August 29, 2017

F1 on NBCSN: Italy 2017

It is the Temple of Speed.  It is what you'd get if NASCAR was European.  It is Monza, and it is FAST.  The quickest lap in F1 history was turned here.  If you are looking for subtlety, this is not where you come.  Here's the track map:

 And beyond "woo baby it's fast, " there's no much else I can say about it.  It's been a long, unpleasant day at work, and that has left me disgruntled.  So, instead of spewing disgruntlement all over the place, I'll remind you that the good folks of the Legendary Announce Team never have unpleasant days at work, because work is watching F1 races!  Here's the broadcast schedule:
Practice 2: 7a - 830a  live on NBCSN
Quals: 7a - 830a live on NBCSN
2017 Grand Prix of Italy: 630a - 9a live on NBCSN

So go watch it why don'tcha?  Not like you have to work on Monday after all!  F1U! will be along afterwards as usual.  Yay.

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August 26, 2017

F1 Quals: Belgium 2017

Belgium, man... Belgium!  Sure, the skies looked clear and wonderful and lovely, but the weather here in the Ardennes forest is like a deadly snake wearing a top hat: it can turn nasty in a second, no matter how cute it looks.  So it was with one eye cocked to the skies as the F1 Circus stepped on the loud pedal and went fast at Spa-Francopants.  Here's the provisional grid for the 2017 Grand Prix of Belgium:

Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:44.184 1:42.927 1:42.553
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:44.275 1:43.987 1:42.795
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:44.773 1:43.249 1:43.094
4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:44.729 1:43.700 1:43.270
5 Embryo Verstappen Red Bull Racing
1:44.535 1:43.940 1:43.380
6 Smiley Ricciardo Red Bull Racing
1:45.114 1:44.224 1:43.863
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:45.280 1:44.988 1:44.982
8 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:45.591 1:44.894 1:45.244
9 False Esteban! Force India Mercedes 1:45.277 1:45.006 1:45.369
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:45.447 1:44.685 No Time
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:45.668 1:45.090
12 Lettuce Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:45.728 1:45.133
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:45.535 1:45.400
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:45.374 1:45.439
15 Stoffewaffle McLaren Honda 1:45.441 No Time

16 Felipe Not Retired Massa Williams Mercedes 1:45.823

17 Kid Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:46.028

18 Pleasant Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:46.915

19 Sony Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:47.214

20   Hehrlein Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:47.679

There really wasn't much doubt that one of the Mercs would be on pole, for this is the type of circuit that they live for: friggin' fast.  Remember back when Seb Vettel won all his world championships in the Red Bull?  Remember how those cars weren't the fastest in a straight line, but seemed like they could go through any turn seemingly without losing any speed whatsoever?  Well, the Merc is like the anti-Red Bull.  Not as fast as some through the turns, but enough grunt in the power unit that all sins are absolved.  Except, of course, the Mercs are no slouches in the twistybits.  In a lot of ways, Ferrari is the new Red Bull... great on the tracks that don't depend on horsepower.  Except, of course, that the Ferrari power unit is only a tic or two below Mercedes.  Y'know what?  It's kinda dumb to try and compare new to old.  Mercedes fast. Ferrari nimble.  Grr argh.

This was Lewis Hamilton's 68th career pole position, tying Slappy Schumacher for first all-time in that category.  That's kinda impressive.  Will it translate into a win?  I'm of the opinion that any car with a Merc engine has a good shot at a podium (except for the Williams boys... yeesh).  Force India historically loves this place after all!  However, if I had to put my money on someone to win, it'd have to be Hamilton.  It's just set up for him too perfectly.  Oh, did I mention that his pole lap is the fastest lap ever around Spa-Francoamerican?

Sadly, there is practically no chance for rain forecast for the race.  But, as previously mentioned, this place is notorious for weather coming out of nowhere.  Let's hope.  Race in the morning, F1U! sometime after that.  See you then!

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August 23, 2017

F1 on TV: Belgium 2017

Summer vacation's over everybody!  It's time for the idjits in the F1 Circus to pitch their tents in a new location!  And this time, we're at everybody's favorite WW2 battlefield-turned-race track, Spa-Francorchamps!  Let's take a look at that track map, hey?

It is, of course, a much shorter lap now than it was back in the day.  Almost 9.5 miles it was back in the 20s and 30s, and almost entirely run with the gas pedal stapled to the firewall.  It was also entirely public roads, a huge triangle running between the towns of Spa-Francopants, Malmedy, and Stavelot in the Ardennes forest.  There were no tire barriers, no huge run-off zones, no extra-wide meticulously tidy racing surface.  It was a driver, a car, skinny tires, and trees, houses, barbed-wire fences, cows, spectators, basically anything you can think of to run into, you could run into it at Spa-Francoamerican.  And the weather!  Oy, the weather!  One minute it could be sunny, the next rain or even snow!

Participants in the 1944 race struggle with the weather.
With the retirement of the old track, and let's face it, that was a good idea since nobody has died in a F1 car at Spa-Francophone since the new circuit opened in 1983.  It's still the longest circuit on the calendar, though now only 4.3 miles long.  A good lap would be in the mid 1:40s... what it'll be with the new aero rules and tires is entirely beyond me.  Sure will be fun to see the Circus doing Eau Rouge/Raidillon flat-out, pulling 6g's in the process.

Of course, the Legendary Announce Team will be doing their usual bang-up commentary job on your television sets.  Here's the broadcast schedule:
Practice 2: 7a - 830a  live on NBCSN
Quals: 7a - 830a  live on CNBC
2017 Grand Prix of Belgium, man, Belgium:  630a - 9a  live on NBCSN

Of course, F1Update! will be along sometime afterwards with its usual stellar coverage.  Look forward to it, won't you?  See ya then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:35 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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