Turkey, it was never not going to be exciting, Vettel in pole with a hungry Jenson behind him and a record of pole-sitter wins, history would be made if anyone but Vettel won, and it was. And all this happening in the country that gave us musical greats such as Dana International who was the first and only transsexual to win Eurovision with her 1998 hit ‘Viva la Diva’ and ex-neighbours star Holly Valance’s first and only hit ‘Kiss Kiss’ and in a homage to these did anyone else notice the random Vodafone dancers during the Turkey montage in the pre-race build up? A wide track at 21 metres, known for high speed corners with turn 8 putting the drivers under the same G-force as an astronaut, a great race was set before the lights went out and that’s what we got, so onto the Turkish Badgerometer.
In at one was the joint grid walk with DC and Brundle, I had heard about the legendary previous joint grid walk, something I sadly missed, but was treated to a repeat here in Turkey. Brundle literally runs around the grid in his usual fashion leaving DC to almost chase him as if in a game of tag. Highlights included, DC walking into a cameraman, Vettel giving us far too much information about his elimination needs, another bizarre commentary from a female international star, this week Naomi Campbell stating she was supporting ‘England’ and appearing to not really know who Jenson Button was despite having just kissed him on both cheeks and DC sarcastically offering Massa’s race engineer luck when he stated they were aiming to be on the podium. But far and above all of this was the old boys club atmosphere when Brundle and DC interviewed a wannabe superhero looking Jenson Button as he sported his ‘cool’ jacket, something Brundle took no time in pointing out was far from being cool. Jenson himself entered into the banter stating he couldn’t take DC seriously with a microphone and then speaking about the ‘pad’ other drivers use to cushion the blow of turn 8 something he himself didn’t require what with all his extensive training. But apparently the drivers themselves do not call it a ‘pad’ and despite DC clamouring for Button to tell us what its really known as, Brundle quickly interceded in order to save the BBC’s dignity. I would be fascinated to know what the nickname for this particular piece of equipment is, anyone know?
In at two is Felipe Massa and I’ll be honest I’ve always had a soft spot for the Brazilian and on more than one occasion my support was torn between him and Hamilton last season. He shares many things with Hamilton, including a less than privileged upbringing and a passion for the sport as a whole, not just for winning. His interview with Jake Humphreys in the pre-race build up showed us Massa is actually very small but also that the pint sized driver shares a lot of the humilty and grace displayed by the Force India drivers at Monaco and sets an equally good example in team-manship and positivity in the face of adversity. He recognises the achievements he and Ferrari have made this season despite not being on the podium and stated that he tries his best to motivate the team. Plus it can’t be denied Massa has displayed some excellent driving this season and kept Vettel at bay on more than one occasion, despite having a slower car.
In at three is the back of the pack action that dominated the race in Turkey. It almost makes me feel sorry for Button, the cameras are just never on him as he sites at the front building his insanely large leads and last season when he was near the back, again the camera’s were far more focused on the front, it seems the cameras love Hamilton, which is lucky considering how long he spent in front of them off the track, but that’s a story for another Badgerometer. So at the back it was Barrichello that dominated, which of course he would being in such a fast car, but a stall on the starting grid and no 7th gear meant he had a tough race and was forced to retire in lap 47, but credit to him he never stopped trying. But it wasn’t just Barrichello pulling a blinder at the back, a fantastic overtake from Piquet showed that perhaps the Millenueve is on to something and the young Brazilian really deserves more credit than he’s getting. Rosberg and Glockdog also managed to make up 4 places a piece putting them both on the score board.
In at four is a joint entry between the commentators Legard and Brundle and Alonso. Legard and Brundle had either had some coffee before the race or got a stern talking to after their relatively silent commentary box at Monaco, they had passion, excitement and gone were the monotone, monosyllabic commentaries, Ted was barely needed. And Alonso features because of his direct refusal to do as he was told when asked to stay out of Kubica’s slip stream if he wasn’t going to overtake in order to keep the engine cool, to which the Spaniard replied ‘I can not do that.’
In at five is Eddie Jordan, I have questioned in the past whether he is a friend or foe and I can say after Turkey he is definitely my friend. After months of my criticisms of waste of space KERS I find a fellow hater in Jordan and both of us were completely vilified in this when earlier this week it was announced the stupid system would be scrapped next season. Riding high on this news I can safely say a huge TOLD YOU SO to all those people I have argued with since the start of the season, including my own betrothed who refused to speak to me for several hours after I stubbornly refuse to agree it had its merits. Jordan was also quoted as saying the current McLaren car is the worst one they have produced, ever. Prompting Jake Humphreys to look around the McLaren garage and quip EJ might get kicked out, but WHY? At least EJ can call a spade Alonso, I mean a spade, this seasons McLaren car is a tractor and that’s why this week rumours started to fly that the team would be doing a Honda and sacking off this season to focus on developing a car for the next. Having said all this in the dodgy clothed one’s favour I am sure I will be miffed with him by the next Badgerometer so perhaps a season tally is required to really figure him out, its currently foe 1 – friend 1!!
And this week I am miffed with Vettel, he has so much potential but shoddy cornering and ‘driver error’ cost him his position early on and he failed to really shine as he has done. It appears next to Button’s prowess the young German is lacking the consistency to really challenge him, whilst I am a long way from writing him off and believe he will one day walk the championship in a Button style unbeatable fashion, he needs to focus and maybe concentrate not on the bigger picture of the season but on the teeny tiny picture of the corner he is on and not think about anything else until he’s round that bend and onto the next.
And finally, this week the Badgerometer is proud to announce its global expansion into water meters as this picture from Mexico shows.