The Flying Deutsch – Finn

Well, what a race we had in Shanghai. No rain, not many spins, no crashes, just Schumi as a DNF, coasting to a halt with an unfastened rear wheel twelve laps into the race after his first pit stop.

But having said that it was probably the closest race in a long time. with the pack following the leader being up each other’s exhaust pipes for much of the race.

Rosberg having claimed pole got away superbly and aside from pit stops was always in the lead.

Button worked his way up to second but had a disastrous final stop and had to do the whole thing again, passing Senna, Grosjean, Webber, Vettel and the, up to that point storming, Kimi Raikonnen.

Raikonnen had run well in the Lotus but his tyres were shot with the last few laps to go and he rapidly tumbled down the field from second to an ultimate fourteenth.

Felipe Massa seemed to have got a bit of a grip, missing out on the final qualifying session but starting only two places behind team-mate Alonso. He briefly led the race during the initial pit stops, but then fell back down the field, his Ferrari becoming a mobile chicane as he held up the faster cars behind him.
Having elected to stop only twice he was once again on the receiving end of a message from his engineer telling him to let Alonso through, and having to settle for thirteenth at the chequered flag.

Lewis Hamilton drove well to finish third, keeping out of trouble and not managing to knock Massa off. There was a good wheeel to wheel battle down the pit lane with Raikonnen, which the Finn conceded. However he did go on to have wheeel to wheel battles with most of the field, being reluctant to let his place go too easily.

Seb Vettel also missed the final qualifying but hung in there to run as high as third in the closing stages. However his tyre strategy meant, like Raikonnen he didn’t have the grip over the last few laps and finished in fifth.

But it was Rosberg’s day. His father Keke, was known as The Flying Finn.
Rosberg takes his German nationality from his Mother, but he is really half German, half Finnish. And Fast.

The Flying Deutsch Finn perhaps.

Young Jake Goes For Bernie’s Jugular

Off to Velencia for the European Grands Prix.

Well not really cos I’m grounded at the moment and to be quite honest it would have been a total waste of time and money.

The circuit has been on the calendar for about five years or so and we have yet to see an exciting race there.

Vettel qualified on pole, yawn, with Webber, Hamilton and Alonso making up the first two rows of the grid.

In the race he held onto the lead, yawn, yawn, and although those chasing him swapped places a few times, the overtaking was mostly down to the pitstops, yawnety yawn.

So Vettel took the chequered flag, Alonso drove well to take second, Webber finished third and Hamilton managed to avoid running into or over anything to take fourth.

Schumacher lost his front wing early on, and a couple of the backmarkers ran wide here and there and that was about it.

But hang on, there was some excitement.

Martin Brundle appears to be being given a rest from the pitstraight walkabout he has made his own over the years. Perhaps he’s finding it a bit of a push to get back to the commentary box in time for the parade lap, who knows?

Anyways, young Jake Humphries and former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan have done the honours for the last two races.

And very interesting it is too. Whereas Martin would talk to the camera on espying a driver, team owner or F1 Ringmaster and just sort of sidle up to them, including the viewer in his approach, the diminutive Eddie Jordan stalks right up to his quarry and grabs them by the arm, dragging them back, in some cases kicking and screaming, to talk to himself, Young Jake and us.

And so he lighte upon Mr. Ecclestone himself, and hounded him down the pitlane, until Bernie was holed up against a cordoned off area that not even his mega pass could get through.

Eddie ushered Bernie back to the waiting Young Jake and the cameraman and proceeded to ask about the future of this Grands Prix.
Bernie confirmed that talks were being held and then mentioned that Barcelona had held the Spanish GP for quite a long time now.

Eddie was going to move on to something else, but Young Jake, perhaps fancying himself in the role of namesake of John, arch Today interviewer and political assassin extraordinaire, and stepped right in.

Did Bernie mean that Barcelona could be off the calendar to make way for Valencia?

A good try Young Jake, but better men than you have failed to elicit a straight response from the pint sized impressario.

Bernie evaded the question with a neat sidestep, made his excuses and hared away into the distance, leaving Jake and Eddie alone on the tarmac.

If the boss of BBC Sport is reading this, don’t be surprised if you wake in the middle of the night with something, warm, heavy and wet lying on your feet.

We can tell you now it will be the head of your favourite F1 anchorman….

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Come back Murray Wanker

Vettel Trips Over Lip

The F1 World Sulking Championship moved along to Hungary this week, throwing up a new contender for the title on the way.

Poor old Fernando Alonso, having been sulking almost continually for the last two months was unfortunately unable to get in a strop about anything.

He managed a creditable third on the grid ahead of his teammate Massa and remained remarkably cool to force his way past Webber and up into second by the end of the second corner.

Pitting early on in the safety car controlled period he maintained his position behind Vettel, but dropped to third as Webber elected to keep going.

As the safety car prepared to pull over, Webber tucked up nice and close behind it, Vettel appeared to be backing up the field, ready for the re-start, falling foul of the regulation that states the cars should be within ten car’s lengths of the safety car, but not even that could make Fernando lose his rag.

Vettel was duly called into the pits for a drive through penalty, leaving Fernando in second with an unassailable gap to Webber up ahead, and a dramatically diminishing gap to the hard charging Vettel.

As we all learnt long ago, apart from Fernando that is, it isn’t enough to be the fastest man on the track, you’ve also got to be able to pass the man in front, and if he isn’t part of your team there is no way he can be made to move aside to let you through.

So Vettel, who set lots and lots of fastest laps during the race, was stuck behind Fernando, and as Fernando knows only too well, the Ferraris are a bugger to pass.

Having to settle for third when obviously he was expecting a win, Vettel looked like he’d been sucking on a lemon for the entire race.
That man could scowl for Germany.
He ranted and raved, stuck his bottom lip out, slouched in his chair like an angry teenager, blamed everyone else except himself and stormed through to take the full 25 points in the Sulking Championship.

Rubens Barrichello used to do sulking, when he was younger and partnered with Schumacher at Ferrari.
These days, as The Stig’s Faster Brazillian Cousin, he does affable, laid-back, grand-old-man-of-the-sport.

Having been harrassing his former team mate for several laps Rubens finally made his move on lap 65, lunging down the right of Schumacher as they screamed down the pit straight.
Schumacher, who still does the villain of the piece best of all, took a good look in his mirrors and then calmly moved to the right, squeezing Barrichello up to the wall.
Rubens held his breath and his ground until the pit wall ended and he was able to take advantage of the pit lane exit to surge past Schumi.
I was quite surprised that on completing the passing manoeuvre RB didn’t stick his hand up out of the cockpit and make the universal gesture to show Schumi what a wanker he was.

Interviewed later Schumacher claimed it was all Barrichello’s fault, Schumi had moved across to the right because he was leaving loads of room for Rubens to pass on the left…

Whisper It Softly

Well the top-bods in F1 have really cocked it up this time what with their new regulations and everything.

Following the opening race which was as dull as ditchwater with a degree in Dullness from Dullwich University, the season is rapidly bcoming exciting.
It even has exciting races which feature more than one evertaking manoeuvre!!!

Indeed the F1 drivers have been experimenting in what, for many, is an unexplored field, by coming back at the car that has just overtaken them and stealing their place back.
Yesterday’s Chinese Grand Prix saw cars three abreast as they battled for position.

All of this has left the commentators rather flummoxed, as they have been telling us for so many years that the cars progressing round the circuit in strict grid order and then attempting to re-fuel and change tyres quicker than somebody else who either has already left the pits or has yet to come in, is the most exciting spectacle on the planet.
Rumour has it that young Jake Humphrey, the BBC’s anchorman, had never actually seen an overtaking manoeuvre before and had to have a quick seminar from D.C. and Martin Brundle before he could join in the commentary at that particular point.
An unnamed source said that there were more overtaking manoeuvres in yesterday’s race than in the entire seven years when Schumacher was champion.

And it has to be noted that whilst Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes is up there with the big boys, running first for some time before sliding wide and allowing Button to close the gap to striking distance, but still managing to maintain a podium position, poor old Schumi is struggling, gaining positions while other drivers pit and then having to sit back and watch his pursuers growing ever larger in his mirrors until they scythe past and disappear into the distance. How the mighty are fallen:)
It has to be said that the volatile weather has helped with the spectacle, as has the spurious use of the safety car to bunch up the field, so we shall just have to hope that as the circus returns to Europe the weather continues to throw a few spanners into the works and old Bernie, Jean et al take on board the increased interest and leave well alone.

CorrEastBrook Grands Prix

You know how soap storylines get more and more farfetched?
So Brookie had Mrs. Corkhill being raped by a taxi driver.
Young Damon gets stabbed when he runs away.
Terry’s wife/girlfriend and toddler fell or were pushed off the roof of a building.
Next up was the wife beater Trevor(?)
Jordache, who was murdered by his daughter and buried under the patio with the help of Sinbad the window cleaner.
The whole close was quarantined after they contracted a mysterious illness.
Yuppies Max and whatever her name was had both their children killed in a car accident, which then turned out to have been whatsernames fault.

Eastenders had Den, the landlord of The Queen Vic, having sex on a table with the underage Vicky, who then found out she was preggers.
Pauline’s runaway son Mark returns but he’s HIV positive.
Arthur steals the Christmas club money in order to give Michelle the wedding she deserves and ends up in prison.
Den eventually gets bumped off, but a couple of years later returns, he wasn’t actually fatally wounded on that towpath before tumbling into the canal.
Kathy gets raped by the slimy, barbour wearing yuppie who’s renovated the pub on the opposite side of the square, which is then burnt down in an arson attack, perpetrated by Ian or Den of possibly the Grants if they were in it at that time.
One of the Grants is murdered and somebody sleeps with their best mate’s husband or fiance and somebody else is a bigamist and then Cindy or Bianca turn up again.

Corrie used to have Ena Sharples moaning about the price of a pint and now they have a murder at least three times a year from what I can gather.

Desperate writers come up with desperate storylines.

And so the same is true in Formula One.

First of all we had the ‘Spygate’ espionage drama where Mclaren came to be in possession of a 600 page dossier of technical information belonging to the Ferrari team.
As interest in that died down we then had the ‘sexgate’ scandal with Max Mosley, head of FIA, the governing body of the sport, being secretly filmed as he indulged in an S&M orgy with five prostitues.
Then came plain ‘cheatinggate’. Lewis Hamilton claiming Jarno Trulli passed him on the last lap of the inaugural Grand Prix of 2009 whilst the yellow flags were out, instead of admitting that his team instructed him to let Trulli past.
Now we have ‘crashgate’, Nelson Piquet jnr. claims he was told to crash his car at last season’s Singapore GP in order to engineer a win for team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Renault, Piquet’s former team, vehemently deny this and have in turn talked of ‘Blackmailgate’ claiming that Nelson and his dad only threatened to make the allegations to the FIA if young Nelson didn’t get to keep his drive.
Where will it all end?

I can reveal that in the next few months, two of the leading figures in the sport will come out as being gay and go through a civil partnership ceremony to cement their relationship.

This will of course founder when one partner is caught in bed with his team manager’s wife.

Allegations of human trafficking will be levelled at one of the leading European teams, when one of the transporters is found to contain 2600 refugees.

Expect pit lanes the world over to be dug up in the search for the mysteriously disappeared challenger to the throne for President of the FIA.

A former world champion who was declared dead will return to F1 explaining that he wasn’t really hurt he’d just had enough of driving round in circles and playing petty politics

You heard it here, first.

BTW it was quite a good race on Sunday but I don’t think anybody noticed.

Shanghaied in shanghai, Deja pre- vu

Following China’s slight cock up in releasing a statement to the press regarding the successful launch of her first manned space rocket, when the rocket was still securely planted on terra firma, BoggartBlog was fascinated to receive the results of Sunday’s GP.

Another exciting weekend for F1 fans as Felipe Massa effectively clinched the F1 drivers title, despite not finishing the race earlier today.

The drama started before the grid had even formed up, when Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, the current championship leader, was given a 10 second penalty for looking at Kimi Raikonnen “a bit funny”. In the view of the stewards this was a tactic designed to put Raikonnen off, and could have impaired his prospects in the race.

Hamilton consequently had to start from the back of the grid, forfeiting the brilliant pole position he secured in the final qualifying session, despite running on full tanks as the Stewards had insisted that this was the new reqirement, only to retract this edict when it was shown that nobody else in the pitlane had been ordered to run on full tanks.
Although the McLaren team professed themselves dismayed at the blatant bias against their driver, Hamilton showed true maturity in accepting the punishment and vowing “just to get on with the job, get my head down and drive to win.”

The start itself was explosive, with Fernando Alonso storming up from the third row and slipping down the inside of Robert Kubica in third, before locking up the brakes and missing the first corner, forcing cars to take to the grass to avoid a collision.

Alonso was adamant that this was all down to Hamilton’s dangerous style of driving, which was a little hard to credit as Hamilton had only managed to make up five places in the first 100 yards and was well behind the Spaniard at the time.

However, the stewards took Alonso’s part and Hamilton was given a drive through penalty, thus losing the ground he had made up and over half a lap to the leaders.

Back out at the front the two Ferraris were battling it out, with Massa all over the gear box of the resurgent Finn. Sensing a chance to slip by in the chicane, Massa ran wide and ended up in the gravel trap. The safety car was immediately deployed, whilst the marshalls pushed the stricken Ferrari out of the kitty litter and then bump started it to get it back in the race. Several teams appealed against this, as push starting is outside the rules, however the stewards over-ruled the appeals by claiming that Massa’s car had been interfering with the progress of the race and needed to be moved.

Massa was then allowed to pass the safety car to regain the lap he had lost, but was now tucked up behind Hamilton.

Despite all the set-backs Hamilton was in “the zone”, and as soon as the green flags were waved he began his task of overhauling the cars in front of him, leaving Massa floundering in his wake.

Driving like a man posessed he scythed through the backmarkers, making up eight places in the restart lap. He then proceeded to reel in the Toro Rosso pair who were battling it out for 9th and 10th. Whilst the team mates were locked in their own battle Hamilton drove smoothly past the pair of them down the start finish straight, a move which once again incurred the scrutiny of the stewards.

Back up at the front Raikonnen was having a hard time staving off the charging Kubica, who himself was being harrassed by both Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

With the pit stops looming there was everything to play for, but disaster struck again in the pits for Raikonnen, when once again the electronic relase mechanism failed to work properly, the light swithching to green after the Ferrari had been stationary for just 3 seconds. With the adrenalin pumping Raikonnen was pure reaction and was halfway down the pit lane before he realised that he was running on his brake discs, as the mechanics had not had time to fit the new wheels. However as the fuel hose was still attached, he really was lighting up the pitlane as the sparks from the brake discs ignited the fuel.
The stewards immediately closed the pit lane whilst the fire was extinguished, the injured mechanics taken to the medical centre and the debris tidied up.

By now the cars on the track were queuing to enter the pits, unable to continue as their fuel supplies ran dangerously low, all apart from Hamilton, who had of course started on full tanks.

Hamilton knew what he had to do and kept the hammer down, banging in fastest lap after fastest lap with metronomic precision and opening up what appeared to be an unassailable five lap lead.

The pit lane finally re-opened the stewards announced yet another inquiry into Hamilton’s driving, claiming that it was unfair that he had been carrying so much fuel. They then issued a penalty to fit the crime and Hamilton was reqired to come in and top up the tanks every five laps.
Massa, meanwhile was still languishing down the order and was quickly being caught by the race leader, Adrian Sutil in the force India car. Seeing the blue flags Massa appeared to be making room on the right for the young driver to pass, however as Sutil drew up alongside, Massa edged over forcing the car into the pit wall and out of the race and sending himself into a spin.

A charging Hamilton had to swerve to avoid the Ferrari at which point Massa’s car regained traction and lunged into the back of Hamilton’s car ending both their races.

The stewards were quick to announce an investigation into the incident, suffice to say the Force India team were stunned to learn that the stewards deemed the first incident to be Sutil’s fault, whilst the blame for the second incident was laid firmly at Hamilton’s door. Massa was duly given 10 points for not finishing the race whilst Hamilton has been given a 10 place grid penalty for the start of the final race.
Max Mosley, head of the FIA, denied that the stewards had been biased towards Massa and against Hamilton but did say that none of the punishments were subject to appeal.