Thursday, November 06, 2008


Last things first

We bought the cats an early Christmas present! 6 feet of cat insanity! Check it:

That would be around $300-$500 in a store and we got it for much less than that on eBay of course!

To recap the last race of the 2008 F1 season, first a little background. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is ahead in the manufacturer's championship followed closely by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. (Got to keep those sponsors happy!) Lewis Hamilton of McLaren Mercedes is ahead in the driver's championship by 7 points over Ferrari's Felipe Massa. The only way Felipe can win is if he finishes first, and Lewis finishes 6th or lower, or if Felipe finishes 2nd, if Lewis finishes 8th or lower, so it's basically Lewis' championship to lose but Felipe is racing in front of his hometown crowd in Sao Paolo, Brazil! He literally grew up racing go-karts in the shadow of the race track they will race on. Qualifying is going well with fast times being traded back and forth in the 2nd session. But in the third session, you cannot add fuel to the car so you must start the race with that amount of fuel on board, so the cars are slower and strategy is all important.

Felipe qualifies on pole! In front of thousands of screaming Brazilians! And his family! Jarno Trulli does an amazing job for Panasonic Toyota to get 2nd. Kimi Raikkonen (Felipe's teammate) puts his Ferrari right behind Felipe in 3rd. The Mercedes boys are right behind them in 4th and 5th for Lewis and Heikki Kovaleinen. The amazing young German Sebastian Vettel puts his Ferrari powered Red Bull in 7th and proceeds to have an amazing race. His teammate Sebastian Bourdais starts in 9th and doesn't have a great race.

The race start is delayed because of an out of nowhere storm that soaks the front stretch and starting grid, so the FIA pushes the start back so the teams can put on some rain tires. But then the race starts and poor David Coulthard, in his last career race after 246 F1 starts, was knocked out by a combo of Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima both of AT&T Williams Toyota. In the following interview David commented on how he started his F1 career with Williams and it was kind of fitting that they would end his career too. His car wore a special livery (the car color and sponsors) that all the teams OK'd for the race to support the Wings for Life spinal cord research foundation. Tough break DC and good luck next year commenting for British TV. Hopefully you can maybe do a guest appearance for SpeedTV's coverage so we can hear your charming Scottish brogue once again.

The race progresses and Felipe is off like a bandit with Jarno and Kimi in hot pursuit. Lewis is chugging along in 4th. Everyone is on dry tires now and at 17 laps left, I think the race is over with Felipe winning but Lewis winning the championship. Then the weather report comes in. Rain in the next 10 minutes. Everyone waits for the rain and see who will flinch first and dive into the pits for wet tires. There they go! Most everyone pits and Felipe retains his lead. The Toyota boys, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, stay out on their dry tires in hopes that the rain stays soft and then can eek their way to a couple higher positions. Everyone comes back out but wait! With Timo Glock not pitting, he's now in 4th, which means Lewis Hamilton is in 5th and that is the lowest position he can finish and still win the driver's championship. No big deal, but here comes Sebastian Vettel in his Scuderia Toro Rosso! He's in 6th and chasing Lewis down. There are 4 laps left and Sebastian gets by! Lewis got stuck behind some lap traffic and Sebastian pounced! Lewis is now losing the championship! Sebastian tries to pull away but Lewis keeps it close. 4 laps left, 3 laps left, 2 laps left, white flag, one lap left! Lewis NEEDS to get by Sebastian. The rain is starting to pick up which suits their rain tires just fine but where is Timo? He's still on dry tires and is struggling to stay in 4th. Lewis must get by, he must. Sebastian rounds the last turn before the long pedal to the metal (or carbon fiber) straight away followed closely by Lewis, but who is that white and red car slip sliding around? It's Timo!

Lewis passes Timo on the absolute last corner to regain 5th position and the world championship. I was on the edge of my seat with my mouth agape. I couldn't believe what I was watching. Unbelievable season for Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes so congratulations to him and congratulations to Ferrari for they won the manufacturer's championship and can still claim to be world champs.

Good luck practicing in the off-season, hiring and firing drivers, and developing cars for the new 2009 rules. See you in March in Australia!

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