First of all just let me say this:
I don’t like Lewis Hamilton. I refuse to apologize for this, or even to explain it. From time to time an athlete or public figure just rubs you the wrong way. They may be very nice people in real life, but you just don’t like them. Like Barry Bonds for example. I don’t like him either, although the reasons not to like Barry Bonds are legion.
Anyway, now that I have that off my chest, I can get on with the Monaco Grand Prix Report.
It is good to be home and have my TiVo up and running. I love TiVo. It even recorded all the races that took place while we were in Italy. How thoughtful of it. So now that I have TiVo access once again, I can time-shift the race to suit my needs. I don’t have to get up early, or go racing off to a pub in search of racing cars. I can watch them in the privacy of my own home, eating my own snacks and drinking my own beer. I can also watch Friday Practice and Qualifying. And I did, because I am just that much of a geek.
I won’t bore you with all the details of Qualifying, I will just say that Ferrari locked out the front row, with Massa on pole. McLaren, meanwhile, snagged the second row all to themselves.
It was raining in Monaco. This is not good. Monaco is the last of the true street circuits in F1, and the track is narrow, with no run-off areas if you lose control of your car. So if you lose it, you just go ker-smash into the safety barriers and say goodnight Gracie. Rain, of course, makes the track slippery and makes the cars that much more difficult to control. So rain and Monaco are not a good combination.
It was an event filled race. It has also been a couple of days and the details are not terribly fresh in my mind. Hamilton hit the barrier and had to come in for a new tire. Lucky for him the safety car was deployed by another incident, and he ended up not losing many positions on track. So the safety car saved his race. Of course a later safety car session erased a 40 second lead he had over Felipe Massa. The safety car giveth, and the safety car taketh away.
And then, Alonso made a very optimistic move to pass Heidfeld’s BMW and damaged both cars. He had been running in about 5th place, but ended up in 16th after he pitted for repairs. Stupid, stupid, stupid. He was never going to make that pass; I don’t know what he was thinking. I will have to give him a piece of my mind in Canada in two weeks.
But, by far the saddest thing to happen was this:
In the closing laps of the race, Adrian Sutil, driving for Force India was in 4th place. Fourth place! Force India is a true back-marker team. They usually qualify in the last spots on the grid, and don’t generally move up much during the race. So here he is, running in fourth place, ahead of world champion Kimi Raikonnen. And then, Kimi lost control of his Ferrari and slammed into the back of Sutil. He came into the pits for repairs, but the car was too badly damaged and he had to retire from the race. I felt just awful for him.
So, not the best race. It is actually my least favorite race on the calendar. There’s precious little passing to speak of, it’s a dangerous track, and the pit lane is always full of the Beautiful People. Now, I have nothing against movie stars and celebrities in general, but seeing them in the pits just makes me mad. I know most of them don’t know a thing about Formula 1, nor do they care. They’re all just walking around thinking “oh, look a racecar”. Meanwhile real fans like me can’t get anywhere near the pits. It is very discouraging.
Next up is the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. And I will be there live and in person. I will have to start figuring out what I’m going to wear.