Tuesday, April 29, 2008

F1: Spanish Flies - 2008 edition

Amazingly Heikki Kovalainen escaped Un-Injured from his massive crash during the Spanish Grand Prix…
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As fortunately FIA mandated safety design standards have vastly improved driver’s chances of survivability in today’s F1 racing cars. Imagine if this had been the 1980’s when driver’s lower extremities were placed far forwards of the front axle centerline…

Yet for those of us who watched a fairly processional Spanish GP, we were momentarily stunned by Heikki Kovalainen’s massive shunt against the tire barrier thru a 140mph corner…

According to Ron Dennis and Martin Whitemarsh, the team suspects that a “rogue” piece of stone somehow lodged itself between the front tire rim and suspension, as a sudden, unexplained loss of air pressure sent the hurtling McLaren straight thru the sand trap, impailing the stricken MP4-23 underneath the tire barrier… As it took ten minutes to dislodge Heikki from the cockpit of his heavily wrecked McLaren, which miraculously he would escape without injury!

Once again I found Friday’s second practice session TV coverage more informative then Saturday’s qualifying program, albeit Fredrico Suave did NOT disappoint his fellow countrymen, with a light tanks go for broke qualifying run in the dramatic Q3 Final “Qualie” session…

Paddock notes
Peter Windsor noted how glad he was to have his job and how good it was to see Bernie Ecclestone strolling the paddock, making sure that the F1 team’s palatial “Motor Coaches” were all parked perfectly a half inch away from each other…

Super Aguri was extended a further Grand Prix as it appears that its buy-out from the Magma Group has fallen apart. Honda F1’s boss Nick Fry said that Honda had paid a further 2.0 million Euros for the tiny “B-Team” to race this weekend, but don’t expect any further funding at Turkey…

Various discussions were made about the new aero treatments several teams were running, most notably Honda’s “Rabbit-ears,” NOT to be confused with last years version of “Elephant-ears” which Steve Matchett claimed the team had to discontinue because they were so UGLY!

Professor Matchett also discussed Renault’s new Dorsal Fin treatment on the spine of the rear engine cover a la Red Bull Racing; For more info see Speed TV’s chalkboard section…

While poised to become the most experienced man in Formula 1, Honda’s Rubens Barrichello completed two race distances back-to-back during the most recent test at Barcelona, a feat of 150 laps…

The House of Winsor noted how card playing has become all the rage in the F1 Paddock, as “Fishy-fella,” Tonio Luzzi, both BMW-Sauber boyzs and Ferdi the Putz, a.k.a. Alonso have all taken to playing poker until 11:30PM every Saturday night, while Giancarlo Fisichella is the man to beat…

Adrian Newey’s Red Bull version of the Scuderia Toro Rosso STR-03 is still on track to debut at Turkey despite Bourdais’s big crash…

And speaking of the Hamburgular, a.k.a. Sebastain Bourdeax (Bourdais) he’s managed to steal a better qualifying position ahead of more experienced teammate Sebastian Vettel once again, along with beating senior F1 driver DC!

And it was funny to see the Force India F1 team atop the time sheets for a long portion of Friday’s second practice session, with “Fisi” leading Adrian Sutil, who were then split by The Iceman… Before “Kazoo” Nakajima jumped to the top with Nico Rosberg hot on his heels, before the Spanish crowd went ecstatic with homeboy Fredrico Suave and Nelson Nelson of the Renault squad taking their turn at the top of the page…

But as Sir Jackie (Stewart) so bluntly pointed out on Peter Winsor’s grid walk, NOBODY would beat Kimi Raikkonen from pole… As he became the eighth driver in a row to win from the coveted grid position at Barcelona…

And while Alonso delighted the 132,000+ Spanish spectators, his engine finally “DONE BLOWN UP!” while running in the points… As it had been previously pointed out that engines were reported to cost a cool $250,000 Euros a copy. What’s that David? About $400k large greenbacks Bob Varsha quipped…


Qualifying results
Pole: Kimi Raikkonen; 2. Fernando Alonso; 3. Felipe Massa; 4. Robert Kubica; 5. Lewis Hamilton; 6. Heikki Kovalainen; 7. Mark Webber; 8. Jarno Trulli: 9. Nick Heidfeld; 10. Nelson Piquet Jr

Race results
Winner: K. Raikkonen; 2. F. Massa; 3. L. Hamilton; 4. R. Kubica;
5. M. Webber; 6. Jenson Button: 7. Kazuki Nakajima; 8. J. Trulli

2008 F1 Point Standings
Round 4 of 18)

Driver’s
K. Raikkonen 29
L. Hamilton 20
R. Kubica 19
F. Massa 18
N. Heidfeld 16
H. Kovalainen 14

Constructors
Ferrari 47
BMW Sauber 35
McLaren 34
Williams 12
Red Bull 8

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