It’s the Badgerometer! We round up our top 5 drivers, events, teams, weather systems, and so on, from this year’s delightful Turkish grand prix!
At number one this week is the spectacular collision between Red Bull team-mates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. If you have two fairly evenly matched drivers in Formula 1, then Golden Rule No 1 is obviously ‘never take each other out’. That Golden Rule is even more applicable when your two drivers are in 1st and 2nd place on the race-track. So what did the Red Bulls do? They only went and broke the Golden Rule, that’s what!
But where does the blame lie? Most people seem to think Vettel, but Red Bull boss Christian Horner seems to think it was Webber’s fault when he told the BBC that “the large mistake remains that not enough room was given”. Horner went on to say “they’re both big boys”. Big boys, or big babies? You’ve probably seen the replays enough times, so who do you blame?
At 2, it’s patriotism. Sunday’s podium consisted of two British drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, both in British cars, with two Union Jack flags flying proudly above, plus Mark Webber whose Australian flag had a little tiny Union Jack in the corner. God Save the Queen, the British national anthem, should have been paid at least twice, not just once. But the best news? It’s a mere 6 weeks until the British grand prix at Silverstone. Hip hip hooray!
Fearsome duct? What the F*** duct?
There have been mutterings in the paddock about this little piece of engineering, and at the Turkish grand prix we finally got to see what all the fuss was about. Instead of disappearing into the Turkish sunset as they normally do these days, the Red Bulls were kept honest by the McLaren boys thanks to their F-ducts.
Essentially, the duct helps the cars adapt better between the demands of the fast straights and the slower corners. And the real reason they’re called F-ducts? They appear where the ‘F’ in Vodafone is on the McLaren car. That’s some brilliantly clever advertising to sponsor a much talked-of duct, at no extra cost. But equally, it is also fairly irritating that Vodafone are incapable of spelling the word ‘phone’ correctly.
Number 4 is everyone’s favourite F1 golden couple. No, not Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger, there was far too much of her inane chat during the coverage anyway. I’m talking about Felipe Massa and Rob Smedley, his race engineer (although that’s clearly only his ‘official’ title). Brundle found them on the grid having a typical married-couple-esque debate about the fact that Massa “never listens”. “I am listening” said Massa, adamant he was in the right. Also, it’s a good excuse to re-watch the classic ‘Felipe Baby’ moment in their long-standing relationship…
At number 5, it’s the mysterious weather system which was hanging over the Istanbul park on Sunday. Rain in 5 minutes… rain in 3 minutes… rain in 6 minutes… drizzle, a light smattering, a few drops, umm? The coverage kept zooming in on some incomprehensible ‘Rain Radar’, and Martin Brundle delighted in announcing the appearance of a couple of miniscule drops on Vettel’s camera. But the rain never really arrived. It was particularly amusing when the Mercedes team told Michael Schumacher that 2-3mm of rain was expected soon, to which he quite deftly replied, “this doesn’t mean anything to me”. Quite.
This week I’m miffed with Jonathan Legard. Ok, I just lied. I meant to say every week. But it won’t do to linger on his shortcomings. All I’ll say is that it’s “absolutely crucial” (classic Legard) that he and Brundle start acting like a pair of commentators, rather than sounding like two miffed men sitting in a room trying to out-dull each other. Perhaps the BBC should send Brundle and Legard off on some sort of team-building adventure week in the Brecon Beacons. Now that would make great TV.