felipe massa

Formula One -Derland: Abu Dhabi 2014

by Jamie Sanford on December 30, 2014

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It’s been a bit over a month since the last Formula One race of 2014 – my first time attending a race, the last race of the season, etc.

I cannot tell you how much fun we had, how exciting it is, how the sound is NOTHING like what I expected, how watching races on TV is so far removed from the live experience. It was overwhelming and amazing and reverberating through my chest and WOW.

I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I planned because I was doing the right thing and taking it all in.

We arrived at such a time that we would be able to see the driver’s parade at 3:30. The race was scheduled to start at 5. We got there early enough to walk through a large area of shops and food merchants. After some chicken nuggets – yes, I went all the way to Abu Dhabi and had chicken nuggets – we got to watch the podium presentation for the GP2 race that had just finished and start waiting for the F1 action.

Will bought me this in the airport on the way to Abu Dhabi.

Pre-race selfie with William and his brother Andrew.

The biggest downside of going to a race live is that you can’t see the whole track. Luckily there are giant monitors showing the feed that we see on TV to keep updated on the rest of the race.

There was a HUGE contingent of #teamLH at the race, supporting championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

It was Fernando’s last race for Ferrari. He’s off to McLaren with Jenson Button as his teammate!

Ferrari World was viewable through the marina. We didn’t get a chance to go but we will make it back at some point.

Our view to the left, unfortunately blocked, but we could see all the way down the straight. This was the DRS zone going into turn 11, we saw lots of action!

Here’s a distorted panorama of our view. It was the turns in quick succession that were wonderful. Plus, after the hard braking, the guttural sound of the engine hit you square in the chest, which was amazing and intense!

Did I mention the start? It was crazy.

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Here’s my Instagram video from lap 1. The crowd around us REALLY enjoyed Lewis’ blazing start.

Lap 1. The crowd went nuts when we saw the start! #abudhabi #abudhabigp #teamlh #golewis

A video posted by Jamie Sanford (@jamiesanford) on


The transition from day to night was so well done – the track lighting is no joke. It was also noticeably cooler in the desert after the sun went down.

So, after the most insane start, Lewis managed to pull away from Nico quite effectively. Andrew used his phone to get access to a live feed of the team radio transmissions that we were not privy to since we were not watching the race on TV. We knew something was wrong with Nico Rosberg’s car, which was confirmed later. Not the best for him, but ultimately, he and Lewis both finished the season with 3 races in which the car failed. Nico did manage to finish the race, but he was pretty far back as the car had multiple issues. Meanwhile, Lewis’ car wasn’t perfect either. If Felipe Massa had been given a few more laps, it might have been a victorious day for him.

We also watched some amazing moves and passes by Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bulls had started in the pit lane because of illegal wings on the cars during qualifying, and both drivers did really well. Ricciardo finished 4th, Vettel 7th.

Side note – Formula One cars are BEAUTIFUL in person. It is not something you capture on television, but they are absolutely lovely. My favorites were the Red Bulls, Ferraris, and Caterhams. I really need to make sure I get a pit walk on my next race outing because I need to see them closer than we could from our seats.

As it was, the podium finishers were Hamilton, Massa, and Valtteri Bottas. It was wonderful to watch Lewis’ victory lap and also the podium ceremony. I am not sure that anyone isn’t happy for him, he drove his ass off all season and I think is the clear champion. Nico Rosberg performed in qualifying, but races actually count and Lewis had MANY more victories.

We really did have the best time. It was immediately clear that we would need to start planning to go to more races because this was GREAT. It was capped off by Romain Grosjean driving next to us in a tunnel near the circuit in a random Audi. He must really love to drive to be driving himself away from a race track where he has spent the last 3 days driving. I really hope he has a better season next year.

I don’t know what else to say. I was SO excited to be there, as were my husband and brother-in-law, and I think that the day will forever be clouded by a veil of pure joy. It only cemented my love for the sport. I am already super excited for next season, and am still contemplating if we can make it work to go to the race in Montreal in June.

Thanks to everyone who reads my Formula One-Derland posts!

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Formula One -Derland: Brazil 2014

by Jamie Sanford on November 11, 2014

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Rumors still swirling around Jenson Button and his apparent departure from Formula One. The man is such a joy to watch while driving or being interviewed. His McLaren has sucked the last 2 years, and I hope he will figure out a way to stay in F1. (Source)

Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso takes the sexy beard to new levels of sexy. (Source)

The Mercedes cars qualified 1 and 2, as usual. Lewis Hamilton was in 2nd, and stayed there the whole race. He went off the track a bit on 1 lap and it cost him the win. (Source)

No one cares about Rosberg and Hamilton when a Brazilian is on the podium! Congratulations to Felipe Massa for finishing 3rd and having the best time. (Source)

Interesting stats on qualifying and race performance between teammates. (Source)

Updated with these new results. (Source)

Lewis Hamilton has a 17-point lead in the driver’s championship. Here’s a great image from BadgerGP explaining what the champion result will be based on finishing in the final race. I am so excited to be going!

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Formula One -Derland: China 2014

by Jamie Sanford on April 22, 2014

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After the last race in Bahrain was so amazing, it was unlikely this one would be as exciting. It wasn’t, but it wasn’t boring either!

(source) What the hell, Fernando.

(source) After qualifying, the Red Bulls had managed P2 and P3 on the grid, and Lewis Hamilton managed to get on pole again!

(source) This is a great track. Lots of straights for passing with some serious turns.

(source) The start. Watch the white car that darts out on the left and then back to the middle, and you can see the contact between Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. Luckily, both of them continued on without difficulty.

(source) Lewis took off and was never seen again. Luckily, fighting was happening on the track, including an exchange between the Red Bulls. During the last race, the team told Vettel to let his teammate Ricciardo pass, and he did. However, this time, he asked back which tires Ricciardo was running, and once he found out they were both on the same tires? “Tough luck” was all he said before not letting Ricciardo pass without a fight. As much as it looked like Vettel was showing us a little bit of a friendlier side, it’s clear that he is not totally on board with that.

(source) The other great fight of the race was in Fernando Alonso, who I have enjoyed watching for so long, and the reason that his fans are so into him is because he’s been driving a sub-par Ferrari for years and still giving it everything, and even got a podium result this time!

(source) Go Lewis! Also, thanks for helping me take the lead in our fantasy league.

(source) European races start in a few weeks in Spain!

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Formula One -Derland: Brazil 2013

by Jamie Sanford on November 26, 2013

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Be sure to check the Formula One wiki for more complete results, or visit Planet F1.

Photos are from Planet F1 unless otherwise noted.

I won’t be missing this, Vettel.

So much rain on Friday for practice and Saturday for qualifying in Brazil.

It was hometown boy Felipe Massa‘s last drive for Ferrari. He got an unfortunate drive-through penalty that sort of ruined his race.

Fernando Alonso was my favorite, is my favorite. I hope things are much better for him next year.

Beard science. Note weird patchy hair on Lewis Hamilton and Alonso.

Checo Perez has some weirdness going on there too.

Jenson Button has a pretty glorious beard but there is a little weird bit there.

Vettel qualified on top, again, whatever. Nico Rosberg was P2, and Alonso was P3, which was exciting because Fernando starts like a CHAMP.

Alonso doesn’t look that excited about it.

HOW GREAT is the smile on Jenson Button, next to the retiring Mark Webber?

Thank you Mark, indeed. What a class act, even when giving Vettel the finger, we were all with you. I am totally going to watch Le Mans and root for you!

Mark took his helmet off and felt the breeze in an open cockpit and waved to the fans after coming in second. It was really touching.

Then this happened, because it can only stay classy for so long. Good times though, the best part of the race was watching Alonso and Webber going at it on track, because they are buddies and seemed to be having a great time, which makes everyone enjoy the race more.

I totally came in 3rd in the fantasy league…out of 4. Maybe next year will be better. I am just hoping for more variety in performance. If I can’t get a race in New Jersey, at least I could get a season not full of watching the same dude win all of the time.

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Formula One -Derland: Korea 2013

by Jamie Sanford on October 8, 2013

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Be sure to check the Formula One wiki for more complete results, or visit Planet F1.

Photos are from Planet F1 unless otherwise noted.

One of my favorite drivers, Paul di Resta, has not had a good streak of luck as of late. I’m not too happy with Paul’s contribution to my fantasy points at this point in the season.

Fernando “Eyebrows” Alonso, continuing down the trail of awesomeness. Not his best weekend, but I still think he’s the best driver in the field.

This is Jenson Button, laughing at me for dropping him from my fantasy team. He’s doing marginally better than he did earlier in the season.

I would really really like to know what Massa and Vettel have to laugh about.

Vettel was on pole position, again, with Romain Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton behind him. He did the same thing as in Singapore, and just TOOK OFF at the start and amassed a 2-second gap by the end of the first lap. Grosjean didn’t let him get the lead he had managed over Nico Rosberg during the last race, but it still seemed unreachable for Grosjean. Even after 2 safety car periods, Vettel still managed a gap.

(Photo from here) Meanwhile, the luckless Mark Webber‘s car was up in flames for the second consecutive race. What is Red Bull making his car out of?

(Photo from here) The 2 Mercedes drivers were going at it when all of a sudden, Rosberg’s nose just sort of fell, and it was crazy sparkage from there. Absolutely mad. But, he went back into the pits, got a new nose, and was back on track.

Sigh. Vettel wins the race. Kimi Raikkonen passed Grosjean for second, which seemed inevitable since Kimi is still (sort of) in the title race. Vettel has an insane points lead, and it is mathematically possible for him to win the season championship during the next race, which is in Japan, at his personal favorite track. We shall see. Apparently Lewis Hamilton totally agrees with me that watching the same person win all of the time is boring.

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