December 16, 2017

 

Pre-Race:

Rain is in the forecast – YES!

Hamilton on pole position, all that talk of Button being better than him must have bothered him as he has been rather moody all weekend.  1st driver other than Red Bull on pole this season.  Another reminder of just how dominant Red Bull has been this season.

Championship may have already been decided, but there is still some very interesting stories to play out the rest of the season.

Massa out qualifies Alonso for the 4th time in the last 6 races.  Uh Oh.

Announced this week that the Force India team has had $100 million invested in their team.  They could become a team to reckoned with next season.

Lap 1 of 55 (1/55) – Vettel pushing Hamilton and able to pass…great driving.  It’s not often we get to see his dogfighting skills (usually 1st lap) as he is always in the lead, but when we do it’s easy to see why he has been so dominating.  In fact, starting to think that he could win in the HRT car.

1/55 – Looks like Vettel is on his game plan early: Get to first, maintain 1+ second lead, PULL AWAY and set cruise control to victory.  It’s worked 9 times this year.

1/55 – Button falls from 3rd to 6th.

1/55 – Boring start to race, but VERY exciting first lap.  Vettel already 1 second ahead of Hamilton.

5/55 – Hamilton sets fast lap 1:45, still 1 second behind Vettel.  So, far Vettel not building on lead like he usually does.

8/55 – Vettel lead now 2 seconds on Hamilton.

10/55 – Vettel sets fast lap 1:44 now 2.5 seconds on Hamilton.

10/55 – Race announcers (SPEED) mention that cars burn 1 gallon of fuel per lap.  55 laps means they need 55 gallons.  All this results in car carrying 400 lbs more than at end of race.

11/55 – Vettel sets fast lap, tyres still good.  Super Soft tyres supposedly will only last about 10 laps.

11/55 – Button really pushing Alonso for 5th place.

13/55 – Great battle for 4th going on between Massa, Alonso, Button and Rosberg.

14/55 – Button and Rosberg pit and drag race to end of pits…Rosberg comes out ahead.  Button immediately passes Rosberg who then passes Button right back.  Good stuff.

14/55 – Vettel’s plan working, now 4.6 second lead on Hamilton.

15/55 – Button passes Rosberg again with aid of DRS.  DRS is annoying at times, but Martin Brundle made a good point last week, that it does help the cars that are clearly faster go ahead and get by so they have a chance at getting better position.  Have to wonder if DRS was at Abu Dhabi last year if Alonso would have been able to get by Petrov.

15/55 – Vettel now 5.4 ahead of Hamilton.

16/55 – Hamilton pits and stays with Super Softs.  Not the best pit (3.8 sec) by the McLaren team.  Back to race in 2nd.

16/55 – Button finally gets to 5th place.

17/55 – Vettel pits and stays in 1st place.  An astonisihingly quick pit by Red Bull team.  Saftey Car is out due to Schumacher and Petrov incident.

19/55 – Hoping Saftey Car will close previous gaps made by Vettel.

19/55 – Vettel starting to back up the field for the restart.  Yet, another skill that Vettel is scary good with.

19/55 – Will Hamilton be able to catch Vettel with DRS after restart?

20/55 – Safety car is off and Vettel hits the GO button!

20/55 – Button now battling Webber for 3rd and Vettel already has his 1+ second gap he needs on Hamilton.

23/55 – Vettel sets fast lap with a 1:42.  Very clear that he wants ALL the records.  If he wins this race it will be his 10th of the season, making him the 2nd driver to accomplish feat behind the great Schumacher who has record with 13 wins in one season.  Oh yeah, Vettel still has chance at that as well.  Boys and Girls, he will NOT let up the rest of the season.

25/55 – Korea facilites look very boring.  Looks like track is in a waste land.  Does not appear to be sold out either.  Announced crowd of 80,000+ seems VERY exaggerated.

27/55 – Hamilton all of a sudden now 0.5 seconds behind Vettel could have chance in DRS zone.

29/55 – Vettel, Hamilton and Webber all very close now.  Webber on Softs may have the advantage this race as Vet and Ham are on Super Softs.

30/55 – So much for the fun as Vettel is quickly back to a 1.4 second lead on Hamilton as he is battling his butt off with Webber.

30/55 – Vettel sets new fast lap and Hamilton comes on radio and tells his team, “don’t talk to me when I’m racing!”.

32/55 – Hamilton now 2.4 behind as he tries to defend Webber.  Webber should be able to pass in next DRS zone.

33/55 – Hamilton fighting like a mad man with Webber and falls over 3 seconds behind Vettel.  Told to pit by his crew as you can clearly see on TV that his rear tyres are toast.

33/55 – In the unexplainable move Webber follows Hamilton into pits.  Remember he should have had at least 2 more laps in his Softs, while Hamilton HAD to pit with his Super Softs.  Hamilton is able to stay ahead of Webber and they both get softs this time.  What was Red Bull thinking?

34/55 – Vettel pits and comes out 2nd behind Alonso who has yet to pit.

35/55 – As the kids like to say, an EPIC battle going on with Hamilton and Webber.  VERY EXCITING!

37/55 – Meanwhile back up front…Vettel sets another fast lap.  Yawn.

37/55 – Button starting to lurk behind the epicness that is happening in front of him and is now in 4th.

37/55 – Alonso pits, giving lead back to Vettel.

38/55 – Hamilton/Webber battle taking it’s toll…Vettel is now 9.9 seconds up.  WOW!

39/55 – Another lap…and now the lead is 10.5!

40/55 – Alonso sets the new fast lap.

41/55 – Alonso sets another fast lap.  This guy never quits!

45/55 – Vettel has officially set his cruise control and has a 11 second lead.  He is well on his way to this 10th win of the season.

48/55 – Button now part of Hamilton/Webber battle.

49/55 – Webber and Hamilton going BACK and forth for 2nd place.  What a dogfight!  Like two boxers trading one punch after another.

50/55 – Hamilton told to use “blue button” with 5 laps left.  Huh?

51/55 – Oh yeah, that guy that is up front now has a 12.2 second lead.  Poor guy never gets any TV time during a race.  Can’t be good for sponsors.

53/55 – Will Hamilton be able to hold off Webber with upcoming traffic?

54/55 – Hamilton sets fastest lap heading into last lap.

55/55 – Not to be out done Vettel sets final fast lap of race with a 1:39 and wins the Grand Prix of Korea, followed by Hamilton and

 

Car Rating