Sunday, June 08, 2014

Engine Blood: Canadian GP

* DANNO'S DONE IT!  And in another world exclusive, Engine Blood were the first on the scene to secure this exclusive picture of the Australian's wild celebrations:

Until they disqualify him for spurious reasons again, at which point he may look more like this:

* A well-judged first win from the increasingly popular fellow was the tip of an iceberg of enthralling action.  It just goes to show that when Formula One gets it right, it gets it right - more by accident than design, though - and more often than not it's at the "outdated" circuits like Montreal, Spa, Silverstone and Monza that it does so.

With that said, we should say something about our recent silence.  Some have speculated that Engine Blood took a little hiatus due to the regular return to the top of the podium of our least favourite driver - we're not saying he's not a great driver, by the way, just that he's an utter annoyance - but actually, it's been the sheer lack of action that's poured cold water on the venture.

Say what you will about Vettel's dominant display last season, but there were still compelling stories being told throughout the rest of the grid.  This year, the technical changes have given us ugly cars that sound wrong and the absolute dominance of a single team and engine, to a level not seen since at least the Schumacher Era and arguably as far back as 1988's near lock-out by McLaren.

In the time that Engine Blood has been going, there simply hasn't been a season this metronomic, and it's hard to come up with compelling writing when there's almost nothing going on.  We exhausted the variations on the stock "aren't-Mercedes-doing-well-this-year-it's-because-they-started-development-earlier" article after the first race - which brings us to our next point...

* Engine Blood is a not-for-profit affair (though we must make it clear we would be more than happy to sell out totally to any brand willing to put some cash our way), which at least gives us the option of simply buggering off until things get interesting. 

But what of the Brundles, Jordans and - shudder - Suzy "Why, God?  Why?" Perrys of this world?  They still need to justify their money by trying to dress this season up as something other than a chore.  How about a good inter-team feud story to spice things up?

There is a slight problem with this, and his name is Nico Rosberg.  Certainly a competent driver, Nico is not the most engaging personality, so the best characterisation that the British motorsport press can come up with is Foreign Threat, and that's both wearisome and overdone - not that it's stopped anyone...

* Handily for the hype men, Lewis Hamilton is being his usual easily rattled self.  As a friend pointed out recently, Lewis has scaled even giddier heights of delusion and now seems to think he is actually Ayrton Senna.  Whilst we have not yet seen anything as bad as his famous Ali G incident, one must imagine that a second equipment failure against Rosberg's bulletproof reliability will likely set his paranoia off again, so expect to see the rock star entourage back in Austria.

The upshot of all this is that the media have succeeded in almost entirely manufacturing an inter-team feud, and that feud has passed from media creation to undeniable fact when refracted through the lens of Hamilton's psyche.  Maybe he could borrow Romain Grosjean's sports psychologist?  I mean, look at how well he's doing now...

Oh.  Never mind, then.

* Felipe Massa had a stunning race, so it was a real shame he ended it embedded in a barrier.  That was a seriously nasty-looking crash, and if the unfortunate (not permanently, just this time) Sergio Perez's Force India had an issue that made braking extremely difficult, surely he was morally obliged to retire?  Even Hamilton managed that, for heaven's sake.

The drivers were taken for precautionary brain scans, which must have brought back unpleasant memories of past horror crashes for both, but early indications are that both are fine.  Whilst it was a spectacular image to close the race on, we can live without that particular sort of excitement, especially when there's wheel-to-wheel racing between teams of all descriptions.

* Engine Blood will try to return next time, but since most of the excitement this time was caused by Mercedes being mysteriously hobbled by a bizarre engine bug, it's most probably back to square one for the championship.  We would be remiss, however, if we didn't take this chance to congratulate Marussia on becoming the first of the 2010 new team intake to score points, via Jules Bianchi's excellent performance in Monaco.

It should be noted that Caterham were also in the running for points at that race until a shunty overtaking move by Bianchi crippled Kobayashi's car; with Tony Fernandes vowing to pull out at the end of the season if no points are scored, it looks like he'll have a lot more time to watch QPR get relegated next season.

And THAT's all the blood that's fit to drain!  Great to be back, America!