Monday, November 19, 2012

The Band Plays On...

This picture amuses me.


Even though it is taken in 2008, and that's Kimi Raikkonen sitting in the car, it gives you a sense of what a pit stop in the middle of a race looks like.  These 18 guys, not including Kimi, can change all four of his tires in less than three seconds.

Do not try this at home.

Amazingly, the quest for the F1 drivers' championship is extended to Brazil, the last race of the season. Sebastian Vettel, passed in the last quarter of the race by Lewis Hamilton, about whom I'm feeling very warm and fuzzy currently, came in second.  Fernando Alonso, in his shiny but disfunctional Ferrari came in an heroic third.  Thus Vettel leads by 13 going into the last race.

First place counts for 25.  Second 18.  Third 15.

The electrical system on Mark Webber's Red Bull (which is absolutely identical to Vettel's) is always pooping out.  Why can't that happen on Vettel's car for once?

A man can only hope.

One of the reasons Alonso was able to come in third was some interesting behavior by Ferrari management designed to get him off the slippery side of the starting grid.  His teammate, you see, had actually qualified ahead of Alonso.  Which was highly unusual but fortuitous in this case, because all a mechanic had to do was saunter over to Felipe Massa's car and, with a pair of wire snippers, cut the FIA security seal on the transmission.   Which he did.

Ferrari promptly reported the broken seal to the race director.  According to the rules, breaching the seal calls for an automatic 5 grid spot penalty.  So Massa started 10th instead of 5th, and Alonso moved up one place on the grid.  Which, because they alternate left/right, happened to be on the clean side of the track.

Complicated, yes?
Yes.
Everything about Formula 1 is complicated.  Why shouldn't this be?
Good question.

Anyway, next week Alonso has to win the race and Vettel has to come in 5th or 6th.

A man can only hope.

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