November 26, 2016

F1 Quals: Abu Dhabi 2016

With tomorrow's race deciding all the marbles, its down to just two... Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.  Rosberg has the points advantage, and knows that as long as he's on the podium, he wins no matter what Hamilton does.  What does Hamilton have going for him?  Here's the provisional grid for the 2016 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi:

Pos
Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:39.487 1:39.382 1:38.755
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:40.511 1:39.490 1:39.058
3 Smiley Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:41.002 1:40.429 1:39.589
4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:40.338 1:39.629 1:39.604
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:40.341 1:40.034 1:39.661
6 Embryo Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:40.424 1:39.903 1:39.818
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 1:41.000 1:40.709 1:40.501
8 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:40.864 1:40.743 1:40.519
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:41.616 1:41.044 1:41.106
10 Felipe Retiring Massa Williams Mercedes 1:41.157 1:40.858 1:41.213
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 1:41.192 1:41.084
12 JensonRetiring  Button McLaren Honda 1:41.158 1:41.272
13 Esteban! Haas Ferrari 1:41.639 1:41.480
14 Lettuce Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:41.467 1:41.564
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:41.775 1:41.820
16 Pascal's Wehrlein MRT Mercedes 1:41.886 1:41.995
17 Kid Kvyat Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:42.003

18 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:42.142

19 Felipe Not Massa Nasr Sauber Ferrari 1:42.247

20 False Esteban Ocon MRT Mercedes 1:42.286

21 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:42.393

22 Sony Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:42.637


Right, he's got pole.  That's not an insubstantial thing around a track that's relatively difficult to pass upon.  But in many ways, it doesn't matter what Hamilton does.  He could win by 95 seconds over the next closest driver, and as long as Rosberg is third he wins the championship.

So who's the pressure on?  I'm leaning towards Rosberg.  He knows his destiny is in his own hands.  If he screws it up, it's all on him.  I almost wonder if he'll be driving nervous, and thereby making everything worse for him...

Race is tomorrow morning, we'll find out how things work out then.  See ya soon!

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November 23, 2016

F1 on TV: Abu Dhabi 2016

Instead of clicking "save" on the original version of this post, which would then allow you, my readers, to actually read it, I instead clicked "view site."  While this gave me a wonderful view of my front page, it didn't do a thing for the post, which immediately disappeared into the same place that your other sock goes to.  As a result, you're getting this for a preview for the final Grand Prix of the season, the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.

That's the track.  It's very safe, with lots and lots of run-off area.  It's also quite dull, with practically no place to pass in the first and third sectors, and since the second sector has both DRS zones, anybody who makes a pass in the first will likely be passed by the victim in the second. 

What the hell are those?
Still, this is what we've got.  It's the final race, and the deciding race for the driver's championship.  If Nico Rosberg finishes 4th or above, he wins no matter what Lewis Hamilton does.  If Hamilton finishes fifth or below, it doesn't matter what Rosberg does, he wins.  If Rosberg finishes ahead of Hamilton, he wins.  It looks grim for Hamilton, doesn't it?

No, really... what the hell is that?
The Legendary Announce Team's broadcast schedule is as follows:
Friday
Practice 2: 7a - 830a  live on NBCSN
Saturday
Quals:  7a - 830a  live on CNBC
Sunday
Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi: 630a - 9a  live on NBCSN

All times Pond Central... but after all these years, you should know that by now.  Of course, the final F1Update! of the 2016 season will meander its way to you sometime after the race.  See ya then!

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November 12, 2016

F1 Quals: Brazil 2016

It was a gray day in São Paulo, breezy, cool, nothing like the weather there on Friday: sunny and hot.  But today brought with it something extra, something that made it perfect for F1 fans: rain.  It hadn't occurred yet, but there was threat of deluge hanging over the day's proceedings, and wouldn't *that* throw a spanner in the works?  Particularly with pole being potentially all-important in the race for the Championship between teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.  So, what happened?  Here's the provisional grid for the 2016 Grand Prix of Brazil:

Pos
Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:11.511 1:11.238 1:10.736
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:11.815 1:11.373 1:10.838
3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:12.100 1:12.301 1:11.404
4 Embryo Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:11.957 1:11.834 1:11.485
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:12.159 1:12.010 1:11.495
6 Smiley Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:12.409 1:12.047 1:11.540
7 Lettuce Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:12.893 1:12.343 1:11.937
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 1:12.428 1:12.360 1:12.104
9 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:12.684 1:12.331 1:12.165
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:12.700 1:12.312 1:12.266
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 1:12.680 1:12.420
12 Esteban! Haas Ferrari 1:13.052 1:12.431
13 Felipe Retired Massa Williams Mercedes 1:12.432 1:12.521
14 Kid Kvyat Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:13.071 1:12.726
15 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:12.950 1:12.920
16 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:13.259 1:13.258
17 JensonRetired Button McLaren Honda 1:13.276

18 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:13.410

19 Pascal's Wehrlein MRT Mercedes 1:13.427

20 False Esteban MRT Mercedes 1:13.432

21 Sony Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:13.623

22 FelipeNot Retired Nasr Sauber Ferrari 1:13.681


While it was Hamilton who got the pole, it wasn't without effort.  In Q3, Rosberg was last on track, so Lewis had to go fast and hope for the best.  His second run improved his already blazingly quick time, and a good thing too, for Rosberg did the same... and beat Hamilton's old time.  As it was, the championship leader is about 1/10th of a second behind... and over a half-second faster than anybody else.  Hamilton must finish ahead of Rosberg for the championship to reach Abu Dhabi... any other result means Rosberg is the 2016 Driver's Champion.

Of other points of interest, I'm beginning to wonder if Jenson Button actually stopped driving a couple-three races ago.  When your teammate is easily making Q3 but you can't get out of Q1, well, sooner or later it ain't the car's fault.  Which is a damn shame, because I really like Button.  Ah well.

Race is tomorrow morning, at a decent time no less... F1U! afterwards.  See ya then, then!

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November 08, 2016

F1 on NBCSN: Brazil 2016

I have made a decision.  Other than this sentence, I am not going to mention how much I despise the circuit for the 2016 Grand Prix of Brazil, Interlagos, and have for quite some time.  Let's take a look at the track map, shall we?

This place has given us some remarkable season-ending races in the past, and a victory by Nico Rosberg this weekend wraps up the Drivers Championship (there are other scenarios where he closes the contest, but that's the most likely one).  One aspect of this race that should prove to be quite dramatic is that this is Felipe Retired Massa's last home race... almost literally in his case, as he grew up very close indeed to the circuit... since he's retiring at the end of the season.  An interesting career, his... so close to winning the Championship in 2008, then came the spring to the helmet the following year, and he never quite seemed the same afterwards.  Ah well.

The Legendary Announce Team will, of course, be bringing us their usual sterling coverage live all weekend!  Here's the broadcast lineup:
Friday
Practice 2: 10a - 1130a  live on NBCSN
Saturday
Quals:   10a - 1130a  live on NBCSN
Sunday
2016 Grand Prix of Brazil:  930a - 12n  live on NBCSN

Of course, all times are Pond Central, and make sure you doublecheck them... what with the timechange, I'm not even sure what my name is, let alone what the time race happens.  F1U! will come along sometime after the race, of course.  See ya then!

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