Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Round Three: Vettel's lucky number 3 (Malaysia recap)

If qualifying was a bowl of porridge, I would have classified it as "just right".

Rain starts falling seconds before qualifying starts and the "big" teams decide to hold out in the hope the rain is going to ease up.  Everyone goes out on intermediate tires and it keeps raining; turning the track into a weird mix of dry at the start of the lap and by the time you get to turn 15 you're in a lake.

Our Polish man Kubica went out early with some of the mid to low level teams and he does a very nice lap that wasn't spectacular at that time but as the rain continues and everyone has to come in for full wet tires you start to realize that it's just going to get slower and slower.  Kubica's time stands as best for that session.

Trying hard, Alonso performs a Backside 720 that would make Shaun White proud. Fernando sticks the landing and keeps going.  Props for style but like Massa, Hamilton, and Jenson, the weather made it impossible to post times high enough to move on.  This ends up being the first time Ferrari had no cars advance out of the first session.  Ever.

The rain made qualifying great to watch.  Not so bad they couldn't do anything but wet enough that you couldn't look away.

Force India nearly took pole position and I have to admit I was really pulling for them to get it but Webber's laps were getting faster and faster even as the rain increased.  He stayed on iintermediate tires and still took pole.  It was impressive.

With a lot of the fast guys at the back the race starts and we're just waiting for the craziness to begin. Barichello has a bit of déjà vu and stalls on the grid .  Vettel takes the lead from 3rd and although there were lots of passing and repassing going on, he held on to the lead and won the race.

Vitaly Petrov fighting with Hamilton.  He passes Hamilton and Hamilton repasses him and then gets warned for "excessive weaving" when Petrov ducks in behind him to get a nice draft.  

Alonso develops some odd transmission problem very early in the race and can't downshift correctly.  This means he can't slow his car down normally as he enters each corner.   He somehow manages to adjust and begins to make up time.   Then with a lap to go the whole thing falls apart.  Again, I'm conflicted. 
  • Ferrari missing out on constructor points? Good.
  • Fernando missing out on championship points? Bad
  • Watching Alonso's driving skill, Amazing.
  • Ferrari blowing up? Excellent.

This week's best David Hobbs comment.  "There's Michael Schumacher looking fit as a butcher's dog, as usual."

Next up:  China
This is always a great event.  The track is a great example of the new generation of F1 tracks with one of the most difficult corner sequences the drivers will face all year.

The first corner starts out fairly mild and gets tighter and tighter with a progressively decreasing radius that whips you into a left hand hairpin.   It's basically the longest corner entry you can have.

An elegant mirror, turn 12 is one of my favorites.  You get to accelerate faster and faster as you gradually unwind onto a long straight.  If you you get this wrong you've lost way too much momentum and you absolutely will get passed before the hairpin.

I love this sport.

Invites going out today.  We'll cook stuff, eat it and remark knowingly about things in general.

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