Mike's F1 Championship – Round 4: San Marino Grand Prix
F1 has died, F1 has risen, F1 will rise again.
Okay, blasphemy over.
Golly gosh! That was an actual race! My hand's still shaking even now. I'm glad I don't have exams this week because I doubt they'd be legible. The race was so good, one of my flatmates even stayed in the kitchen to watch it, rather than the usual "Oh god! Not this crap again."
In other news, that was an interesting time for Red Bull to announce the deal with Ferrari. I think it makes sense, what with the new rules for next year, but that Cosworth engine is pretty special; Albers was second fastest through the speed trap during Qualifying One! I can just picture (hear?) it on the team radio after Coulthard's Qualifying One lap:
Christian Horner: "Nice lap David"
David Coulthard: "Thanks, we sucked for grip, but this cosworth engine is great!"
CH: "Er, yeah… about that."
It begs the questions which is the worst engine out there. Based on the Minardis I'd rule out Cosworth, and lets face it it's not Ferrari! Mercedes seem much better these days, and it's not Toyota or Honda – they've got plenty of grunt. I can't believe it's BMW either, surely not? Which would point to, er… Renault?!?! They do have great times through the speed traps, but I get the feeling they're able to run less donwforce than the other. Crazy or what? The runaway championship leaders might have the least powerful engine, though to be fair I guess power isn't everything – well I guess that's fairly evident!
Last week I set a load of questions, for anyone who cares, here are the answers:
- Fernando Alonso is from Oviedo, Spain.
- Pedro de la Rosa last scored points prior to Barhain at the Italian Grand Prix in 2001 for fifth place.
- There have been two Austrain world champions, Nicki Lauda and Jochen Rindt (the only post-humous champ incidentally)
- Kimi Raikkonen has spoken precisely seven words in his entire life.
- Jarno Trulli's first podium was a second place at the 1999 European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
- Michael Schumacher's kids are Gina Marie and Mick
- Felipe Massa drove in Euro3000 before F1
- Jos Verstappen finished seventh at the 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix
- "g'day", "g'day"
- Jacques Villeneuve never drove well, it was always the car. But I would accept the Indy 500 '95 or Estoril '96.
- David Coulthard's jaw is squarer than 4, ah…
- One current brother in F1 is slower than his sibling, officially.
- McLaren were the last team other than Ferrari to win three consecutive Grands Prix, San Marino, Spain and Monaco in 1998.
- Using sophisticated analytical machinery, we can ascertain that Ron Dennis has achieved such a level of boringness as it is possible to obtain. Though the result has yet to pass scrutineering.
- Toyota have had seven race drivers in F1: Mika Salo, Allan McNish, Olivier Panis, Cristiano da Matta, Ricardo Zonta, Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher
- Pierluigi Martini led the 1989 Portuguese Grand Prix for one lap in a Minardi.
- Tobleromes are made in Switzerland, no one went for the sucker answer of Cuckoo Clocks, which was kinda disappointing (cuckoo clocks are made in Germany)
- Red Bull (of course) gives you wings
- Cigarettes give you: Bad Breath, Yellow teeth, yellow fingernails, lunger cancer, heart disease, throat cancer, clogged arteries, wrinkles and an empty wallet, but they make you look so hip and sophisticated – all the cool kids are doing it.
- As Simon Young correctly pointed out it was Pepsi who sponsored Jordan through their 7up brand, which was cleverer than I was being, I just wanted "7up"
- Simon suggested, "In which year was Sir Frank Williams confined to a wheelchiar?" Ooo, good question! 1985?
- Ferrari last went four consecutive races without a win in 1999, when Hakkinen won in Hungary, Coulthard in Belgium, Frentzen in Italy and Herbert at the Nurburging.
- My favourite colour (at the moment at least) is purple, though I would have accepted red as that was my favourite colour previously.
- Jonathan Palmer co-commentated with Murray Walker in 1996
And on to the points at last:
10pts Michael Schumacher: Here's what I wrote after qualifying in anticipation of taking a chunk of points off him:
Michael Schumacher They say you should never do it, but that's it, I've had it, I'm writing:
Off Michael Schumacher*
In all fairness how was I supposed to know the Ferrari was going to be two seconds a lap quicker than everyone else?
8pts Jacques Villeneuve: After I've been slagging him off all season he puts in a belter of a performance, beating both Williams and both Toyotas. Another world champion succeeds in making me look silly.
6pts Kimi Raikkonen: Poor lad. He's so not the ice man though, why the hell do people call him that? He's one of the most consistently pissed off drivers ever. He does have good reason. How many races should he have won by now? It's getting a bit silly.
5pts Jenson Button: A decentish drive, let's face it he probably couldn't have finished any higher.
4pts Narain Karthikeyan: Megastar! Only one lap down in a Jordan isn;t a bad effort. He's making Monteiro look like an idiot. Which I guess isn't that hard, but Webber making Alex Yoong, and Fernando Alonso making Tarso Marques look like idiots worked for them.
3pts Felipe Massa: He's still crrraaaaaazzzyyy but now he's got speed too. Poor guy having to change his engine, perhaps Ferrari are still hissy about Sauber abandoning them as a political ally so are giving them parts that are supposed for Rubens.
2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi: Now that was actually pretty impressive, lets be honest he made Coulthard look a bit silly there, and did Alonso and Schumacher lap him? No!
1pt Fernando Alonso: Clearly he deserves so many more points than this, but I'm getting really bored of writing his name next to the numbers, 6 8 and 10.
-1pt David Coulthard: Oh dear, DC seems to have given up. I guess he did have his stipulated one good drive of the year in Melbourne so probably has nothing left.
-2pts Rubens Barrichello: Rubens seems intent on being as anonymous as possible this year, maybe he's hoping Ferrari will forget he's there and not impose team orders on him.
-3pts Giancarlo Fisichella: It's just not happenign right now. After I raved about him before the season I'm not best pleased.
-10pts Tiago Monteiro: Well at least he's one driver who's proving me right.
10pts Ferrari: Clearly this car is very very very very very fast, but they don't get points for that. They get points because Schumacher's second place and Barrichello's DNF, means the normal order is resumed, Michael's ahead of Rubens in the championship. So James Allen will have to find some other crap to say.
6pts BAR They're quicker than before… good for them.
5pts Sauber: After Malaysia I suggested that Sauber may have forgotten that they were on Michelins. Clearly the same happened again, except in a good way this time.
4pts McLaren: Hey they're quick! Ron Dennis is still boring though.
3pts Toyota: I can't believe it. Seventh and Eighth (perhaps, depends if Ralf's penalty stands) is now a bad result for them.
2pts Renault: Don't you hate it when the same team keeps winning? Still i don't mind hearing the French national anthem, so I'm not going to complain.
1pt Red Bull: I quite like their attitude to drivers now, it's growing on me. Though when Liuzzi was talking to Klien in the motorhome, poor Christian looked a bit hacked off. But it means we get to see David Coulthard get beaten by two youngsters. Double value discounts at Red Bull!
-1pt Jordan: If it weren't for single lap qualifying which forces us to see every car I think I'd have forgotten they'res actually there. At least the Minardis break down so we get to see them then.
-6pts Williams: That sucked.
-1000pts ITV It's not that often we have such a tense end to a race, so when it happens is it too much to ask to want to see it? Martin Brundle's grid walk was well below par apart from "Roberto Carlos? I'd rather meet his wife." And I can't imagine what insanity drove him to interview Ralf Schumacher. He'd qualified more or less nowhere, he's not having an interesting season (he's not having a bad season, but it's not interesting), he's not exactly the most charismatic driver, and oh yeah, he hates the British press! And who can blame him? They always diss him and there was that whole rumour about him being gay. Clearly the man who is married to Cora Schumacher is not gay. James Allen reached new lows. Now don't get me wrong I've never been a fan, but the guy's clearly a great big tory, so I now hate him. You must have picked up on the reference:
Oh, and dear lord, Mark Blundell being forced to wear that pink shirt again. Poor bloke.
12pts Mathew Mannion: Correctly answered lots of questions right and probably knows more than me anyway.
2pts Simon Young: For correct answers. Could have been more but he got cockey :p
2pts Joseph Long: For correct answers. Unfortunately most of them had already been answered otherwise he'd have got tons right I'm sure.
10pts Warwick Blogs: We rock guys.
31pts Fernando Alonso
16pts Jarno Trulli
12pts Simon young
12pts Mathew Mannion
11pts Nick Heidfeld
11pts Christian Klien
10pts Giancarlo Fisichella
10pts Rob Margeit
10pts Glen Crompton
10pts Martin Brundle
8pts Pedro de la Rosa
6pts Narain Kathikeyan
6pts Michael Schumacher
6pts David Coulthard
5pts Takuma Sato
5pts Felipe Massa
4pts Maark Webber
3pts Kimi Raikkonen
2pts Juaan Pablo Montoya
2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi
2pts Joseph Long
2pts Rubens Barrichello
0pts Alex Wurz
0pts Anthony Davidson
-1pt Jenson Button
-8pts Ralf Schumacher
-14pts Tiago Monteiro
-18pts Jacques Villeneuve
13pts Red Bull
10pts Warwick BUKC
10pts Warwick Blogs
*Note this joke was used by David Baddiel on one of the European Championship Fantasy Footballs with "Germans" in place of Michael Schumacher. Well I can't take credit for ripping off someone elses joke now can I?