March 17, 2007

F1 UPDATE!: Australia

Formula 1 is back, and so is F1 UPDATE! Let's get right to it, shall we?

*THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...: ...the more they stay the same. Kimi Raikkonen, moving from McLaren to Ferrari, ran away with the race from the very beginning. He was never challenged, and lapped up to fifth or sixth by the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso, moving from Renault to McLaren, finished in second, challenged only by his teammate. By the end, there was something like ten seconds between himself and third. Dominating performances all over the place.

*NO TIRE WARS, NO PROBLEM: To be honest, the neverending battle between Bridgestone and Michelin really might have detracted from the racing. Now that there's a single tire maker, that part of the playing field has been leveled, and it's back to being a sport of cars and drivers... like it should be.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Kimi Raikkonen has a pleasant drive out there today, but didn't really have to race, so the first winner of the Driver of the Race for the season goes to Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren rookie, driving in his first Grand Prix, on his first visit to Australia, managed a podium finish and led the race during the first round of pitstops. Likely a sign of things to come for the lad, we'd not be surprised to see him win one this season. Honorable mention goes to Felipe Massa, who finished sixth (and nearly passed Giancarlo Fisichella for fifth on the last lap) after starting last on the grid. That's got to be cause for some concern in the McLaren and Renault pits.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: While Ferrari had a runaway victory, McLaren is leading the Constructor's Championship. Their double-podium finish, particularly after last year's relatively dismal season, certainly makes them look pretty shiny (or maybe that's just the paint job).

*MOVE OF THE RACE: For most of the race, we at F1 UPDATE! thought we were going to give this to Lewis Hamilton. His "I'm-inside-crap-theres-a-car-in-my-way-lets-go-outside-and-pass-my-teammate" move at the start of the race was altogether enjoyable to watch, but we frown on giving the MotR to events at race start. Fortunately for us, Felipe Massa saved our souls by just depantsing Nico Rosberg around lap 50. Pulled along by slipstream effect, Massa ran up on Rosberg, snapped to the inside so hard we thought something had broken, and zing!, the Brazillian was up and gone. We may never particularly like Felipe Massa here at F1 UPDATE!, but the man with the biggest eyebrows in the sport does know what to do behind the wheel.

*MOOOOOOO-OVE OF THE RACE: Celebrating the latent bovine behind the wheel of every racer, the Moooooo-ove goes to the most cowlike manuever seen. We thought we'd be giving this to Mark Webber and his spin into the pitlane, but this race's winner came a few laps later. David Coulthard's Chin, appropriately enough driving for RedBull, decided that he could make a pass on Man-Mountain Wurz from, oh, about half-a-mile back. Going into the turn, DC'sC ran inside on Wurz... very inside. Like "in the Williams' cockpit" inside. DC'sC wound up launching himself into the air and onto Man-Mountain's car, his front-left tire just missing the very exposed head of the tallest man in F1. Wurz slammed on the brakes, causing the RedBovine to slide off the nose of the Williams into the graveltrap, breaking off the front suspension of the RB3. The Williams continued on for another few laps before the damage caused did it in. For this frightening moment (another couple of inches back, and chances are Wurz would have been decapitated), we're pleased to give David Coulthard's Chin the season's inaugural Mooooooo-ove of the Race. Well done, lad.

*QUOTES OF THE RACE: more...

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