The Drood Report

Nick Fry is a jerk.

Stewards not gutless after all

So both McLaren’s have been docked five places. Now that seems fair to me as that was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. Of course Martin Whitmarsh, who showed what a complete two faced hypocrite he was last year when he said how unfair it was of Ferrari to try and win the title in the courts, only for McLaren to turn around and do exactly that after the Brazilian Grand Prix, defended his drivers.

[…]Nick was in fact quickest in all three sectors on that lap and I don’t think he was unduly or physically impaired[…]

Now if you take that literally, to me that sounds like he’s saying Nick was on the for the pole, which he clearly didn’t get. I think he means Nick was on his personal fastest lap. Well clearly he WOULD be faster, even if baulked. The fastest laps are always set near the end of the session with fresh tyres and a lighter fuel load. If I recall, Heidfeld was in 9th place before his final lap. Now Alonso is 9th with a 1:38. Heidfeld did a 1:36 on his final lap. Clearly there was more pace in the car than he’d shown earlier in the session. 15/100ths of a second seperates 3rd to 7th. There were 44/1000ths of a second between 4th and 7th. If there was a gap of, say, half a second or more to 3rd, then BMW’s claim may be open to debate, but clearly Heidfeld was blocked and had to go off his preferred line. Slowing him a mere 1/10th of a second cost him three grid places. According to Doctor Mario, the speed differential between the McLaren’s and Heidfeld’s BMW was 200kmh!

As for Alonso’s complaint, looking at his time, I doubt it hurt him that much. He needed to find almost 1.5 seconds to bump Webber out of 8th, and in that dog of a Renault, that was clearly never going to happen if the McLaren’s hadn’t been there.

So far none of the threatened rain has come. Was endlessly amused by the captions on TV. “Prediction: No rain for next 30 minutes.” Then 20 minutes. Then 10 minutes. I was expecting it near the end to say “Prediction: No rain in the time it takes you to read this caption.” A wet race will make things very interesting. Here’s hoping. The sad thing is while Lewis and Heikki deserved to be spanked for their idiotic driving (Massa at least stayed as far off the line as he could get), what it ultimately means is there will now be almost no battle up front. A wet race is about our only chance of not having the Ferrari’s romp off into the distance, because you can guarantee if the track is wet, Massa at the very least will most likely run out of talent again and do something stupid for our amusement.

To prevent this nonsense being a problem again, the FIA should perhaps give a “rule clarification” (aka a “rule change” dressed up in lawyer speak) and make it so on their slowing down lap, if the session is still green, the driver has to stay within 107% of his fastest lap. The FIA always seemed to love that number. Just a thought.

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March 22, 2008 - Posted by | f1

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