Thursday, July 13, 2017

What to watch this Weekend (July 14th - July 19th)

  • Formula 1 - British Grand Prix; from Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, England. Practice (1). Friday @ 2pm - 3:30pm (NBCSN(HD)) same-day replay
  • Formula 1 - British Grand Prix; from Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, England. Qualifying. Saturday @ 8am - 9:30am (CNBC(HD)) live
  • FIA WEC. Nurburgring. Sunday @ 7am - 12pm (FS1(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - British Grand Prix; from Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, England. Race. Sunday @ 7:30am - 10:30am (CNBC(HD)) live
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Tuesday @ 7pm - 7:30pm (VelocityHD) replay
  • Motorweek. Tuesday @ 7:30pm - 8pm (VelocityHD) replay 
  • Speed is the new Black. Wednesday @ 9pm - 10pm (VelocityHD) new

We have another back to back F1 race this weekend, which will further define the Driver's Championship, but before we get to that lets recap what happened in Austria. Both Alonso and Verstappen DNF'd again, but this time it was contact from other drivers in turn 1 and not vehicle reliability that claimed them. Alonso qualified well above the strength of the car, again, but it was for not come Sunday. Verstappen's large following of Deutsche Orange tees were in full force, but between car issues and other woes the weekend wasn't destined to work out well regardless. Bottas took pole in Q3, Hamilton was strong in Q1 and Q2, but couldn't put a lap together in Q3 and with the seconds fading Grosjean had a electrical glitch which stopped his car and brought out the yellow flag. Vettel's performance was good and he qualified second. The race started with an almost too good to be true start from Bottas, which Vettel stuck to claiming was a jumped start through the podium interviews, and with the mild threat of rain just about everyone targeted a one-stop strategy and tried to take their initial set of tires as far as they could; Bottas took his ultrasofts to lap 41 before switching to supersofts. Hamilton qualified 3rd, but had a 5 grid spot penalty for a gearbox change, which Mercedes-AMG was clear to point out had nothing to do with the rear-ending his car received in the previous races' safety car incident. Hams got a good start and jumped a couple cars on lap 1 then tried to turn his start on supersofts strategy into gold by being on the ultra's when everyone else was on the supers'. This didn't quite pan out, although he did well; the Mercs didn't do the best on tires, although everyone had pretty aggressive blistering across the paddock, but Hams got onto his ultras and within ten laps or so he was already complaining about the rears. His tires finally broke in later in his stint and he was able to pull off the fastest lap of the grand prix while attempting to chase down Ricciardo. Haas F1's Grosjean qualified well and had good pace and that translated today with some of the retirements and turnover in lap 1; he was able to take his position to P6 which provide Haas with a welcome 8point since Magnussen DNF'd. Raikkonen had a decent outing, but had some technical troubles which helped Hams jump in through his tire change. The Force India duo didn't run into eachother today and managed to snag P7 and P8 followed by the poorly qualifying Williams pair taking P9 and P10. Ricciardo held off Hamilton's advances, while Bottas held off Vettel's advances, to take the final podium step and the win, respectively. With the checkered flag dropped and the boot champagne guzzled, the Driver's Championship standings are as follows: Vettel, Hamilton (-20), Bottas (-35), Ricciardo (-64), Raikkonen (-88), Perez (-121). As you can see Valteri is now in the championship mix and is doing more for the Mercedes-AMG manufacturers title than they even believed was possible when they signed him. Also you can see that Verstappen has DNF'd 5 out of 7 races and has now been surpassed by a Force India. Meanwhile Ricciardo has podium'd in the last 5 races putting him in 4th. The landscape is changing everywhere and heading into the halfway point of the season, Round 10 in Great Britain, Hams is going to have to start putting some poles and wins together if he hopes to keep in touch with Vettel. That foam bolster issue from Azerbaijan definitely cost him dearly. 

Enjoy your weekends.

Video courtesy of CarThrottle.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017