Korean GP – The Race

Hallelujah! The chequered flag!

Writes title of race. Passes out with boredom.
Right, I have now returned with a double expresso and two fondant fancies from the Mr Kipling box I accidentally bought this morning. The Great British Bake Off Final – this is ALL your fault! And seriously…who knew that fondant fancies were The Hardest Thing to make on the planet. Obviously I have never tried but if the fantastically talented John, James and Brendan struggled, what hope is there for the rest of us! Actually there was only ever a Big Fat Zero of hope for me in the first place. So I feel respect is due to Mr Kipling although I suspect the fragrant Mary and the delectable Paul (yeh, we’re on first name terms now) might not agree with me.

Never ever ever attempt to make these at home. 

It would be so much more fun (for me anyway!) to blog about the glorious Great British Bake Off Final but with a super-human effort I shall haul myself back to the sensational and thrilling race at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam. Hash irony etc.
After the 100% positive feedback that I received for my last race blog – ie. the one person surveyed, the husband, said he liked its short and punchy style (emphasis on short I feel but I’ll take whatever positives I can), I have decided to adopt a similar approach for this blog. Also I cannot face having to relive the whole race in its entirely. It might result in me eating the rest of the fondant fancies and overdosing on coffee. And frankly, that dullfest of a race doesn’t deserve ‘epic’ blog treatment and nor, lovely readers, do you!
So without further ado, to recap, the top ten qualifiers were:
1. Webber        2. Vettel
3. Hamilton      4. Alonso
5. Raikkonen    6. Massa
7. Grosjean      8. Hulkenberg
9. Rosberg       10. Schumacher
So what went down in South Korea (aside from some not-at-all predictable ‘hilarious’ gangnam style rap dancing – see later):
1.     Vettel took the lead on turn 1 on the first lap and stayed in the lead for all 55 laps for another mindnumbingly boring crushing victory. He has now won THREE races in a row. He is now level with Jim Clark and Niki Lauda with 25 career victories in the all-time list. But most importantly what this now means is Another Potential Turning Point in the Title Race in that Vettel has now overtaken Alonso in the Championship race and leads him by 6 points. On the one hand, I really want the title race to go down to the wire but on the other hand, I fear that Vettel has the momentum, the car and that Ferrari, even with the utterly brilliant Alonso inside, just can’t keep up. Damn and blast. F1’s Evil Genius, Adrian Newey (was he the Dark Lord in an earlier blog or was that Ron Dennis?) has clearly been hard at work.

One of the all-time greats, Jim Clark

2.   The podium line-up was completed by Webber in 2nd and Alonso in 3rd. I was amused to see Vettel’s comment that Mark was always on his toes. As. If. Sebastian. Will be VERY interested to see how team orders are carried out at Red Bull (that most sanctimonious of teams when it comes to opining on team orders) as and when the need arises. Its safe to say that Alonso gets the maximum possible out of that Ferrari although their 3rd/4thfinish at the South Korean GP mean that they leapfrog McLaren into second place in the Constructors’ Championship. Quite stunning for a car that resembled a tractor in the opening few races and where one half of the driver line-up is Felipe Massa. Cruel I know.
3.     McLaren’s abysmal weekend: part 1. The Hero of Suzuka, Kobayashi crashed into Button and Rosberg at the start who were having a good old drag race when Kamui kamikaze’d (sorry, couldn’t resist) into them both, trashing Jenson’s suspension and indeed his race. I bet Grosjean and Maldonaldo were thinking ‘yeeeeees, it’s someone else’s turn for driver hate today’. It was a suicidal move – there have always been risky, aggressive drivers in F1 but this season, there do seem to have been a LOT of driver errors and First Lap Incidents. You wonder if the comparative safety levels now in Formula 1 have made some of the younger drivers feel they are almost untouchable. Dangerous mentality if that is the case.

Yet another First Lap Incident
4.     McLaren’s abysmal weekend: part 2. From 3rd on the grid, Lewis Hamilton could only finish in 10th place. Early on in the race, his car suffered a rear anti-roll bar failure which meant his tyres were chewed up and fried at a vastly accelerated rate. I thought Martin Whitmarsh showed real class in hailing Lewis’s drive as heroic. I imagine Ron Dennis is probably still chucking darts in a frenzied rage at his Lewis Hamilton dartboard on his Death Star. Lewis was the only driver to make 3 pitstops and he still finished 10th despite driving with a load of grass sticking out of his car for the final few laps. So credit where its due to Lewis Hamilton or Lewis the Bull as the 5 year old now refers to him. Nope, me neither! He also came up with Jenson the Button and Michael the Shoe. He was enormously pleased with himself. Bless.


Kimi: too cool for F1 and life generally

5.    And what of the 3rd placed man in the Championship. Mr Kimi-Matias Räikkönen! He finished in 5th place. What a fantastic season he is having! I would love, love, love to see him in a Ferrari again (his spiritual home, surely!?) or a McLaren or heck even just a Race Winning Lotus. I most of all want to see Kimi driving an Adrian Newey designed car. Please, Bernie, make it happen! But if Kimi ever gets bored of racing, an illustrious career in acting could await. This hot-off-the-press video clip is pure GENIUS.
6.    Presumably someone at Lotus has ‘had a word’ with Grosjean as he had an exceptionally quiet race. Just kept his head down, had a clean race and finished 7th.  Good day in the office for the Hulk who finished in a well-deserved 6th place after he executed a beautifully judged move on Grosjean and Hamilton near the end.
7.      And South Korea was a happy points hunting ground for Toro Rosso who finished in 8thand 9th respectively. And yet again, Mercedes were nowhere to be seen (even in and around the distinctly average middle-pack of cars). Rosberg’s race was terminated through no fault of his own and Schumacher finished 13thafter being literally passed by the world and its dog. I might need some hypnosis after this season is over to block out any memory of Schuey in a Mercedes.

Jean-Eric and Daniel just shooting the breeze

8.    My new bookmarked port of call for all Narain news is the The Times of India website as he barely gets a mention elsewhere. But even on there, all there is to report really is that he finished 20th. In last place. Still next up, India. No pressure mate!
9.     Did anyone else wonder why the Beeb picked South Korea as a ‘live’ race? Clearly the opportunity to meet the legendary Psy was just too irresistible for Jake, Eddie and DC. For those of a weak disposition, LOOK AWAY NOW! Here are the boys in action – do not say you weren’t warned (I called this back in Suzuka!!).
10.  Johnny Herbert did the podium interviews! Why? Does anyone know? Psy so should have done the interviews and made the drivers do a gangnam dance. Just to wake us all up if nothing else!
So that pretty much wraps up South Korea. Thank the Lord. Just time for a quick update on driver news for 2013:
Massa has signed a one year deal at Ferrari. His EIGHTH season at Ferrari. Who’d have thought hey? Certainly not 99% of F1 fans. Just as we were all getting excited about the significance of a ONE year deal as being code for ‘Vettel moving to Ferrari in 2014’, that old kill-joy Luca di Montezemolo said he doesn’t want ‘too many roosters in the same henhouse’ at Ferrari. It would be carnage, pistols at dawn etc. Luca, you are no fun.

Maranello in 2014?

Its looking very likely that the Hulk will be on his way to Sauber next season and possibly will be partnered by Esteban Gutiérrez (what an awesome name – he sounds like a Mexican drug-dealer!). This sort of means Kamui is out on his ear and that Di Resta might be staying at Force India after all. Poor Paul, he’s probably still in denial waiting for the call from Maranello. Maybe in 2014?! Snigger.
And so just 4 races to go. Definitely getting into Squeaky Bum Territory. Next stop is India which for some inexplicable reason is a country the 5 year old has a strange affinity with so he is very excited! I just looked up who won the inaugural race there last year who shall remain Nameless. Clue: he is German and wins a lot and isn’t Michael Schumacher. Obviously. Lets hope Grosjean qualifies high up the grid and causes some mayhem for all our sakes!

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