Monday, October 19, 2009

F1: Baking in Brazil - 2009 Edition

Whale and to think it was only raining HEAVILY here in the Pacific Northwest… As I was gonna steal Bob Varsha’s quip about the weather; Drizzle in the Sizzle for the title, but decided not to… As apparently the weather has been overly Fallish-like in San Paolo, as Friday’s morning Free Practice (FP1) session was interrupted by a 30min rainstorm, with drizzle returning at the end of the session and then once again returning for the final 20+ minutes of the afternoon session, (FP2) with further spritzing predicted for Qualifying and Race Day, as Y’all may know that Saturday morning’s final practice was interrupted for 42mins due to not being able to launch the Air Ambulance Helicopter. And then an overly LONG Qualifying session, but I digress…

Yeah, I know it’s only Friday Practice, but what in the HELL was “BOOMER,” nee Sebastian Buemi in the Scuderia Toro Rosso doing in second place? As even more impressive was the fact that the top 19 Grand Prix Piloto’s were only a scant 0.73 seconds adrift, while Giancarlo Fisichella finished last once again for the Scuderia, 0.9+ seconds adrift.

Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso made a light tanks flyer in the waning moments to grab the day’s top spot, with Championship rivals Barrichello third, Button fifth and Vettel seventh, as it was entertaining to hear ‘JENSE (Button) complain of both oversteer and understeer via his radio before grabbing P1 provisionally…

As previously mentioned, Saturday’s Qualifying was a veritable mess, with an 1hr 11min Red Flag delay during Q2 due to the monsoon like track conditions, as Vitantonnio Luzzi’s crash caused the second Red Flag of the day, while “Fishy-Fellah” (Fisichella) seemed more like a fish outta water, having spun off in Q1and bringing out the first Red Flag as he disgustedly walked back to the Ferrari pits; while Bob Varsha pointed out, in “Fisi’s” defense, he’s now running 2010 development “Bits” on his race chassis…

Admittedly Rubino (Barrichello) was on a lighter fuel load then front row competitor Mark Webber and those around him, having tried to take off like a scalded cat in front of 90,000 Brazilian’s chanting Rubino-Rubino-Rubino! But the ensuing melee behind him caused a Safety Car deployment, while the “Scrumptious ‘Nuan” (Jarno Trulli) vented his anger upon Peter Windsor over how he thought Adrian Sutil was just driving plain STUPID! After Sutil, Trulli and Alonso had all been taken out in a first lap crash.

Thus, the multiple carnage allowed “JENSE to move from P14 to ninth, with “ZEBB (Vettel) behind him, and all of this was before Kovalainen’s Pit fire when he was told to go before the fuel hose was decoupled and Raikkonen’s Ferrari was momentarily surrounded in a flash fire due to the combinations of hot exhaust headers vs. petroleum… Which thankfully snuffed itself out and the Kimster motored onto a sixth place finish, while McLaren would be fined $50,000 afterwards for their transgression…

Meanwhile Button ran into his fiercest competition of the race, none other then Grand Prix debutant “K-Squared.” (Kamui Kobayashi) who ran a mostly masterful race, keeping the Points leader at bay whilst in sixth place… With Jenson’s lone low point being the radio transmission to tell his engineer to tell the FIA to make the Toyota driver pull over, to which David Hobbs said you just need to get on with the job lad!

As Rubens pitted first, Webber took over the lead due to his longer duration on track and never surrendered the lead afterwards… While ‘JENSE made some pretty masterful passes upon his competitor’s, while Barrichello day spiraled downwards, having to ultimately pit for a tyre puncture, while the “Krakow Kid” (Kubica) ran a great race in the recalcitrant BMW Sauber, chasing Webber to the stripe, with Lewis Hamilton storming from the back of the grid to finish a fine third… And although Vettel finished one position ahead of Button in fourth place, with Rubens taking eighth, it simply wasn’t enough, as Jenson finished with 89 points vs. Vettel’s 74 and Rubens 72, hence clinching his very first World Championship with a single race remaining, while BRAWN GP also locked-up the Constructor’s Championship in their very first go…

Race Drive of Interlagos
Whale I suppose I’d have to choose between one of these three drivers, Sebastian Buemi, Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi, as ‘JAGUAR (Hamilton) put on a most masterful Clinique racing from 17th to the final podium step, due to having a “Dry” setup in Saturday’s rain-fest… While Buemi quietly spent the entire weekend keeping his Toro Rosso at the sharp end of the grid enroute to scoring his very first World Championship points, but it was the Japanese driver’s performance which most captured my attention… Even if he “Nerfed” fellow countryman Kazuki Nakajima into the barriers…

His pass upon Fishy-Fellah for ninth place in the closing laps of the race reminded me of another Japanese “Lion” named Taku-San (Takuma Sato) making a blinder on David Coulthard many moons ago…

Top 3 - Qualifying
Pole: Rubens Barrichello
Second: Mark Webber
Third: Adrian Sutil

Race Results
Winner: M. Webber; 2nd: R. Kubica; 3rd: L. Hamilton; 4th: S. Vettel;
5th: J. Button; 6th: K. Raikkonen; 7th: S. Buemi; 8th: R. Barrichello.

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