July 26, 2014

F1 Quals: Hungary 2014

I can only guess at what Lewis Hamilton is thinking right now.  Here's the provisional grid for the 2014 Grand Prix of Hungary:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.227 1:23.310 1:22.715
2 4Time Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.662 1:23.606 1:23.201
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:25.690 1:23.776 1:23.354
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.495 1:23.676 1:23.391
5 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:26.087 1:24.249 1:23.909
6 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:26.592 1:24.030 1:24.223
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.612 1:24.502 1:24.294
8 Jules Vergne STR-Renault 1:24.941 1:24.637 1:24.720
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:26.149 1:24.647 1:24.775
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.578 1:24.585
11 Kid Kvyat STR-Renault 1:25.361 1:24.706
12 Adrian F'n Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.027 1:25.136
13 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:25.910 1:25.211
14 Esteban! Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.709 1:25.260
15 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:26.136 1:25.337
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:26.728 1:27.419
17 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.792

18 Gandalf Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:27.139

19 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:27.819

20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:28.643

21 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes No time

22 Crashtor Maldonado Lotus-Renault No time


Maldonado you almost expect to see down at the bottom with some sort of problem, but Hamilton?  What happened there?  Simply put, someone took "Well done, Lewis" as an instruction.

Fuel leak, Mercedes is saying.  "More than just bad luck," Hamilton is saying, and for a wonder I'd have a hard time disagreeing with him... until you remember that this is the first year with a new engine/power unit.  I'm actually rather surprised we're not seeing more engine failures than we have been.  Yes, it's unfortunate for Hamilton that Merc's problems all seem to be happening to his car, but a flat-out conspiracy?  That's Ferrari-level stuff right there.

The rest of the grid is more-or-less what you would expect, save for Kimi Raikkonen down in 17th, not making it out of Q1.  As time expired on the session, Ferrari kept his car in the garage, secure in the knowledge that he had gone fast enough to make it to Q2... and times kept falling, and falling, and falling, and suddenly there wasn't time to go back out and he was bumped.  Ferrari-level stuff right there.

The race is shaping up to be one of the rare good ones that the Hungaroring coughs up every once in a while, because it's supposed to rain.  Heavily.  Between noon and 4pm local, which does a nice job of blanketing the contest... now we need to see it happen.

It'll put out Hamilton's car, if nothing else.  See you then!

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July 21, 2014

F1U Germany Unavoidably Delayed

Something has come up, I'll be doing the writeup later.

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July 19, 2014

F1 Quals: Germany 2014

Nico Rosberg is a German driver, driving for a German team, at a German track.  Yeah, he kinda wants this pole position really badly.  Did he get it?  Let's take a look:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.631 1:17.109 1:16.540
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:18.215 1:17.353 1:16.759
3 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:18.381 1:17.370 1:17.078
4 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:18.260 1:17.788 1:17.214
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:18.117 1:17.855 1:17.273
6 4Time Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:18.194 1:17.646 1:17.577
7 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:18.389 1:17.866 1:17.649
8 Kid Kvyat STR-Renault 1:18.530 1:18.103 1:17.965
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:18.927 1:18.017 1:18.014
10 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:18.916 1:18.161 1:18.035
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:18.425 1:18.193
12 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.534 1:18.273
13 Jules Vergne STR-Renault 1:18.496 1:18.285
14 Esteban! Sauber-Ferrari 1:18.739 1:18.787
15 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:18.894 1:18.983
16 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.683 No Time

17 Adrian F'n Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.142

18 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:19.676

19 Crashtor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:20.195

20 Gandalf Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:20.408

21 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:20.489

DNS Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault



Q1 107% Time
1:23.065

Yup, sure did.  You may notice, however, that his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, is in 16th place.  This is due to a wreck in Q1.  A previous lap was fast enough to get him into Q2, but Hamilton suffered a right-front brake failure that pitched him into the wall with some force.  As it turns out, there's every chance in the world he'll be starting from the pitlane on Sunday.  Consider: both he and Rosberg use Brembo brakes on their rear tires, but Rosberg uses Carbon Industrie brakes up front.  Hamilton uses Brembo front brakes, and there's some thought that the team will force him to change for Sunday.  If so, that'll mean a start from the pit lane.  Before you ask, no, I have no idea what difference there is between the two companies.

The rest of the field is, more or less, what you would expect.  Another nice job from the Williams boys, and it looks like they'll be well-positioned in case of a failure on Rosberg's car, but otherwise it's clearly the German's race to lose.

Well, we shall see, won't we?  Race is in the morning!

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July 14, 2014

F1 on TV: Germany 2014

Look, I'll be honest.  I'm not entirely excited about doing this post, so instead of half-arsing it, I'm going to make it really brief.  Here's the trackmap:

It's Hockenheim, the neutered version of the real circuit that used to have a huge blast into the trees.  It used to start at where Turn 2 is now, ran to the right side of your screen and about another foot besides, then looped back to where Turn 6 is now.  To say it was fast would be an understatement... and thus it had to go.  Well, that and it would mean that about half the circuit would be out of sight of cameras and fans alike.

Instead, we'll see the Silver Arrows dominating everybody else through the gentle sweep of the Parabolika, with the Legendary Announce Team doing their thing.  Here's the TV times:

FRIDAY
130p - 3p: Practice 2 tape delay
SATURDAY
7a - 830a: Quals live
SUNDAY
630a - 9a: 2014 Grand Prix of Germany live on CNBC

I definitely won't be doing coverage for Practice 2, as I'll be in Milwaukee for a business meeting, then coming back to the store until 9pm or so.  I won't get home until maybe 10p or so... no way I'm gonna watch practice.  Quals and the race, though, yep.  See ya here then.

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July 05, 2014

F1 Quals: Great Britain 2014

Silverstone, the home of the Grand Prix of Great Britain, is found in County Northamptonshire, almost central to most of "southern England."  Terrain is perfect for the location's original purpose, that of a WWII airbase... flat and more flat, with wind and more wind!  It's long been said that Silverstone has its own microclimate, and if you ever needed proof of that, today's Qual session provided all you could ever want.  Let's take a look at the results:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:40.380 1:35.179 1:35.766
2 4Time Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:45.086 1:36.410 1:37.386
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:44.425 1:36.579 1:38.200
4 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:41.271 1:37.112 1:38.329
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:42.507 1:37.370 1:38.417
6 Whiner Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.058 1:34.870 1:39.232
7 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:42.146 1:37.350 1:40.457
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:44.710 1:38.166 1:40.606
9 Kid Kvyat STR-Renault 1:41.032 1:36.813 1:40.707
10 Jules Vergne STR-Renault 1:43.040 1:37.800 1:40.855
11 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:43.121 1:38.496
12 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:41.169 1:38.709
13 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:42.082 1:39.800
14 Esteban! Sauber-Ferrari 1:43.285 1:40.912
15 Crashtor Maldozer Lotus-Renault 1:43.892 1:44.018
16 Adrian F'n Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:42.603 No time
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:45.318

18 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:45.695

19 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:45.935

20 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:46.684

21 Marcus Ericsson ?-Renault 1:49.421

22 Gandalf Kobayashi ?-Renault 1:49.625


Q1 107% Time
1:47.406

In Q1, the session started on a damp track, which dried out in just the right way to confuse and confound the teams.  Teams that gambled on the call to switch to slicks early managed to turn a hot lap before the rains came back.  Teams that didn't quite change as quickly lost out.  This resulted in Williams and Ferrari, cars that you would expect to see up in the top 10, being eliminated early.  This also gave us the rare occurrence of Marussia making it into Q2.

Q2 also started in the wet but with a drying track.  The difference was that this time, it didn't rain again, nobody was caught by the weather conditions, and the Marussias were three seconds behind the polesitter.  Reality, it is a cruel wench at times.

Finally, Q3 gave us both wet and dry at the same time.  It began to rain over the last sector of the track towards the end of the first hot laps, and didn't look to be getting any better.  Indeed, it got bad enough to force 4Time Vettel to abandon his first run to keep the car in one piece.  So everybody was in the pits, hoping it'd stop raining and get better.  Then late in the session, after the rain had moved one, most did go back out... almost too late for the Mercedes guys.  Rosberg followed provisonal polesitter Hamilton across the timing line for his hot lap with one second left.  He immediately started screaming at his teammate to speed up or get out of the way... Lewis, feeling that the track hadn't improved enough, aborted his lap early, letting Rosberg past.  As it turned out, Hamilton was dead wrong.  Fully five other drivers beat his time across the line, his teammate gaining pole by nearly three seconds.  All this drama gives us a front two rows of Mercedes-Red Bull-McLaren-Force India... not exactly what most would have predicted.

So a scrambled field with fast cars at either end of the grid... should prove interesting for the predicted dry racetrack on Sunday.  We'll see you then!

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