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…

alyssa edwards

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.

pray

#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.

idk

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?

why

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!!!!!!!!

safety car

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.

friends door slam

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.

alonso wink

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

china results

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

not crying

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…

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ALICE RECAPS THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

SURPRISE BITCH!

suprise

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.

pray

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.

alonso quote

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.

hello darkness my old friend

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.

undercut

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.

amazing

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!

FCW

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.

brooklyn99

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!

results aus gp

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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