Saturday, November 3, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 13 - Italian Grand Prix - Monza

Monza.  The fastest track of the year.  The cars get up to over 215 mph or so and it's all about straight line speed.  Hardly any downforce is used here and you can see drivers trying to work with cars that brake and accelerate completely differently than they are used to.

This place is hard on brakes but really hard on engines.  Most (over 80%) of the time they are at full throttle. 

The first corner here is often the site of a crash.  Will we get another pile up like we saw at Spa?  Let's find out...

I'm irritated at the continued sissification of F1.  Grosjean gets banned for an entire race for an unintentional mistake?   Ridiculous.  Yes, there was a lot of carnage and yes, it was dangerous, but let's be honest with ourselves, Lewis didn't have to hold the line.  He was no more entitled to it than anyone else and Grosjean was in front of him.   Lewis not moving out of the way (and if you watch the replay, he could have moved a good tire width or two, thus avoiding the accident), is just as much a cause of the accident as anything else.   Besides, it's racing people, shit happens in racing.

On the other hand, the first corner of Monza was a model of driver professionalism as everyone was scared they were all going to get banned for Singapore.  It was kinda cool to see.

Favorite Track Feature
I'm going to have to go with Ascari.  This left-right-left complex looks really cool when the driver totally commits and is a bit spooky as well.  It's got to be crazy challenging to get right. 
Runner-up is the two DRS zones.  I like that a lot.  If you are going to introduce an advantage to the guy in the back, add another so when he's in front, he's got to pay attention.
Honorable mention goes to Lesmos because there is a 12 year old boy in all of us.

Favorite Quote
Martin Brundle during his grid walk, picks a random person on the grid thrusts the mic in his face, "Do you speak English?"
"Good.   Works every time..."

Favorite Moment
The crowd reaction when Alonso grabs the HD broadcast cam after the podium ceremony and starts filming the Tifosi, they go absolutely wild.
Of course, a close second is Maldonado not making out of Q2

Favorite Easter Egg
Ma Qing Hua.  The first Chinese driver to turn a lap during an F1 session. Made his debut during the first Free Practice session. He handled the inane questions from Sky Sports with a great deal of cool.  Good on you.

An entertaining session.
Q1 wasn't super exciting but was entertaining to root for D'Ambrosia. It didn't look like Schumacher would make it past, but he did.

Q2 D'Ambrosia didn't make it out of Q2 and landed 16th overall.  It didn't look like Schumacher would make it out of Q2, but he did.  You know who didn't?  Webber.  Yes, that news settles in nice and easy.

Q3 Starts out with some funky shenanigans by the Ferraris and Schumacher picks it up.  Then all hell breaks loose, Alonso 10th?  Massa 3rd?  What the heck?  Alonso ends up along side Kobayashi which might end up with some crazy first lap craziness.

This should be good.

The Race
It is good.  They line up and the lights come on.  Nobody jumps the start and the first 4 laps are a good time.  Lots of passing and wheel-to-wheel stuff.  Alonso does a great job and moves four spots up to 6th as he goes into turn 1 a second time.

A slight bonus here as Webber drops back three places to 14th.

Lap 18 gets interesting as Ferrari electronics go dead and the flee from the pit wall effectively blind to what's happening to the car. 

Alonso keeps moving along and a few retirements end up making it seem he has a chance to win.   Then it becomes the Sergio Pérez show and it is the most entertaining part of the race.  After his pit stop he starts gaining on Lewis by seconds a lap and moves from a start of 12th to finish in 2nd.  That was fun to watch.

Next up Singapore.  They race past a giant Ferris Wheel, at night, how cool is that?

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