August 23, 2015

Spa F1

So I happened to get up a bit before 5 AM, and having nothing better to do and not being sleepy, I monitored the "live timing (spoiler)" section of the F1 website and watched the race.

I'm looking forward to Wonderduck's writeup of this one because it was a lot more interesting than most of the recent races. There was actual racing going on this time, including spectacular passes, and a lot of real competition. (A lot of that is because this is one of the best tracks used in F1.)

It probably was a lot of fun to really watch, instead of just looking at the leader board and reading a live-blog, like I was. And even that was fun.

UPDATE: I feel like writing more. Huge spoilers below the fold.

Hamilton started in first, ran away at the start, and was never seen again. He drove a flawless race, in the best car on the track, and justly earned his first place finish.

Rosberg started in second and messed up the start, at one point being in 5th place. But in ten or so laps he managed to fight his way back up to second, and then he too headed over the horizon and was never seen again. For most of the race Rosberg was within two to five seconds of Hamilton, and third place was 20 seconds or more back from there. The only time Hamilton wasn't in first place was one lap after Hamilton pitted for fresh tires, until Rosberg in turn pitted for fresh tires. So Rosberg got to be in the lead for one lap.

The real struggle and excitement was for third place and that was in doubt right up until the end. The "Black cloud of Black luck" prize of the race goes to Vettel, who was in third place with two laps to go and had been doing a great job defending his position. Then his right rear tire blew out and Grosjean, who had been challenging him for ten laps, scooted past for the first podium for Lotus since 2013. Vettel limped around the track to the pit lane and never emerged again.

The "Gutsy drive by a gutsy driver" prize goes to Kvyat. He pitted for soft tires on lap 28, returned to the track in 10th, and started passing like a mad man. In the last fifteen laps Kvyat passed five cars (who were all on intermediate tires): Bottas, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Massa, and Perez. After Vettel DNF'ed that let Kvyat finish in 4th. I should mention he was never a threat to take 3rd; he finished 8 seconds behind Grosjean, who in turn was 35 seconds behind Rosberg.

For me the disappointment of the race was Perez, who was in third place at one point and had a real chance of getting a podium for Force India. But then he faded back and ended in 5th, something like 15 seconds back from Grosjean. I have a soft spot for Force India; I want them to do well.

I also have a soft spot for Hulkenberg, their other driver. Sadly, the black cloud of black luck visited him today, too. His car died before the start and he didn't even finish one lap.

It was another horrible day for McLaren, but McLaren's story this season is "How the mighty have fallen". Alonso and Button finished 13th and 14th. They started in the caboose and finished there. McLaren only has 17 points so far.

Mercedes now has 426 points and second place Ferrari has 242. Unless the Sweet Meteor of Death visits Mercedes HQ, I don't see how anyone can catch them.

Hamilton has 227 points, 28 ahead of Rosberg, 67 ahead of Vettel, and 145 ahead of Raikkonen. Rosberg is the only one who has any chance of catching him, but it ain't much of one. Rosberg and Hamilton are driving the best cars on the track, which is why they're leaving everyone else behind. But Hamilton is simply a better driver, which is why he's won six races to Rosberg's two.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 09:37 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Done.  You might (or might not) be surprised at my take on the race.  It's quite a bit different from yours.

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 23, 2015 07:51 PM (jGQR+)

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