April 06, 2007

Friday Practice: Sepang!

Well, it didn't rain, and it wasn't particularly eventful, but there were a couple of things that happened during the practice that need to be mentioned:

1) Bridgestone realized that the "white dot" on the side of the tires wasn't enough to allow the fans to know what compound type the teams were using. Now there's a white line in a tread groove on the soft-compound type.
Photo courtesy of www.speedtv.com
It looks a little goofy, to be honest, but it DOES work; you know immediately if the tire has the line or not. Gonna take some getting used to, though. The groove is painted, by the way, which makes me wonder if the paint can affect traction? Sure, it's down in the bottom of the tread pattern, but...

2) F1's best offroad driver, Christian Albers, had a tire blowout of monumental proportions. The carcass came completely detached from the tire sides, rubber chunks flew all over hell-and-gone, the Spyker's rear wing got beat to crepe by a whipping length of binder, simply amazing stuff. Which raises the question: was the tire damaged by Albers' repeated forays to the far side of the rumblestrips and the abrasive surface of the Sepang track... or is there a tire problem?

3) When the engine in your RedBull RB3 makes a sound similar to that made by a large aluminum pipe wrapped in bologna slices, falling down a flight of stairs (sort of a wet fleshy clank), you know you're having a bad day. Mark Webber had a bad day. The flames squirting out the back are also a bad sign.

4) Kimi Raikkonen is probably going to have to change his engine. Felipe Massa, please pick up the red courtesy phone...
(LATE UPDATE: Nope, no engine change coming. Felipe Massa, please put down the red courtesy phone...)

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