It’s the morning after the night before… Eurovision.  I’m semi prepared to blog on the event as I did last year but so far I’ve been managing a ‘could be worse’ hangover and napping!  Eurovision is very much a guilty pleasure which distracted us from full and effective F1 party planning. However, Resident Knitter offered to host the Spanish Grand Prix and I descended on Knitting House just after 6 for a pre-recorded BBC fest.

We definitely miss David, Eddie and Suzie on Sky coverage days and it seemed that the Eurovision fever must have got to our boys and infiltrated their wardrobe.  David was sporting a pair of bright blue trousers with a navy shirt.  Nicely snug around his rear as always but a bit of a shocking combo to say the least.  Eddie, who we’re more used to seeing in gopping colour combinations, treated us to a pair of red bottoms and a floral red and white shirt.  As for Suzie Floozy, all I can say is that I wish I looked like that in a pair of jeans.

David in a Dress

Couldn’t find a snap of the snazzy slacks but here is an archive shot courtesy of the Daily Mail!

So, onto food.  Resident Knitter whipped up a Paella which went down very well indeed.  We mixed in some extra chorizo for added Spaniard. After the excess of Eurovision, I admit I slacked.  Drinks and dessert were my domain as the visiting party person. I supplied a bottle of (ahem) Spanish (read Italian), (ahem) Rioja (read Blossom Hill, could be anything) and the ever so traditional Spanish dessert of flumps, Cadburys caramel chocolate and malteasers (I’m sure I’ve eaten them on holiday in the Costas before…).

Always got to love Coulthard on a grid walk before the race.  We are always appreciative of the camera following his behind between the cars and the crowds.  In his usual friendly style he approached a focused Fat John who had tried to find a quiet spot to get his game face on and looked distinctly unimpressed by being bothered by the BBC.  Bernie was spotted chatting with Red Bull reps on the grid and the rest was a bit of a blur as we tried to work out who was where to start.

Hamilton took pole, but where were the rest of our boys?!!! Button was found in 8th and Magners behind in 14th.  Vettel had suffered a penalty and was in 15th (we admittedly should know more about the how and why but alas we have nothing). Chilton wasn’t right at the back but instead at 17th.

Nothing seemed to kick off at the start so we reverted to gossiping, only being drawn back in with the mention of a ‘red sausage kerb’! What the heck?! I was busy food policing our dessert portions to catch any more on that.

By lap 24th we thought we should get an update on positions. Hamilton was of course still in front, Button had dropped to 12th and Chilton still wasn’t last!  We got some team radio stropping from Hamilton demanding to know why he was brought into the pits due to one thing or another only to get a patronising calm down from the pit team reminding him that he was to stick to the optimum strategy.

In terms of race drama nothing happened until at least lap 64. So if you missed it, don’t worry. Alonso managed to get passed his team-mate to take 6th in lap 64 and Hamilton was fighting off Rosberg right to the line.  We got to the edge of our seats in lap 65 of 66 and that was that.  Rosberg locked up at one of the final corners and Hamilton won the race and over took Nico in the championship. Neither had won in Spain before but Hamilton had the edge.

Word up to Vettel who managed to end up in 4th after his poor start position. He’s taking it well though. Chilton didn’t even come last! He was pipped to his usual rear standing by Sony Ericsson. Can he edge up the standings even further over the season?

Not the rowdy event 0f two years ago with homemade, naughty looking churros or the glamour of last year with Guest Chef treating us and our Cuspers to a feast. Pleasant nonetheless.

Monaco is to come but I have a family get together the day before and won’t be at HQ for a proper party.  I will see what can be done though, Monaco is a classic. If it wasn’t for a senior snooker lovers birthday I’d be there with bells on!

 

I’m on time, miracle!

It’s Easter weekend and we started with a plan. A party was on the cards with the overly amorous couple, Resident Knitter, yours truly and the cuspers.  Possibly due to my belated party planning (and exam season for Dr D) we were down to two – yours truly and Resident Knitter.  Not averse to a twosome (indeed we shared an intimate round of fajitas last night with a bottle of prosecco), something seemed amiss. China is usually a raucous affair! Last year it included an overly amorous exposure and suggestively arranged wontons and spring rolls.

Last minute Greenfingers came to the rescue. She was preparing a super Easter roast chicken with all the trimmings followed by home-made mini egg chocolate mousse.  A departure from the greasy goodness that is the Chinese takeaway of years gone by but given the holiday occasion we would make an exception. Greenfingers had also gathered some newbies. May I introduce to you ‘the easy one’, ‘the quiet man in the corner’ and ‘the middle aged man in lycra’ who is hereby abbreviated to the Mamil.

Things were still not all that straightforward. I missed my train and had to be collected by the easy one. With 10 minutes to spare we were seated.

Lewis impressed in qualifying to find himself in Pole. We weren’t sure if Benson Jutton had turned up at first (he does not deserve to be named in proper terms at present). Vettel was 4th on the grid but hasn’t seemed to cause much of a fuss about his fall from frontendom.  A quick run through the points as they stood caused me to sympathise with Sausage Pasta who still has no points yet this season. As the formation lap took place Lewis, the naughty boy, teased the Red Bull behind as he slowed and sped back up the grid.

And so began probably the dullest race of the season so far…Massa clipped someone on the first corner and as Lewis gained a 3.5 second gap away from Vettel (who had done some overtaking) on lap 6 there seemed little competition or fight in anyone. Our trusty commentary team even started stating the obvious with comments about the carbon fibre suspension which apparently either works or breaks down. Good to know guys…

Mamil pointed at a spot of intrigue at the Gameboy style steering wheel in the cars. This was a good point.  I wonder whether it is quite like being in a simulator behind the ‘wheel’ or whether top notch simulators just can’t match the reality of Massa clipping your wing.

With Massa on our mind we entered a debate about who the oldest F1 driver was. The easy one suspected Massa whereas Resident Knitter and I suspected the soggy haired lothario.  A quick google search uncovered that Massa was 4 months older than the soggy haired lothario but we were all daft enough not to recall that Benson Jutton was the grand (old) age of 34 (I’m the baby of the group so I can get away with that one!).

We were treated to no more or less than 3 relatively exciting (in the scheme of things) overtakes.  Rosberg snuck past Vettel at lap 23, Ricciardo also jumped his team-mate in lap 26 and Rosberg took out the soggy haired lothario at lap 46 to cement the finishing line up.

In a spot of drama which we apparently missed, some dopey marshal waved the flag a lap early confusing Hamilton Helmet Hair but not disrupting the result. How frustrating that must be though… you’re given one job…one job!
Early Flag

 

Are we there yet?

Image courtesy of the Daily Mail

Resident Knitter exclaimed ‘good god, steady on Button, you might get points’ as we hoped for him to move up to 10th but it was not to be.  Finally, notwithstanding some dodgy helmet hair, Lewis came out on top and proudly announced that he had so much energy and was ready to go again! Calm down Lewis…Shirtslinger will sort you out later we’re sure.

Helmet Hair

 

Hamilton Helmet Hair (in Bahrain but not far off what he looked like in China)

Image Courtesy of the Welwyn Hatfield Times

So there we are. A short interlude awaits us before Spain on 11 May. That weekend provides an additional treat as on 10 May we have Eurovision.  Last year the party people gathered for an impromptu Eurotastic event at Knitting Towers.  This year I have mother hen and her fella coming to visit so we’ll see how things pan out! If all works out you’ll be treated to an additional treat of bloggage-ness as we run through each of the acts and ‘critique’ in the only way we know how…!

Much fun to come. Oh and do follow @F1partyperson on twitter…I’m getting my act together and trying to circulate any interest-worthy tit-bits as they crop up!

 

 

How on earth do I begin today?!…with my tail between my legs? Firstly I need to announce humungous apologies for being late with not one but two blogeroonies.  How dare I.  Today’s title has a bit of a double meaning because my excuses are, to be blunt, a case of me looking after Number One and not my party people. However, it is also a reference in the words of our trusty commentary team pointing out that the Mercedes boys were not so much looking after their tyres but actually looking out for themselves!

So, back on point, why am I late…If you’re hooked up to the party people twitter feed (@F1partyperson) then you’ll know that I was under daughterly duties on the day of the Malaysian Grand Prix. As my sibling has left the country for no less than 12 months I took it upon myself to entertain our Mother on Mother’s Day and organise a lunch date.  Even Party People have Mother Hens that need to be fed and very pleasant it was. Not all was lost at first…I did actually manage to catch all bar the last 4 laps of the race as I got myself dolled up and got Mother Hen organised.  Resident Knitter took over note taking and updated me while I was on my travels.  I was, in theory, all set to write to you all.  I got on the train to return to HQ with my laptop to the ready to pour my petrol loving soul out but unfortunately the excitement of my week at the Mother Ship took its toll and I fell asleep.  Then, on a more practical note, I started a new day job on the Monday and I was all a fluster with those new arrangements!  With Bahrain fast approaching I thought I’d do you a double dose but it was brought to my attention that the Powers that Be had made it a night race this year and BBC only had highlights!  I’m a bit of a wimp and needed my beauty sleep so, with the door ajar (so I could listen to Dr D’s excitement and the commentary) I tried to snooze.  Alas, I was sucked in and propped myself up to watch from a distance.  I took some notes and nodded off as the winner was doused with the champers.

In an F1 Party Person Anonymous fashion I admit to the following:

– Yes even Party People have Mother Hens

– Yes even Party People have day jobs

– Yes I sadly neglected my F1 duties and promise to make up for it if I only knew how!

So, off we go with a catch up…Sepang…

Ah sticky pork, coconut rice and slightly salty banana fritters. 2013 was the birth of the blog and of quirky foreign food cooked without prior testing!

2014 started with a bit of kerfuffle. Sausage Pasta aka Pastor Maldonado and Banchee spun off at the start after getting a bit too close for comfort. Rosberg also had issues. Malaysia 2014 was largely the day for quality quips from the Trusty Commentary Team.  References were made to ‘the noise, like the noise’ which was much improved (perhaps microphones had been cleverly installed where needed?) and ‘the meat in the Red Bull sandwich’.  Ricciardo was gently warned to play it safe and retorted with ‘if something goes on, I want to be a part of it’. We don’t blame you! Australia was so near but yet so far in the end for the replacement Aussie Red Bull and he clearly wanted to prove his worth.

Technical observations were made as to the quality of the tyres this season; they just don’t shred like they used to.  There is also less speed despite there being more power and the cars being faster in a straight line.   The Trusty Commentary Team helpfully questioned why the team radio announcement to pit is ‘box, box, box’.  This was a good question. Why box and not pit, and why three times?!  I’m still none the wiser and some of the techy stuff all seemed very contradictory to me. However, given that I was running around trying to make me and Mother Hen presentable it may be that I’ve misheard or misunderstood!

Around lap 25 I caught an update of the top 10. Our lovely Lewis was up front. Comment was passed with surprise as to the size of ‘Button’s gap’…before we go down the route of any innuendo I hasten to point out that it very much depends on what standard you’re judging poor old JB by.  If you look at last year then there is no surprise at all! But yes, in his defence he scored a 3rd place in Australia (albeit by default) so perhaps we were lulled into a false sense of security to come.

I was chuffed to bits with Magners who in lap 28 managed to do a fastest lap…it didn’t last, but good on him!

Then the rain came down at lap 36.  Poor Ricciardo, who was trying so hard to be the man after his previous disqualification and insistence to be part of the action earlier in the race, came to a stop at lap 41 in the pit lane. He had to be dragged back to the pit and suffer an investigation for unsafe release.  He was then found with his front wing scraping along the ground causing his retirement at lap 52.

Meanwhile, Hamilton was doing a sterling job and having not ever won in Malaysia before we hoped for the best.  He was keeping the lead at lap 51 with Rosberg in second.  Button managed to reach 6th and Magners 9th.  Lewis had such a lead by the time I left the Mother Ship that he could have pitted and still come out in front!  I was by that point trying to distract Mother Hen to try and catch the last few laps myself.  It was not to be. Mother Hen defied all usual habits and was ready pretty much on time! I put my faith in Lewis (and Resident Knitter who kindly offered to text me any incidents/notable updates) and left.

My faith was duly rewarded with Lewis bagging his first win ever in Sepang and his first win since Hungary last year…I bet he had a hunger for it ;o).  Rosberg followed up in second.  Mr Vettel came third followed by the soggy lothario. We then had Hulk, Button, Massa, Bottas and Magners.  Resident Knitter observed that Lewis looked pleased as punch but that there was a worrying situation accruing on his head…was he growing his hair?!!  We like a well-shaven man at HQ and although Dr D is also growing his barnet I wasn’t sure what to expect for Bahrain!

 

And now for Bahrain…

Just 12 months ago the blog was in its infancy and I was making Bahrainian flag biscuits.  As you’ll gather from above, I was some what distracted last night but I did pull myself together to see the most thrilling highlights we’ve had all year (we’re only three races in but nonetheless it was reassuring given our earlier concerns about engine volume and lack of oomph between team members).  Mercedes kept true to their word to let the apron strings a bit looser than Red Bull did for Vettel and Webber in times gone by.  Rosberg and Lewis were allowed to hash it out on a presumption, presumably, that they would drive with maturity.  Lewis was given the first warning to make sure both cars made it home and there was a delay before Rosberg was given the same gentle reminder.  At first I felt for poor bad boy Lewis being given the warning with nothing being said to Rosberg but there’s always a delay with the team radio. I’ll have some faith that it was of course meant to be as simultaneous as it could be and what with H for Hamilton being before R for Rosberg in the alphabet hopefully all was meant to be fair team Merc.

The wheel to wheel action was truly nail-biting for a change and we were in for a treat. There was even a moment of terror as Gutierrez’s Sauber was flipped by Sausage Pasta’s nose. We waited and waited for Gutierrez to show signs of life and eventually he climbed out unharmed and the safety car was brought out hampering Hamilton’s lead gained on Rosberg.

Gutierrez Roll
Thank goodness he was okay!

Image Courtesy of Sky Sports

We didn’t hear much from Button or Magners until lap 40 something when Magners pulled up and climbed out of his car; at first seemingly due to a toddler’s paddy with no other sign of technical problem but soon smoke was seen coming from the car so I took that thought back and trusted he was doing the safe and practical thing to retire.  Mr Button also retired soon after.

We were eventually rewarded by Hamilton winning his first ever race in Bahrain.  I heard a lot of shouting and encouragement from Dr D who was watching in the other room and who stakes Hamilton as his favourite.  Dr D really was quite giddy by the end and it was a shame we couldn’t have had a proper party to welcome him back into the fold.  Hopefully he can come ‘to China’ in 2 weeks when we also celebrate that Resident Knitter has completed another voyage around the sun and hopefully also the same for one half of the Overly Amorous Couple, if they can attend!

Don’t forget you can follow the Party People on Twitter @F1partyperson and keep abreast of any future delays as they happen.  We’re trying to also keep you informed with F1 updates between races and re-tweeting all your favourite F1 rabble.

I’ve tried to add more photos but due to technical issues (deary, deary me…) and the need to not delay this blog any further I will leave it here and wait for Resident Knitter to assist (she’s a good ol’ blogger too you know).

I depart with a bit of a moan (although I probably don’t have the right given my recent slackness!).  Why can’t the F1 races be on a Saturday with qualifying and all the other gumble starting on Wednesday?!  It isn’t half tedious trying to party plan for Sundays when we have day jobs to do on the Monday! China is fortunately on a bank holiday so you can expect slightly more entertainment on the social side of party planning….but for your standard racing weekends we can only do what we can do!  My wish list for 2015 – Saturday racing and BBC to have full rights again.

Hopefully back on track now! To China…!

 

McLaren Car

Image Courtesy of the Daily Mail

Well, what have we here?!  A whole shiny new season, new rules and new cars.  Last season I was still a relative rooky to Formula One and only really just got the hang of the old rules (I might have made more progress had it not been for theming our beverages). Obviously with no concern for party people, the rules were changed and the cars all now have a variety of odd shaped noses. So, what do we know? F1 is becoming leaner and greener, there is less focus on tyres and more on power.  I would love to tell you more but here at HQ we’re still trying to work out the rest.  One key observation is that Vettel and Red Bull were no longer certain to dominate. On the downside, the cars seem quieter and as our trusty commentary team pointed out, they sound a bit like tractors!

So, who’s who?

With Red Bull Ricciardo has joined Vettel flying the flag for the Aussies in place of Webber. Literally had no idea Ricci was Australian…I’ve learnt something already. A newbie, Magnussen, who shall hereafter be known at HQ as Magners, joins Button at McLaren. More on Magners later but our first response was ‘who the flip is he?!’.  Alonso  & Kimi are racing for Ferrari . Vergne and another newbie Kvyat race for Torro Rosso.  Hulkenberg is joined by Perez, who didn’t do much for McLaren last year, at Force India. We’re sad to say goodbye to Di Resta and would have loved to see him join another team this year. Williams were represted by Bottas and Massa who left Ferrari and Alonso’s shadow. Sauber kept Sutil and Gutierrez. Kobayashi is at Caterham with a Mr Ericsson…Sony Ericsson to you and me.  Marussia were unchanged with Banchee (Bianchi) and Mr Chilton. Fat John was joined at Lotus by my favourite Z-list driver, Sausage Pasta aka Maldonado. Last but not least, Mercedes have trusty Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg who we’ve now decided looks a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio.

What’s changed at F1 Party HQ I hear you ask?  Well, Knitting Towers is no longer the residence of Resident Knitter. RK has relocated to Knitting House which is much closer to HQ and to Greenfinger’s abode.  For the first race of the season it’s just RK and me.  Dr D is still working and the Overly Amorous Couple are wedding planning. The Cuspers have promised a return later in the season and are expected for the season favourites of China and Spain – basically for takeaways and homemade Sangria. We know where their interests lie.

We’ll do the best we can to report on each and every race as it happens. We’re still digging our heels in about Sky consumption so can only report after highlights of BBC coverage!  The diary has been logged and we’re trying to pretend that we’re not too horrified that the last race of the season is now Abu Dhabi.  If you’re unfamiliar with our habits…we theme the food and drink to the GP race we’re hosting. Abu Dhabi is a dry country.  How are we supposed to see the season out in appropriate drunken stupor?!

Final ‘other news’, Toto Wolff (Business Development for Williams) who was interviewed pre-race by the BBC, looks like so much fun! Not least because of his fantastic name.  Also, I’m sure I read in the news this morning (while carefully avoiding spoilers for the race) that Shirtslinger (aka Nicole) might be marrying Lewis! Congrats if you are!

Marriage
Image Courtesy of the Daily Mail

We’re ready to rock and roll with indoor BBQ (although it’s a super day outside so maybe a real BBQ would have been a bonus!) and a bottle of Australia’s (finest?!) Chardonnay. With no boys present there was no need for the annual purchase of Fosters. I’ve also knocked up some Australian Crunch which is a coconutty, chocolatey biscuit thingy I seem to make only once a year. It’s rather good though. Pick yourself up a Be-Ro baking book and have a go! (It’s in the kids baking section…!)  I’ve also prepared some mini-pavlovas for dinner as these are arguably an Australian dessert and I was already making meringue for colleagues to take to work this coming week!

So, down to business…what happened:

Lovely Lewis started in Pole with Fat John starting in the pit lane as a penalty for leaving the garage too soon. Chilton also found himself in the pit during the formation lap. For no reason apparent to us the actual start was then quickly aborted and, after all the new science stuff, a sign was held out by hand calling all to do a second formation lap. Banchee failed to get away on that lap and Chilton was by that time ready in the pit lane with his engine running waiting to start with Fat John.

Before long they were off!  Into turn one we weren’t let down with a suitably dramatic (and thankfully ultimately safe) incident with Kobayashi’s wheels folding in on the car. Resident Knitter’s first reaction was how much was that going to cost after the first race of the season!

Kobayashi Crumple

Image courtesy of the BBC

In better news (for Mercedes anyway), Rosberg slipped to the front and there he seemed to stay!

Magners made a move on Hamilton which initially caused us some upset as we do like our Brits but of course McLaren are home-grown and we stay loyal to the team and don’t feel too torn by Magners slipping ahead.  In any event, by lap two Lewis was told to come in and save his engine.  We started to think he was back up to his old naughty tricks as he drove past the pit lane apparently with disregard to his instructions but then we got the team radio on time delay where he’s told to stay out a little longer. By lap 4 he did actually retire and as he detached his ‘steering wheel’ thingy his pit men picked up his car with him still in it!

As a little interlude of interesting information our trusty commentary team informed us that the drivers were subject to getting points on their racing licences if they did naughties. We’re not sure if this is a new concept of not but we do think it’s a bloomin’ fantastic idea!

Anywho, back to the race. Bottas did a sterling job of challenging Ferrari with a few attempted overtakes but unfortunately lost a tyre which pinged off into the track.  He made it back to the pits where his team had a good look and shoved another tyre back on before sending him back in to the race. His wheel rim and tyre stayed forlornly on the race track until lap 12 when a safety car was sent out to bring some order to proceedings.

We were slightly concerned about our Mr Button after McLaren didn’t get a single podium finish last year.  However, the little secretive squirrel that he is slipped up the field all the way to 6th by lap 30 thanks to the pit stops.  We were chuffed to bits with his result though which we move on to now…

How did it finish?!

Rosberg kept his lead and that was that. However, more excitingly places 2 to 4 caused us great excitement. Ricciardo achieved what Webber never did, a home podium.  As the highlights came to a close though we were given the update that Red Bull were under investigation for fuel consumption and Ricci might just lose his second place! We’re disappointed for him but what this does mean is that Magners and Button…yes Button(!) would be bumped up from third and fourth to second and third!  Either way, good job boys.  McLaren are on the up and sit nicely at the top of the constructors table….for the time being.

Celebratory Drink

All images courtesy of the BBC

So, here we are in Brazil.  Dr D has had to work again but Resident Knitter and I rounded ourselves up at HQ to give the season a parting wave of fondness.

The big news at our Brazilian bash is that it was Mark Webber’s last ever race. Before the race he was honoured with Waltzing Matilda playing in the background and in all the drama we decided we actually wouldn’t mind Webber winning this one. We decided to be right behind him all the way, particularly as it wasn’t like Button would career on past to take the lead and show us all how it was done.

At the age of 37 and in 4th on the grid today, we decided to check Webber’s stats. We can’t decide if we’re surprised or not but he’s only ever won 9 races, had 13 pole positions and been on the podium 40 times. Compared to his co-competitors we report the following:

Vettel has won 3 championships (4 of course now), has taken 37 race wins, 43 pole positions and 59 podium finishes. Notably I don’t think he’s ever won in Brazil. Would this be a first?

Alonso has won 2 championships, taken 32 wins, 22 pole positions and 94 podium finishes.

Turning to our Brits, Button has won 1 championship, 15 races, taken 8 pole positions and 49 podium finishes. Hamilton has also taken 1 championship but bettered his ex-team mate with 22 wins, 31 pole positions and 54 podium finishes. Our youngsters, Di Resta and Chilton have none of any of the above but we have high hopes for the future.

Mr Chilton does however have one super stat to his name… he has been pointed out to be the only driver to finish every race this season. We thought about it and thought about it and it can only be right; we have not noticed Chilton retire once this season.  He may bring up the rear on the grid but his consistency is something to be praised.

Both MacLarens began the race in the teens behind Di Resta.  Di Resta’s place in Formula One for 2014 is not yet finalised but we still hope he’ll be poached by one of the big teams and given a chance to really shine.

One of the good things about full BBC coverage is that we get DC out on a grid walk. He seemed to get a bit carried away though today, walking off and leaving his cameraman stuck in people traffic trying to keep up! Quote of the day from him though in asking if we’ve ever wondered what data looks like… Well DC, I’m guessing numbers and graphs and tables.

The race began and Rosberg jumped to the lead. There seemed to be hope that Vettel wouldn’t have his perfect finale. The drama only began in lap 4 when Fat John let off a smoke bomb in his rear. He was forced to pull over and sprint back to the pits on foot.
Run Run Fat John

There was further pit drama with Red Bull doing ‘a MacLaren’ with a poor pit stop for poor Webber. This put him back in the race behind Alonso.  Vettel popped into the pits not long after and funnily enough his pit went fine.  Sabotage? We don’t want Webber to be ‘given’ any win but surely the team wouldn’t save their cock ups for him and only him?!

Our theories of sabotage were put to the back of our mind in lap 47 when Bottas went out after a touch with Hamilton. Bottas’ wheel exploded after the collision causing him to retire. Hamilton seemingly suffered a puncture and had to hobble back to the pits. He took the blame and was penalised with a drive through. Here at HQ we were wondering if it was actually the fault of Bottas given Hamilton’s unquestionable experience and skill. Poor Hamilton looked rather tearful as a result in the post-race interviews.

OOps Bottas

Back to the pit drama though, after the puncture and Bottas retiring,  Vettel was called into the pits. We couldn’t tell if it was due to related circumstances but nevertheless, his pit turned out to take FOREVER! Even by MacLaren’s past standards, it was shockingly long.  Webber even came in too and had to park up and wait behind Vettle to get his turn with the pit crew.

At lap 61 poor Mr Pic caused us to dote and coo as he announced over the radio that ‘something broke on the car’. And then, in a dejected quieter tone he repeated ‘something broke on the car’. We imagined his sad little face as he pulled off the track.

After all the drama, Button managed to find himself in 4th, the highest finishing position for a MacLaren this year! Shocking that ‘aint it!

Webber in second removed his helmet as he took a final lap to slow down and absorb the atmosphere. No doubt in contravention of numerous health and safety rules but a noble end to a noble career.

Don't try this at home

As the final race of the season came to a close we are still not giving prizes for guessing who came out on top.  With 9 consecutive wins in a row in a season, Vettel secured his victories. Webber however managed to secure the fastest lap that race. We were chuffed to bits that he managed to get on the podium at all and bless him, he got so excited he slipped and fell as the champers was sprayed! He was even handed an Australian flag and Vettle tried to appear gracious in inviting Webber to be interviewed first. The soggy haired lothario, Alonso, came third and chatted happily to Webber after the race with what seemed like true respect for his colleague.

Podium Brazil

No love lost

As we look back we remember the start of the season where we had a different winner for every race.  We weren’t sure if this was a good thing for F1 as it seemed that anyone could do anything and there was no level of standard to judge anyone by. As we came out of the summer break and Vettel’s superiority took hold we switched camps and harked back to the good old races of early 2013 when anyone was a winner!

Our Brazilian bash to end the season comes to a close with some Brazilian fish stew (with a few twists given the lack of Brazilian food goods at HQ’s local supermarket). Moqueca de Piexe was quite easy to make and actually quite tasty! While we cheated with a bit of trusty Sauv Blanc to hydrate ourselves, we made some cheeky Caipiroskas later on. I warn you, they are potent! I had intended to make Caipririnhas but again the local supermarket failed to provide the necessary Cachaca! We did however have vodka a plenty so Caipiroskas it was! Once again we were nostalgic to the feasts of Grand Prixs past…slightly salty banana fritters in Malaysia, a fancy fandango in Monaco, the attempt to make a car out of madeira cake and fondant icing.

Looking back over races gone by, we hope the man who got hit by the flying tyre has recovered well. We are glad Hamilton finally realised who he drove for and only pitted in the wrong bay once.  We almost feared a repeat of Silverstone with the punctures today and are glad Pirelli have rectified the mystery of the exploding tyres.

With have 111 days to next season…  Bring. It. On. New rules, new teams, new banter!

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Well, here we are at the third to last race of the season.  Inevitably, there is less eager anticipation about the championship but we were sure we could find some fun, even when stuck with highlights only.  Present at roll call were me of course, Resident Knitter, Greenfingers and one of the three Cuspers who is slowly but surely being converted to our ways.

Despite knowing he was out of the running (yes, yes this has been apparent for some time to us), Webber cracked a smile before the race even started! Granted, he was in pole position and that is a cracking good reason to smile, but nevertheless we have seen him frown over other pleasing circumstances in the past.  All we could hope was that he would at least finish the race this time!

One of my initial observations was of Suzi Floozie’s rather glam footwear. I felt for her standing trackside in the heat in those heels. Resident Knitter had concerns about how tight DC’s super white trousers were.  All eyes were also on Eddie’s hot pink shirt; we miss the florals Eddie but good work on colour choice!

So, to the race. Kimi was starting from the back of the grid and unfortunately this left him subject to the unknowns of the z-list (no offence) drivers who were used to being at the rear. This meant he suffered contact before the first lap was even properly underway and with a damaged front wing he was forced to retire.

In other starting news, Alonso was back in 10th and expected to climb his way onwards and upwards.  As he made his ascent, the soggy haired lothario found himself under investigation for breaching track limits. Our trusty BBC commentary once again helpfully identified that the white lines were there to define the track limit. Watching the replay, we observed that Ali F was so far beyond the white lines at the time of his offence that I don’t think the white lines were going to help whatever happened.

We treated ourselves to a Arabic feast for the evening and were distracted at one point by fireworks going on outside Knitting Towers. I was particularly excited by identifying a new snazzy firework which rose to the sky in a twirly fashion; very sure I haven’t seen those before! 

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  Grub’s Up!

Back to the race, as you can tell from the limited discussion here and even with highlights only, there wasn’t much to ooh and aah about until the race concluded. We were most excited about Di Resta beating Hamilton to take 6th place.  I should mention that Button found himself out of the points in 12th and all we can do on his front is keep everything crossed for next year.

Vettel pulled into a slip lane after passing the chequered flag to perform yet more doughnut spins. In his closing interviews he acknowledged that those he preformed in India, in celebration of winning his 4th championship, caused much grief for the stewards given that he parked in the middle of the track. He hoped that those in celebration today were more agreeable and not in breach of any regulations. Even Webber tried a few nearby and of course with safety first.

The podium result was of two happy chappy Germans and Mr Webber who had managed not to need to hitchhike for a change!  He was so excited he pushed the limits of social convention in the Arab states by spraying the Arab Government officials with champagne!  Bless him, he then turned on the cameraman.

We have a 2 week interlude now before the USA which I hope will involve some very naughty American junk food!