2013 Italy Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Silly season is at a fever pitch, and right now provides more excitement than the on track championship battle.
EVENT: Le Mans. Monza. The two greatest podium celebrations in auto racing.
QUALIFYING: Red Bull restores their front row dominance, Hulkenberg comes out of nowhere to shock the tifosi, and Hamilton's amazing 67-race streak of top ten qualifying spots ends.
RACE: As predicted, Monza was a repeat of Spa.
TRACK: Just think the speed these cars would do without the chicanes.
START: Vettel nearly overdoes it, Alonso is a like a NFL running back, Massa is superb, and di Resta pulls a Grosjean ... on Grosjean.
VETTEL: Game, set, and almost match.
RED BULL: Game, set, and just about match.
WEBBER: Mark got to enjoy a Monza podium before he retired. He deserved the experience.
ALONSO: Still ringing the most out of the Ferrari. But has he also rung the patience out of the Ferrari management?
MASSA: Felipe followed the pecking pattern -- number one Ferrari driver behind number one Red Bull driver and number two Ferrari driver behind number two Red Bull driver.
FERRARI: To Kimi or not to Kimi...
HULKENBERG: Nico passed his "audition" for a Ferrari or Lotus seat. Bank on it.
SAUBER: Maybe some of those Russian checks are starting to clear.
ROSBERG: May have finished ahead of his teammate, but was again outdone by him.
HAMILTON: Provided the only real excitement in the race.
MERCEDES: Totally missed at Monza.
LOTUS: Kimi? Hulkenberg? Fernando?!
RICCIARDO: A very impressive performance after Daniel got the nod from Red Bull. (P.S. Can his smile possibly get any bigger?)
VERGNE: A not so impressive performance after Jean-Eric did not get the nod from Red Bull, mechanical problems notwithstanding.
TORO ROSSO: Let's not forget there is another key seat to fill. Key, because it automatically opens the door to a possible Red Bull ride.
PEREZ: Whacked by Kimi and no penalty. Sergio must be wondering why not.
BUTTON: Did not have to deal with his teammate, but Jenson did ... again ... have to deal with a sub par car.
MCLAREN: A lousy 50th anniversary moment.
WILLIAMS: Beyond a massive disappointment this year.
DI RESTA: Can Paul's season get any worse?
ROSSI: Another second in GP2.
DALY: Screwed by an overexuberant driver, but a great drive in the sprint race.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Celebration.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 32 -- The number of Grand Prix wins Vettel has, tying him with Alonso, fourth on the all time list. And, of course, they are both very active drivers, who will battle it out for more wins than the other for many years to come.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: McLaren was founded in 1963. Their first Grand Prix was in 1966 at Monaco where Bruce McLaren dropped out after nine laps. Their first victory was in 1968 at Spa, driven by the founder. They now have 182 wins, 155 poles, 12 drivers' championships, and eight constructors' titles.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Did Fernando Alonso tell his team "stupid" or "genius"? You take your pick.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Alonso was definitely heartfelt when he said, "Stepping onto the Monza podium is always a special feeling, as it's the only one where you can feel all the love that the fans have for the team."
SCHEDULE: Back to unpredictability -- to Singapore, a street circuit, and under the lights.
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