Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jenson Button messes with my head

Two hours on from the qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, I can finally breathe again. One thing about my health at the moment is that an adrenaline rush quickly sends me crashing down, drained of energy. I shouldn't probably watch things that I'm going to get all in a lather about, but I can't avoid them at the moment.

Anyway, everything about Monaco is marvellous - even if it were pouring with rain and the cars were going round behind the safety car for the entire race it would still be glamorous and sexy. This qualifying session was better than most.

Before the end of Q1, Lewis Hamilton's weekend was seriously mucked up
when he misjudged the approach to Mirabeau and banged into the wall, leaving his rear suspension in bits.

Earlier, Massa had had a wee argument with a barrier on the approach to the swimming pool chicane, but after a bit of TLC from his engineer he was able to go back out.

The big surprise was that for the first time ever, both Force Indias made it into Q2 and the casualties of the first session were Hamilton and both BMWs and Toyotas.

The Brawn boys were 2nd and 5th after Q1, but Jenson's slipped alarmingly in Q2, at one point being 7th with 3 faster cars behind him, facing elimination. Thankfully he managed to pull it back, but that session was topped by Vettel and Rosberg.

In Q3, it seemed to be the Ferrari of Raikonnen, the Williams of Rosberg and the Red Bull of Vettel that were dominant and the lead kept changing between them. Jenson had looked a bit out of sorts and not as smooth as usual for most of the session and then, out of nowhere, he pulled out a blistering lap that was enough for yet another pole position. Rubens Barrichello, who was hoping for a win on his birthday weekend had to settle for 3rd place. It is good to see a Ferrari on the front row of the grid, though, alongside Button. With all that's been going on off the track, there is a bit of me that wants to see them at least get a podium this weekend, just for added poignancy.

The BBC coverage was as good as ever, starting with DC and Jake driving the circuit in a sports car at sunrise and featured Johnny Herbert - I'd forgotten how tiny he was - and Murray Walker. Lee McKenzie had tweeted that Murray had borrowed her headset, presumably for his interview with Jake, EJ and DC, who were all put on a boat because, get this, there wasn't any room for them elsewhere.

The one element of the BBC's coverage I don't really get is Jonathan Legard. I just don't think he adds anything, he never make me laugh like Brundle does and there doesn't seem to be any chemistry between them. The thing that annoys me most, though, is when he (or anybody else for that matter, but it's somehow worse when someone who looks like the Grim Reaper does it)goes on about Jenson being almost a dead cert to win the Championship. How can you say that on Race 6 of 17? It's way too early to call it anyway, but I hate it when commentators tempt fate like that. Murray Walker used to make rash predictions all the time which did nothing but curse the poor driver involved. I never used to want him to say anything about my favourites.

Brilliant banter between Brundle and DC - Brundle did a feature on steering wheels and how they'd changed over the years and said to DC that he'd been around in the days "when you actually had to drive the cars, son."

There was also footage of both Brundle and DC totalling their cars in previous races. I don't remember the Brundle accident, because it was before my time, but it was amazing he survived it.

Anyway, let's hope that there are no such traumas tomorrow and that we see a Brawn and Ferrari podium.

In other news, just so I couldn't feel like everything was going my way, I'm gutted that Inverness Caledonian Thistle are being relegated from the Scottish Premier League - although at least it should reduce the cost of my brother-in-law's season ticket next year.

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1 comment:

Keith Legg said...

Yes, I do find the F1 ramblings just as interesting as politics - even if I do disagree with you about Ferrari!

The problem any F1 commentator has (James Allen did too on ITV) is that Murray Walker is still around and just as important to F1 as when he was commentating. The only equivalent I can think of is Bill Maclaren and rugby, although for a couple of years after retirement he didn't give interviews (I'm trying not to criticise MW here because he is still one of the TV greats, in my view!) Legard has got better as the season progressed and I actually think he'll do OK, although David Croft from 5Live would have been a better choice IMO.

The biggest surprise for me though has been McLaren this season, going from champions to also-rans. It's almost as if they didn't bother to upgrade the car over the winter. They didn't really help themselves much with the early shenanegans but they should still be doing better than they are. At least Raikonnen seemed to have listened to Eddie Jordan and given himself a kick in the bum!


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