Chinese Formula One Grand Prix: Dan Finishes 7th
It was a big one for the sport this weekend, as Formula 1 became Formula 1000 to celebrate a millennia of Grand Prix weekends since 1950- Although give or take some of the Indy 500s that were part of the Championship in the 1950s and ’60s, it technically isn’t.
And to celebrate, Jens Munser gave Daniel Ricciardo a helmet to mark the occasion- The classic silver design of Australia’s own 3-time World Champion, the late Sir Jack Brabham.
His son and former F1 driver David reckons ol’ Black Jack would’ve loved it.
In the end though, that was pretty much the most entertaining thing for Dan this weekend- He did finally crack the Top 10 to qualify in 7th for the race, and that was where he finished, pretty much hanging around with Sergio Perez in his Racing Point for the entire race, and ultimately running a lap down in 7th and 8th, the ‘best of the rest’ behind the Mercs, Ferraris and Red Bulls.
Out in front, in another chapter of ‘Same Old Crap, Different Sunday’ since 2014, the Mercedes absolutely crapped on everyone and left Ferrari crying in the aisles, although on the run to Turn 1, Lewis Hamilton beat out pole sitter Valtteri Bottas, and never looked back, as what was built up as some major milestone, turned into a Sunday drive.
It’s the first time since 1992 that a team has started a season with three 1-2 finishes- On that occasion, it was the Williams pairing of Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese who smashed everything in their path.
Further behind, the Ferraris of Charles LeClerc and Sebastian Vettel were left to fight out the bottom step on the podium, although that fight was very quickly resolved by the Ferrari pit wall screwing up LeClerc’s strategy by allowing Vettel through to go after the Mercs… only to constantly lock up and hold both of them up.
Ultimately, LeClerc was undercup by Max Verstappen & Red Bull, and spent the rest of the race slowly drifting away to finish 5th. Gasly had a late tyre change, having 6th place locked up, and took the bonus point for the fastest lap.
Honestly, the most entertaining thing on Sunday was probably Verstappen spinning on the warm-up lap.
Also throw in the Toro Rosso of Alexander Albon, who recovered from a monster crash on Saturday, which caused him to miss qualifying and start from the pit lane, to finish in 10th and make it consecutive points finishes.
On the downside to Ricciardo’s points finish, Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg had another mechanical retirement, this time in his brand new MGU-K (The kinetic energy unit), which the team fitted into both cars ahead of the race.
For a 1000th race, it was about as entertaining as listening to Revolution 9, but nevertheless, Duncraig Dan is on the board in 2019!
MotoGP: Grand Prix of the Americas- THE JACKASS IS ON THE PODIUM!
This one’s for you, Merv!
Following up his 4th placing in Argentina, our heroic ‘Jackass’, Jack Miller, put in another strong qualifying performance to once again start on the second row, this time from 4th behind the Honda of Cal Crutchlow, Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha, and as per usual, from pole position, Marc Marquez.
Marquez has some utterly crazy records to go with his seven 500cc titles (And the 250cc and 125cc titles), one being that he’d never lost in any of the 6 visits to Texas for the MotoGP circus, BUT, on Lap 9, whilst leading by four seconds and looking set to cruise to another win, the defending champion slid off the track at Turn 12, couldn’t restart his bike, and was out of the race, guaranteed of his first ever defeat in Texas.
Rossi inherited the lead, but he couldn’t hold off the fast charging Alex Rins on his Suzuki, who got past the Yamaha on Lap 17 after starting from 7th, and in the final three laps it turned into a dogfight between a man who had won nothing, and a legend who has won everything.
In the end, Rins scored his maiden 500cc win from the ageless Doctor, Suzuki’s first 500cc win since Maverick Vinales’ 2016 win at Silverstone. while the Jackass, on worn softs, held off ‘Dovi’ to return to the podium for the first time since he scored his only 500cc win, way back at the 2016 Dutch TT!
Earlier on, in the Moto2, Remy Gardner, son of ‘Captain Chaos’ Wayne Gardner, went from his 2nd placing in Argentina, to starting from 18th, but salvaged what he could by finishing 11th.
Good result Jack!
Supercars: DJR Penske Dominance
I’ll state the bloody obvious- It’s only been 4 rounds, but Scotty and DJR Penske have got the championship by the balls, and they’re turning it blue.
McLaughlin started on pole at the Island for the seventh consecutive time, a streak dating back to his Volvo days in 2016.
And with his teammate Fabian Coulthard alongside him, the Kiwi pair absolutely slapped the field silly, scoring a dominant 1-2 in Race 9, while a day back in 3rd, Andre Heimgartner made the most of his second row start, ending a miserable run for Nissan.
Meanwhile further down the order, multiple drivers had ‘wheely’ big problems- James Courtney and Tim Slade suffered punctures, Cam Waters had his right rear tyre ripped out by contact with ‘The Giz’ and Rick Kelly, Mark Winterbottom lost his right rear for no apparent reason and the biggest casualty was Jamie Whincup, who lost his right front after Triple Eight released him before the wheel was attached.
Heading to Tasmania just over a week ago, Whincup was 31 points behind Scotty and sitting 2nd in the championship.
Fast forward to the present, after yet another horror weekend, he’s dropped to 9th, and languishing a full 378 points behind McLaughlin.
McLaughlin and Coulthard dominated qualifying for Race 10, with Scotty making it pole number 422 in a row at the Island, but for once, Fabs got the better end of the strategy stick from DJR-Penske, while Scotty briefly dropped to 3rd behind Anton de Pasquale in his Erebus, but took it back and ultimately caught up, but was unable to pass Coulthard, who scored his first win of 2019 and made it 9/10 wins for the Mustang- ADP scored his first career podium after 41 races, and he was the only Holden in the Top 6 (Mostert, Waters and Davison being the other Mustangs)!
That’s how well Triple Eight are going- Even Anton smashed them!
Yibbida Yibbida, that’s all folks!