September 07, 2014

Mini-F1Update!: Italy 2014

Blue skies and hot asphalt greeted the F1 Circus as they cautiously eyed the old intimidating banked oval just beyond the pits at the Autodromo di Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix.  The usual suspects were stacked at the top of the grid, and it seemed like a parade of epic stature was about to begin.  Did it?  Or did the Ferrari-mad tifosi celebrate a miracle victory by the Red Cars?  THIS is your mini-F1Update! for the 2014 Grand Prix of Italy!

*THE RACE: ...was boring as heck.  We didn't even get the anticipated duel between the Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, sitting 1-2 on the grid, as they charged down into the first turn.  Hamilton's electronics got uppity and wouldn't allow him to engage race start settings.  As a result, when the lights went out he immediately dropped to fourth place, swamped by the better starters.  In the process, he bottled Williams' Valterri Bottas up behind him, which saw the Finn drop down to 11th, practically never to be seen again.  However, once the issue cleared up, the superior Mercedes chassis began to work it's way to the front.  By Lap 4, he was in third.  By Lap 10, he was in second and gunning for the leader.  An unexpected excursion by Rosberg into the first chicane's run-off area cut the lead to two seconds, and after the first (and expected to be ONLY) pit stop, another blown first chicane handed Hamilton the lead.  As it turned out, it also handed him the victory, as Rosberg had no way to fight back.  However annoying that may have been to the Championship leader, it's still clear that the Mercedes is the class of the field: third place went to Williams' Felipe Massa, some 22 seconds behind Rosberg, with Massa's teammate Bottas some 15 seconds adrift of him.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Daniil "Kid" Kvyat.  Many of you are wondering who the heck this is.  Driving for Toro Rosso, Kvyat began the race 21st due to an engine change after qualifying 11th.  He then managed to haul his Toro Rosso up to 11th by the end of the race after running as high as fourth... a pretty darn good performance when the rest of the field was very much a parade.

*TEAM OF THE RACE
:  Williams.  They finished third and fourth, with Massa getting his first podium.  They're proving to be a serious challenger for 2nd in the constructor's championship.  They've got to make up 95 points in six races, but that's doable.  That'll be an interesting thing to watch the rest of the way.

*MOMENT OF THE RACE:  No question, Rosberg deciding to preserve his tires and taking to the run-off area for the second time.  This handed the win to Lewis Hamilton... and was undoubtedly the right thing to do.  If he had locked up his tires and flat-spotted one or more of them, he'd need to make a second pit stop and could easily have finished third or worse.  He may not be as fast as Hamilton on track, but he's still in the lead in the Driver's Championship.

*SELECTED DRIVERS QUOTES OF THE RACE:

"HELL yeah.  Who's da man?" - Lewis Hamilton

"Second place is still good." - Nico Rosberg

"See?  I can still drive." - Felipe Massa

"I'm happy for Felipe.  Really.  I am." - Valterri Bottas

"(grin)" - Daniel Ricciardo

"Does anybody else think that all that smiling has got to be a put-on?" - 4Time Vettel

"Was I ever on TV today?" - Sergio Perez

"Retire?  Me?  Well, maybe so." - Jenson Button

"Mrmsmdmdfsfdmhl mrlrmrlbrlrbr lrmlrmlrmrbrr." - Kimi Raikkonen

"Me, I'm not so good." - Kevin Magnussen

Two weeks hence, Singapore's street circuit awaits us.  See ya there!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:36 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 So, Hamilton won because of Rosberg's chicane-ery?

Posted by: Mauser at September 08, 2014 03:48 AM (TJ7ih)

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