Nov 03 2013

Formula One 2013: Yas Marina


Yup.  Even more boring than Schumacher.  bmaz says so and I agree.

Let me tell you how it goes.  Vettel grabs the lead at the start and pulls out beyond the DRS margin (1 second) in the first two Laps before DRS is enabled and then drives off to a tire changing delta (15 to 20 seconds) and then there is no race at all.

No Bernie, position changes between back markers don’t count.  Both Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships were clinched last week.  Why watch?

Not that it’s a total excuse for my lack of updates, truth is I’ve just been too busy to do it.

I have a life you know, and after 18 hours of hard work the absolute top item on my priority list is to grab a 3 hour nap and watch (yawn) Formula One because I’m just so into sports and it’s much more entertaining than America’s Cup or Major League Baseball or NCAA Hoopies or the Olympics or the Triple Crown or the Super Bowl or…

Anyway I do a lot of sports coverage and it’s just a grind after a while, especially when they are dull like Le Tour and Formula One turned out to be this year.  Sorry if you think that proves I’m less than serious about my art, I’m really very good at reproducing Elvis playing cards with dogs on black velvet and my prices are quite reasonable.

The big news this week is Kimi Raikkonen’s DQ for car non-compliance after Qualifying, not so much for the position change from 5th to 22nd as for what it reveals about Lotus-Renault’s finances.

You see 4th place and almost 100 points ahead of 5th (and only 24 behind Scuderia Marlboro in 3rd) should imply your program has some kind of credibility.  As it turns out Raikkonen hasn’t gotten a paycheck all season and unless the sponsorship deal comes through Team Lotus is unlikely to attract even a second rate driver like Hulkenberg as a replacement and will have to settle for Maldonado who never saw a crash he couldn’t get involved with.

Well, that’s just how it is if you’re not Red Bull.

I mentioned replacement and it’s old news that Raikkonen has been tapped to follow the ill-fortuned Massa at Scuderia Marlboro (who had the grace to stick with him through his injury, but who has been turning out sucky cars for 4 seasons now).  I wouldn’t read too much into Massa’s recent successes, I think he’s getting a gold watch for loyal service; it would be nice if he ended up with a car, but I don’t see it.  Kimi may even skip the last 2 races with Lotus-Renault to rest up for his new gig.

What really mixes up everything next year is the new blown six power plants and the fact that not only can they and their components break, but weight distribution and aero characteristics will change.  It will go to the teams with the best designers; Vettel is not only not that good a driver, he’s also a total tool who can’t take direction- a diva.  Witness the elevation of the distinctly mediocre Ricciardo as his second.

Of course my Dad (who’s the other reason I watch Formula One, the first being that it’s normally good blog fodder since it’s time predictable and limited) will think I’m missing the lede which to him is Alonso failing to make Q3 because he was sitting in the garage saving tires and then a spin left him without time to put in a hot lap.  I think it’s the remarkable performance of Mercedes with Rosberg and Hamilton and how they will do without Ross Brawn.  I personally think it’s a big mistake even though they’re replacing him with Paddy Lowe, formerly of McLaren, despite Hamilton’s sanguine reaction (remember, Lewis worked with him at McLaren) because if there’s one thing you can count on McLaren to do, it’s screw up race tactics and lose.

Softs and Mediums are on offer.  2 DRS Zones.

Pretty Tables below.

Starting Grid

Grid Driver Team Q-Time Q-Laps
1 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:39.957 17
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:40.075 12
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:40.419 18
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:40.501 19
5 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:40.576 21
6 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:40.997 21
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:41.015 18
8 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.068 20
9 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:41.111 21
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:41.093 15
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:41.133 19
12 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.200 15
13 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:41.279 15
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:41.395 16
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:41.447 14
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:41.999 8
17 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:42.051 10
18 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:43.252 10
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:43.398 7
20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:43.528 10
21 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:44.198 8
22 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:40.542 20

Driver Standings

Rank Driver Team Points
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 322
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 207
3 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 183
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 169
5 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 148
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 144
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 102
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 102
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 60
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 40
11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 39
12 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 33
13 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 28
14 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 19
15 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 13
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 6
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1

Constructor Standings

Rank Team Points
1 Red Bull Racing-Renault 470
2 Mercedes 313
3 Ferrari 309
4 Lotus-Renault 285
5 McLaren-Mercedes 93
6 Force India-Mercedes 68
7 Sauber-Ferrari 45
8 STR-Ferrari 32
9 Williams-Renault 1

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