August 27, 2006

F1 UPDATE!: ISTANBUL!!!

Two good races in a row, with two first-time winners? Be still my heart, and let's get to the Update!

*THIS WINNING STUFF IS KINDA COOL...: It took him 66 starts, but Felipe Massa is taking the Giant Gold Donut from Istanbul home with him. His celebration up there on the podium was stuff of legend, and we here at F1 UPDATE! thought he was going to try a stagedive when he ran out like that. That's twice in two races we've gotten true unbridled joy at a victory celebration, as opposed to Schumi's little "hop, I ween!" or Alonso's "look at me, I'm a matador/bull/kangaroo/ocelot/three-toed-sloth/whatever" pose. Much nicer.

*THE DOWNSIDE OF MASSA'S WIN: Anybody here doubt that if Parky got past Alonso, even if it was on the last lap, Massa would have 'had a spin' and lost the lead? Massa was never challenged, ran away and hid from the rest of the field, and Ferrari still would have made him give it up. That's just wrong.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: By position, this should go to Ferrari, but you just know that there's no happiness in that team right now. Renault actually thanked Fisichella for not running into Alonso, so that instantly DQs them. Which means that HONDA, for the 2nd week in a row, gets the nod. While the cameras were mostly on the two Ferraris and 'Nando, there were actually four cars that were the cream of the field, and Button's Honda was the 4th. He was within a few tenths of the first three's pace all race, and could have gotten a podium with a little luck. Rubens Barrichello's 8th place finish put a capper on the day.

*DRIVE OF THE RACE: Felipe Massa, Ferrari. First win, first pole, never challenged. Nicely done, lad. Hope your voice breaks soon.

*MOVE OF THE RACE: We here at F1 UPDATE! have a quandry. There were SO many good passes that we can't decide on one to award the MotR. We're leaning towards Kubica's pass of Rosberg on lap 4, but we're really not strong on it. Leave your favorite in the comments!

*MOOOOOOOOO-OVE OF THE RACE: Now THIS one, we've got no problems with. We're going to do something we've never done and award the Mooooo-ove to THE ENTIRE FIELD for the hijinks going into turn 1 at the start. It all began up front with the two Ferraris squeezing Alonso between them, causing him to slow and Fisi to jam on his brakes. This caused a chain reaction throughout the field, highlighted by Christian Klein's 'lock up all four tires and pray' spin that somehow didn't collect anybody else. American Scott Speed ended up backwards. Heidfeld nails Fisi. Everybody hits Kimi. Montiero and Sato kill each other dead. Ah, such wonderful carnage. A strong contender for Moooo-ove happened on lap 40. Robert Kubica and Mark Webber had been fighting for position for a few laps in what seemed to be evenly matched cars. Then, in quad-8, Kubica blew the line and wound up heading for the hills. Webber, laser-locked on Kubica's tail and forgetting the old adage "don't let the other guy drive your car," followed with his OWN off-track excursion, bringing derisive laughter from the F1 UPDATE! crew. Honorable Mention, lads.

*QUOTES OF THE RACE: more...

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August 06, 2006

F1 UPDATE!: HUNGARY

Now THAT, my friends, is what it's all about. It's F1 UPDATE! time!!!

*BUTTON FLIES: It's been three years since the last Brit won a F1 race. It's been 113 races since Jensen Button came into the sport. But, finally, both streaks have come to an end in the most exciting race in F1 UPDATE!'s lifetime. The Hungarian Grand Prix had it all: drama, comedy, action, suspense, speed, strategy both good and bad, and sheer joy at the conclusion.

*FOR WANT OF A LUGNUT, THE CHAMPIONSHIP WAS LOST?: In a day that brought so many surprises, the biggest one was a Renault tireman forgetting to tighten a wheel nut. Fernando Alonso wasn't going to win today, but he had a chance to finish second and undo all the gains Ferrari had made over the past three races. Instead, Alonso wound up off the track with a tire about to fall it's axle, giving Ferrari a chance to salvage gains from the day. Has the stress gotten to Renault? Ask the right-rear tiregunner.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: Never has it been easier for F1 UPDATE! to choose a TotR: Fourth place for Rubino, and the first win for both Jensen Button and Honda's factory team? Honda, congratulations! It's been a long time coming.

*DRIVE OF THE RACE: The only way this award wasn't going to Robert Kubica today was if Jensen Button won. So what happens? Jensen Button started 14th, clawed his way up the field, drove a flawless race in trying conditions, and won his first Grand Prix. Jensen Button, you deserve the Drive of the Race for sure.

*MOVE OF THE RACE: Making it a clean sweep for the Honda team, today's MotR goes to Jensen Button for the second race in a row. Lap 7, when Jensen passed Michael Schumacher for 4th place. It wasn't the most amazing pass ever, but it WAS one of the most important in a race. Well done, lad!

*MOOOOOOO-OVE OF THE RACE: Celebrating that which can bring even the greatest driver back to earth, the bovine in every car, the MOOOO-OVE is the worst driving incident in every race. Today's Mooo-ove came on lap 26. Kimi Raikkonen is about to lap Vitantonio Liuzzi when the Man of Ice apparently is distracted by something bright and shiny, perhaps his own car. For whatever reason it was, the Kimister just ran over the Toro Rosso, getting airborne in the process, and showering the track with carbon fiber shards, pieces of suspension, and chunks of Raikonnen's reputation. Well DONE, lad! Here's your Moooo-ove, and you might want to avoid Liuzzi for a while; he looked fit to kill.

*QUOTES OF THE RACE: more...

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