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Formula Fun: Japan Etc Edition

Patrick Hoffstetter September 29, 2015 Formula 1, Motorsports 7 Comments

Weekly is more of a state of mind, than an actual promise dear reader. Actually, no it isn’t, I made that up. I told you would have a new article every week about F1, and I got stuck behind with school stuff, WEC happening, and to be honest, a sort of lapse in my ability to write. I’ve still watched every race, and been tweeting about it over at  along with thoughts on how great Metal Gear is, and general car and racing news.

But, back to the topic(s) on hand. Formula 1. -heavy sigh-

There is another reason that I haven’t been chomping at the bit to write about F1, and it’s that we have had  two out of the last three races be real snooze fests. This is the first time I have been disillusioned with F1 in years. Even at the height of the Vettel Era I never felt this way. Is it because we experienced such fireworks between the two Mercedes drivers last year? Even Singapore, which I thought was brilliant, was led from start to finish by Vettel. There never really seems to be a race that isn’t decided on the first lap. Minus Monaco of course, but that was such a fuck up in strategy that it was amazing. Monza was boring, and if it truly was the last race there, it might as well be a nail in the coffin. Japan, which usually serves up something interesting, was just a bore. The only saving grace was some very interesting passes and such in the midfield, and Kyvatt battling his way back to the pointy part of the grid after starting in pitlane.

Singapore almost had it all. The Mercedes duo was struggling, Max Verstappen was putting on a thriller of a race as usual, and Daniel Ricciardo was giving Vettel a run for his money towards the end. And a few big spills and thrills led to it being a great race. And seeing the race under the lights was just amazing. But Japan and Monza? Meh and eh. A meh sandwich with a great filling.

Am I still excited for the next race? Yes. Do I hope it will be better? God yes. Will I ever leave F1? Probably not. Are there things that I am excited about? Hell yes, and to balance the meh out, I’m going to go into all that.

First of all, you might have noticed my F1 friends and I all flipping our collective shits for Singapore. Alexander Rossi, an American who has almost made the jump to F1 from GP2 last year with Marrussia, was taking the second Manor seat. As an American who has a complicated relationship with nationalism, I had a long think and then decided to be that USA-chanting obnoxious American at the upcoming races. Rossi has impressed in his first two races, finishing 14th in Singapore, and beating his more experienced teammate in Japan. This is something I am super pumped about.

That along with this mornings announcement of the first driver for HassF1, means exciting things are afoot. While Romain Grosjean going to Haas has probably been the worst kept secret in the driver market, it was still nice to see him here in the US. He seems very happy to be a part of a new team. And maybe one with a winning engine, if the Ferrari tie up is all there. His old team, however, seems to have confirmed Pastor for another year, and combine that with Renault buying a controlling stake in the team it is interesting times in Enstone. I look forward to who slots into that second Lotus(?) seat.

My team right now? I honestly don’t even want to talk about it. McLaren is a mess. Ron Dennis isn’t the wonder manger he used to be. It seems like Honda has no idea how to build a turbo hyrbid engine, which is killing them. Sponsors are leaving, money is tight on the F1 side of things, and we don’t know if they are going to treat Button properly. It’s a mess. But still I have hope, love, and passion for the team. That’s sport.

All of this aside, we still have several races to go. Next up is Sochi, and it should be less of a somber mood this year. Lets just hope the racing will be amazing, and we will have something fabulous to talk about.

See you next time.

  • Van_Sarockin

    I thought it was a very decent race. Hamilton beat out Rosberg at the first corner, and kept building an indomitable lead. Sort of like a prize fight that only lasts one punch. But there it is. At least they raced. Red Bull did well. Lotus did well. Maldonado didn’t even crash. There was a fair amount of passing in the midfield. There were hardly any accidents, and one brief safety car. And especially, no one died. The tires even lasted. There was intrigue about driver changes and teams folding or being sold. Hell, even Sauber could hold their head up. And Hamilton tied Senna’s record for wins. All around, not a bad day at all.

    • Shane Cashin

      What he said

  • Shane Cashin

    I think you need to check your wording and spelling. I had to read the intro piece three times. It reads like an SMS, no flow.

    • I see what you mean. I think that’s down to me rewriting that part too many times. But constructive critic is always appreciated.

  • alex

    I didn’t bother watching Japan because after watching quals, Hamilton was less than .01 off Rosberg despite having made two fairly egregious mistakes on his hot lap. The most exciting thing about watching quals was the short clip they showed of an old Senna-era Mclaren taking a demonstration lap. The sound was incredible.

    I’ve been an ardent F1 guy since 1992. Been to Montreal 9x, Indy 3x and saw the first race at COA.

    There’s fundamentally wrong with F1 trying to be a spectacle of motorsport when the cars have penis-noses and sound like tractors. Yes, they go fast and they brake and handle like nothing else on earth. But, the show is boring now.

    I long for the days when every car came by screaming, cracking and popping and sounding like the engine was going to explode at any time.

    The pinnacle of motorsport should not be mandating fuel flow rates. Let them burn all the fuel they want. They just have to deal with the weight penalty.

    The rules in F1 today seem to have been made up by the EPA.

    Look at the crowds: Japan was about 60% full for qualifying. Japan has always been full for Friday Practice. In the rain! Monza had empty seats. Spain was about 70% on the first race back to Europe. Nobody goes to Malaysia, China, Bahrain. Austria – home to Red Bull – was about 70% full. When I was in Austin for the first race, lots of the fans were from Mexico. Watch the crowd there this year with the Mexican GP one week later. Even with Elton John.

    OK. Time to end the rant. Calm down. Go to work. But, that’s the way an old guy sees it.

    • Tamerlane’s Thoughts

      I saw/heard it in real life on Sunday. I think I grew more chest hair as a result.

    • Tamerlane’s Thoughts

      And here was Rosberg when he lost his lead.