October 20, 2007
It turns out that there's a perfectly good reason for the FIA telling Lewis Hamilton that 'undue celebration' is banned: it's to prevent somebody slipping extra weight into his jumpsuit after the race.
See, the car/driver combination (minus fuel) has to weigh 600kg (1322 lbs) or more at the end of the race. After the race is complete and the cars are placed in parc ferme, but before the podium ceremonies, each driver is weighed. Later, of course, the cars are weighed.
It appears that, some time in the distant past, a driver was celebrating a victory by hugging every mechanic on his team. Whilst he was doing that, one of the mechanics slipped a weight of some amount into his driver's pocket... maybe not much, but the cars are so light that even 50 grams (or 1.7 ounces) might be enough to make weight. Indeed, drivers aren't even allowed to put on their watches until after weigh-in.
The 'excessive celebration' rule is in place to prevent that sort of chicanery. Never mind that Slappy Schumacher used to practically bodysurf the Ferrari team after a win, and HWMNBN used to nearly molest Flavio Briatore after he was victorious, and who can forget Phil Massa's win and victory celebration at Brazil (his home race) last year? Never mind all that, now the FIA is going to crack down.
Oh, you wanted to know about Quals? Well, click below and find out!
Things are looking good for Hamilton. Short of being on pole, being second with his 'teammate', HWMNBN, right behind him physically on the grid, is about as perfect a situation as he could ask for. The McLarens are 2-4 as they prepare for tomorrow's race, and while being on the dirty side of the track is sub-optimal, at least they're BOTH there, and Hamilton should be able to prevent HWMNBN from getting past him.
The surprising polesitter is Phil Massa. Oh, it won't be for long, certainly, as his job is to let Kimi Raikkonen, who is third on the grid, get past, and then slow down the McLarens. The arrangement isn't as good for Kimi as being on pole would be, of course, but it's perfectly doable. Just remember, there's no team orders in F1.
Of course, the one thing Interlagos has going for it, and the only thing that makes it look good in my eyes, is that the track is extremely wide and the curves are mostly not hairpin-tight, which gives lots of opportunities for passing. I may despise the course, but if it came down to it, I'd drop the Hungaroring or Mangy-Curs before Interlagos. Because you CAN pass on this track, the grid is not as important as it is at, say, Monte Carlo, but it's still a huge thing.
The rest of the field is as follows:
Now, onto the good stuff... what has to happen for whomever to win the Driver's Championship!
If Lewis Hamilton wins, comes in second or finishes ahead of both his rivals, he's the Champion.
Kimi has to win or place 2nd to even have a chance. If he finishes 2nd, Hamilton has to finish out of the points. Also, HWMNBN would have to finish no better than 5th. Not much hope for the Kimster, but there is still a chance.
If HWMNBN wins and Hamilton finishes 3rd, HWMNBN wins the Championship on the first tiebreaker. Both would have 113 points, tiebreaker #1 is total victories, which HWMNBN would win, 5 to 4.
If Hamilton finishes 4th or 5th, HWMNBN has to win the race to earn the DC.
My favorite possibility is the following: If Hamilton finishes fifth and HWMNBN finishes second, Hamilton would win the title as even though they would be tied on points they would also be equal on P1s, P2s, P3s, P4s and therefore the title would go down to the most number of fifth place finishes. And Hamilton's P5 in Brazil would be the one that won him the title. Harder than Chinese algebra, this is. (thanks to Planet-F1.com)
If Hamilton finishes seventh and HWMNBN finishes third, Hamilton would win based on number of second place finishes.
If Hamilton finishes eighth, HWMNBN needs to finish third to win. If Hamilton doesn't score any points, HWMNBN needs a fourth or better to win. But if Hamilton doesn't score and HWMNBN finishes fifth, the title goes to Hamilton as he has more second-place finishes than HWMNBN.
So the odds are stacked against HWMNBN and Kimi, but it's not impossible.
It'll make for a fun morning, that's for sure!
Yeah, I'm glad F1 "explained" the reason for the no hugs/celebrations rule. Funny they didn't remember to enforce it til
THIS year. Oh well. (I think the rule book must be written in pencil so they can change them at a moment's notice.)
Posted by: Mallory at October 21, 2007 06:15 AM (BelkO)
(FIA = Frequently Inane Announcements)
Posted by: madmike at October 21, 2007 08:21 AM (ZHoAZ)
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