Saturday, September 25, 2010

F1: Singapore notes


Whale, it’s getting down to the Nitty Gritty, eh? As it was noted by SPEED’s F1 Pitboy “Willy Buxom” that we’re currently in the tightest Drivers Points battle since 1962 when five drivers were in a similar points ‘Scrum with five races remaining... Which if I recall correctly went down to the final round with three Drivers in the Hunt in Mexico City before Graham Hill was victorious...

2010 Drivers Championship
P1) Mark Webber; 187 points
P2) Lewis Hamilton; 182 pts
P3) Fernando Alonso; 166 pts
P4) Jenson Button; 165 pts
P5) Sebastian Vettel; 163 pts
(As of Round 14 – Monza, Italy)

Friday Notes
Thus it was quite enjoyable to have these Top-5 Combatants taking the day’s Top-5 times, albeit the Red Bull Duo looks overly strong with Master ‘Zebb being six-tenths ahead of his Aussie teammate Webber. Who was a further four-tenths clear of ‘JENSE (Button) in P3. “Ferdi-the-Putz” (Alonso) was fourth after having missed the last 21mins with a mysterious “Dead-stick” malady, while the young Louise ‘JAGUAR (Hamilton) was fifth; minus 1.158 seconds to Vettel.

Interestingly it was noted that McLaren was claiming to experience some Electrical “Gremlins” at the notorious circuit where Mark Webber’s Red Bull chassis unexplainably decided to select two gears simultaneously, which the Team believes was caused by the Underground Subway?

F1: the Bright lights of Singapore – 2009 Edition

And it was also mentioned how the City has improved the lighting plus added high-visibility paint to walls, etc to aid the drivers during the weekend’s event. Here’s a story I scribbled ‘bout the lighting back in ’08 prior to “Crash Gate.”

Singapore tests lighting

Meanwhile on the driver front, while I’d already mentioned ‘Quick Nick’s return to competition for Sauber, I was surprised to here that Christian Klien was substituting for “Sacko-Moneyato,” a.k.a. Sakon Yamamoto who reportedly has come down with a case of Food Poisoning, which F1 Cynics are noting could be due to other “Financial” reasons. As I’ve heard somewheres’ that Hispania could even potentially bump its way into Tenth in the Constructors battle which would be excellent for the little Team that Could! As the FIA doles out travel incentives to the first 10-place finishers in the Constructors Championship...

And somehow I’d missed that Klien had previously driven in Friday morning stints for HRT, albeit he hasn’t contested a Formula 1 race since being ousted from Red Bull at the conclusion of the 2006 season...

Adding insult-to-injury, Force India’s Adrian Sutil not only walloped the kerbs, going airborne and breaking his left Front suspension, but was fined $10,000 for not pulling off track quickly enough. Deciding to first try limping back to the Pits with wounded Racecar before the Team instructed him to pull off-course, but the Stewards deemed his actions weren’t swift enough and levied said fine upon him...

Saturday Notes
Then again, there’s a reason that they run Qualifying, eh? As we’ll shortly discover that the fastest in Practice wasn’t necessarily on the top ‘O the Time sheets come Saturday...

Yet we started off the ‘Qualie Show by Will Buxton interviewing Virgin’s Timo Glock and telling him; “you’re naught-8 seconds clear of all the other new teams...” To which Glock was pretty diplomatic and said we’ll see what happens? As Glock wound-up 18th and “Best-of-the-Rest,” nee New Teams in a game of Virgin-Lotus Leapfrog...

And it was nice that SPEED actually spent some time profiling ‘N talking-up the three New Teams thru the closing stages of Q1, albeit Hispania’s Bruno Senna spun... While it was noted that both newcomers Christian Klien and Nick Heidfeld were faster then their teammates in Q1...

Mercedes GP and Virgin both reported having lost their Telemetry during Q1, but the biggest disappointment obviously went to Felipe Massa and his stricken Ferrari, as Massa’s F10 came to a sudden halt, causing a Red flag to be thrown with 10:35 remaining in the first Qualifying session... As Massa’s radio was replayed with him saying I think its engine? Before being listed as P24 with No Time due to a troubling Transmission Electronics fault, (Gearbox) albeit Luca di Montezemolo was quick to point out it wasn’t any Electrical Surging from the track circuit... As Alonso suffered from an experimental transmission piece failure on Friday and then had to pit suddenly during ‘Q2 to fix a similar electronics issue which he later revealed was an Engine Mapping problem before moving onto ‘Q3.

Also waiting ‘til the last moment to improve was Michael Schumacher, who’d been mired down in P17 the majority of the second session before a late Flyer-lap saw him sneak into ‘Q3 in P9, followed by Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, who outqualified his vastly experienced teammate Heidfeld, who finished 15th in his F1 return.

And then the Gauntlet was thrown down as Fernando, Vettel, Hamilton and Button all traded fast laps whilst hunting for the Pole which Alonso took in the latter stages, his and Ferrari’s second consecutive Pole Position after a 30-race drought. Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) was just fractions of a second behind in P2, having even apparently brushed the wall in the final moments, while ‘JAGUAR (Hamilton) took the final Post-race interview seat, (third)as the McLaren Boyz ‘Louise ‘N ‘JENSE (Button)locked out the second row of the grid with Webber P5. Followd by ‘Rubino, (Barrichello) Nico Rosberg, ‘The Krakow Kid, (Robert Kubica) Schuey And “K-Squared” (Kobayashi) respectively...

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