ALICE RECAPS THE CHINESE GRAND PRIX

Nǐ hǎo and welcome to China!

trump china

Apologies for no Bahrain recap – it was on at 2am local time and I have a full time job that doesn’t allow me the luxury of staying up until 4am to watch the grand prix. Also, I’m too old and too tired to wake up mid-sleep to attempt to write a semi coherent blog post. Admittedly, I could have watched a replay or a highlights package but it’s just not the same when you already know the outcome, fam.

But never fear! I was wide awake are raring to go for this weekends race…

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LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!

We got yet ANOTHER race start with a clean first lap. That’s right ladies and gents, no crashes and no retirements. Astounding.

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#blessed

Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari bolted out the gate, popped in a fastest lap and essentially said “Bye Felicia” to the rest of the field.  It is however worth mentioning that he squeezed his teammate Kimi Raikkonen like a fresh orange out to the track limit which was, in a word, rude.

 

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The Renault’s of Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg decided that the real race was actually just between the two of them and Lance Stroll in the Williams somehow made up five places is one lap with is a mammoth effort by the young maple leaf.

 

Not a lot happened for a while in the early stages of the race if I’m being perfectly honest. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso took on Romain Grosjean in the Haas a few times but never quite managed to make the overtake stick, a few people pitted, stuff happened IDK.

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Red Bull went double dutch on Max Verstappen AND Daniel Ricciardo’s pit stops, meaning they changed eight tyres in the space of about 10 seconds.  I can’t even put shoes on my own two feet within 10 seconds.

 

Mercedes then went for the undercut on Ferrari in response to Red Bull, or as I like to call it the “Oh shit, someone else pitted now we gotta do that too”.

 

Ferrari decided to stay out and enjoy being in first and second position for just a lil longer, essentially delaying the inevitable. Eventually they pulled Sebastian Vettel in for a fresh set of tyres and the pit stop was understandably a little on the slow side which resulted in him re-joining the race in third behind the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. The commentators claim that Ferrari we’re “caught napping” and stuffed up their race, but true tifosi know that this is now simply referred to as “The Ferrari Strategy”.

 

I feel it’s worth noting that Kimi Matias Raikkonen stayed out on his first set of tyres until lap 28 which was one hell of an effort but also, just, like, WHY FERRARI?

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Further down the field the Sauber of Charles Leclerc spun, and the two Toro Rosso’s of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley had a fender bender resulting in a SAFETY CAR!!!!!!!!

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Drink every time there’s a safety car in F1.

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Red Bull yet again pulled the double dutch in the pit lane with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen who, not wanting to waste a single second in the pits, overtook Pierre Gasly in the pit lane entrance.

 

The safety eventually car buggered off on lap 35 and it was on for young and old in the mid-field with Fernando Alonso in the finally getting around Romain Grosjean, then towards the front Daniel Ricciardo lunged past Kimi Raikkonen for fifth position.

 

Max Verstappen went in on Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes but had to run wide after the door was firmly closed on his overtaking efforts.

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True blue Aussie legend Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, gets the job done on Lewis Hamilton and absolutely sends it through the hairpin only to charge like a literal bull at  Sebastian Vettel who he overtakes for second spot and set his sights on the number one spot aka Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes.

 

Max Verstappen, freshly inspired by his teammate, flew past the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and honed in on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.

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It was at this moment he knew he fucked up.

Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel made contact and spun in a beautiful display of synchronised driving.  Said spin opened up a gap for Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen and those boys know an opportunity when they see one.

 

From here on in the race was wild y’all.

 

Daniel Ricciardo overtook Valtteri Bottas to lead the race thanks to yet another magic overtake, Max Verstappen got back in the game and overtook Lewis Hamilton for fourth spot but copped a ten second time penalty for his pirouette and then Kimi Raikkonen activated Battle of the Finns mode and got all up in Bottas’ grill to challenge for second.

 

You still with me?

 

Hartly retired with only three laps to go which was a bit shit because by some blessing of the F1 gods we had managed to keep all 20 cars running in China up until that point.

 

AND THEN Fernando Alonso. Overtook. Sebastian Vettel. For Seventh.

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Finally, after some truly fantastic final laps… CHECKERED FLAG!

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The Australian anthem played on the podium, Daniel Ricciardo cried and shoeys were drunk.

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What a result for Dan the Man, the dude barely made it on track for qualifying after a turbo failure in free practice and then put in a masterclass performance to stand atop the podium.

Next stop BAKU! Keep your fingers and toes crossed that this year’s Azerbaijan grand prix is as batshit crazy as last year…

ALICE RECAPS THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

SURPRISE BITCH!

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…I’m back, baby!

After a brief two year hiatus I have returned to the world wide web to bring you my erratic brand of “Formula One journalism” and what better place to reintroduce myself to the interwebz than my home grand prix!

So without further ado, lets say “G’Day” to the Albert Park circuit and to the 2018 season.

LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!

Astoundingly we managed a clean start and all 20 cars made it through the first lap without incident.

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Praise the first turn gods.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull received some very mixed messages from his engineers over the course of very few laps. First he was told to activate “Wonder Kid” mode and get around the Haas – I’m not sure which driver of which Haas because HALO. Then, after a beautifully executed but utterly detrimental pirouette spin , was promptly told that NOW the engineers want Max to be careful and manage his tyres. Do you want an angsty teenager Red Bull? Because that’s how you get an angsty teenager.

Among all of this we lose our newest Russian, Sergey Sirotkin, to a brake failure and Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber to a power steering failure.

And then there were 18…

Not one to break with tradition, Fernando Alonso blessed us and his McLaren team with some A+ radio sass.

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A mere 15 laps into the season opener we also managed to lose Pierre Gasly in the Toro Rosso (hey there Honda engine, we see you) but he managed to slowly limp back into the pit lane thus avoiding a safety car or even yellow flags. Slow clap.

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As we approached the mid race mark the Ferrari’s were told to push which is unsurprising, no doubt wanting to go for Sebastian’s new hairstyle…the undercut.

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Two laps later Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari pits and re-joined in third. THE STRATEGY BEGINS as Lewis Hamilton pits his Mercedes in response to the Ferrari strategy. Strategy in F1 is like Game of Thrones but way more predictable and with less dragons. If it were still up to Bernie Ecclestone I think the suggestion of introducing fire and ice into the races would have piqued his interest.

It is at this point, around lap 23, that the real shit show began for team Haas. First we lost Kevin Magnussen to what initially appeared to be engine failure except it happened suspiciously soon after his pit stop. Then we lost Romain Grosjean almost immediately after his pit stop.

Coincidence-I-think-not

Essentially Haas were having A DAYTM with their stops. Upon review it looked like something happened with both of their cars during the tyre changes that caused the aforementioned engine failure. Is that a thing? I don’t know. I’m not an engineer. I write a very rudimentary blog. However this was generally super disappointing because HOLY SHIT Haas had come out swinging this season!

Either way the result of Grojean’s car crapping out on the side of the track was that yellow flags were waved and the safety car was deployed.

And HOOOOOO BOY Ferrari saw that yellow flag and just thought to themselves “You know what? For once we’re actually going to implement a decent strategy” and let me just say Forza fucking Ferrari. They went and pitted Sebastian Vettel and got him back out on track in first, in front of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. They went and did the thing. Grazie.

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The Tifosi @ Ferrari

At some point during the safety car Max Verstappen overtook Fernando Alonso which is of course a big no, no so old mate Charlie Whiting (aka the dad of F1) told him to give the place back. This resulted in some rather hilarious footage of Max quite literally trying to wave Fernando past him to retake the position – just like when you’re pulled over in the car park waiting for a spot and you’re trying to wave the guy behind to to go around. Formula One drivers, they’re just like us!

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On lap 31 the race restarted, the safety car came in and despite some tense moments between the top five all being within DRS zone of each other, nothing changed. Everyone held position.

With the end of the race in sight Carlos Sainz reported that he had lost power in his Renault but managed to stay out on track and maintain 10th position, likely being told by his engineers “Have you tried turning it off and then on again?” We were then lucky enough to have Mark Webber temporarily suspended his commentating duties during the race to sing the praises of Fernando Alonso during the broadcast. #WebonsoForever

Daniel Ricciardo decided to go full honey badger mode and attack Kimi Raikkonen on every closing lap  of the race stating “I don’t want to let him breathe” over team radio. Wow, Daniel. Maybe listen to a little less Parkway Drive before getting into the car mate? Just kidding. You do you.

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Lewis Hamilton spit the dummy due to being stuck behind the turbulent air of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari lap after lap. He could get close but never close enough to overtake due to the hot air messing with his cars temperatures. Despite this Lewis decided he didn’t want to listen to the team, he is too #blessed to take orders, and he went off to attack Sebastian.

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And with that we were onto the final lap! Red Bull gave Daniel Ricciardo everything in their arsenal to assist him in his podium fight and his teammate Max Verstappen was still trying to overtake Fernando Alonso for fifth. FIFTH PEOPLE. FERNANDO ALONSO WAS IN FIFTH. Hamilton had given up and dropped back significantly but still held on the second.

CHECKERED FLAG!

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All in all it was a good race and it’s always such a thrill to have F1 back in our lives. Case in point:  I wear a Fitbit which monitors my heart rate and I can tell you that during the two hours of racing action my pulse was noticeably elevated. To the point that my Fitbit thought I was doing some form of light exercise when, in reality, I was just sitting on the couch typing with very sweaty palms.

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“Fat Burn Zone” – seems fake but okay.

But fam, we need to talk. I need you to stop the damn booing. I dislike certain drivers as much as the next person and seeing on the podium is always a downer but for the love of all that is holy STOP BOOING. Just don’t cheer. It’s honestly not that difficult. Sit down, be quiet and show big love to your faves.

Side note: the crowd cheering “KI-MI! KI-MI! KI-MI!” warms my heart.

My final thought on the race aren’t actually related to the race itself but instead with the Channel 10 broadcast of the grand prix. The wildest thing about trying to watch the F1 live in Australia without having to pay is the immense amount of advertising breaks you have to sit through during a live race. It is abysmal.

That’s all folks! Until Bahrain, peace out.

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Alice live blogs the Bahrain GP.

What up Bahrain?

The first night race of the season and we all know that shit gets freaky when the sun goes down.

No Alonso tonight after his massive shunt in Australia but let’s see how the new kid on the block grid holds up.

Vettel’s Ferrari is in a world of NOPE right now. We’re on the formation lap and Vettel’s car is billowing smoke. Could be worse, you car could be on fire…oh wait…

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LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!!!

Lap 1: Oh kasmashy in the first corner! Not a big one but Bottas in the Williams and Hamilton in the Mercedes have made contact and lost chunks of their cars.
Rosberg leads followed by the Williams of Massa and Bottas then Ricciardo in the Red Bull and the Ferrari of Ra-Ra-Raikkonen.

Lap 2: Perez and Sainz connect with the Toro Rosso of Sainz receiving a puncture as a result. 

Something happened to Perez but I missed it.

Lap 5: Hamilton is 6th behind Raikkonen who is on the tail of Ricciardo.

Lap 6: Massive lockup by Ricciardo which allows Raikkonen to overtake and move up into 4th.

Lap 7: Breif Finn on Finn action as Raikkonen overtakes Bottas. That shit was clean.

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Tragedy for the James Bond of F1; Jenson Button, in the McLaren. He gonna retire. Even Alonso looks pained to see this and that guy had a collapsed lung.

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Lap 9: Hamilton has moved up into 3rd ahead of Bottas who pits onto mediums and is now the proud owner of a drive through penalty.

Lap 10: Massa overtakes Nasr. Say that 10 times fast.

Gutierrez is out. Bye friend.

Lap 11: Vandoorne is not fucking around. He may be new but he is mighty in his McLaren. Takes 13th ahead of Force India’s Hulkenberg.

Lap 13: Zero fucks given by Iceman Raikkonen who overtakes Massa AND Riccardo is silky smooth moves to pop himself back up into 3rd after his pitstop.

Lap 14: Raikkonen is overtaking LIKE A BOSS. Casually cruises by Kvyat to claim 2nd.

Lap 15: Hamilton did the thing, is now in 4th behind Ricciardo.

Lap 16: Sweet wheel to wheel racing between Massa and Kvyat through the corners with Massa coming out victorious to claim 5th.

Lap 17: Hamilton overtakes Ricciardo to put himself in the podium position of 3rd for now.

A Haas has overtaken a Williams.
Grosjean has overtaken Massa.
Let that sink in.

There is literally so much craziness going on right now that I am struggling to type fast enough to keep up which is ACTUALLY FUCKING FANTASTIC because it means there’s lots of overtaking and good racing happening.

All this with only 18 cars still in the race.

Yeah we lost Palmer towards the start of the race which I think I failed to mention but there you go.

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Lap 20: Max Verstappen: Wonder Kid overtakes Massa to take 6th.

Lap 21: Kvyat does a one, two overtake on the Saubers of Nasr and Ericsson to pop himself into the points in 10th.

Lap 23: Guys, guys, guys, guys…Grosjean is really close to Ricciardo right now. The Haas. Is on the tail. Of the Red Bull. WTF.

Lap 24: HE’S OVERTAKEN HIM?!?! GROSJEAN HAS OVERTAKEN RICCIARDO?!?! FOR 4TH PLACE?!?!

Lap 27: Ricciardo takes 8th from Bottas after a pitstop.

Lap 28: Kvyat and Ricciardo do the old switch-a-roo moving the latter into 5th

Lap 29: Bottas is gonna have a bad time if this keeps up. Grosjean AND Verstappen overtake him for 7th and 8th respectively.

Lap 31: Crappy pitstop for Rosberg but it makes next to no impact on his lead.

Another one bites the dust with Sainz retiring.

Lap 33: Grosjean keeps overtaking Red Bulls like it’s his freaking mission statement in life. Knocks Kvyat out of 5th position.

Lap 34: Magnussen has managed to get his Renault past the Force India of Perez.

Lap 35: THERE’S A MCLAREN IN BETWEEN TWO WILLIAMS! AND IN THE POINTS!!!

There are Marussias in the mix, a McLaren in the points, Haas is kicking ass, Hamilton isn’t leading…

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Lap 41: Grosjean’s pitstop was not ideal. Still manages to rejoin the race in 8th ahead of Vandoorne.

God I miss team radio. Why did they have to go and restrictions the comedy gold that is team radio? Stupid FIA making stupid rules.

Lap 45: Oh some nice scrappy fighting between Magnussen and Nasr through the corners with the Renault taking 12th.

Lap 46: Grosjean overtakes Massa because that’s what happens now apparently.

Okay not to get ahead of myself but there are 10 laps to go and Kimchi Raikkonen appears to have a firm hold on 2nd. We might just have a Kimi podium here people. Get amongst it.

Lap 50: There are some GOOD scraps happening through mid field. Magnussen and Ericsson: the battle of the esses through the esses.

Lap 51: Kvyat and Bottas battling wheel to wheel like it’s nobody’s business through the turns. It’s Kvyat, then Bottas, then Kvyat makes it stick for 7th.

Lap 52: Max Verstappen: Wonder Kid overtakes Massa for 6th.

5 LAPS TO GO PEOPLE.

Lap 56: Brundle describes driving Wehlein’s Marussia “like wrestling with an octopus” which I feel deserves an honorable mention.

FINAL LAP.

Lap 57: Kvyat gets the job done on Massa to steal 7th. Once again proving it ain’t over until it’s over.

Rosberg wins the Bahrain GP followed by Ra-Ra-Raikkonen then Hamilton.

Here’s how the rest of the field finished up:

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The amusing part is that Kimi is on a podium where the “champagne” is actually just rose water. He’s seems psyched.

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Honorable mention goes to Vandoorne for getting McLaren’s first points of the season and can’t you just taste the irony. 

That was a damn good race in my “professional” opinion. Let’s keep it up.

See you in China!

Alice live blogs the Australian GP.

Hot diggity damn it’s race day!

I was going to try and live blog the Australian Grand Prix from trackside but after the absolute shambles that was live blogging qualifying, I thought better of it.

So here’s the race as it happened through the eyes of a champagne laden, totally bias F1 fanatic…

LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!

Vettel and Raikkonen get ahead of Hamilton and Rosberg through turn one. I repeat: Ferrari ahead of Mercedes. THIS IS NOT A DRILL PEOPLE.

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Puncture for Magnussen.

Ricciardo’s Red Bull overtakes the Williams of Massa.

Rosberg pits onto softs.
Vettel pits onto super softs.
Raikkonen leads.

Woooooah massive shunt! That’s one hell of a crash. Alonso no, that McLaren is not an acrobatic airplane, it’s a car. Stop. He and Gutierrez of Haas are fine but the race is red flagged.

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photo by Alex Coppel

Well timed champagne break. Always look for the positives folks.

We are restarting under safety car. No change to the running after the safety car comes in but “Mad Max” Verstappen is challenging Ricciardo for 4th.

The only real gripe I have with the Australian GP is that the commentators here on race day are not Crofty, Brundle and Kravitz and it just doesn’t sound right.
  
I STAND CORRECTED.
NOW my main gripe is that Raikkonen’s car is on fire.

KIMI NO! You had this! Hot as fuck apparently with flames coming out of his car and shit. (He’s too hot, hot damn, call the police and the fireman – no but seriously who has an extinguisher?) The Iceman cometh, the Iceman melteth. Except his exit was chill as fuck. Ice cream and a nap for the Finn.

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Stuff up on Vettel’s pitstop. One of the tyres had seperation anxiety wanted to stay on the car.

“Mad Max” Verstappen wants to get past his teammate Sainz and the Renault of Palmer but I don’t think the team will let him? We don’t get team radio at the track so I’m sort of piecing this together from what the commentators are saying. Either way I think he’s pissed.

Sainz locks up with “Mad Max” riding up his arse like a pair of panties.

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Beautiful overtaking manouvers by the two Toro Rosso drivers on Palmer. Some wheel to wheel glory right there.

Hamilton got into second somehow and I think I missed it, so yeah…there’s that. Last time I check Verstappen had been holding him off in 6th like a boss.

Ricciardo again overtakes Massa to take 4th. Much cheering and jubilation from his home crowd.

FIVE LAPS TO GO!

Vettel closing on Hamilton and vying for 2nd place behind Rosberg. Cautious excitement mounting…

The Toro Rosso’s touch. Bit of a spin but nothing disastrous.

Vettel locks up and goes off track. It’s all fucking over red Ferrari rover for second place being handed to Hamilton on a platter. Cautious excitement rapidly dissipating.

Suprise, suprise it’s a Mercedes blitz. Rosberg wins, Hamilton second, Vettel third.

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Well there it is folks. The first race of the season done and dusted! See you back here for the  Bahrain GP in two weeks.

Peace!

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Qualifying live from the Australian GP.

We’re baaaaaaaaaaack!

Coming at you live from the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

It’s cold. It’s windy. The champagne is free. This is either going to kick ass or be a total disaster.

Speaking of which; new qualifying setup! Lucky us we get to be the guinea pigs who test this whole shebang out for the rest of the circuits. You’re welcome.

Basically it’s a knock out system (as far as I can tell). At one point during the quali session the timer of doom starts ticking and every 90 seconds someone get told to fuck off back to the garage.

Let’s begin…

So far, this new method is far more interesting. Almost every car is on the track and some drivers are even having a lil jostle for position! Fun!

Every man and his car is pitting so I think the timer of doom has started ticking.

I can’t tell who’s been booted while watching this whole thing go down live but what I can tell you is that the McLaren dynamic duo of Button and Alonso are not screwing around, they both just popped themselves into the top 5. Now THAT is unexpected!

Right, Q1 has finished and some people didn’t make it. I think Red Bull’s Kvyat was one of them. Lotus Renualt’s new guy Palmer pulled out a miracle at the end. This is much harder to keep on top of live.

Let’s go Q2, let’s go *clap clap*
From what I can tell there’s still a good mix of teams and drivers in this session. Maybe?

Here comes the timer!

The good news is that the cars are louder! The bad news is I can’t hear the commentators are therefore I havn’t a damn clue as to what’s happening. Personally, I don’t care.

Oh JB is in the garage and out of the McLaren. A sad but familiar sight.

Yeah! Homeboy Ricciardo pulls out a fast time in front of a very happy crowd so he should be through to the next round.

Let her rip Q3.

Everyone’s on track and the hot laps begin! Hamilton’s on the top of the leader board looking for pole (zero suprises) and I think Vettel is second.

Nope. Wait. Vettel and Raikkonen are out of the car so it’s a Mercedes shootout for pole. This new quali format did what new F1 rules so frequently do: nothing. It has changed nothing.

Hamilton on pole, Rosberg second and the Ferrari lock out the second row. Revolutionary.

Well there you have it folks. Live and slightly confused from trackside at the Australian Grand Prix.

Bring on race day!

Until tomorrow, for now more champagne.

Alice live blogs the Abu Dhabi GP

Yas Marina,

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We have come to the end of the 2015 season and although I bitch and moan about being up at all hours of the morning to watch this ridiculous sport I’m always depressed when this time of the year rolls around.

Plus I’m pretty hungover right now which is not helping at all.

We already have a world champion so this is just the last hoorah for everyone to go balls out and grab some final points. Here’s hoping it’s a good one!
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LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO ONE LAST TIME!!!

Lap 1: Crash in the first corner between Maldonado and Alonso.
Rosberg holds his lead followed by teammate Hamilton and Raikkonen in third.

Lap 2: Wheel to wheel insanity! Kvyat being pushed wide off the track, Vettel may have made contact with Verstappen, there are cars going three abreast around corners together. This is some good shit!

Lap 3: Maldonado retires as a result of the crash but Alonso has managed to pit.

Lap 4: Kvyat nips through and overtakes Bottas to take 9th.

Lap 6: Ricciardo takes 5th off Hulkenberg, they play a bit of leap frog but he makes it stick.

Lap 8: Pit stops galore for mid field!

Lap 9: Pit stop collision between Bottas and Button! Bottas has lost one half of his front wing and will have to do a lap and come back in because that thing is stuffed. Luckily for Button he’s already pulling into the pit to repair any damage to his car.

Lap 11: Front runners pitting. No crashes. 👍

Lap 12: Bottas receives a 5 second pit stop penalty.
Hamilton rejoins after pitting between Ferrari’s of Vettel in 3rd and Raikkonen in 5th.
Ricciardo gets ahead of Ericsson and goes into full honeybadger mode.

Lap 14: Hamilton overtakes Vettel and takes back 2nd.

Lap 15: Here come the Toro Rosso’s! Sainz overtakes Ericsson for 11th before the Sauber driver pits and Verstappen moves up into 12th.

Lap 16: Vettel yields to Raikkonen who is now running in third thank you Jesus.

Lap 19: Verstappen overtakes his teammate Sainz to move up into 11th, apparently it was a team order.

Lap 20: Maaaaaassive lock up by Verstappen. He basically created his own smoke screen. Instantly regrets it.

Lap 24: Vettel finally pits. Not much else to report at this stage.

Lap 25: Verstappen takes 14th from Ericsson.

Lap 27: Hulkenberg takes 11th from Nasr. Radio message from Alonso which sounds like he wants to retire early. DON’T DO IT FERNANDO, STAY STRONG AND STAY IN THE RACE.

Lap 28: Hamilton is closing in on Rosberg in the fight for the lead.
Crofty and Brundle are promising me an interesting end to the race and I’ll be deeply offended if they’ve lied to me.

Lap 33: Goddammit Ferrari learn how to do fucking pit stops for Raikkonen. A stuck wheel spits Raikkonen out behind Vettel and Alonso, the latter he overtakes quickly.

Lap 36: Raikkonen back in third! Cheers for moving out the way yet again Vettel.

Lap 40: Vettel pits for the final time with typically no bloody issues. Rejoins 6th behind ex teammate Ricciardo.

Lap 41: Hamilton typically decides to question his team, wants to stay out and try to win on old tires. Team tells him to shut the fuck up and pit, which he does.
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Vettel ahead of Ricciardo, chasing Perez who is in 4th.

Lap 43: Lovely overtake by Button on Nasr for 13th. That’s about as much on track action the McLaren driver has had today.

Lap 45: Vettel takes 4th from Perez.

Lap 46: I lied before, hella good action between Button and Verstappen with Button defending like the world champion he is but losing 12th to the young gun.

Lap 48: Massa has overtaken Kvyat to put himself in 8th.

Three laps to go!

Lap 53: Grosjean moves into the points by overtaking Sainz. Goes on the hunt for Kvyat and more points.

Lap 54: Grosjean does the thing and moves up into 9th.

Final lap of the season!

Lap 55: The race looks like it’s in the bag for Rosberg despite vibration with his rear wheel.

Rosberg has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix followed by teammate Hamilton and my main man Raikkonen in third! YAS MARINA, YAS.

Vettel fourth, Perez fifth, Ricciardo sixth, Hulkenberg seventh, Massa eighth, Grosjean ninth and Kvyat tenth rounding out the points.

Everyone is doing donuts and it’s fucking rad. They should add donuts into F1 races somehow. 

The formula one gods have smiled upon us all and given us Kimi on the podium to end the season on a high note. Thank you formula one gods, my sleep and sanity sacrifices have appeased you.

Well kids, it has been a wild ride.
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There’s a lot to look forward to next year, mostly the excuse to get drunk and write a formula one blog.

Stay strong over the break and see you back in my hometown in 2016!

Alice live blogs the Mexican GP.

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God help me it is 5:50am on a Monday morning and I am awake and somewhat ready for the Mexican GP.

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Make it worth the early start amigos!

LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!!!

Lap 1: Rosberg leads through turn one and holds.
Puncture for Vettel after contact with Ricciardo.

Lap 2: Alonso retires in record time even for him.

Lap 3: Rosberg still leads from Hamilton, followed by Kvyat and Ricciardo then Bottas, Verstappen and Massa then Perez, Sainz and Hulkenburg.

Lap 9: Bottas pits, pulls the trigger of a bunch of other teams pitting and looks to set us up for a two stop race.

For the last eight laps cars have either been pitting or overtaking to get themselves back into race position.

Lap 17: Raikkonen asked to push as Ferrari believe he will be racing Kvyat at the end of the race. Aw yes.

Lap 18: Vettel is having a rough day at work as he spins off the track through the corners.

Lap 20: Sainz has overtaken Perez for 10th which won’t thrill the fans here today.

Lap 23: GOD DAMMIT KIMI WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE CONTACT WITH BOTTAS? GOD DAMMIT BOTTAS DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE OUT MY DRIVER?
I wake up a 5:45am on a goddamn work day to watch this race, get all excited for my man Raikkonen to race for the podium and less than half way through it’s shot to shit. Fucking Finns.

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10 laps of not a whole lot of anything.

Lap 34: Sainz locks up in a big way and goes all the way off the track and across the grass. Rejoins ahead of Perez but Sainz has to let him through to the utter joy of the crowd.

Lap 39: Vettel looks like he’s in second but he’s actually a lapped car so there’s that.

Lap 40: Vettel being shown blue flags to let Hamilton through. Doesn’t want to yield because he’s faster than him. Mate, that’s not how this works.

Lap 47: Rosberg pits? Team radio to Hamilton now confirms that they are in fact going with a different strategy.

Lap 48: Surprise, surprise Hamilton is arguing with the team about having to make the pit stop and was about 1 second away from ignoring the orders to steal (and I literally mean steal) first place from his teammate.

Lap 51: Ricciardo finally sails past Massa through the corners into 5th.
Perez takes 8th from Verstappen.

Oh shit Vettel has crashed and is out of the race. Bad day for Ferrari. Seb and Kimi shall now be referred to as the “Super Smash Bros.” for the sake of this race.

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Safety car!

Lap 58: Safety car in, race restart and shit is gonna get real.
Rosberg holds his lead, Bottas moves on Kvyat and gets himself into 3rd.

Lap 59: Nasr is out of the race due to brake failure. Rosberg and Hamilton slide slightly off track but no change.

Lap 64: Close call to the wall for Maldonado. Narrowly avoided adding another crash to his tally.

Five laps to go!
Hamilton is definitely looking like he is on the charge to challenge Rosberg.

Last lap! Rosberg needs to keep his shit together for two more minutes and he can claim the top step of the podium…

…and Nico Rosberg has done it. The princess is queen for a day. First place ahead of Hamilton followed by Bottas in third.

Kvyat takes 4th, Ricciardo 5th, Massa 6th, Hulkenburg 7th, Perez 8th, Verstappen 9th and Grosjean 10th rounding out the points.

THEY HAVE SOMBREROS! Aw man that’s rad. I want one of those.

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Nice one Mexico, that was nothing if not interesting and I’d say worth the sleep deprivation.

Alice live blogs the American GP.

Yeeeeeehaw! We’re in Austin baby!

The wild, wild wet apparently.
The water logged state as it were.

It has been raining.
A lot.
That’s what I’m getting at here.

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So Rosberg is on pole but if Hamilton wins this one he wins the world championship yet again. I’m not holding my breath for an upset. This is probably in the bag for Lewis Hamilton.

A bit of a shake up in terms of the starting lineup on the grid…

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Lap 1: Mercedes are neck and neck as are the Red Bulls and someone has spun out? I think it’s Massa.
Hamilton leads in a SHOCKING turn of events. Followed by Kvyat and Ricciardo which is a bit different. Rosberg close behind in 4th.

Lap 2: Alonso has a puncture and Bottas needs a new nose. The Saubers give each other a nudge.

Lap 3: Stevens is out of the race. Sainz is storming up the field after starting last, now in 10th.
The Ferrari drivers have both moved up through the grid and have create a Verstappen sandwich.

Brilliant replays of the carnage through the first corner after the start. Massa spun, collected Alonso. Hamilton ran Rosberg off the track. Team spirit is alive and well at Mercedes.

Lap 5: Sainz getting aggressive through the corners on Hulkenberg and takes 9th.
Virtual safety car due to debris here, there and everywhere on the track.

The commentators are super confused about what lap they are watchin on replay. It’s great. Such confusion. Very unsure. Wow.

Lap 7: Bottas is out of the Austin GP. Bye friend.

Lap 8: Safety car is in and Rosberg gets the jump on Ricciardo for 3rd, gets right up Kvyat’s tail, makes the overtake stick and snatches 2nd. Smooth moves.

Lap 9: Wet track bonus – basic as fuck tire cooling system! The top 4 drivers are intentionally driving into the puddles on the edge of the track to bring their tire temperatures down. Genius.

Lap 13: Oh Kvyat tried a grand gesture on Rosberg but runs wide and ends up behind his teammate who then goes all carpe diem and gets ahead of Rosberg and up into 2nd.
Raikkonen is PISSED OFF about something. That’s the closest thing I’ve heard to the Fin yelling over team radio. He’s in 9th behind Verstappen and Sainz.
Lap 14: Sainz will not leave Raikkonen well enough alone in their game of leapfrog. Raikkonen is ahead of him but Sainz is attempting to overtake every chance he gets

Lap 15: Raikkonen and Verstappen engaging in a lovely wheel to wheel dance.

RICCIARDO LEADS THE US GRAND PRIX! What a bloody legend.

Lap 16: Rosberg has decided to give it a red hot go on Hamilton. Can’t make it stick.

Classic fucking Raikkonen team radio.

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Masterclass in sass.

Lap 17: Verstappen is like “ciao bitches” and overtakes Vettel to steal 6th but totally over cooks it and loses the place.
Lap 18: WHAT IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW WITH ROSBERG AND HAMILTON?! Battle royal between the two Mercs with Rosberg emerging victorious. Hamilton pits. Now that’s racing!

Lap 20: Hamilton is now in 4th due to some well timed pit stops by Red Bull.
Raikkonen is beached in the gravel.
Raikkonen is free of the gravel!
Forgets that this is Formula One, assumes it’s a rally and literally wiggles his way out of the barrier.
Rejoins the race.

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Lap 22: Vettel is now in 5th and closing. Rosberg sails past Ricciardo to lead the Austin GP.

Lap 24: Woop there it is. Vettel takes 4th from Kvyat.
Massa has to retire and Williams are outta here.

Lap 26: Rosberg is putting in fastest lap after fastest lap after fastest lap. Obviously sick to the teeth of always being a princess and never the queen.
Hamilton overtakes Ricciardo to claim 2nd.
My main man Raikkonen has been told to retire due to overheating breaks. Valiant effort you beautiful Finnish bastard.

Lap 27: Ericsson’s car has gone kaput on the side of the road. Safety car deployed coz he can’t do shit with no power and needs to get a tow.

Lap 32: There is a big ol’ bunch of cars up behind the safety car as we go racing again!
Vettel is now 4th and goes through the corners next to Ricciardo, tries for 3rd but can’t hold it.

Lap 34: Vettel swoops on Ricciardo again and makes it stick this time.
Verstappen is the Toro Rosso amongst the Red Bulls as he sneaks through to 5th and Hulkenberg manages 6th ahead of Kvyat.

Lap 35: Verstappen has gone past Ricciardo who now has Hulkenberg for company in a scrap for 5th.

Lap 36: Hulkenberg and Ricciardo collide and the Force India comes off worse and is undoubtedly out of the race.

Lap 37: Ricciardo definitely has damage to his car and appears to be losing places as he attempts to continue.

Lap 38: And now for something completely different – Virtual Safety Car!

Lap 39: Safety car ends, racing resumes.

Lap 40: Alonso has overtaken someone and is now in 6th!!! Behind teammate Button who is in 5th!!!!!
Ahead is Max Verstappen: Wonder Kid in 4th, Rosberg in 3rd Vettel in 2nd and Hamilton leading once again.

Lap 42: We are back to having a Mercedes 1-2 as Rosberg overtakes Vettel.

Lap 43: Oh crap that is a big shunt for Kvyat who is a-okay but out of the Grand Prix.

Safety car.
Drink.

Lap 44: Vettel pits after much speculation that he would go to the end on his previous set of tires but that theory is shot to shit and he rejoins in 4th behind Verstappen.
Hamilton also pits which gives Rosberg the lead.

Lap 47: We are racing yet again with 10 laps to go.
Rosberg nails the restart and keeps his lead.
Scrap, scrap, scrappy between Verstappen and Vettel with the Ferrari succeeding and moving back up into 3rd.

Lap 48: Alonso is in 5th!!!!!
The lead has gone to Hamilton as Rosberg does a slips ‘n’ slide off the track. Don’t go handing world championships to your teammate!

Lap 50: Button just overtook two cars in one go? Then overtook his teammate? WHAT IS THIS GLORIOUS DISPLAY OF  RACING I SEE?

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Lap 52: Balls. Alonso over team radio saying he has lost power. Told to stay out as he is still in the points to which Alonso replies “Okay, but if we’re not in the points I come in” GIVE THE MAN A MEDAL FOR HIS TEAM RADIO THIS YEAR it’s priceless.

Lap 54: Sainz gets ahead of Button to gain 6th but may have a 10 second penalty from earlier.

Lap 55: Not one to count my chickens before they hatch but this looks like it’s all over red rover as Hamilton is within reach of the drivers world championship for 2015. Imagine if he fucked it up? A girl can dream.

Lap 56: Vettel is NOT giving up on trying to steal 2nd from Rosberg but can’t get the job done as Hamilton crosses the line to be crowned the winner of winners with his teammate Rosberg winding up playing second fiddle once more.

Here’s how we ended the Austin GP…

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For reals though, big ups to Lewis Hamilton on his third championship title. That is no mean feat and he has some serious talent behind the wheel.

However, NICO ROSBERG IS THE ANGRIEST MAN IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Not a smile is to be seen within a mile of that man’s face. My money is on Nico getting shitfaced tonight and potentially punching someone or something in the face. Just sayin’.

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Well that’s it for the U S of A and kind of for the season in a way but I’ll be back for the south of the boarder special down Mexico way.

Night y’all!

Alice live blogs the Russian GP.

Well hello there Sochi!

I would make a joke about Soviet Russia or Vladimir Putin but I’m scared of the KGB.

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Rosberg is on pole this evening which is super exciting I guess? Unless Hamilton gets the jump on him and then it’s basically just another one horse race.

LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!

Lap 1: Rosberg holds his lead but has to fight off Hamilton.
Crash at turn two! Hulkenburg spins and Ericsson runs into him.
Raikkonen gets ahead of Bottas AND Vettel.

The safety car is out. As is Hulkenburg and Ericsson.

Verstappen has a puncture, either from contact or debris from the crash.

Lap 3: The safety car is in and we are racing again!
Bottas overtakes Raikkonen.
Nasr overtakes Button.

Lap 5: Oh no Rosberg is saying over team radio that his throttle pedal is sticking or stuck. Shiiiiiiiiiiit.

Lap 6: Raikkonen scraps with Vettel and wins! 🎉

Lap 7: We have Mercedes, Mercedes, Williams, Ferrari, Ferrari, Force India, Red Bull, Red Bull. This is like synchronized driving.

Lap 8: BUGGER Rosberg concedes his lead to Hamilton I assume due to his throttle issues. Yeah, he is straight up fucked. Rosberg pulls into the pits and looks to be retiring. He’s out of the car, out of the race and probably out of the championship.

Lap 9: Now for some good news – Raikkonen is in THIRD! Yaaasss.
Maldonado overtakes Button and there are a total of 17 cars still running in the Russian GP.

Lap 11: Sainz overtakes Button for 11th.

Lap 12: The Red Bull’s are going to lock horns in their ongoing scrap for 6th.

HOLY SHIT MASSIVE CRASH.

It’s Grosjean.  Holy hell that is bad. HE IS OKAY!

Lap 13: Safety car is out and the trail of debris is H U G E.
Grosjean has gotten himself out of the car and seems fine and that’s what matters. Potential red flag ahead.

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16 cars left.

Lap 15: They’re trying to fix the barrier where the Lotus hit with duct tape?!?!?! Seriously? What even is this sport?
Hamilton is complaining AS PER USUAL. Apparently the safety car is going too slow…

Lap 16: Safety car in at the end of this lap!

Lap 17: Screw you Vettel for running Raikkonen off the track.
Raikkonen holds.
FUCK YOU VETTEL YOU STUPID SAUERKRAUT.
takes third from Raikkonen.

Lap 18: Amazing racing between Sainz and Ricciardo for 10th! Wheel to wheel, swapping positions through the corners but Ricciardo emerges triumphant!

Raikkonen may have straight line speed and power issues. #PrayForKimi

Lap 23: Hamilton’s lead is now up to 6 seconds so that is boring as shit. Let us now turn our attention to the Vettel v. Bottas scrap slowly unfolding…

Lap 25: Apparently Button has dobbed in Sainz for crossing the white line at the pit entry or exit. Proving once again that if you can’t beat them, snitch!
Yep, Sainz cops a 5 second penalty.

Lap 27: Bottas pits after mounting pressure from Vettel and rejoins in 11th and into the Formula One equivalent of peak hour traffic.

Crofty and Brundel are talking about front wing design in depth. “They look like Christmas trees” and get disturbed in turbulent air. The conclusion: change is needed but not expected. Pretty good summary of the sport really.

Lap 31: Vettel pits and rejoins the race ahead of Bottas. Slow clap it out for the Ferrari pit crew for getting it DONE.

Lap 32: Raikkonen pits in 2.2 seconds ✔
He rejoins wheel to wheel with Bottas!
Bottas gets ahead through the corner.

Fernando Alonso should get some sort of award at the end of the year for outstanding team radio.

Lap 36: FINN ON FINN ACTION.
BOTTAS V. RAIKKONEN IS NOW IN SESSION.
Through the corners it’s the Iceman, then the other Fin Bottas, then the Iceman again and then the other Fin Bottas takes the position and holds it.

Lap 39: Wooo Kvyat and Massa have a bit of a scrap and whoever is in the Marussia really moved out of the way and somewhat off the track.

Lap 42: If Perez ends up on the podium I might just quit F1.
God I HATE Perez.

Massa overtakes homegrown hero Kvyat for 8th.
Maldonado overtakes Button for 11th.

Lap 45: Bottas finally overtakes Ricciardo, moves into clean air and goes hunting for Perez.
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Lap 46: Raikkonen pulls a move on Ricciardo but carries too much speed and runs wide. I’m going to have an aneurysm by the end of this race I can feel it.

🎶Sainz front left break in on fiiiiiire🎶
He runs off the road, spins then attempts to drive the car back to the pits only to have a chunk of the rear wing fall off the car like “NOPE”.
Aaaaaaaaaand we have yet another yellow flag.

15 cars left.

Lap 48: Raikkonen takes 5th from Ricciardo. Cue suspenseful music for the battle for the podium.

Lap 49: OH NO Ricciardo has stopped! Why? What happened? Now he’s out of the race as well.

14 cars left. What is this the freaking Hunger Games of GPs?

THREE LAPS TO GO.
Perez is still in third. WHY?

TWO LAPS TO GO.
And Perez is STILL. IN. THIRD.

THREE WAY SCRAP BETWEEN PEREZ, BOTTAS & RAIKKONEN.

BOTTAS AND RAIKKONEN GET AHEAD OF PEREZ!

YES-
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

oh my god.
oh my god.
oh my god.

Raikkonen made a move to overtake Bottas and instead took him out.

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He just handed Perez the podium.

I hate this sport.

Raikkonen is limping that Ferrari home and over the line in 5th.

I love that man.
He went for it and holy shit did it backfire and BREAK MY FUCKING HEART but he took Bottas out in the process and kept his championship points lead.

That’s some Ayrton Senna/Michael Schumacher style brutal brilliance right there.

Yeah so the race is over and it’s Hamilton first (SHOCKING, I KNOW), Vettel second and god damn Perez third.

I hate this sport.

I love this sport.

I want one of those hats.

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So I think I’ve had at least one aneurysm and three strokes during this race.

Damn Russia, you trying to kill me?

Right, I’m going to make like a Ruski and drown myself in a liter of vodka.

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I’m so done.

спасибо

Alice live blogs the Japanese GP.

Good afternoon Suzuka!

I love this race because it’s on in the afternoon here and because it’s technical and usually pretty thrilling.
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Rosberg is on pole but not feeling 100% and Kvyat is okay after doing a flip in quali.

Shout out to the Japanese fans for their AMAZING hats, banners and general support of the sport. You legends.

LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!

Lap 1: Hamilton has taken the lead, Ricciardo and Massa touch. Perez is off the track. Vettel and Bottas overtake Rosberg to put him in 4th followed by Raikkonen.

Lap 2: Puncture town! Massa and Ricciardo both with a blown tire after their contact. Limping into the pits. Perez also with a puncture.

Lap 4: Alonso in the points defending 9th from Sainz but loses the scrap.

Lap 6: Rosberg on the hunt for Bottas and 3rd place.

The McLaren drivers are officially over it. They’re being overtaken left, right and centre and Alonso for one has called it “embarrassing” over team radio. We may lose two world champions out of the sport at the end of this year and that would be a travesty.

Lap 9: Verstappen playing the long game against Nasr trying to take 12th.

Lap 11: Lots of pit stops starting to happen. Those who have pitted we assume are on a three stop strategy. Replay of Ericsson going off the track but he rejoins and it’s all good.

Lap 12: Bottas pits and it looks like this might be a strategy by Williams to attempt to undercut Rosberg! Draaama.

Lap 13: Hulkenberg overtakes Ericsson for 7th.

Lap 14: Vettel pits in 2.2 seconds like damn.

Lap 15: Raikkonen pits, rejoins in 5th. Rosberg told to pit this lap.

Lap 16: Hamilton told to pit this lap. Alonso, Kvyat and Verstappen all battling it out for 11th, 12th and 13th respectively. Currently the most interesting thing happening on track.

Lap 17: Rosberg now hot on the heels of Bottas. Told to “push to attack Bottas to destroy his tires”. That’s brutal.
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Lap 18: Well it may have been brutal but it worked and now Rosberg takes 3rd place.
Kvyat can’t use the overtake button due to reliability issues. I wish I had an overtake button when I’m stuck behind slow walking people hogging the sidewalk.

Lap 21: Verstappen looking very close to Kvyat. Kvyat does the work for Verstappen and pits. Raikkonen now on the tail of Bottas. FIN ON FIN ACTION AHOY!

Lap 23: Alonso defends from Verstappen. Button defends from Ericsson.

Lap 24: Perez overtakes Nasr, takes 14th.
Vettel maintains a 2 second gap ahead of Rosberg.
Replay of Kvyat indulging in some off roading which he really needs to stop doing.

Lap 26: The long game pays off for Verstappen as he overtakes Alonso to claim 10th and get in the points.

Lap 27: We just heard Alonso crack over team radio. Claims that his engine is of “GP 2” standard. He mad.

Lap 28: Raikkonen now playing the long game on Bottas. Long ass pitstop for Sainz as he gets his nose changed – debris on the track from whatever Sainz clipped.

Lap 29: Raikkonen pits and rejoins in 8th, probably looking to go to the end of race on these tires.

Lap 30: Bottas pits but the undercut by Ferrari has worked and Raikkonen gets ahead!
Rosberg pits.

Lap 31: Rosberg has undercut Vettel by pitting early. Vettel pits but rejoins behind the Mercedes in 3rd.

Not much to report. I may have missed a few things because I nipped off to make myself a cup of coffee which gives you an idea of the thrill factor I’m currently experiencing during this race.
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Lap 40: Big scrap for 12th going on between Ericsson, Perez, Button and Kvyat. Kvyat moves up into 14th ahead of Button.

Lap 42: Vettel closes in on Rosberg #PrepareForBattle more like #PrayForBattle

Replay of a big old spin by Stevens in his Marussia. 🎶 Smooooke on the traaaaaack 🎶

Lap 45: Verstappen overtakes teammate Sainz to grab 9th place.

Lap 48: Cars continue to drive around the track at high speed. Here’s the race in emoji form: 🚘🔃🏁

Lap 51: Kvyat overtakes Ericsson, takes 13th and sandwiches him between the two Red Bull drivers.

Lap 52: Nasr has retired? Not sure why though.

So we are on to the final lap and unless something catastrophic happens Hamilton is going to win the Japanese Grand Prix followed by bridesmaid teammate Rosberg then the two Ferarri’s of Vettel and Raikkonen.

Yep, that’s exactly what has happened.

More interestingly Bottas takes 5th, Hulkenberg 6th, the Lotus’ of Grosjean and Maldonado not crashing (there’s a shock) and taking 7th and 8th respectively and the two Toro Rosso’s of Verstappen in 9th and Sainz in 10th. 

Well that race was…okay I guess? Not particularly interesting up front but an honorable mention to the midfield for some sweet scraps and a bit of wheel to wheel action.

Personally I’m looking forward to hearing from Alonso post race because he is PISSED and I love paddock drama.
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See you next time in Russia!