May 06, 2011

F1 Practice: Turkey 2011

The big news from today's practices at the Istanbul Otodrom was... the weather.  We had rain throughout P1, and it made a huge impact on our World Champion.  Or, rather, his Red Bull made a huge impact on the wall because of the weather.  He got a little too wide on the exit of Quad-8, putting his right-side tires went over the back of the curb.  This had the effect of skating the underside of the Red Bull over the curb, ruining the aerodynamics completely.  The car spun back across the track and slammed into the barriers, deranging all four tires, breaking the nose, and jamming a couple dozen cubic yards of dirt and turf into the intakes in the process.  It came back to the pit lane on the flatbed truck, went into the garage and never came back.  Seb Vettel missed P2 as a result.  Speculation from the Legendary Announce Team was that the chassis was damaged, which basically means it would be a writeoff and the mechanics would have to build up another car before P3 and Quals.  We'll see how that affects Vettel on Saturday.

Other that that, there was no rain for P2, though the grass off-track was still soggy.  This allowed Imam Maldonado to wreck his car three times during the two sessions... that takes skill.  Can't imagine that Williams is too thrilled with him, but hey, $30million in sponsorship makes a big difference om a team's reaction when you bend the car.

HWMNBN had a grim-looking moment, when his Ferrari came coasting into the pit lane.  A quick cut to the in-car camera replay allowed us the hear the problem: something on the Ferrari began to sound like an elephant with gastric distress after eating bad burritos for a week.  Shift gears down, blaaaaaaaaaaaaat.  Probably an exhaust problem (which does nothing to dispel the notion of the elephant), HWMNBN was back out after a few minutes, though driving gingerly.  Understandable considering the... quality... of the sound.  I would never want to hear that sound, ever, no matter the cause.

Finally, get well wishes go out to The Varsha, lead talker of the Legendary Announce Team.  It appears that he's under the weather, and Lee Diffy will be filling in.  Feel better soon!

Quals in the morning!

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