Thursday, July 17, 2014

Doce 200 GP Starters to be Upstaged by 'JENSE this weekend...

Bloody 'JENSE looks to set his own record at the Hockenheimring this Sunday. (Image source:
Whilst much adu was made over the affable Brazilian Felipe Massa's 200th Grand Prix start at Silverstone, nevertheless, the British Grand Prix on the whole was fairly lackluster for Team 'Willy - with Susie Wolff's FP1 (Free Practice) debut being short lived after an oil pressure failure, with Massa crashing repeatedly, not to mention the team's drivers being outfoxed by the changing weather conditions - failing to escape  the Q1 Qualie' session, Massa was still looking forward to starting his 200th GP.

Yet, as Y'all know, Massa was the unfortunate victim of a first lap crash when thee 'Kimster (K. Raikkonen) careened off of a ditch, broke his suspension and augured nose into the barriers, causing nearly an hour's Red flag period.

Ironically, Kimi Räikkönen & his Oomphlats were the latest inductees into the prestigious 200 Starts Club, when the Monosyllabic Finn notched his Double Century Grand Prix start at this year's Canadian GP, to which, in typical Iceman fashion, he was very non-plussed about.

As Räikkönen became the sport's 14th driver to accomplish the feat, now having been joined by Massa, only the 15th driver to do so...

As Felipe will ever be intertwined with my acquisition of a Speed Freaks "Freakin' is  My Business" T-shirt sent to Mwah for callin' out Crash Gladys upon calling the affable Brazilian Felipe Moss; YIKES! As think I'll dig I-T out 'N wear it down to the coast in honour of Massa...

Hence, whilst casting around thee A-L-L Knowing intrawoods, nee internetz to confirm my long dormant records on such Statistical matters, I came across the following story, albeit obviously written prior to 200 Club members No's 12-13 joining the fray; and obviously this year's latest two inductees.

As I've previously scribbled about "Fredrico Suave" (Fernando Alonso) and Mark 'Handlebarz Webber joining the club in;

'Mean Jean Alesi's 200th GP start liveried Jordan EJ11-Honda racecar. (Diecast model)
As for reasons unknown, the 10 Most Experienced F1 Drivers article above leaves out 'Mean Jean Alesi from its honours roll, as the mercurial Frenchman completed 201 Grand Prix's, as I still recall seeing his yellow & black Benson & Hedges; Err Buzzin 'N Hornets Jordan adorned with 200 numerals on its sidepods at the 2001 USGP, my debutant outing to Mother Speedway, nee Indianapolis Motor Speedway - the first international sporting event held after that nefarious 9/11 event...

Thus, by my very unofficial records, Bloody 'JENSE will take over the No. 3 slot this weekend at Hockenheim, where he'll surpass past most Grand Prix starts record holder Riccardo Patrese's once astounding tally of 256 starts.

As it seems Trulli' funny to realize how fast time has flown by, with Jenson having also surpassed ex-F1 driver thy "Trulli Scrumptious" (Jarno Trulli) 'Juan's tally of 252-starts - still being able to fondly recall Jenson Button being a rookie for Williams-BMW 'Wayback in 2000 while being mentored by then BMW Motorsports Boss Gerhard "Blockhead" Berger, along with having his driver's license suspended for speeding in a BMW Diesel!

As the 15-times Grand Prix winner and 2009 F1 world champion has come a long ways from those Team Willy' days, stirring emotions whilst wearing a pink helmet in salute of his departed father whilst qualifying an excellent third and then putting on a superbly entertaining chase for the podium's final step at his home Grand Prix at Silverstone last time out.

Thus, Button should make Grand Prix start No. 257 at 'Der Hockenheimring this Sunday, trailing only Rubino's staggering record of 322-starts, the only record Rubens Barrichello holds over former team-mate 'DER TERMINATOR, nee Michael Schumacher who finished his illustrious F1 career with 307 starts.

As the verdict's still out on whether or not Button will return to McLaren in 2015, yet surely will at least reach the mid-260's for starts by the end of this season, and at only 34yrs old, could well pass Rubino's record for longevity...