November 02, 2014

Mini-F1Update!: United States 2014

A beautiful day, the type you only get in the American West, greeted the F1 Rancheros as they brought their steers to market steeds to the lights.  As has become the norm, the two Mercedes drivers led the rest of the pack to the grid... which would get home first?  THIS is your Mini-F1Update! for the 2014 United States Grand Prix!

*LIGHTS OUT SAFETY CAR:  It wasn't really that fast, but close.  Roughly half-way around the first lap, the Force India of Sergio Perez bonked the rear of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, then did unspeakable things to the Sauber of Adrian Sutil.  While the Red Car was undamaged, Perez suffered a nose removal and suspension damage, and Sutil came to a halt sideways on the racing line.  Immediately a Safety Car was called out, one that lasted four laps as sweepers manned their brooms to clean up the immense amount of carbon fiber shards.

*BACK WE GO:  Once the safety car went away, Rosberg held the lead easily through the first round of pitstops.  Once the two Mercs were on fresh rubber, however, things changed.  For whatever reason, the new tires sat better on Hamilton's car.  He immediately began to whittle away at Rosberg's lead, passing him on Lap 24.  While his lead would never get much higher than three seconds, it also was never under any sort of threat, either  Hamilton would win the race by a couple of seconds over his teammate, opening his driver's championship lead to 24 points with 75 points available.

*IN OTHER NEWS:  Lotus' Pastor Maldonado earned his first point of the year today, bringing the team's total to nine.  Last year, they scored 315.  It's impossible to imagine any team having a more desperate season than that.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE:  4Time Vettel.  Starting from the pit lane due to an engine change, he wound up enduring four pit stops.  The last came with eight laps to go, and dropped him to 13th.  By the end of the race, the fresh rubber had allowed him to go insane, jumping up to 7th... and with one more lap, he may have caught HWMNBN for 6th.  Not too shabby, that.

*TEAM OF THE RACE:  If I could find any other team to give it to, I would... but there isn't one, so Mercedes, here ya go.  Another 1-2 lockout, ho-hum.

*MOMENT OF THE RACE: Hamilton's pass of Rosberg on Lap 24.  Under normal rules, it would have almost guaranteed him his second world championship.  As it is, he's still in good shape, but one mechanical glitch could cost him everything... despite having won 10 races to Rosberg's four.

*SELECTED QUOTES OF THE RACE:

"Yeeeeeeee-hawwwww!  Get along, lil' dogies!" - Lewis Hamilton

"I don't know him." - Nico Rosberg

"Did you know that the Australian version of the 'cowboy' is a stockman?" - Daniel Ricciardo

"In Brazil, they're called 'gauchos'." - Felipe Massa

"Which is also the name of an album by Steely Dan.  Finland doesn't have cowboys, unless you count the ones that watch the reindeer herds." - Valterri Bottas

"The cowboy tradition originated in Spain, leading to the vaquero of Mexico." - HWMNBN

"There's a certain subset of Germany that's obsessed with the American Old West.  An author named Karl May who wrote dozens of German Westerns, despite never having visited America, is to blame." - 4Time Vettel

"The Jutland region of Denmark has a very 'Old West' feel to it, even today." - Kevin Magnussen

"Venezuela is nigh-on the birthplace of cowboys, except we call them llaneros." - Pastor Maldonado

"In France, we have gardians, who herd cattle in Provence." - Jules Vergne

Next weekend, we're in Brazil!  See ya then.

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