Formula One | Russia, Sochi
OTHER: So Jules Bianchi is in critical but stable condition. He won't get in a car for a while I guess, which is a shame. We lost a former F1 driver this past week as well: Andrea de Cesaris. He died as a result from a motorbike accident. He was only 55, he has over 200 grand prix starts behind his name (between 1980 and 1994). His career let him drive for: McLaren, Ligier, Minardi, Jordan, Tyrell and Sauber. He never won a grand prix, but did love it / breath it. But back to the crash of Bianchi for a moment. On monday/tuesday there was some footage of the crash (accident, disaster, what ever you want to call it). Horrofic really. If you can stand to watch it, please do. I said last weekend: I won't give my oppinion on Safety Car regulations / yellow flags. And I still won't. I am curious if we can solve these kind of incidents. I think it's part of the sport. We saw it with Kubica a couple of years back. Some things aren't avoidable. How strange/odd that may sound. I will give my oppinion, perhaps with the next race... It was almost the first race for Alexander Rossi, which should take over (temp.) from Jules. But the team decided to build the car up, but not drive it. As a sign towards Jules and his family of great respect... Sirotkin (test-driver from Sauber) DID get his turn during training. He was slower then Sutil tough. With almost half a second. So still good, but to slow in these days.
QUALLY: During qually we could see the track at high speed for the first time. Training was all about making laps, and get familiar with it. But qually was on high speed. And the seconds flew off. I must say for a Tilke-design the track is quiet awesome. We go past the stadiums from the olympics. And even a long left-bend around medal plaza. It's fast but also slow. Any suprises in qually ? Massa had problems with the drive of his Williams. Unfortantly because he could do more. Maldonado was also hit by a terrible weekend. Grosjean could continue to Q2 but dropped there. Both Saubers in front of him. Both Force India drivers and one Red Bull completed the Q2. Yes a Red Bull, the one from Vettel. I guess been to the track in a normal car won't do much at all now-a-days. Or his car was just off-balance. Q3 saw some minor suprises: Toro Rosso, both, in the top 10. With Kvyat (local hero) on 5th. Ferrari in the back of the top 10. McLaren on P4 and P6. Bottas just behind both Mercedes drivers. And Hamilton on pole... But there are some penalty's to adjust: Magnussen, back to 11. Maldonado (double 5 places at this point). And some others (but didn't affect the grid-order).
RACE: So the race was fun, we could see the track in real action now. I won't go too much in detail about the race it self. But more into the track. Turn 2 is a bit odd. If one follows the line and the other one want to pass him on the in- or outside. It won't work. The corner is a bit to tight and the one who wants to pass must go off the gas or next to the track. I recon that corner will be changed. Just as we need to see the pits changed. From 80 to 60 is just to slow. They made a pitstop (with pit in and exit) of 30 seconds. Rosberg messed up his tyres in first view laps and needed to go in. He came back in the back of the field. Just as Massa. Now there was a plan for 1 stop. But not everyone could do THAT. The rest of the track is good. But they really need some more marker-points. Where are the tree's now-a-days during a track build ? It ain't that hard to plant some of them... And they need less drive off there. In the first lap / couple of corners they all went criss-cross over the track because they were cought up in huge traffic... Just a bit of grass or gravel please...
Then the race it self, we saw some nice overtakings. And also Grosjean and Sutil collided in turn 2. Grosjean got a stop/go for it and 2 points on his license. Too be honoust Grosjean has been/is a accident/crash factor but this WAS a race incident. This wasn't his fault. I saw more of them going in the same way as him. Only difference was, the spin of Sutil and him in that turn. Rosberg messed up his tyres which saw him useless for a win. But he did manage to get on the podium, which is good. Bottas joined them. Good race from him. Any other suprises during the race ? Well Kobayashi failed to finish. Chilton needed to stop. Good drive from Massa, towards 11 from 18th. Toro Rosso couldn't brake anything on track. McLaren did a solid job 4th and 5th... In 3 weeks we have Austin (USA) on the Circuit of the Americas. Till then !