Tuesday, March 19, 2013

F1 commences Down Under while Grass Skirts still fill My breeze...

So, your humble No Fenders scribe still feels like he’s in another time-space continuum - having been happily away from le keyboard & corresponding ‘Confuzer in sunny, warm tropical Kona, Hawaii for two-plus weeks; as it almost feels a ‘Wee bit funny trying to remember how to strike the keys correctly at more than a snails pace after a three week layoff...

Thus apparently the tide of Motorsports was far out upon the ocean currents for Mwah, since this has become the very first ever “Off-season” that I haven’t felt the urge to plug-in some ‘Ol Memorex in order to get my racing fix in the dead ‘O winter... Although Mary Ellen has warned me against telling Yuhs what my new replacement TV-drama series was this winter in order to not scare away my last three remaining faithful readers; Hya!

Thus it was ‘Uber refreshing to have remained firmly ensconced in a veritable Motorsports blackout bubble - which I gleefully did voluntarily, as yeah Daniel Banes Cooper, they do indeed have TV’s & ‘Confuzers in Hawaii; its just that I chose to partake in what I rarely do - listening to a ‘Mega six-plus “Talking Books,” i.e.; CD audio books from the delightful confines of the chaise lounge upon the lanai instead...

Hither being (mildly) surprised to hear that “Vijay duh Playah” (Vijay Mallya) had taken the cash and selected “Mister Bubbly;” Err ‘Yo Adrian (Sutil) over Jules Bianchi; NOT! And while surely NOT condoning any of Sutil’s actions in that Shanghai nightclub, Y’all really gotta wonder what ‘Ol Eric Lutz said to so enrage Adrian, right?

No, for Mwah the surprise was hearing Bianchi’s name being bantied about le Telescreen late Thursday evening as I turned on the ‘Telie “Justin-time” to gorge thyself upon nearly three straight hours of the day’s first two Free Practice sessions Down Under, staying up ‘til midnight after having spent five hours winging my way across the Pacific ocean aboard a Boeing 737-800; Aye Karumba! As I think the only thingy that kept me going was the 3hr time change, eh? Kind of like going from the east coast westwards, right ‘CARPETS? Hya!

As new lead announcer Leigh Diffey, ‘Hobbo & Matchett did a bang-up job for duh “Peacock-lite’s” debutant Formula 1 TV broadcast - wherever their studios are; along with live trackside reporter “Willie Buxom,” (Will Buxton) albeit I have my issues with NBCSN’s format, but I’ll save it for later...

Thus with the rules for the final 2.4-liter Normally Aspirated V-8 era being relatively unchanged, should we have really been overly surprised to see Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) and his Red Bull RB9 race to the fastest time ‘N beyond, get I-T? A little Infinity pun there I believe, as somehow I’m guessing the head cheeses at Nissan aren’t looking forward to all of the Toy Story puns regarding their title sponsorship of the triple world champions, eh?

But back to the aforementioned Monsieur Bianchi, who’s replacement of Luiz Razia at Marussia, who’s sacking caught me off guard, as the hapless Brazilian’s dreams of a F1 career appear to be stillborn, having reportedly lost his funding backers prior to running his inaugural Grand Prix and hence, Jules and his manager Nicholas Todt swooped in for the pickings - where Y’all can read of Jules motor racing heritage in;


Thus, once again most likely I’ll be hard pressed to scribble ‘bout all five of this year’s F1 rookie class, especially since I failed to do justice to the past two year’s classes. While Marussia’s choosing of Bianchi can only make me ponder if this means they’ll be running customer Ferrari ‘lumps in 2014 instead of the recalcitrant ‘cossies? (Cosworth) As apparently Mallya has decided to stay with the three pointed star (Mercedes) next year?

Having gone off to listen to a most enjoyable performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the University of Washington’s Meany Hall Friday evening, I decided to forego the night’s ‘Qualie show, planning to ‘Ketsup upon I-T later via thee ‘Ol School recordin’ machine - totally unawares of this apparently being cancelled due to inclement weather! Which reminds me somewhat of a Tsunami getting in the way of qualifying in Suzuka several years ago - where our guests told us “Suzuka NO go...”

Thus having absconded off to Tacoma for the weekend, I basically sat in the Lazyboy recliner with my trusty lap ‘Hoonds Molly & Pixie filling up my whole lap for the majority of the 3hr rebroadcast Sunday morning, St Patties day, which thankfully neither of these FURR-rocious Doggies decided to pinch me since I wasn’t wearing any green; CRIKEYS!

And perhaps it was just Mwah, but it seemed like the pre-race Preamble just went on ‘N on - Crikeys Mates, get on with I-T! As I was pretty sure they’d pull another boner by NOT announcing the entire grids starting order; WTF? Really NBCSN, you cannot afford the extra 60-seconds to verbally speak the rows six-thru-eleven; SHAME ON YOU! I mean SHIT! It wasn’t like you didn’t run a plethora of commercials, right? And what happened to the supposed rule ‘bout NOT jacking the sound up during said commercial breaks?

SHEISA! What’s a blind F1 fan supposed to do, eh? (Not to mention this same shabby treatment of the practice results...) And while I’m hammering upon the Peacock-lite’s Formula 1 TV coverage, it was interesting to hear a non-racing fan’s assessment of the post race show, as Mary Ellen said it was HORRIFIC! With three stuffed shirts, nee Diffey, Hobbs & Matchett appearing to be nothing more than Talking Heads in their stiffly starched shirts with the two British Blokes being cast aside from Diffey who they rarely panned in upon before she could finally discern Leigh was wearing a white tie vs. Hobbs & Matchett black ties with corporate required monkey suits...

As she further told me how the studio setting was a palace of shiny clear glass, polished tables, blue curtains, and a faux red brick wall with the NBCSN logo firmly affixed upon it, as I made jokes about how this was the wizard behind the curtain, eh? While Mary Ellen retorted how stiff the whole thing felt, asking me why they don’t send the announcers to the actual race? To which I snapped back because they’re too CHEAP! And it’s been this way for probably 15-years now? Although she claimed that SPEED’s broadcasters made you feel like you were at the track alongside them, which I countered is probably a byproduct of comca$t’s ‘uber right wing conservative stance in general; but I digress...

Due to the positioning of the Lazyboy recliner, ambient sunlight and not wishing to disturb my lap ‘Hoonds, I basically listened to the whole broadcast without being able to see any of the action on track, as I secretly wished for Felipe Massa to pull a rabbit out of his hat and shock everybody by winning, although this didn’t occur, nevertheless I thought the lone Brazilian gave a pretty good showing of himself, albeit once again ultimately being beaten by his teammate Fredrico Suave, aka Fernando Alonso, who finished runner-up, while surely Y’all expected another Red Bull Vettel whitewash a la “the Professor’s” (Alain Prost) prediction... Which must make you scratch your head somewhat over his third place finish. While unfortunately his Wingman Mark ‘Handlebarz Webber’s all too typical bogging down upon race starts occurred once again and the ‘Aussie home crowd darling was once again hard pressed to recover from his clutch slipping start line maladies...

Yet at least Webber’s woes weren’t nearly as despondent as McLaren’s, which I still find it overly rich that Vodafone has declared its quitting it’s F1 sponsorship over the Bahrain affair - as gee Wally? Weren’t Vodafone instrumental in the blocking of cell phone signals upon the Gulf Kingdom’s request? Oh Never Mind! As this surely gives credence to Sergio Perez’s choice to replace “Louise ‘JAGUAR” Hamilton as a convenient way to insert Telmex as a new title sponsor, eh?

And speaking of Hamilton, the “Works” Mercedes as Diffey took great pains to call ‘em seemed decidedly impressive until ‘Brittany’s (Nico Rosberg) apparent gearbox failure which he claimed was due to some electronics malady - which reminded me of the old days of NOT blaming the engine manufacturer whatever Yuh’s say...

Yet I simply rejoiced in thee original ‘Iceman’s victory, albeit a tad bit disappointed not getting to hear any ‘Kimi-wisdoms over the F1 international feed, as guess what Lotus? He really does know what to do, so may be it was wise to just leave him alone this time, eh? As Raikkonen’s win was his 20th Grand Prix victory, putting him on equal footing for most wins by a Finnish driver, tying “Mika-the-Finn” Hakkinen’s tally of twenty. Hence, can Kimi tie him for world championships this year? We’ll see, although I’d still expect it to be a four way shootout between Vettel, Alonso, Kimi and Hamilton, with Webber being a Dark Horse contender, while ‘JENSE (Button) looks thoroughly out of the picture at the moment.

Thus it was pretty amusing to myself trying to teach two ‘FURR-rocious blood hoonds how to say Kimi as the laps winded  down to his improvable victory, with Raikkonen putting his traditional cherry on top by throwing down another fastest lap in the waning moments of his victory romp! While I have to say the driver I was most impressed with all race long was Adrian Sutil’s most audacious return after a year’s sabbatical...

Thus, it’s off to Malaysia in just a scant few days, with the NBCSN Bobbleheads droning away in the wee hours of Friday morning, where Uncle Bernaughty will rejoice by having his afternoon showers to throw a spanner into the works each day around evening tea time, right?  

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