Sunday, 15 November 2015

End of season larks.

Okay so not the most exciting race for the win really but there was some cracking action for the minor places.

If only Nico could do this sort of thing for a whole year and not just when is doesn't matter anymore. Yes I know he's not had the rub of the green this year with more mechanical issue than Lewis. But like a lot of his career in F1 he just spent some races sleep walking though the weekend. And yes I know his wife had some issues with the pregnancy and that would obviously take his mind off the gig. But after last year and having the thing go down to the last race. This year has been something of an anticlimaxs. Only Vettel has made it interesting at times.

But all that's for the end of year final rant.

Well done Nico on a top of the draw race result. Pole was pretty easy after Lewis had sort of dominated the practice sessions; and it was much like last year in that respect Nico taking the spoils after Lewis won the battles, a Lewis who had turned up under something of a cloud too. A bit of late night partying left three cars with damage and the recently crowned world champion advised to rest up for a day or two with his "fever". Not very media friendly and Mercedes were at pains to limit any adverse publicity; Lewis waved it all off as just a bit of thing and it didn't appear to affect his performance on track. But being beaten yet again to pole, the fifth time in a row, Hamilton didn't bother to stand out front with Nico and Vettel for the obligatory photo call. You could call it petulance, I couldn't possible comment.

Maybe he was off enjoying the latest Alonso meme to go viral

Now you may not have noticed, but McLaren are having a bit of a bad year. Yes, that's why the boys haven't been seen around the podium much this year. And to give them their dues, neither Jenson nor Alonso have really thrown a tantrum about. Alonso made few disparaging remarks about the Honda engine in Japan for which Big Ron had to confirm Jenson was going to get a drive next year in an attempt to deflect some of the flac.  But generally the lads have been honest in front of the media and just said "Yeah sure, the car is a bit of a mess and the engine needs some work. But the whole team is working on this and it is a problem we'll fix together". They've tried to put a bit of positive spin on an otherwise hopeless situation.

Until now that is, it seems Alonso has had enough of jumping out of a smoking car and when the car expired yet again at the start of qualifying he cried "enough". Without even a look back at the failed McLaren Honda, he trudged up the hill and sat down on one of the marshal's chairs to calmly watch the rest of Q1.  But then the chair was moved and Alonso had an impromptu photo shoot in the sun with qualifying for a backdrop. Rather than throw a strop and flounce off to shout at someone, he sat and he waited.

A lazy afternoon in Brazil
Looks relaxing doesn't it. He looks peaceful, at rest in a turbulent world, the cares of a career falling apart and three world titles forgotten in the mire of racing against year old Marussias.
This image was too good to resist and before Nico had taken pole the #wherewouldalonsoratherbe meme was going viral across the internet.

Relaxing with friends earlier
Then to cap it all the boys staged a podium invasion, just to remind themselves what it used to be like standing on the top step.

What a jolly good wheeze.

And so to the race; Well Nico won, Lewis tried to catch him but couldn't pass him and Vettel had the team tell Kimi to get out of the way.
The only highlight was Verstappen over taking anyone who got in his way and is looking more and more like future world champion with every lap.
It wasn't the most exciting race I've ever watched, but it was interesting to See Nico give Lewis a bit of a lesson on how to control a race. But there wasn't much Lewis could do really, after last year and the accusations of unfair team tactics, this year booth cars run exactly the same strategy so neither can accuse the team of favouritism. The only way Hamilton could pass Rosberg is if he changed his strategy and tried a short of long middle stint. The team told him that wasn't going to happen so he had a half hearted attack and settled for second. Not as I say terrible exciting, but Merc want to make sure of the PR result. Not "drivers take each other out" headlines.

So then Nico won and made it look easy. The result secured second place in the championship. Which is nice.

Lewis made it look hard work in second.

Vettel had a lonely race to third after Kimi got out of his way. He has now secured third place in the championship, which is a damn sight more than he would have got with Redbull this year.

Kimi was the perfect team mate in fourth.

Bottas was William only saving grace as it turned out in fifth

It was Hulkenberg's turn to be the best Force India driver this week in sixth.
Kvyat was hamstrung with a Renault engine in seventh.

Now.... on the road Massa was eighth. But according to the result from the FIA he has been excluded for a technical infringement. What happened was; the FIA take the temperature and pressure of random cars just before the race starts. This week it was Massa's turn and to quote technical document 40 from the FIA

"On the grid the tread temperature and minimum tyre starting pressure of the right hand side rear tyre was checked on car number 19 after the “5-minutes” signal was given.

The temperature measured on the tread of the right hand side rear tyre of car number 19 was 137°C, 27 °C above the maximum tread temperature of 110 °C allowed by the official tyre supplier. The corresponding tyre pressure at 137 °C was 20.6 psi, 0.1 psi above the minimum starting pressure"

Which basically means the tyre was too hot and the pressure too low. When the race started and the tyre cooled down the pressure would drop below the minimum required by Pirelli to stop teams' whinging when they explode. Now you might ask why only one tyre was that hot and clearly that must mean there was a problem with the tyre blanket. Tyres should just not be that hot.
But rules is rules and the FIA do like to throw their weight around to remind everyone that actually they're the ones in charge .. Not Bernie or the teams.

So now Grosjean is eighth and jolly well done to him on what must have been a difficult weekend for him.

Verstappen makes it to ninth and was the most exciting driver out there.

And Crazy Maldonado was tenth despite getting a five second penalty for being an arse yet again.

Stevens beat Rossi for a change so the America is our last placed driver four laps behind the Mercs. That's got to hurt hasn't? All that money and effort to still be a country mile away from the action!

I'm not even going to bother qualifying. 

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