The 2014 Formula 1 Driver's class poses before the start of the season opening Australian GP. (Image source: f1fanatic.co.uk)
Here are just some of the myriad of story titles I stumbled upon prior to the just concluded season opening Australian Grand Prix Down Under in Melbourne, yet by all means are just the proverbial tip of thee Iceberg...
"New era completely overshadows drivers says Alesi, Ferrari sandbagged in winter testing says Salo, David Coulthard tips Lewis Hamilton for Formula One world title, Schumacher recovery now unlikely, Berger thought of Schumacher after own ski fall, No Vettel title in 2014 for sure says Villeneuve, Ecclestone now tips Hamilton for title, Webber still in paddock after F1 retirement, Red Bull could give up on 2014 chase, Ricciardo's move to Red Bull may be too soon, Barrichello hopes Massa fights for title, Encouraging signs in Schumacher recovery, Lauda annoyed by Schumacher rumours, New V6 era is pure F1 says Berger, Raikkonen eyes podium finish in Melbourne, Fernando Alonso: Every new season you think you can do well..."
With the most entertaining story for Mwah being Alesi's comments towards the new V-6 turbo Power Unit formula...
And thus the Hits just keep Rolling on; having taken I-T as some sort of divine intervention, Yuhs know, like "Here's Your Sign!" Since after all Formula 1's well documented 'Mega rule changes this season, seem to be also marking a change in my continuously shrinking pursuit of watching A-L-L things F1!
Having already written about managing to completely SCREW UP my trusty 'Ol VCR's recording capabilities, as it currently only gets STATIC! I'll literally be flying blind this season in regards to how much of the action I'm willing to watch; Err listen to in thee DARK!
Yet, that being said, nevertheless I did bother to sit in the dark the majority of the weekend listening to the voices of Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs, Steve Matchett and thy 'Wee "Willie Buxom," (Will Buxton) along with straining to discern the different audible noise of the V-6 turbo PU's! (Power Units) From Down Under.
THE SIGHTS 'N SOUNDS OF MELBOURNE
First off, while they're not as exceedingly BAD sounding as I thought they'd be, nevertheless my immediate impression was that the normal TV following of the sparse F1 chassis on-track during the sport's first Free Practice (FP1) session of the new turbo era was that they sounded an awful lot like an 'Ol friends BMW Street/Dirt "Enduro" bike. And after listening further they sound even more similar to today's four-stroke's 'Scooters (motorcycles) currently contesting the AMA's Supercross series; YIKES!
Although they didn't sound too bad on the In-car camera shots, that is if Y'all like the sound of Farm Tractors; CRIKEYS MATES! As even a few Open Wheel Racing pundits immediately threw their two-cents out upon the matter via the A-L-L Knowing TWIT-ER! While the all telling Camera-eye's microphone Down Under caught "Vijay-duh-Playah" (Vijay Mallya) lamenting how F1 was gone! To which rightly "Professor" Steve Matchett dryly noted it's too late now to complain, Son!
Only 16 of 22 cars participated in FP1 with the biggest shock being Lewis Hamilton's unexpected departure prior to completing his first lap, as an Oil pressure sensor had apparently worked its way loose.
And whilst thy 'Wee Willie Buxom had dryly noted that thee Odor du jour of the day from the F1 Paddock had been burning! Karmically my kitchen lights went Poof! Around 7:47PM (Pacific - during the first practice session) as for reasons unknown a breaker switch had tripped mysteriously! (As I cannot even remember the last time this had occurred...)
And it was funny how my blood didn't actually boil 'til midnight of Day-2's TV coverage when I let out a scream as I thought that Homeboy Daniel Ricciardo had done I-T! By taking a totally unexpected Pole position in the lamented Red Bull RB10, although it wasn't to be, as Hamilton snatched it away at the last moment by three-tenth's of a second, seeing the 'Aussie the Vegemite in an Mercedes sandwich! With Hamilton's team-mate "Brittany" (Nico Rosberg) taking the last Post-race television unilateral chair by finishing in P3 - while thy 'Ronster's (Ron Dennis) new boy 'MAGS Jr. impressed mightily with his fourth place starting position, the highest by a rookie since some lad named Hamilton had done so for McLaren 'Wayback in '07...
As Red Bull Racing Boss Christian Horner's quip of the month about how they (Red Bull) hadn't gotten Stupid Overnight! Seems quite true as the crowd went wild over Ricciardo's impressive performance, while did my ears deceive Mwah? As I swear the Aussie's were also cheering profusely over Seb' Vettel's inability to crack 'Q3, the first time the German hadn't made the Top-10 'Qualie session since Belgium, 2012, and would have to start a very uncharacteristic P13! As Qualifying was definitely a treat due to Melbourne's inclement weather, meaning Uncle 'Bernaughty didn't even have to have the lads turn the sprinklers on; Hya!
As duh 'Peacock-lite's (NBCSN) late night showing was semi-akin to the teething issues the racecars are currently experiencing, having first lopped off the end of the 'Qualie Post-race interviews before giving us Kevin Magnussen being drowned out by an overhead Helicopter at nearly 12:30AM; SHEISA!
Thus, feeling a tad bit like 'Ol Hobbo, aka David Hobbs by staying up past midnight three nights in-a-row, I managed to stay awake 'til 1:30AM (Pacific) in order to watch the season's first Grand Prix, as I was mostly curious over how the new cars reliability would shake out?
And we began the new era with an aborted start, which just seemed to Amp' up the tension that little bit further!
As it was another crackerjack start, with Ricciardo bogging down momentarily whilst Rosberg screamed past the two cars ahead of him like a scalded cat! While Pole-sitter Hamilton, having equaled himself with Bloody 'Ol 'Nige's (Nigel Mansell) record of 32-poles and the 100th Pole for Mercedes-powered F1 chassis was soon usurped by the Danish rookie 'MAGS Jr. for third place before Hamilton was ultimately forced to retire with a PU-failure.
My 'Hero of the race unquestionably was Valtteri Bottas, who put on a dazzling display of car control superiority only outdone by his unfortunate mistake of kissing the wall and breaking his tyre's rim before causing his own SC (Safety Car) period - as David Hobbs dryly noted how the young Finn's hero must have been looking in the mirrors with disgust by saying NOT this guy again; Hya! As Bottas overtook Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari twice!
while another great Quip by Hobbo' involved Bottas who was nipping at Jean-Eric Vergne's heels before 'JEV had a lurid snap-spin which the Frenchman adroitly caught - to which Hobbs dryly noted now I'll just put my heart back in my chest!
And thus it was a thrilling race, excluding Rosberg's utter dominance, romping home to a 23-second-plus win over the crowd darling Ricciardo, scoring his first ever podium finish, and the first ever Australian to stand upon an Australian GP podium, with Rosberg notching the 100th Grand Prix victory for a Mercedes-powered F1 car.
Making even more history was Magnussen's podiuming in his debutant Grand Prix, the first ever Dane to stand upon F1's Top-3 steps, giving McLaren its first podium finish in over one year!
And another bit 'O history was made when Russian F1 Debutant 19yr old teenager Daniil Kvyat scored his first Grand Prix point in his inaugural Formula 1 race by finishing tenth for Toro Rosso. And in the process snatching the honour of youngest ever driver to score a Grand Prix point - taking that record away from some Dude named Vettel...
Unfortunately another first was made, when some six hours after the race, Race Stewards Disqualified Daniel Ricciardo for improper fuel flow consumption during the race, as I for one never appreciate such tactics occurring - blithely letting A-L-L of the delirious fans go home in ecstasy over their Homeboy Done Good! And then pulling the rug out from underneath him.
As Red Bull immediately stated it would appeal the decision, implying that the FIA's mandatory "Approved" fuel flow meter had been wonky all weekend long and decided to ignore the Race Director Charlie Whiting's warnings. Yet interestingly, I believe it was Steve Matchett who noted that Red Bull's own Software Engineers had re-written engine code for their Power Unit supplier Renault - as we now await the decision over the Appeal which could take weeks...