Wednesday, June 11, 2008

F1: Il Notre Dam - 2008 edition

ILL is exactly what I felt about the flippin’ FOX broadcast of the Canadian Grand Prix… And as I’ve still not watched the Friday second practice session, nor did I take any notes during Saturday’s qualifying, I’m quite behind on my F1 coverage… Of which will only fall further behind with the monstrous amount of Le Mans coverage this weekend on SPEED! Can you say Viva la France?

Obviously, I’d have to say I was most impressed by The Krakow Kid, a.k.a. Robert Kubica, who’s simply KICKED ASS and Taken NO prisoners since replacing the over spoken Jacque ‘O Lantern *Jacques) Villeneuve and I feel a little bit sad for “Quick Nick” (Heidfeld) whom I’m thinking perhaps days are numbered at BMW Sauber? Although the team is obviously keen to keep a German on tap, but I cannot help wonder if Heidfeld’s simply now keeping the seat warm for Sebastian Vettel? Who yes I know has a contract with Red Bull, but as I’ve just recently told Mary Ellen, there’s NO such thing as an iron clad contract in F1… I mean, just ask Fredrico Suave (Alonso)

Yet Kubica, who’s gone to extraordinary lengths to lose weight in order to gain every possible advantage out of the BMW Sauber is currently tied for the fourth best driver on the grid, as he and Heikki Kovalainen squabble over this position, with only Lewis Hamilton, Kimi “The REAL Iceman” Raikkonen and Felipe Massa ahead of him…

And Kubica was momentarily on Pole, until Louise “Jaguar” Hamilton snatched it away from his good buddy, with the Kimster third, just ahead of a very impressive Ferdi the Putz. (Alonso) Even more impressive was Williams Nico Rosberg out qualifying Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, while Mark Webber pulled a “DC” and crashed on the marbles on his way back to the pits at the end of Q2… As the track was breaking up once again and quite tricky off line…

Peter WINSOR: Kimi, quicker of the two Ferrari drivers. You are always in the points here in Canada but it looked like sector three is always a difficult one for Ferrari. The top speed is not quite there relative to McLaren Mercedes.

Kimi RAIKKONEN: The car has been good all weekend. Even this morning it was very good and then going into qualifying it is quite a joke with the circuit. It is always the same thing, the circuit breaks down and you miss the corner because there is so much sand. I lost so much time in corner 10 as I couldn't get around as the car just went straight and didn't give any traction. I am a bit disappointed on that because we had a car that could fight for pole position and we will see tomorrow how it is going to be in the race and whether it is going to be a nightmare when we do 70 laps and it breaks up after two laps. It is going to be quite interesting.

Interestingly, the man made island on the St. Lawrence River, which was built in 1967, was like many of the previous events when you’re never quite sure when or how many Safety Car periods there will be. Recall last years horrible looking shunt that Robert Kubica experienced, miraculously walking away with only a swollen ankle… So, this year’s Safety Car seemed a bit sedate as Adrian Sutil’s Force India came to a stop on the road before his front brakes caught on fire… Which led to one of the craziest incidents I’ve seen in quite some time… As everybody piled into their respective pit boxes after the FOM (Formula One Management) had displayed the graphic that the pits were open, Kimi Raikkonen stopped alongside Kubica, as there was a HUGE RED LIGHT being displayed at pit out… And although I’m not exactly sure why? I’m absolutely 100% positive that when Lewis Hamilton realized his mistake(?) he PURPOSELY chose the Kimster over his good, close, personal friend Kubica to impale with his hurtling McLaren… As obviously he wouldn’t wish for Kimi to gain valuable points on him as the defending World Champion.

With his two main race protagonists out of the picture, the race appeared to be his for the taking, although Kubica’s teammate Quick Nick had other designs after briefly leading and even passing Kubica on pit stops… But The Krakow Kid was NOT to be denied, as he drove 6-7 qualifying laps in a row in order to build up a 24 second lead over Heidfeld, who was now considerably slower after having taken on a large fuel load in order to make his race a one stop event…

Thus Kubica was triumphant, becoming the very first Polish driver to ever win a Grand Prix, as it was quite enjoyable to hear a different National Anthem being played… As Kubica stood proudly during the playing of the Polish National Anthem… And it was a “White & Blue Letter Day,” as Heidfeld followed Kubica across the stripe to give BMW Sauber its very first 1-2 finish in Formula 1, with a very delighted (Surprised) David Coulthard scoring his first podium for Red Bull, while Toyota’s Timo Glock scored his first points and impressively, German Hot-shue Sebastian Vettel held off McLarein’s Heikki Kovalinen for 8th place…

The Canadian Race Stewards later decided that both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg would be docked 10 place grid spot penalties for their roles in the pit lane accident, which will be served at the French GP... And while Raikkonen was busy pointing at the stop light for “Jaguar’s” indiscretion, as Peter Winsor later pointed out, Kimi isn’t to be let off the hook for running into the back of Sutil’s Force India at Monte Carlo…

Qualifying ResultsPole: L. Hamilton; 2. R. Kubica; 3. K. Raikkonen; 4. F. Alonso;
5. N. Rosberg; 6. F. Massa; 7. H. Kovalainen; 8. N. Heidfeld;
9. R. Barrichello; 10. M. Webber

Race ResultsWinner: R. Kubica; 2. N. Heidfeld; 3. D. Coulthard; 4. T. Glock;
5. F. Massa; 6. J. Trulli; 7. R. Barrichello; 8. S. Vettel

2008 F1 Point Standings
(Round 7 of 18)

Driver’sR. Kubica 42
L. Hamilton 38
F. Massa 38
K. Raikkonen 35
N. Heidfeld 28

Ferrari 73
BMW Sauber 70
McLaren 53
Red Bull 21
Toyota 17