June 17, 2007

F1 UPDATE: INDIANAPOLIS!

It wasn't as banana-peel wacky as Montreal, but it was still a good race. Let's get to the UPDATIN'!

*TWOFER: Two North American races, two poles, two wins for Lewis Hamilton. He beat Alonso on the drag-race to the first turn (though not without some frolicking by 'Nando), he kept his teammate behind him (though only just barely at one point), and got his second victory in seven days by a small but comfortable margin. There's gonna be some broken china in the McLaren pits tonight...

*SCUDERIA PANIC: Sure, Ferrari came in three-four, not a bad result. But they were FIFTEEN SECONDS BEHIND the McLarens, and on a track that Ferrari has dominated in the past. Even Jean Todt's sweater has got to be worried by now.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: He didn't get it last week because Kovalenenneinenneinninnie had a miracle race, but there's no way Lewis Hamilton can't be given the DotR award. To beat Alonso, he had to drive a flawless race, and he did. No bobbles, no accidental excursions, as precision a race as any Schumacher did. Perfect. I don't know if he can keep it up, but it's gonna be fascinating watching him try. Honorable mention to Sebastian Vettel, who became the youngest man (and only teenager) to earn a Driver's Championship point today.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: McLaren. 1-2 on the podium, fifteen seconds ahead of their main competition, they let their drivers race each other, AND they give us the quote of the race (Hamilton on radio: "Woo-hoo! Thank you guys, I love you!" Unnamed McLaren Engineer with Deadpan Voice: "We love you too. Now set your engine state to...")? Sign us up! If we at F1 UPDATE! weren't SuperAguri fans...

*MOVE OF THE RACE: Giancarlo Fisichella seemed to be feelin' his oats this week, as he had a couple of nice moments on the track today. First there was his duel with Jenson Button that lasted the entire length of the infield section of the track, which was exciting and the "how do they DO that?" moment of the race. But then, on lap 24, Fisi came upon Man-mountain Wurz . He started his pass going into turn 6, were side-by-side coming out of 6 down the (very) short chute to 7, and in seven forced Wurz to concede the place, giving him a wheel-to-wheel lovetap to prevent him from even thinking of keeping up. A very nice move, requiring a huge pair of... um... gears, and well-deserving of the MotR.

*MOOOOOOOO-OOVE OF THE RACE: That which is the best worst on the track, the Moooooo-oove celebrates the bovine that lurks within all F1 drivers. This one was over early, folks. No contest at all. The run down to the first turn at any Formula One track is always dicey, but Indy seems to inspire huge displays of 'duh' driving. Ralf Schumacher seemed to forget that he had to turn, jumped on the brakes very, VERY late, and his card skidded to the left... right into David Coulthard's Chin and Rubens Barrichello. All three cars, out of the race. Nice job, Ralfy, enjoy your Moooo-ove... you can use it to remember your career by.

*DRIVER QUOTES OF THE RACE: more...

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June 10, 2007

F1 UPDATE: MONTREAL!

"Well, if practice sessions are anything to go by, Sunday's race should be a doozy!"

-Wonderduck, in the F1 Practice: Montreal! post

No time for introductions, let's get right to the F1 UPDATE!

*WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?: Now THAT'S a race! Where to begin? First and foremost has got to be Robert Kubica's horrendous accident; he was in the process of passing Jarno Trulli coming into turn 7 and was pushed a little too far outside. His car left the track at high speed, got slightly airborne, brushed a barrier, then slammed almost straight-on into a concrete wall, which just demolished his BMW. The remains of the car then ricochetted back across the track, ending up on it's side in the run-off area of turn 8, some 150 yards from where the whole event began. Kubica was motionless in the cockpit and we here at F1 UPDATE! feared the worst, though reports have come in that he only suffered a broken leg.

Then you had three OTHER yellow flags, two cars black-flagged, Takuma Sato passing both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen for position, and more. It all added up to an amazing race... even before you take into account Lewis Hamilton winning his first ever Grand Prix. Put that into the mix, and you have perhaps one of the greatest races of all time!

*SHAKEUP ON THE PODIUM: Hamilton on the podium is no huge news, though his being on the top step is. That Grizzly Nick Heidfeld and Man-Mountain Wurz were 2nd and 3rd is AMAZING news, if only because it means that neither Ferrari or Fernando Alonso got on. In a race full of startling events, these were two of the most surprising.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Lewis Hamilton would be a deserving enough person to give this award to... on any other day. For this race, however, we're going to give Heikki Kovalainen the honors. After a simply dreadful pre-race weekend that saw him blow an engine, destroy his suspension, and tear the back off his car, all on seperate incidents, he started today's race from dead last on the grid. He somehow managed to weave his way through all the events going on around him and brought his Renault home in an astonishing fourth place. Honorable mention goes to the aforementioned Lewis Hamilton. He's a rookie who's only been in six F1 races; he's never finished lower than third, and today he gets his first win. Not bad.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: We here at F1 UPDATE! are having a problem with this one. Only three teams had both cars finish, McLaren, SuperAguri and Williams. McLaren doesn't deserve it: they may have had the winner, but Alonso had a miserable day when he should have been on the podium, due in part to the team calling him in to the pits before the pit lane was open, thereby earning him a 10sec penalty. SuperAguri only had one car in the points, and the other would have been a couple laps down under the old rules. So that leaves Williams, with one car on the podium and the other in 10th, as the winners of the TotR for Montreal. Yay.

*MOVE OF THE RACE: No shortage to choose from today, and yet, there was no contest. On lap 68, SuperAguri's Takuma SUPERSato, having dispatched Ralf Schumacher two laps earlier, was all over the back of World Champion Fernando Alonso's McLaren. He had spent the two laps setting Alonso up, looking for an opening. Finally, down the straight he got a nice draft off the McLaren, pulled up close behind, and slingshotted past on the outside, simply powering by... and there was nothing Alonso could do about it. To make matters better, this was for SIXTH PLACE! The cheers from the F1 UPDATE! crew were deafening! To make matters better, earlier in the race SUPERSato had pressured Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen into an error in the hairpin and blown past him as well. For superior passing not once, but TWICE, we MUST give Takuma Sato the Move of the Race.

*MOOOOOOO-OOVE OF THE RACE: In a race full of the spirit of the bovine, one moment stood out above all the rest. On lap 38, Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg were side by side going into turn 1, dicing for position. Rosberg got slightly off-track and spun, a manuever that should have collected Trulli as well... but didn't, because Trulli had ALSO lost control and spun at almost the exact same time. In replays, it was like the two of them were pairs figure skaters, so identical were their oscillations. 9.5 from the American judge, and here's your Mooooooo-oove, boys!

*DRIVER QUOTES OF THE RACE: more...

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