Thursday, September 15, 2016

What to watch this Weekend (Sept 16th - Sept 20th)

  • Formula 1 - Singapore Grand Prix; from the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore. Practice. Friday @ 9:30am - 11am (NBCSN(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Singapore Grand Prix; from the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore. Qualifying. Saturday @ 8am - 9:30am (CNBC(HD)) live/delayed airing
  • Weather Tech Sports Car Championship. From COTA in Austin, Tx. Saturday @ 12:30pm - 3:30pm (FS2(HD)) live
  • FIA World Endurance Championship. From COTA in Austin, Tx. Saturday @ 6pm - 12am (FS2(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Singapore Grand Prix; from the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore. Race. Sunday @ 7:30am - 10:00am (NBCSN(HD)) live
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Mini-marathon. Tuesday @ 6pm - 7:30pm (VelocityHD) replays
  • Motorweek. Tuesday @ 7:30pm - 8pm (VelocityHD) replay

Great weekend ahead with F1, IMSA sports car racing and WEC in Austin. Where we last left off, Hams had the worst start of the season and went from P1 to about P7 by turn one at Monza, then spent the rest of the race playing catch up. And of course for him to be P1 he had to take pole; and how. Nico got gapped by over by half a second on supersofts. Ferrari's latest power upgrades separated them from Red Bull as Monza is a power track. Bottas and Williams were the fastest in the traps and Force India had another strong outing with overall pace. The Tifosi were in full force, Kimi and Vettel worked quite hard to put on a good showing at home; unfortunately they came together once again, on turn one, with Verstappen was in the mix. It wasn't Verstappen's fault, despite a last second dash to the inside, putting them three wide. Vettel pinched Kimi, they came together, carbon fiber flew and Verstappen had to get his front wing changed. Tire strategy was king in Italy, per precedent, with many folks getting very solid performance out of the softs and this lead to folks either going with a one or two stop strategy. The Mercs went one stop (softs, mediums), including of the mid teams, but Ferrari went two stop, running the supersofts on two stints. With all said, Ferrari snagged 3rd and 4th at Monza, with all of the tifosi and Ferrari management present, which was about all they could do outside of technical difficulties for Mercedes. Red Bull's Ricciardo took 5th with William's Bottas in 6th. Hamilton wasn't pleased, post-race, knowing he botched the start and it cost him cushion in the championship, but more interestingly was that Hamilton both took blame and blamed the team for the bad race start over the course of the afternoon.

With the checkered flag dropped, Nico took the race win lead (7-6) over Hams and has drawn within 2pts of the aforementioned points leader. The current Driver's Championship standings are as follows: Hamilton, Rosberg (-2), Ricciardo (-89), Vettel (-107), Raikkonen (-114), Verstappen (-129). Singapore is going to be a hot one and pole will be key; Red Bull is looking to make a mark as it's not a power track; mechanical grip and aero are king and Ricciardo wants to finally get a GP win under his belt. Verstappen needs to ensure he respects the fixed walls of street tracks. Hamilton needs to work out his start sequence kinks or else he's going to trail Rosberg again. Ferrari has no more engine tokens so if they swap again they'll be penalized grid positions; Mercedes showed the best way to work around that at Spa. Perhaps they'll follow suit.

Enjoy your weekends.

Video courtesy of GoodwoodRoadAndRacing.

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