F1 2017: Monaco Grand Prix Race Recap

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Sebastian Vettel won the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, taking the lead from pole-sitting teammate Kimi Raikkonen by virtue of fast laps around the single set of pit stops. Daniel Ricciardo made his way up to finish third through his own quick driving. Valtteri Bottas lost third to the Australian, finishing fourth, with Max Verstappen, also losing out to his teammate, rounding out the top five.

Lewis Hamilton moved up to finish seventh, but the most dramatic portion of the race came in the final twenty laps. Jenson Button, filling in for Fernando Alonso, attempted to pass Pascal Wehrlein at Portier. Instead, they came together, the McLaren pushing the Sauber sideways and onto its left wheels, exposing the floor to the world, and pushing the roll hope not too gently against the barrier just before the tunnel. All were unhurt.

The final few laps were frantic as drivers pushed further than the track allowed, leading to quite a lot of attrition between damage and failures, drivers attempting passes far more ambitiously than physics allowed.

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Culture Shock: Fernando Alonso & Chatting with Teammates

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“We don’t talk much there” are now famous words, said with a sly, sheepish grin, and resulting in much laughter. Fernando Alonso touched upon a chasm between Formula One and American motorsport at a press conference discussing his entry in the 101st Indianapolis 500, for which he will miss the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco.

It is a culture shock, to come to America, it seems. We call people we’ve barely met friend, we smile all the time and bigger than other places, and our racers skip down pit lane arm-in-arm, at least when one of them is Canadian. Continue reading

F1 2017: Spanish Grand Prix Race Recap

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Lewis Hamilton won the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, despite second place finisher Sebastian Vettel taking the lead on the start. They would run with the German ahead for the first half of the race, despite a messy start behind them and a Virtual Safety Car. Hamilton fought back, with the two coming together as Vettel rejoined from a pit stop. Hamilton would not gain the lead then, but would do so soon after, sweeping around the Ferrari on the outside with DRS assistance. Daniel Ricciardo had a lonely race to finish third, gifted the position when Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes suffered engine failure in the latter stages.

As expected, drivers gave a show on the start, with Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen, and Bottas trying to put three cars side by side into T1. Neither Verstappen nor Raikkonen would complete the race due to damage. Despite the difficulties in passing at Barcelona, Formula One gave a good show for fans at the track and at home. Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon made massive headway for Force India, rounding out the top five finishers. Though Pascal Wehrlein finished seventh, he had a five second penalty added to his time.

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F1 2017: Russian Grand Prix Race Recap

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Valtteri Bottas won the 2017 Russian Grand Prix with a decisive move on Kimi Raikkoknen at the start and a sweeping acceleration around Sebastian Vettel through the first turn. The German finished ahead of his Ferrari teammate. Though Vettel tired to claw back the gap after late pit stops, he could not take away Bottas’ first F1 win. Lewis Hamilton, who suffered from an overheating Mercedes in the early stages, finished fourth, with Max Verstappen rounding out the top five. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo retired early on, his right rear brakes on fire.

Though Romain Grosjean and Joylon Palmer collided on the first lap, bringing out the Safety Car, the race generally proceeded without the excitement shown in the first few races of the 2017 season. Most drivers made their ultrasoft starting tires last to at least the halfway point of the race.

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F1 2017: Chinese Grand Prix Race Recap

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Lewis Hamilton won the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix, controlling the race from the start. Though Sebastian Vettel clawed his Ferrari closer in the final stages, he could not challenge for the race win, finishing second. Max Verstappen put on a good show, passing through the field from starting sixteenth to finish third, holding off teammate Daniel Ricciardo at the end. Despite power issues throughout the race, Kimi Raikkonen completed the top five.

Early laps saw a Virtual Safety Car after contact beached Lance Stoll’s Williams in the gravel. Antonio Giovinazzi brought out a physical Safety Car, crashing onto the front straight. The first quarter of the race saw plenty of action, as the Red Bull and Ferrari teammates squabbled. Bottas factored little, spinning behind the SC and dropping to the mid-pack for much of the race. Despite a slow start to 2017, the Chinese Grand Prix lagged little, with plenty of action for the duration.

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On Grid Girls…

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Here and now, in a global racing village and the 21st century, is no place for grid girls. This is no place for brolly dollies. This is no place for stilettos & PVC knickers as billboards. Not at the track. Not on a race course. Not when there are fast machines burning fuel and rubber. Not when we’re supposed to be enjoying the technological advancement of our supposedly most enlightened age.

Don’t tell me “sex sells.” Of course it does. But aren’t the cars and bikes and machines and circuits sexy? They undulate and thrust, moan and purr, vibrate and test the endurance of participant and fan alike. That sounds pretty sexy. Bonus points for the cars and bikes and machines and circuits as actual objects able to be objectified, not humans.

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F1 2013: Brazilian Grand Prix Race Recap

{this recap was previously published by FOX Sports and can be found through this link}

Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, despite losing the lead on the start to Nico Rosberg. Mark Webber finished second behind his teammate, after scrapping with third place Fernando Alonso multiple times throughout the race. Jenson Button, who started on the hard compound tires, opposite the rest of the field, would finish fourth after a charge through the field. Though Rosberg started second and went into T1 first, he would soon drop down the order on a wetter race setup, finishing fifth. Though Lewis Hamilton had made his way to third on the first lap, a drive through penalty after a collision with Valtteri Bottas would drop the Briton down to a ninth place finish. Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa, and Nico Hulkenberg would split the Mercedes teammates, with Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the points paying positions.

Early stages of the race were impossibly thrilling, as the top four changed places and pushed each other as hard as possible. Webber and Alonso in particular provided much entertainment. Then, as Vettel began to increase his lead, the action shifted to the middle part of the field. Button charged from a poor starting position, passing his fellow drivers easily and with determination. After the Hamilton-Bottas incident, things got messy, with Vettel diving into the pits ahead of his teammate. He had to wait for the crew to bring his tires instead of Webber’s. Though rain fell continuously through the latter half of the race, it was never enough to force a switch from the dry tires.

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