This weekend is the British Grand Prix from historic Silverstone in Northamptonshire (and Buckinghamshire) England. Silverstone has evolved over the years and, in its current configuration is a fast track with several straightaways, coupled with two near hairpins and a smattering of other turns that make it a great track for racing and overtaking. Combined with the potential for the wet stuff, Silverstone holds promise for great races.
Aussie Mark Webber of Red Bull was fastest in practice, which was hampered in the second session by the rain. the Red Bull dominance continued into qualifying this morning with Webber taking P1, followed by teammate Sebastian Vettel in P2 and the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in P3 and P4 respectively. Di Resta in the Force India, Maldonado in the Williams and Koayashi in the Sauber were pleasant surprises in P6-P8. Of the three upstarts, I think Kobayashi has the best chance to break through for a podium, but it will be really tough. Lewis Hamilton continues his downward slide from relevance with a P10 on the grid, barely ahead of the secondary Force India and Sauber machines. Brad Spurgeon has more.
One other thing, as Brad notes:
If you are in New York City or nearby, it will be possible to watch tomorrow’s race live at the City Winery. The producers of the documentary film about the late world champion Ayrton Senna, entitled “Senna,” are sponsoring the event to show off the race and then some previews of the film, which will be released in the United States on Aug. 12. The race is run in delayed time later Sunday on Fox, so this is a chance to see it live — or with only a slight delay. Reservations for the event, which starts at 7:30 a.m., can be made at email@example.com.
Yeah, no shit. Once again, the Foxsuckers have decided to cravenly screw the American F1 fans. It is such total unadulterated bullshit it is hard to put into words. Rupert Murdoch and Fox deserve to be humiliated and pilloried for this MUCH more than that phone hacking kerfuffle. Fox truly sucks bags of big honking salted dicks.
Race day this year has a prediction for sunshine, but that is awfully tenuous at Silverstone. This would be slightly different from the conditions in 1961. As you may recall when this season of the F1 circus started, I pledged to occasionally harken back to 1961 as this is the 50th anniversary of the Yankee Champion, Phil Hill. I did not know Phil until about 1968 or so, and was too young to know anything in 1961, so I will have to rely on history to describe the British GP of that year, which was held at Aintree by Liverpool. 1961 was also a wet weekend, but the wet continued through the start of the race:
The 1961 British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race, held on 15 July 1961 at the Aintree Circuit, near Liverpool. It was the fifth race of eight in the 1961 World Championship season. Following a wet weekend, with torrential rain affecting both qualifying and the race start, the Grand Prix was ultimately dominated by Scuderia Ferrari, with their drivers taking all three podium positions. The race was won by German Wolfgang von Trips, who had led for much of the race after starting from fourth place. This was von Trips’s second and last Grand Prix victory, as two races later he was killed in an accident during the 1961 Italian Grand Prix. Pole position winner Phil Hill drove to second place, on his way to winning the World Drivers’ Championship at the end of the season, and third place was taken by Hill’s American compatriot Richie Ginther.
So that was the British fifty years ago and looking forward to this year’s race. Sadly, as I will go into at the appropriate corresponding point in this year’s season, the winner of the 1961 British GP, the superb Wolfgang von Tripps did not go on to finish the season, which played large in Phil winning the Championship. That is a story for a later day.
Also in the news this week is the oh so sad passing of the Ohio State Buckeyes’ 2010 season:
The beleaguered Ohio State football program will vacate its 12 wins from last season, including its Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas.
The school announced the self-imposed penalties as it awaits what are likely to be even more serious penalties from the NCAA for a scandal that saw players trading memorabilia for tattoos. Longtime Coach Jim Tressel has already resigned and star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, at the center of the tattoo imbroglio, has left early for what he hopes is an NFL career.
Athletic Director Gene Smith said wiping out the 12-1 2010 season is a significant price for the university to pay for the school and the team. Four players caught up in the memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal are returning.
Here is what I want to know: if the 2010 season needs to be forfeited, why the hell doesn’t the 2009 season (and bogus Rose bowl win), which relied on the same tainted players and congenitally corrupt Sweater Vest coach and administration, have to be forfeited too? It was a long term pattern of abuse of NCAA rules that started long before the 2010 season. OSU is still pulling punches and acting with oblivious and insulting impunity.
Lastly, Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit today, a stud like home run, as well as his 3,001st and 3,002nd hits, the last a game winner for the Yankees. The man is all class and all style. A tip of the cap to Derek Jetah….Jetah.
Music this week courtesy of the one and only Ringo Starr, who turned 71 years young Thursday (and was serenaded with Paul McCartney signing “Birthday” for him).
So, that is it folks; let rip the hounds of trash!