Monday, March 28, 2016

Formula E Sweeping Long Beach Streets...

Funny, but whilst the modern day "silent Sam's" are whistling down Shoreline Drive and brushin' aside 'Ol Hobbo's (David Hobbs) famous 'Clag! Their IndyCar counterparts will be runnin' circles round Phoenix International Raceway...

Naturally, it seems somewhat comical that Formula E will be cleaning off Los Angeles Metropolis's thoroughfares in preparations for the forthcoming 42nd Long Beach Grand Prix a Fortnight later, which features Indy Cars as its headlining act - ironically racing the same day in (Avondale) Arizona, albeit at night.

And how the mighty have fallen? As I was chagrined to hear Thy wondrous voice 'O Bob Varsha wrapping up the latest Formula E race from Mexico City, albeit surely ensconced in the studios somewheres' in Thy South? As Messer Varsha noted he'd be filling in for the upcoming Long Beach round, albeit NO idea if he'll actually be "live" or not?

And it's been a longtime since I've paid any Attenzione to Formula E, having previewed the series first season ahead of its inaugural race 'Wayback in the fall of 2014, which obviously has seen much changes since then.

As Reuters has teased us with the following stories recently, for which I'm totally opposed to, which probably is ironic since their technology is aimed supposedly at helping us visually impaired Chaps, along with Thy aging Baby Boomer generation, et al.

Whilst even more disparaging is this 'lil gem from the series leader (CEO) Alejandro Agagg, as what's next? Mechanical Dog racing? Remote Control Air Racing? Automatic braking systems? Like what was that 'Ol Nige said 'bout "Monkey's behind the Steering Wheel," eh?

But enough of this Futurama, let's try examining what those laid back Californians will be watchin' upon Thy streets of Long Beach, since after all, isn't L.A. renowned for its hazy skies? And thus they'll be able to breathe easy with hardly a Peep being made on Race-day; Hya!

Alas, like all racing series, Formula E's also in an apparent state 'O constant flux, Pun intended; Hooah! Get I-T? Flux, Flux-capacitor; Cymbol Crash please - Thank You, Thank You very much...

As the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has just rubber-stamped approval of tenders for a single chassis and battery supplier for next season and beyond...

Originally there were ten teams entered, but former Toyota F1 driver Jarno Trulli withdrew his Swiss based Trulli Grand Prix at the beginning of the season...

ABT Schaeffler Audi "Sport; Germany, Amlin Andretti Formula E,; USA, Dragon Racing; USA; DS Virgin Racing; UK,  Mahindra Racing; India, NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team; China, Renault E-Dams; France; Venturi Grand Prix; Monaco and Team Aguri; Japan.

11) Lucas di Grassi; Brazil
66) Daniel Abt; Germany

Obviously the team is centered around its namesake Daniel Abt, an accomplished Sports Car racer with ex-Virgin F1 driver and current Audi LMP1 chauffer Di Grassi presumably the quicker of the two - with the team under Audi's umbrella in order to have a foot in the electric arena...

27) Robin Frijns; Netherlands
28) Simona de Silvestro; Switzerland

Somehow I missed the Memo that "Symona-Symona" (De Silvestro) had made the switch to Formula E, as this can only make me wonder if she'll be driving a fifth Andretti Autosport entry at Mother Speedway this May? Hmm? May be with Amlin, whom Mikey A's swiped from Aguri-san's (Aguri Suzuki) team.

Meanwhile, Robin Frijns, who was once Thy Niederlanders' aspiring hope to become its next Formula 1 Ace surely looks wistfully at the "Kid!" Aka Max "Dutchboy" Verstappen, as Frijns rise thru the junior Open Wheel ranks was meteoric - culminating with the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 series championship as a rookie before apparently falling afoul of Thy dreaded Sponsorship noose..

ARSE-Sumin' De Silvestro's still racing? Although she's currently mired in 17th in the points standings with a Goose-egg while Frijns is seventh with 31-points...

6) Loic Duvall; France
7) Jerome d'Ambrosio; Belgium

Yep, this is Jay PISSENBOOTZ' Penske's team, son of El Capitano', nee Roger Penske, for which perhaps Jay's wife Elaine Irwin, now that she's done sharing fashion tips with Katherine Legge will join the beautiful people of La-La land in Thy Paddock! Unless the sun might varnish her complexion; Hya! Since after all it's a home race for the couple.

But back to racing, as the team's gone for two Speedsters, with Loic Duvall being an Audi LMP1 Prototype Ace and Jerome a former F1 hired gun, as D'Ambrosio last drove for one of 'Dem Lotus team's, substituting for Romain Grosjean who'd been given a one race ban for his wild driving 'Wayback in 2012 at Spa Francorchamps - deputizing at the following Italian Grand  Prix and is the series most recent winner...

2) Sam Bird; UK
25) Jean-Eric Vergne; France

Sir Richard Branson has joined forces with Citroen this season, hence the DS nomenclature, as the team, like several on the Grid sports a pair of once aspiring Formula 1 drivers.

Sam Bird's single seater career apparently plateaued at GP2, the final rung to Formula 1, where he finished runner-up in 2013 for Russian Time Racing before lacking the necessary budget to grab an F1 seat.

Jean-Eric Vergne is one of many of Red Bull's cadre 'O aspiring drivers tossed away like Helmut Marko's cold bath water! Part of Toro Rosso's revolving door, having spent three seasons at Thy 'lil Bulls alongside first Daniel Ricciardo and then Daniil Kvyat, who've now both moved up to Red Bull Racing whilst Vergne made way for the current Young Guns duo of Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, Jr. While I'm pretty certain Vergne's still a Ferrari development driver this year at least, and perhaps has even moved up to reserve driver status...

21) Bruno Senna; Brazil
23) Nick Heidfeld; Germany

This Indian team has gone for the services of two former Formula 1 Pilotes' this year. As the name Senna should be familiar to Y'all, although it belongs to Thy late Ayrton's nephew Bruno who briefly raced in Formula 1, at Team Willy' (Williams F1) NO less.

And like his team-mate, presumably "Quick Nick" (Heidfeld) thought he'd still be racing his former F1 colleagues, most notably thou "Iceman," nee Kimi Raikkonen - who he bested during one season of the pair's tenure at Sauber...

#1) Nelson Piquet, Jr; Brazil
88) Oliver Turvey; UK

Reigning Formula E champion Nielsen Ho's (Piquet Jnr) biggest claim to fame is as whistle blower upon Renault's Crash Gate saga, when HMS Monogram, nee Flavour Flav, aka Flavio Briatore had Nelson purposely crash during the '08 Singapore GP in order to enable team leader Fernando Alonso to win the race. For which the young Brazilian subsequently made public after Flavio fired him!

Oliver Turvey's best known as a longtime McLaren F1 "Simulator Jockey," nee Development driver for which I'm no longer certain if he's still with the Woking based squad or not?

8) Nicholas Prost; France
9) Sebastian Buemi; Switzerland

Yessiree Bob! That's Nicholas Prost as in son of "The Professor," four-times Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost, which Dovetails nicely with Poppa's links with Renault providing a place for his son to race when not busy traipsing around the World Endurance Championship (WEC) trail.

Sebastian Buemi's another chewed-up 'N spatted out Red Bull prodigy, who like others, raced for the Seester' B-Team, aka Toro Rosso for three seasons alongside teenager, and then youngest ever F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari, who replaced somebody known here at No Fenders as le 'Hamburgular, nee Sebastain Bourdais.

Yet Buemi kept his foot in the F1 door as test and reserve  driver for Red Bull & Toro Rosso between 2012-15 and now concentrates upon his World Endurance Championship Sports Car gig for Toyota's LMP1 concern...

4) Stephane Sarrazin; France
12) Mike Conway; UK

This Monaco based team is led by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and this season started off with Thy celebrated Jacques Villeneuve trying his hand in thou silent world before departing from the team and being replaced by Mike "Ice-Ice, Baby!" Conway, who's Day Job consists of wheelin' a Factory WEC Toyota LMP1 Prototype.

Monsieur Sarrazin tried his hand at Formula 1 by making a single race outing a zillion years ago for Minardi... Before focusing upon Tintop racing instead, most notably having been part of Peugeot's Works Le Mans squad and has also contested the World Rally Championship recently...

55) Antonio Felix da Costa; Portugal
77) Salvador Duran; Mexico

Antonio Felix da Costa was another of Thy Red Bull Junior Drivers ultimately discarded whilst attempting to claim a seat in the promised land, aka Formula One after having shone brightly in his late season call-up to Formula Renault 3.5, winning four of the final five races while Robin Frijns was en route to the title. Afterwards, both drivers took part in the Abu Dhabi Young Guns F1 test for Red Bull Racing, before diverging upon different career paths. As the Portuguese driver, who also won the Macau Grand Prix is currently a  Factory BMW chauffer in the DTM series.

Salvador Duran is totally unknown to Mwah, although this Mexicali pilote has a ton of single seater experience, most notably as Team Mexico's chauffer in the long defunct A1 GP series, having won both rounds at Laguna Seca 'Wayback in '05!

Salvador NOT Duran-Duran; Hooah! Presumably was brought onboard for the Mexican round, Ci? Having been part of Thy "Trulli Scrumptious's" folded Formula E team - along with having deputized for Thy Leggy Juan' (Katherine Legge) during her Formula E season for Aguri-san, and should also appease the Long Beach crowd as well.

Hmm? Somehow I overlooked Salvador's biggest racing accomplishment to date, when he was part of Cheeps' (Ganassi) winning '07 Rolex 24 lineup alongside some Catz' named Scott Pruett and Juan Pablo Montoya; Ariva-Ariva-Ariva!

Currently, we're just past the halfway portion of the 2015-16 season which began last October 24th in Beijing. After Long Beach teams will travel to Paris, Berlin, Moscow and wrap-up the season in London on July 3rd.

Sebastian Buemi presently leads the Drivers championship,  22-points clear of Lucas di Grassi  who should be leading, but dropped to second after being DSQ'ed (Disqualified)  in Post-race scrutineering  at Mexico City, giving the win to Jerome d'Ambrosio instead, the second time Di Grassi's "Gifted" Jerome victory!

1. Sebastian Buemi         98
2. Lucas di Grassi            76
3. Sam Bird                        60
4. Jerome d'Ambrosio   58
5. Loic Duvall                    44