Monday, August 30, 2021

F1: The Race Resumes. No, It Doesn’t!

Although we All know, It’s just a Two Horse race whenever it Stops Raining at Spa…


Have to admit, I totally didn’t miss Formula 1 at all over the past month’s Summer Break, and found myself musing over really wanting to go back to following F1?


As we All know, Golden child, nee Sir Lewis, or simply known as Lewis Hamilton led the F1 Drivers standings following the Hungarian Grand Prix by 8 points over Max Verstappen, with these two being in Thar own respective Zip code! As I only bothered with the Top five drivers who were above 100 points, since this already feels like a pretty compelling cut-off.


Whilst the much more important F1 Constructors standings sees a similar plight, once again with Mercedes and Red bull locked in a Mano e Mano Duel for the top slot. And who knows how many more Grands Prix there will be over the season’s second half, especially with Covid 19’s Delta variant picking up steam itself! And the F1 Calender having been further modified to now only 22 planned Grands Prix. As may be Liberty Media should get the Memo about Not trying to hold a ridiculous 23 events per season, Comprende?


And those  were my sentiments before Mother Nature Slapped Formula 1 Upside it’s Noggin’ at Spa!


As the following Points Standings were as of the Hungarian Grand Prix, and Don’t reflect the Farcical awarding of Half points at Spa Francorchamps!


F1 Constructors Points

(1) Mercedes: 303, (2) Red Bull: 291, (3) Ferrari: 163, (4) McLaren: 163, (5) Alpine: 77, (6) AlphaTauri: 68, (7) Aston Martin: 48, (8) Williams: 10, (9) Alfa Romeo: 3 and (10) Haas: 0


F1 Drivers Points

(1) Lewis Hamilton: 195, (2) Max Verstappen: 187, (3) Lando Norris: 113, (4) Valtteri Bottas: 108 and (5) Sergio Perez: 104


Not surprisingly, Red bull has elected to keep Sergio Perez for another season, while Ditto for Alpine with Fernando Alonso. With the world waiting with Baited Breath over Valtteri Bottas being replaced by George Russell. With the only question will it be a straight swap or will Bottas replace Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo?


Whilst F1 Grizzled Journo’ Joe Saward notes that le Reggie’ (Renault) parted company with it’s  Engine Boss, along with the Scandal over Spa Francorchamps Circuit Boss Nathalie Maillet being found Dead at Home in a suspected Messy Murdered triangle!


Mother Nature played Havoc with the Mighty Spa All weekend long, as Friday’s inclement weather saw Max Verstappen bringing out a second Red Flag after crashing in the final moments of Friday’s second practice session, albeit Verstappen was P1 at the end of (Free Practice) FP2.


Following the Big boyz’ final practice session, the Women’s W Series saw a six car Pile-up with multiple wrecked cars and two Drivers going to Hospital for precautionary checks, a la Lando Norris following a Wet ‘N Wooly F1 Qualifying session!


As All three Qualie’ sessions were held in varying precipitation, with a Chaotic Q3 Top 10 Shootout session Red Flagged for 42mins due to McLaren’s Lando Norris Mega Shunt at Eau Rouge on his first Flying Lap! As the famous corner was the site of multiple incidents and was the center of much consternation over the weekend, along with differing views upon it’s planned renovations for 2022.


Then the unthinkable happened, as Team Willy’s George Russell snatches an unlikely Pole position away from Golden Child, nee Sir Lewis (Hamilton) by a scant Millisecond!


But Verstappen Pips George Russell by 0.321 second on his final Q3 lap to Deny Russell from taking a Shock Pole for Williams, his first Front Row start, ahead of Golden Child in P3! With McLaren’s Dannyric’, aka Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and Aston Martin’s ‘lil Syd viddle’ (Sebastian Vettel) rounding out the Top 5.


Whilst both Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) were serving five place Grid penalties for causing separate first lap accidents at Hungary. And that was before finding out about Kimi Raikkonen changing to a different rear wing on his Alfa Romeo or Norris having had his Gearbox changed, resulting in penalties for  both of them…


As little did we know that Saturday’s Qualifying would ultimately determine the finishing order of the race’s podium, albeit I’d say that the race was a total Farce! As I said laughing mirthlessly Clusterfuck! When Nobody could figure out whether or not the race had ever officially started?


And Ye Piped Piper Chris Horner has to be wondering about signing Sergio Perez for another season after Checko’ Aqualplaned Offtrack during the Formation lap and initially “Totaled” his Red bull chariot, which definitely Had Wings!


Before longtime Red Bull Manager Jonathan Wheatley rightly Argued with F1 Race Director Michael Masi that the race had never started, and therefore Checko’ hadn’t received any “Outside Assistance.” Meaning Perez could resume racing if they could repair the car, which remarkably the Red Bull Mechanics did in record time All to No Avail!


And “we” Talk About Drivers earning Thar Money during tricky driving conditions, but I’d say that the Talking Headz’, Uhm Sky Sports F1 Pundits earned their Salaries Sunday Quite Handsomely, especially Pitlane reporter Karun “Cowboy” Chandhok! Whom lead Announcer, Err Presenter David “Kroftie” Kroft was giving much ribbing about being outside in the weather. And how he and Brundle were nice and dry, Warm and had the Heaters on Full Boil, Hya!


As they were keeping us entertained and amused as Martin Billybob’ Brundle said incredulously He’s never heard such a comment from trained F1 Personnel, when they played the sound clip of somebody on the Pit wall asking F1 Race Director Masi Did the Race Start or Not? To which Kroftie’ Cheekily said that Sky Sports Analyst ANT’, nee Anthony Davidson hasn’t done this much reading, reading the F1 Regulations since Grade School, Hya! To which ANT’ Brilliantly said Deadpan See Spot Run, Hya!


As I’ll admit that I got up at Oh Dark 30’ since I had a feeling after Saturday’s result it was gonna be a Zany race and I didn’t want to miss any of it, which typically gets rudely Sliced ‘n diced and Chopped Off in the ensuing Encore Presentations with multiple interruptions by the Mother’s Shoe Polish lady…


So I sat thru the whole Gory thing, for which I’ll tackle the Stupendous Gaff made by F1 in a separate post, since like typical this one’s running a Wee Bitamyte’ long! With two more items to comment upon.


Wasn’t paying full Attenzione to the start of the conversation during what clocked in as a 3hr 20mins Red Flag Delay on my Talking Keychain Clock. As think Kroftie’ was asking Brundle about whether or not Vettel should give back his Runner-up trophy from Hungary after later being Disqualified.


As my Ears pricked up when Brundle waxed poetically about how he still has the second place trophy along with the chrome screws in his trophy cabinet even though the FIA Record Books say He Doesn’t exist that year! As he muddled on finally recalling he’d passed Elio de Angelis in 1985 but went quiet after mentioning how de Angelis had Died in a Testing Accident.


Actually Brundle had finished second in the 1984 Detroit Grand Prix, whilst I’d forgotten he suffered a Horrendous Shunt at the following Dallas Grand Prix where he broke both ankles and feet! And reportedly his left anklw was so bad, that Doctors initially considered Amputating it! While Martin would never be able to left foot brake again! Whilst I’d also forgotten that was his Rookie  F1 season.


Although I know of the infamous ’84 Dallas Grand Prix, which I actually paid a friend to make copies of his photos from that race, it was before my Formula 1 Baptism.


Yet I am aware from the History Books how Tyrrell was ultimately excluded from that year’s records after presumably rival teams protested Brundle’s Runner Up finish at Detroit. Or was simply Disqualified afterwards for not meeting the FIA’s minimum weight requirements.


Since they’d been using illegal lead buckshot in the Tyrrell’s 012 chassis in order to stay competitive vs. the turbo cars as the lone Cossie’ (Ford Cosworth)

DFY  naturally aspirated V-8 runner that year.


As the Buckshot was mixed into the car’s onboard water tanks during final Pit stops to meet the minimum weight requirement, but done under High pressure the lead would spill out onto Pitlane, many times into other competitors Pit boxes…


Thus “Uncle Chopper’s” (Ken Tyrrell) F1 Team was barred from the season’s final three races and all results nullified, costing him considerable travel funds the following year, not to mention ultimately giving the FIA it’s wish of “Banning” non turbocharged entries for ’85. Albeit Tyrrell soldiered on with the 012 at the beginning of the 1985 season before it’s 014 Chassis with a Renault turbo engine arrived.


Whilst my Quip of The Year so far has to be Kroftie’s Brilliant parting words when signing off from Spa, saying in a typical Dry, Imperial British Monotone. We’ve been Talking Awhile Now and We Need some Water. Does Anybody Know Where We cand Find Some?