August 29, 2013

Newest McLaren Tooned! 50

I wasn't wanting to post this right now, but repeated attempts to link it in comments has kinda forced my hand... wing... whatever.

Enjoy, won't you?

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August 24, 2013

F1 Quals: Belgium 2013

The result is the same, but the gettin' there made it fun!  Here's the provisional grid for the 2013 Grand Prix of Belgium:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Shiv Hamilton Mercedes 2:00.368 1:49.067 2:01.012
2 Hannibal Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 2:01.863 1:48.646 2:01.200
3 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 2:01.597 1:48.641 2:01.325
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2:01.099 1:48.552 2:02.251
5 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 2:02.338 1:48.925 2:02.332
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2:01.301 1:48.641 2:03.075
7 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2:02.476 1:48.649 2:03.081
8 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 2:01.151 1:48.296 2:03.390
9 HWMNBN Ferrari 2:00.190 1:48.309 2:03.482
10 Felipe Massa Ferrari 2:01.462 1:49.020 2:04.059
11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 2:01.712 1:49.088
12 Adrian F'n Sutil Force India-Mercedes 2:02.749 1:49.103
13 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 2:02.425 1:49.304
14 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 2:00.564 1:52.036
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 2:02.110 1:52.563
16 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 2:02.948 1:52.762
17 Sofer Maldonado Williams-Renault 2:03.072

18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 2:03.300

19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 2:03.317

20 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 2:03.432

21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2:04.324

22 Charles ToothPic Caterham-Renault 2:07.384

Just as Q3 began, with nine cars on dry tires lined up at the Pit out light, it began to rain.  The nine cars immediately leaped onto the track and tried to get around and complete a hot lap before the track became too wet for dry tires.  They didn't succeed.  It took them until roughly halfway around the four-mile-long circuit to realize it, but there was no way a flying lap on slicks was going to work.  Quickly, the situation became one of pure survival as nine cars slipped, slid, fishtailed and twitched their way back to the pitlane.

Then there was Force India's Paul di Resta... the 10th car in Q3.  He and FI waited for everybody else to start rolling out of the pitlane before they came out... on Inters.  It was a gamble to be sure.  If the track had stayed dry-ish, everybody else would set flying laps in much better conditions than he'd ever see.  But if the rain kept coming, he'd be on Inters at the best possible time: that golden period where Inters were superior to slicks, but before the rain tires started to slow down a touch.

And that's exactly what happened.  For nine minutes and 55 seconds of the 10 minute session, Paul di Resta sat on provisional pole.  But the rain had stopped a couple of minutes earlier, and Nico Rosberg had managed somehow to pip di Resta just as time expired for the session.  Disappointing, but it would still be a front-row start for Force India, nothing to sneeze at for a midpack team.

Except both Red Bulls and Shiv Hamilton had begun hot laps just before time ran out on Q3... and the track was drier still for them.  Webber was in front of Vettel who was, in turn, in front of Hamilton on track.  First Webber beat Rosberg's time for pole, then Vettel beat Webber's time... and then Hamilton took pole from Vettel.  Suddenly, the great gamble taken by Force India and Paul di Resta, which looked like such a winner, was gone in an instant.  But for a brief shining moment, Force India controlled the Formula 1 world.

A big cheer to Marussia, who for the first time ever got both of their cars into Q2!  It was also the first time since 2010, when they were Virgin Racing, that one of their cars had made it out of the first round.

There's more rain predicted for Sunday's race, which means that anything could happen.  If you're gonna watch one race this year, make it this one.  It should be awesome... see ya then!

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August 20, 2013

F1 On NBCSN: Belgium 2013

In the Walloon Region of Belgium, tucked away in a valley in the corner of the Ardennes Forest, there is a small village that has lent its name to a form of beauty salon, personal care resorts, or places devoted to overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.  That little town is also known for a very, very big racetrack.  Of course, I speak of Spa, home of the Grand Prix of Belgium, which also encourages renewal of the mind, body and spirit through the heavy use of high RPMs and carbon fiber.  Let's take a look at this most favorite of circuits, shall we?

Yup, still the same old Spa of the past years.  I could gush over the wonder that is Eau Rouge, the daring that is Blanchimont, the glory of La Source, and in my older "F1 on SPEED!" posts, I have.  Instead of regurgitating all the same things, I'm going to pause for a moment and pay tribute to the people that taught me how to be a fan of F1, then motorsports in general.

SPEED was where my adult fandom of Formula 1 began, back these... eight or nine years ago.  They showed me the nuance and detail involved in a way that only baseball before it has hooked me.  From F1, it was a small step to the two 24 Hours races they programmed, at Daytona and LeMans.  From there, I learned about the brilliant V8Supercars series with the magnificent Mt Panorama circuit.  Then onto the world of high-end car auctions, lesser Formula races, and even the NASCAR Truck Racing series, all of these were introduced to me via the Charlotte, NC-based channel.  And while they never turned me into a fan of NASCAR, they sure gave it a good try.

SPEED is gone now, turned into something called "Fox Sports 1", but for me, they'll always be a part of my motorsports fandom.  Thanks, guys.  You'll be missed.

But now, F1 is on NBCSN, so here's the broadcast schedule for Belgium:
P2: 7a - 830a
Quals: 1130a - 1p
Grand Prix of Belgium: 630a - 9a

You'll note that Quals is out of normal time; that's because NBCSN believes that something called "Premiere League Football" is more important.  I had no idea Adobe was sponsoring football teams!

At this point, I'd normally say something along the lines of "F1Update! will be all over all the coverage like a cheap suit on rice," or something like that.  Not this time.  There'll only be something for P2 if groundbreaking news occurs, like injuries to drivers or something like that.  Hopefully, there won't be.  Quals and the race should get normal coverage, though.  See ya then!!!

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August 03, 2013

P34 @ Monaco

I hope to have the third installment of Eva 1.11 tonight, but while you're waiting, here's this:

A lap of Monaco in the legendary Tyrrell P34 with most of the bodywork taken off.  Helluva thing, those four front wheels.  And here's what it looks like with the bodywork ON:

Posted by: Wonderduck at 03:23 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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