

*WELL, IT WAS GOOD WHILE IT LASTED: Nope, not much passing. Runaway winner, too. But the first 2/3rds of the race was actually interesting, and that's more than can be said for most of the races this season. C'mon, watching Raikkonen hook himself to Alonso's rear wing and hang on was great! And Webber just seems to LOVE this track, holding down a solid podium finish with great aplomb until his engine melted down. And then Raikkonen's McLaren died a whimpering death, and the race was dull again.

*GEE, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T CHEAT, HUH?: Schumacher ended up 5th, after starting from the back of the grid. "I am still disappointed about what happened yesterday, especially in the light of today's performance. I was amazed at how tough the Stewards' decision was." said Slappy afterwards. We're disappointed, too, Slappy.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Welcome back to the podium, David Coulthard's Chin! Okay, it wasn't an awe-inspiring drive, but he made no mistakes and was rewarded when his competitors' cars died. Sometimes a brilliant drive is the one that isn't brilliant at all. Congrats to the RBR team, too, for their first podium.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: Renault is the only one that really qualifies, since no one team really had a good Monaco race other than them. Meh. Honorable mention to RBR, of course, for their first podium. Too bad about the cape, though.

*MOVE OF THE RACE: Slappy. Lap 20. Chicane. He caught Button napping, shoved his way inside, and trotted past the Honda. Stuff like this makes the quals debacle so sad... the guy can DRIVE. He doesn't need to cheat.

*MOOOOOOOOOO-OVE OF THE RACE: Celebrating the things that make us wonder how these guys ever managed to sit down into a car without missing, let alone drive it at Monaco, the MotR tonight goes to Christijan Albers' start. He swerves all the way across the track, pins his TEAMMATE to the wall, and gets a drive-thru penalty for it. Way to go, Christijan! We don't know what you were thinking, but we were thrilled to see it... we knew the MotR was won right then and there!

*QUOTES OF THE RACE: more...

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May 15, 2006

F1 UPDATE!: SPAIN

ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*snort*uh? Oh. Oh! Um. It's F1 UPDATE!

*LETS BE FAIR: I was particularly hard on CBS' coverage of the San Marino Grand Prix, and for good ("CRASHING over the curbs") reason. This race, they didn't have much to work with but Daly and Shaheen did an okay job. They didn't make me want to take a toothpick to my ears, and they ran with the one storyline that they could, namely, the "homecoming" of Fernando Alonso. Now if only they could calm down a little bit...

*FERNAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNDO! (repeat ad infinitum): Okay, the race was pretty dull after the first pitstop. I'll give you that; it's a fine example of why F1 isn't well-liked in the US... no passing, no challenges, just parading. But the crowd reaction to Fernando Alonso's driving, leading, and winning was just astounding. It reminded me of the Winter Olympics this year, when the first Italian stood on the top of the podium, and the whole crowd sang along with the anthem. The audience was proud of him, for their national pride. Thrilling, and exactly what A1GP wants to be.

*SAAAAAAAAAAAAATO! SAAAAAAAAAATO!: Takuma Sato continues to defy projections by a) still being alive, and b) not having killed anybody. In fact, Taku has been well-controlled all season. Kinda dull, actually. I hope a little of the Suicide Sato spirit comes back when he has a REAL car underneath him.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: Renault. 1st/3rd and a dominating performance, showing Ferrari that if they want the Championship, they're going to have to beat them for it. I don't see it happening, to be honest.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Fernaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnndo Alonso. He wins his home race after the first round of pitstops, and wins without having been challenged. Who else could have been picked?

*MOVE OF THE RACE: We here at F1 UPDATE! don't like giving this award to something that happens on the first lap. So MUCH happens on the run to the first corner that it's hard to say "aha, that's a great move." For this race, though, we've GOT to give it to Kimi Raikkonnen's lunge at the start. There was exactly one car width plus three inches between the two Toyotas, and Kimi slotted his McLaren deftly down the center of them, and made it look EASY. Bravo! Honorable mention goes to Franck "The Barber" Montagny for his (unseen) start that took him from 21st to 17th.

*MOOOOOOOOOOOO-VE OF THE RACE: Reader Vaucason's Duck suggested that Takuma Sato's spin on lap 10 should win this award. While we admit that it was impressive, the fact that he was able to recover from his pirouette and keep going almost without slowing down shows too much grace of form to win this award. No, one must be truly bovine to win the Mooooove. No finer example of this cow-like behavior could be found than that shown by JP Montoya, who wound up highcentering his McLaren on a curb, much like a turtle on a rock. Not since Scott Speed during practice in Montreal have we seen such a sight, and it was heartwarming indeed. Bravo, Tennis Master! Honorable Mention must go to Cora Schumacher's Husband, Ralf, for his idiotic attempt to pass HIS OWN TEAMMATE down the inside, resulting in a snapped-off front wing stuck under his car, and eventual retirement from the race. We hear the Budapest McDonalds is looking for help, Ralf...

*QUOTES OF THE RACE: more...

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May 07, 2006

F1 UPDATE!: EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX.

We liked it better when it was the Grand Prix of Luxembourg, but the F1 UPDATE! crew welcomes you to the Nurburgring, a/k/a 'The Nurb', for the latest round of the World Championship!

*SILK PURSE: It was 30 years ago that Niki Lauda had his horrendous crash at the Old Nurburgring, resulting in him being pinned inside his burning car. If not for the heroic actions of four fellow drivers who stopped racing and rescued him, he surely would have died. As it was, he suffered severe burns. Ironically, Lauda had been trying to get the drivers to boycott the race, due to the danger the track posed, but was outvoted. As a memorial of sorts to the accident, Lauda, Darth Bernie, and some others went out to the place where the wreck happened. After a ceremonial drink, someone pulled a pig's ear out of the grass and said "Hey, Niki, we found your ear!" We here at F1 UPDATE! wince at that sort of cruel humor (mostly because we weren't asked to attend the ceremony), but the fact that Lauda enjoyed it makes it okay. A grand old chap... can we have him run the FIA, please?

*VILLENUEVE 'PENALIZED': Pre-race, Fisichella's whining managed to get Jack Newhouse wrist slapped. The FIA, in an attempt to get Fisi to just shut up, already, "penalized" Jack by taking away his three fastest qualifying times, dropping him down to 10th (from 9th) on the grid. This put him behind Mark Webber, who then took a 10-spot penalty for his engine change, putting Jacques back in 9th. Flavio Briatore was then summoned, handed a pacifier and a box of diapers, and told to change his driver's romper suit, as Giancarlo was being a big baby again.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: Ferrari. Now it's 1st-3rd and you gotta figure that they're really back, which makes this season REALLY interesting.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Because we don't want to give it to Slappy Schumacher twice in a row, we're instead going to give this race's award to his teammate Felipe Massa for his first ever podium. F1 UPDATE! was surprised to realize that little fact, and makes us repeat that Felipe Massa is the LUCKIEST BOY ALIVE!!! Honorable Mention goes to Nico (Wonderboy) Rosberg for his 7th place finish from dead last on the grid.

*MOVE OF THE RACE: A Midlands MF1 sighting! On lap 13, Christijan Albers came roaring up behind Takuma Sato's Super Aguri (please note: some slugs also can come roaring up behind a Super Aguri) heading into turn 1. Albers outbraked the Modern Day Kamikaze, elbowed him wide, and took the place. Sure, it was for 17th, but it was still a pretty sweet pass.

*MOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOVE OF THE RACE: For once, it was hard to come up with one this week. So hard, in fact, that we had to go all the way back to the first turn of the race, where we found Ralf Schumacher tagging Vitantonio Liuzzi, who then crunched David Coulthard's Chin. Liuzzi didn't make it past the end of the lap, The Chin made it to the pits only to drop out almost immediately afterwards. Nice job, Ralf: TWO Red Bulls at once!

*DRIVER QUOTES: more...

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