Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Singapore GP - "You beauty've won the Singapore Grand Prix again"


The Pitstop Princess is delighted to welcome you to the first Guest Post.  Asda Equivalent Energy Drink Racing was delegated the responsibility of reporting and charting the Singapore GP.

Singapore, the new Monaco; Singapore, the Monaco of the future; Singapore, the Monaco of the East....... Let’s be honest though, folks, on track it’s usually a better circuit for the viewer than it’s Mediterranean idol.
Sky have been chomping at the bit for this race, having used it in their promos for the past 10 months. However, I watched it on BBC – it was a buy-off between BBC’s painful opening skits (Dragon boats? Really?) and Sky punctuating their elongated build-up with ‘tributes to drivers who die in horrible ways’ features. Plus it’s always fun watching drivers flirt with Lee McKenzie, especially when they’re testing the new F1 video game, which is now on the Xmas present list [AEEDR has sufficient sports video games, please do not feed the animal. - Ed].

Qually had the now regular not-so-shocking “shocks” - Kimi struggling, Massa not turning up - but Q3 was overall painfully dull. Aside from Pastor’s “shock” in getting to the front row AND staying there (he’s usually got a grid penalty in the bag), and Grosjean (AKA Beaker from the Muppets) trying to kill himself, the only other point of interest was when I sat on the remote and ended up viewing a “to upgrade to this channel” screen. It was more enjoyable than watching cars sitting in the garages.
Amazingly, the race itself started without major incident (I’m assuming a Caterham team collision isn’t classed as major) and the incessant safety car predictions commenced. After that, the common problem with street circuits - that they’re too slow overall to produce good racing, reliant on DRS (diminished reality system) and pitting to produce changes in order - came to the forefront. By lap 20 or so, both myself and Fernando Alonso were wishing Nelson Pique Jr. was still in F1 to mix up this race. Where Monza two weeks ago flew in, this one was dragging early on.

McLaren’s tactic of providing one of their drivers with a faulty car lead to the first real moment of note, costing Hamilton a lead that only Vettel looked like taking.  As the race reached the halfway point, Fernando and Pastor lit things up with some brilliant wheel-to-wheel racing... But the pointless Karthikeyan, his HRT and the subsequent safety car (who had lap 33?) put pay to that. That said, Pastor driving while being told his car was gubbed and Button trying to dink Vettel did add something to the ten minute procession.
The safety car interlude was clearly enjoyed by Mr Schumacher alot, as he got it back out within 30 seconds of the restart by rear-ending  Vergne. One wonders why Schumi didn’t get a race ban, since that crash was even more reckless than Grosjean’s in Spa and he also mounted a car in Barca this year.

On re-restart, Massa and Senna took over from their more illustrious teammates in providing some drama. Filipe’s form is slowly improving and at this rate he’ll have a drive next year. Obviously, not with Ferrari. In other news, we found out that team orders are in use at Lotus, though the team waited until after some aggressive racing to tell the drivers.
Once it was announced Old Father Time (Bernie?) would bring this race to an unnatural end, some thrilling, if messy, midfield battling ensued. However, no main challenger changes occurred and Vettel walked away with an anticlimactic win. Following the rarely seen countdown clock, the obligatory excuses, bitching and team move rumours followed...

When all is said and done, Sky’s marketing dept were right that cars do look pretty under the lights.
Chart of Lust
1. (new entry) Sparks flying under the cars – Gets the pulse rate going
2. (new entry) Flashing lights on Vettel's helmet - It’s nice that he let the Girl Guides decorate it [Girl Guides prefer a copious spread of sparkly stickers - Ed.]
3. (new entry) Williams v Ferrari – Provided the best wheel-to-wheel in ages
4. (new race) Night race – Purely because I hate getting up early for the other Asian races
5. (ne entry) Fireworks – Makes every race win feel like the Superbowl and Wrestlemania

Chart of Loathing
1. (Re-entry) Cool vests  - Honestly, man up! If I have to work in a stuffy office because old women need the heating jacked up then you can sit in a car and live with being a wee bit clammy, Jenson!
2. (new entry) Jake going to BT – I like him, he’s non-threatening and relatable... [Am seriously considering how things stand between us - Ed.]
3. (new entry) Slow corners – Doesn’t make for good racing
4. (new entry) Back marker passing under safety car – Takes too long and fighting through back markers makes for an added twist
5. (new entry) Blisters on the bum – Some vulgar filler-chat from DC

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