Tuesday, September 30, 2008

F1: German GP Notes - 2008 edition

So it was a bit strange to be finally wrapping up my delayed Telescreen viewing of this year’s German Grand Prix a fortnight after the actual event... Yet here’s a somewhat quick(?) wrap-up of my notes from the most excellent July 20th SPEED TV broadcast.

And stealing a page from Press Dawg, who likes to celebrate his race notes by picking his beer of the event, I’d definitely have to say that the German Grand Prix would cause me to pick Bitburger... Although if you cannot find a freshly imported BitBurger, then I’d suggest a Warsteiner, Ja Volt!
Friday PracticeProfessor (Steve) Matchett rightly BLASTED the Emasculation the track had received in its 2002 makeover, saying the track just didn’t have the same dynamics as when the cars went out into the forest and blasted along those long straights... To which Peter Winsor concurred, saying that the track was now a very BLAND Herman Tilke design... As it was also noted how the weather had been threatening, as I believe it rained the two days prior to Friday and it was noted how it was humid with dark clouds surrounding the track.

And speaking of your mass marketing promotional strategies... Amazingly all five German F1 piloto’s managed to spend time atop the time sheets on Friday.

Sebastian Vettel was confirmed as David Coulthard’s replacement at Red Bull for 2009, with teammate Mark Webber on a one year extension, as Bob Varsha would spend the rest of the weekend marveling over the fact that 20yr old Vettel was the only Formel Ein driver without a Manager! Meanwhile Vettel’s current teammate at Scuderia Toro Rosso, The Hamburgular, a.k.a. Sea Bass (S. Bourdais) is racing on a one year contract and has been struggling mightily with the latest Adrian Newey incarnation of the Toro Rosso chassis, the STR-03 and hence Varsha twisted the knife slightly by inquiring whether there may be two open seats at Toro Rosso for next year?

Winsor then commented how he felt a bit sad for Bourdais, as he thought he was doing an excellent job and his driving style looked impeccable... He was a bit surprised that Deeter Majestic had picked Vettel as DC’s replacement over Sea Bass, as the young German is very forceful with his driving style, almost a bit ragged... (Hmm? Sounds a bit like somme-juan named Fredrico Suave, eh?) And then Winsor went off on a tangent about how “The American” driver, although Bourdais is French seems to always have such immense expectations placed upon them, saying how Michael Andretti had actually done a very good job if you overlooked the fact that his teammate was somebody named Senna and that they had lousy engines that year... (1993) To which David Hobbs disagreed, saying that the teams biggest problem with Mikey was his insistence to fly home between each round, yet, both Hobbs and Matchett noted that Bourdais was obviously a very gifted driver ‘cause championships don’t just fall off of trees...

“Hobbo” continued on about how he’d spent some time with Bourdais at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed and he’s a really nice guy! And after Winsor’s long winded point about Lewis Hamilton’s visor fogging problem at Silverstone... To which Arai has now devised a twin visor shield for such weather conditions, Hobbs said he knows a bit about that as his glasses were fogging up in about one minute of sitting in the car and asked Sea Bass how he deals with that? As Bourdais replied he doesn’t have any problems, you just need to crack your visor open a bit.

Then Varsha prompted Hobbo to comment upon his experience at Goodwood, saying it was amazing how everything came back immediately and it wasn’t like he’d been out of the cockpit for thirty years... From the part where the mechanic sticks his head in and says Blah-Blah-Blah... Which of course brought immediate laughter from Matchett, who then muttered I don’t know why we bother!

Hobbo’s prattled on ‘bout how even the gearshift didn’t feel notchity at all even though he’d been warned... To which the ever sharp, krack pit lane reporter, The House of Winsor interjected; David when you were in the cockpit did you have any dreamlike visions of when Sam Posey was AHEAD of you... Which over the guffaws, Hobbs muttered; You mean when I was coming up to lap Posey?

Then with less than two minutes to go Louise “Jaguar” Hamilton threw down a Banzai “Flyer” lap on the Bridgestone “Soft” tires, being 0.7 seconds quicker then Felipe Massa who’d been atop the time sheets, who was in the pits during Lewis’s lap, yet Kimi Raikkonen who was also on the soft tires was 0.3 seconds slower then Jaguar...

Saturday Qualifying“Nelson Nelson,” a.k.a. Nelson Piquet (DON’T call me) Junior. had an interesting Q1 “Qualy” session, where he’d started off late in P20, then did a “flyer” and hoisted himself into 11th before ultimately ending up 17th quickest and relegated out of qualifying... As the host broadcast replayed Nelson’s radio transmission urging the team to protest Vettel for blocking his final run... While Sebastian Vettel claimed the fifth quickest lap time of the session behind Louise “Jaguar” Hamilton, “KOVY” (Heikki Kovalainen) Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen respectively.

During Q2, all of the remaining competitors were content to sit stationary in the pit lane for the first four minutes and 50+ seconds of the 15 minute session... Before the two Ferraris made their appearance, with fast laps were traded back ‘N forth, Hamilton would wind-up quickest with a 1:14.6 to Massa’s 1:14.7 with Kovy in third, followed by an impressive run by Fredrico Suave, a.k.a. Fernando Alonso, who was ahead of The Iceman, (K. Raikkonen) with the only German driver advancing to Q3 Final Qualifying being Vettel...

To which they played a very entertaining radio transmission from Toro Rosso, where the young German asked; Where are we, where are we? To which his engineer replied; P9, to which Vettel yelled WOO-HOO! Over his radio, to which was met with the somber tone of don’t get excited yet... You still have to push! To which Hobbo immediately broke into his mock German accent about you need to push mein race-driver, Ja-Ja!

Final qualifying saw a rather odd ending as Kimi appeared to lift off upon crossing the chequered flag with five seconds to go having nabbed P2. To which would see the Finn slide down to sixth after the music had ended! As Hamilton claimed pole just ahead of Massa, with Kovalainen taking third, saying in the post race interview session how he’d done a little Rally-coursing! As Heikki had done considerable agricultural work with his McLaren enroute to P3... While out of nowhere, Jarno Trulli jumped to fourth and Ferdi the Putz (Alonso) slotted the nervous Renault into fifth place, while Vettel was the highest placed German in P9, sandwiched by his big brother Red Bull drivers...

Although I did indeed manage to capture the FOX TV Race broadcast on my ‘Ol Memorex tapin’ machine... I stumbled upon the SPEED TV rebroadcast (about 1/3rd of the way thru the Acura Pre-Race segment) the following morning after our return from Der Fatherland, , of which you can read about my “live” track report in; Hockenheimring.

And being in a semi-state ‘O Jet Rag, while Wishin’ to do nothin’ utter ‘den sit stationary upon the couch, I simply watched the race in order to fill-in the massive blanks from the racetrack and hence didn’t take any notes... Especially since this was originally a DELAYED, HACKED-UP FOX TV Show...

Race Report
Qualifying Results
Pole: L. Hamilton; 2. F. Massa; 3. H. Kovalainen; 4. J. Trulli; 5. F. Alonso;
6. K. Raikkonen; 7. R. Kubica; 8. M. Webber; 9. S. Vettel; 10. D. Coulthard

Race ResultsWinner: L. Hamilton; 2. N. Piquet Jr; 3. F. Massa; 4. N. Heidfeld;
5. H. Kovalainen; 6. K. Raikkonen; 7. R. Kubica; 8. S. Vettel

2008 F1 Point Standings(Round 10 of 18)
L. Hamilton 58
F. Massa 54
K. Raikkonen 51
R. Kubica 48
N. Heidfeld 41


Ferrari 105
BMW Sauber 89
McLaren 86
Renault 25
Toyota 25
Red Bull 24