Time Line To A Meltdown – Qualifying For The British GP
Monday – The race week begins. Coming off the the second place in Montreal, I have high hopes for Ferrari and Fernando Alonso at this weekend British GP.
Tuesday – Starting to check all the news services and F1 websites for any and all tidbits of information that I can use to get a overall picture of the race weekend.
Wednesday – The big news is all about Mark Webber’s retirement. I am quietly confident Alonso will be close if not on the second row at Silverstone.
Thursday – Media cycle is in full swing. I contribute a couple of posts to a sports fan site. I am feeling particularly good, at this point I can’t get enough of the news and related stories.
Friday – I wake up at 5:30 am and follow second free practice live and tweet. I begin to have a strange feeling about the Ferrari’s competitiveness. My fears are compounded by Martin Brundle commentating for Sky Sports as he is in a choice corner of the circuit and says the Ferrari is not stable.
Saturday – I decide to sleep in and watch Qualifying tape delayed. Coffee in hand, my prediction comes true, Lewis Hamilton takes a well-fought-for pole from his teammate Nico Rosberg and the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. It is a Mercedes AMG front row lock-out. Fantastic lap from Lewis seals a well deserved pole for Mercedes.
In Q1 Alonso is nowhere near the top of the timing pylon, maybe he and Ferrari are playing their cards close to their chest. Still I am getting nervous. Q2 and I feel the meltdown start, there is a Force India and a Lotus and a Toro Rosso in front of Alonso. However, nothing can prepare me for the the final position of Alonso’s Ferrari at the end of Q3. TENTH… The meltdown is in full effect. Immediately I get on-line to see what the hell is going on with the cars in red. To my surprise this is what I read:
“Obviously we are not happy, we are disappointed with today’s performance,” Alonso said. “We are not delivering what we are supposed to deliver every weekend. Maybe the new parts that are coming are not as expected, most of them are not working, so we are losing a little bit of pace compared to the top teams. But it’s hard to imagine we lose so much compared to them. If we were two or three tenths slower than the fastest car now it’s difficult to believe that we are one second.”
I will spare you the rest of the article, but it goes on to point out some serious problems and ones that I can’t see being fixed in the next few races. Believe me when I say it was not great reading if you are a Ferrari fan.
I am pacing up and down. I am at a loss as to why this continues to happen. Why has this problem been allowed to continue for four years running Ferrari? And why can’t Ferrari get on top of these issues with their one lap pace: the rate at which you have to bring updates and the issue of correlation.
As it stands right now the best that I can hope for is that through some crazy turn of events Alonso can manage to have a top five finish, and although Alonso has on many occasions pulled the proverbial podium out of the hat, I just can’t see it happening this time around. Not when the Red Bulls and Merc’s are so strong.
Here is your starting grid for the British Grand Prix:
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.607s 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m30.059s + 0.452s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.211s + 0.604s 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m30.220s + 0.613s 5. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m30.736s + 1.129s 6. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m30.757s + 1.150s 7. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m30.908s + 1.301s 8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m30.955s + 1.348s 9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m30.962s + 1.355s 10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.979s + 1.372s Q2 cut-off time: 1m31.592s Gap ** 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.649s + 0.659s 12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.779s + 0.789s 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m31.785s + 0.795s 14. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.082s + 1.092s 15. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.211s + 1.221s 16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m32.359s + 1.369s Q1 cut-off time: 1m32.512s Gap * 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m32.664s + 1.669s 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.666s + 1.671s 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m33.866s + 2.871s 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m34.108s + 3.113s 21. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m35.481s + 4.486s 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m35.858s + 4.863s
-jp- (now excuse me while I finish having my meltdown &^($##@!)_)((*&)&%&^)