October 11, 2015

F1 Update: Russia 2015

A pretty day greeted the F1 Circus as Nico Rosberg led the field to the grid.  His Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, sat next to him, supremely confident in his lead in the Driver's Championship.  Combined, the two had to outscore their Ferrari rivals by a mere three points to secure the team's second Constructor's Championship.  So would they manage this?  Would Ferrari's Seb Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, champions both, be able to outrace the Silver team?  Or would the Mercedes-powered Williams of Valterri Bottas have something to say about the matter?  THIS is your F1Update! for the 2015 Grand Prix of Russia!

*LIGHTS OUT... OY!: The start of the race was everything Rosberg could have hoped for.  Not only did he have and keep the advantage going into the big looping third turn, Hamilton pushed a bit too hard and washed away.  The lummoxing Mercedes suddenly was no longer interested in attacking the lead, but was having to defend second from the hard-charging Raikkonen who had gotten past Bottas for third at the start.  But it was all moot very quickly, as Sony Ericsson and Nico Hulkenberg came together in a mess of carbon fiber and tears.  The safety car was called out and the exciting start was put on hold.

*RESTART... OY VEH!:  While under the control of the safety car, race leader Rosberg called in to the pit lane: his gas pedal was sticking, to the point where he actually had to remove his foot completely from the pedal for the throttle to react.  As you can imagine, this did nothing for his overall pace.  Shortly after the restart, he relinquished the lead to Hamilton, then had to watch as the rest of the field went by as he nursed his broken Mercedes to the pit lane, never to be seen again.

*OHFERTHELUVVA...:  Shortly after the Ericsson/Hulkenberg coming-together, the Lotus of Lettuce Grosjean was seen in the pit lane getting a change of tires.  The stop took longer than normal, but things seemed fine for the Frenchman anyway.  Until he lost control, smacked the TecPro barriers with the back of the car, then pinwheeled and smacked the rest of the car into them, just to be completely sure he was out of the race.  The safety car was called out again while the marshals removed the Lotus, cleaned up the pieces, and repaired the barriers with duct tape.  No, we're not kidding.  No, this isn't the usual technique.

*FINALLY... PEACE
:  Once the race restarted again, Hamilton and Bottas pull away quickly from the squabbling Ferrari drivers, and everything settled down into something resembling a normal F1 race.  During the various pit rotations, the standings became Hamilton, Vettel, Sergio Perez in the remaining Force India, Bottas, the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo (who would retire with something broken in the suspension), and Raikkonen.

*IVAN DID WHAT???:  Carlos Sainz was in the points, but had a brake problem.  His front brakes had been overheating, despite his best efforts to keep them cool.  Still, everything looked like he'd be okay... until his front-left brake disc exploded in a cloud of black brake dust.  He spun and skidded back first into the wall at Turn 13, the same place he had his wreck in Practice 3.  The impact seemed to be minor, but as he pulled away to limp back to the pits, one of his rear wing's endplates was visibly hanging by a single mounting point and swinging in the breeze.  It took no time at all for it to fall off and end up in the middle of the track.  And then a marshal ran out to collect it...

...right in front of Seb Vettel.  One must wonder which one was more surprised, and which one needed a new firesuit more.  Moments later, Vettel called back to the pits: "We have a very brave Russian running across the track."

*THE END:  As expected, Hamilton's lead held up nicely, leading Vettel across the line by some six seconds.  It was what was going on behind them that was interesting.  Sergio Perez was in third but was on old tires.  Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen were both stalking the Force India driver... and each other.  On the second-to-last lap, Bottas got by the young Mexican driver, followed quickly by the Ferrari; the podium for Force India was clearly gone.  Until, on the final lap, Raikkonen tried an... inopportune... move on his countryman Bottas.  The Williams was sent into the barriers, broken and done.  The Ferrari was injured but still, technically, running, leaving a trail of sparks behind.  Perez went by to reclaim third, and Felipe Not Nasr Massa also went by for fourth.  Raikkonen would finish in fifth, earning just enough points to keep the Constructor's Championship in play... barely.  Until the Stewards came down after the race and gave the Ferrari driver a 30sec time penalty for causing an accident.  This dropped him to eighth and handed the Constructor's Championship to Mercedes for a second time.  Vettel's strong finish, mixed with Rosberg's DNF, moved him into second for the Driver's Championship, which in theory can be clinched at the next race.

Speaking of the next race, we'll be here in two weeks.  And by "here", we mean "Austin, TX", and by "next race", we mean the United States Grand Prix!  We'll see you then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:51 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 897 words, total size 6 kb.

1 This sounds like a lot more accidents than usual.

Posted by: Mauser at October 13, 2015 06:19 AM (TJ7ih)

2 It was a little sloppy.

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 13, 2015 12:53 PM (a12rG)

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