September 09, 2011

F1 Practice: Italy 2011

Practice sessions are only rarely interesting, and on those occasions when they are it's rarely because of what's happening on track.  I mean, I've stated that the only reasons I watch Practice 2 is to get myself refamiliarized with that race's circuit (after all, we only see the tracks once a year) and in case something odd happens, for good or ill.

Well, during today's Practice 2 session, the "odd" happened.  For the first session, and the first hour of the second, everything went according to plan... except for the two McLarens being much faster than everybody else, to the tune of 1.5 seconds.  Despite some astonished reactions from websites and individuals, there's nothing we can really take from this.  Never trust anything you see in Practice, speed-wise, since we haven't the faintest what teams are actually trying to accomplish.  For example, it's quite possible that, say, Red Bull, were doing fuel runs the entire session, trying to get good mileage estimates for the race, while McLaren were doing full speed runs. 

In P2, Lewis Hamilton looked to still have the fastest car during that first hour.  Speculation is rife that the Glares On Wheels are running more rear wing than their competitors.  This would give them a huge amount of downforce (in comparison) in the turns while not costing them in the least over the rest of the track during Practice and Quals, when the DRS can be used at any place on the circuit.  During the race, this could come back to haunt them as they'll be quicker through the turns, but slower on any non-DRS straightaway (there will be two independent DRS zones at Monza... I guess Bernie coughed up the cash for another Dell!). 

Then, with sixty minutes gone in the session, the odd things began to happen.

First came the swarm of bees that infested the pit lane.  Thousands of bees sent the crews scurrying for cover and disrupted multiple pitstops by getting caught in air intakes, wheel rims and helmet visors.  It took a reappearance of Grizzly Nick Heidfeld in a flaming Renault to chase them off and allow the session to continue.

Then a herd of what looked like wildebeest but were most likely disguised wild boars took to the track around the vicinity of Second Lesmos.  A red flag period was called while those fans who were camping at the track cleared them away, in the process gaining plenty of meat for the night's barbeques.

Finally the most incredible thing of all happened: Heikki Kovaleinninninninnie turned in a lap nearly eight seconds faster than anybody else in his Lotus, leading to speculation that the "new" team might earn their first points on Sunday.

Of course, none of this actually happened.  What did happen is my DVR stopped recording at the one-hour mark for no reason I can understand.  I'm fairly sure that what happened in my imagination was immensely more entertaining than what really occurred.

Quals in the morning, see you then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:33 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Good one!  I started to get suspicious at the concept of Italian fans clearing away wild boars and getting meat out of the process, I'd believe that a swarm of catgirls showed up to hold the pitlane umbrellas before that.

Posted by: David at September 09, 2011 09:09 PM (Kn54v)

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