Monday, September 11, 2006

F1: ”Qualie-Quips” - Italy, 2006 edition

Just finished watching SPEED’s qualifying coverage from Monza, Italy. As always the Speed Posse was entertaining as always… Here are a few selected tidbits.

All 22 cars exceeded 200mph on the front straight. Top 3 speeds were posted by BMW-Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld, (213.3) Robert Kubica (212.5) and Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher. (210.6) Although top straight-line speed doesn’t necessarily translate to fastest lap time, with Heidfeld 2nd, Kubica 4th and “ralfie” 11th while Felipe Massa claimed the fastest lap. During qualifying Massa recorded a top speed of 214.5mph…

During the Q1 session a red flag stoppage was caused when Salon Yamamoto’s Bridgestone tyre failing on the front straight at 200+ mph. As typical the radio transmission was self explanatory. Yamamoto: “I’m OK, I’m OK.” Race Engineer: “Slow down and return to the pits.” Bob Varsha was quick to jump on this… “Sometimes things are so obvious. Slow down, come to the garage and then we’ll change underwear…”

While Steve Matchett explained that the two massive “KABLAMOE” engine failures in Anthony Davidson’s Honda on Friday were to the 2007 spec engines and seemed to be bottom end failures which suggested oil scavenging failure to him. Peter Winsor quipped: “It’s hard to tell since there’s not much bottom end to scavenge!”

Varsha speculated that Anthony Davidson will join “Super Best Friends” (Super Aguri) as the teams second race driver for 2007. Peter Winsor reminded us of the irony as Davidson’s last race drive was filling in for “Taku” at BAR-Honda where his engine “Done Blew Up” on lap 3…

Varsha speculated that the Midland F1 team has been sold to a Dutch-Arab consortium (Spyker?) for a cool $90 million with no official announcement as of yet.

Regarding Michael Schumacher’s possible retirement of which only 6-7 people know his decision, brother Ralf claimed: “I know nothing… I’ll probably just get a text message on Sunday.” David Hobbs quipped: “There’s nothing like brotherly love…”