February 17, 2011
Things are looking a little grim for the F1 season opening race in Bahrain as that country's citizens emulate the Egyptian revolution. The Circus is scheduled to be testing there March 3rd through the 6th, just ahead of the race weekend of the 11th through the 13th. There have been five killed in overnight rioting in the nation's capital, and earlier today the GP2 Asia series race, scheduled for this weekend, was canceled. The Bahrain International Circuit's permanent medical staff has moved to the local hospitals to help with the influx of injured. There are reports of foreign journalists being denied entry to Bahrain, which would be a major problem for a F1 weekend, obviously. It also appears that much of the rioting is taking place right outside the location of the hotels most of the F1 teams use. Indeed, many of the GP2 teams were told to stay at the racetrack instead of returning to their hotels last night, for their own safety. Darth Bernie is reportedly in talks with the Crown Prince of Bahrain, and Jean Todt, FIA Lord of the Sweaters, said before the GP2 race was canceled that the running of the F1 race might very well "depend on the GP2 race being run." We'll keep you updated as news breaks.
Robert Kubica had his (hopefully) final surgery yesterday, an eight-hour marathon session to repair his shattered right elbow. He's reportedly resting comfortably, though in an Intensive Care Unit, following the procedure, which by all reports was completed successfully. According to HWMNBN, who's known the Polish driver since their karting days 15 years ago and is often seen playing poker and hanging out with him, the injuries may have been worse than were let on. "It was not so clear he was going to survive," said the Ferrari driver. "I tried to drive to the hospital to find out exactly what his injuries were." Rare signs of the Spaniard actually having a nice side to him.
Kubica's team, Renault, named his replacement for the 2011 season while the Pole was in surgery yesterday. As predicted, Grizzly Nick Heidfeld will be taking the seat for the first race of the year, whenever that will be. Good choice, solid all-round driver and an adequate replacement for Koobs. Now, a lineup of Koobs and Grizzly Nick would have been even better...
Finally, it appears that there's going to be a lot more pitstops this year. The new Pirelli tires were intentionally designed to wear faster, to the point that the super-softs were reportedly useless after one lap! While I can't find the exact quote at the moment, Rubens Barrichello said something to the effect of "the tires lasted for the out lap and about 2/3rds of the hot lap. After that they were terrible." Some teams are predicting four pit stops for tires per race. Pirelli pooh-poohs this, saying in effect "we have no idea where the teams are getting that idea, they should be able to do a race in three stops." Oh, yes, big difference there. The tire manufacturer will be bringing the Hard and Soft compound tires to the first four scheduled races.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 17, 2011 06:48 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 17, 2011 07:45 PM (W8Men)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 17, 2011 10:53 PM (+rSRq)
Glad to hear that Kubica is on the mend (albeit a difficult one), and am impressed that HWMNBN has demonstrated that he actually has a kind side.
I'd wondered if the Bahrain race would take place. Maybe they can add it onto the end of the schedule or something, since there is way too much danger to run it at this point.
Posted by: Mallory at February 18, 2011 11:07 AM (WJ2qy)
I don't think it's that easy to rearrange the schedule. The teams have done their logistical planning already, and arranging shipping at such a late date would be very difficult.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 18, 2011 01:17 PM (+rSRq)
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