Thursday, July 26, 2018

What to watch this Weekend (July 27th - Aug 1st)

  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Hungary; from the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Practice 1. Friday @ 4:55am - 6:30am (ESPN2(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Hungary; from the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Practice 2. Friday @ 8:55am - 10:30am (ESPNU(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Hungary; from the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Practice 3. Friday @ 5:55am - 7am (ESPN2(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Hungary; from the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Qualifying. Saturday @ 8:55am - 10am (ESPNNEWS(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Hungary; from the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Race. Sunday @ 9:05am - 11am (ESPN2(HD)) live
  • Pirelli World Challenge. 2018 GT action from Portland. Sunday @ 5pm - 7pm (CBSSN(HD)) delayed airing from 7/14
  • Motorweek. Tuesday @ 7:30pm - 8pm (VelocityHD)
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Season10 Ep6. Tuesday @ 10pm - 11pm (VelocityHD) new
  • Speed Is The New Black. Season2 Ep7. Wednesday @ 9pm - 10pm (VelocityHD) new
So about that race in Germany...what a strategy gambling intensive Grand Prix; we had rain, we had mechanical failures, we had overtaking, we had cheers, tears and offs. Hamilton pushed way too hard in Q2 and seemingly damaged his gearbox, hydraulic failure sticking him in a single gear. This forced him to a starting position of P14 (softs) on Sunday. Vettel had a crazy qualifying run in his home GP, taking pole by 2 tenths over an outstanding lap by Valteri. This lead directly into the race; Ferrari on the front two rows, Verstappen in fourth (Ricciardo starting from the back (mediums) with new engine parts). Ferrari started well as always and the top positions were relatively unchanged. Meanwhile Ricciardo and Hams had to work their way through the field, which they both did; by about lap 20, Hamilton was up to 6th and Ricciardo was in 10th with an overtake on LeClerc. Things continued from there for the next 10-15 laps and then things got interesting; the rain in the forecast was scheduled to arrive around lap 44. Accordingly, Hamilton who had worked his way into the top five stayed out hoping to see what would come, while the leaders who already one stopped onto softs just before lap 20 were over 20 laps old and starting to get a bit scraggly. Then on lap 42 Merc decide to pit Lewis and put him on ultrasofts, betting on the rain being light in enough on most of the track to support much faster lap times to allow him to catch the front runners. His lap pace showed well, gaining about 2secs a lap on Vettel in P1. Then the rain started -- light over all, but enough to coat the road surface in a few places that inspired the mid-tier teams to gamble; Alonso, Verstappen and Grosjean came in for inters, one of the Torro Rosso's even came in for full wets. As lap 50 came closer folks began to understand the error in their gambles; Hamilton was closing the gap on the leaders still and folks with wet tires were shredding them on the dry tarmac. But it wasn't dry everywhere; Vettel put his Ferrari in the barrier on a seemingly innocuous approach to Sachs corner; he lost the front end, corrected and skidded into the gravel, gently tapping into the DHL logo, but beaching himself regardless. A gutting error, but his softs were old and the greasy track wasn't a good combo. 

The ultrasofts became the clear tire of choice during the following safety car while they got Vettel's car moved. At this point Hams took over P1 during the pitstops and Verstappen's mistake of a inter gamble (30+ sec gap) was nullified. With about 10 laps left the field bunched up behind the safety car, Hams with the oldest ultrasofts of all the front runners, with his primary suitor being Bottas right behind him with fresh rubber. The safety car pulled away and Bottas was on Hams tail like white on rice; it appeared Hamilton's tires were colds and the delta in youth was the difference in grip. Hams defended while he worked his tires up to temp, but before that happened Bottas got team orders to hold position. This is how the race ended; Hams, winning a grand prix from 14th (miracle in itself), Bottas finishing where he started in second and the same for Raikkonen in third and Verstappen in 4th. Bottas has had some terrible luck this year, DNFs abound, but when he actually has finished races he's finished second; he's hungry for a victory and I really hope his position in the drivers championship doesn't keep him from getting one he has the ability to fight for this season. While it looked like Hamilton may have been able to catch him one his tires were up to temp, you never know with all the tire wear that occurs when following, especially with two evenly matched cars. Ah well, until next time. Ricciardo's new engine parts had another failure so a DNF for him, unfortunately. 

With the checkered flag dropped, the drivers championship standings are as follows: Hamilton, Vettel (-16), Raikkonen (-57), Bottas (-66), Ricciardo (-82), Verstappen (-83). Mercedes-AMG has taken the constructors championship lead back from Ferrari (+8) with this 1-2 victory at their home GP, which was the most important thing for the team. Now we're headed to Hungary where strong aero teams like Red Bull are strong and Merc will wan to try reestablishing its position against a strong Ferrari power unit and more importantly strong overall package. It should be interesting to see who can get the upper hand before the Summer break.

Enjoy your weekends.

Video courtesy of Porsche.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Neo-Vintage Feature: Lamborghini Espada Joins Islero In Matching Metallic Wonderland (Petrolicious)

Philip Moffat shares with us two lovely FR Lamborghini GT cars from his collection, in the same lovely Verde Padillo metallic color -- the Espada and the Islero.

Video courtesy of Petrolcious.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Automotive Workshop: How Much Power Does My MX-5 V6 Engine Make On The Dyno? (CarThrottle)

The MX-5 project moves on from the stock I4 in favor of a Jaguar V6 with some performance potential.

Video courtesy of CarThrottle.