Formula One -derland: Spain, Monaco, Canada

by Jamie Sanford on June 12, 2012

The excitement of the 2012 Formula One season has CONTINUED. I am behind on the Formula One -derland posts, but you will still get the idea. The result so far has been 7 different winners of 7 races. At this time last year, Sebastian Vettel was annoyingly ahead in the driver’s championship points, while right now, the spread between the top 5 is ridiculously close.


Spain was a bit controversial from qualifying, where Lewis Hamilton qualified P1 and then was sent to the back of the grid for having too little fuel in the tank at the end of quali. This seemed like an overly harsh punishment, and Eddie Jordan definitely agreed with me. This put Pastor Maldonado, who I was not expecting, in P1, but 2012 is a weird season so nothing should be surprising.

(Photos from Planet F1 – click for their full gallery)

Early in the race, Fernando “Eyebrows” Alonso pulled ahead of Maldonado from P2, and it was an eventual speedy pit stop by the Williams team that allowed Maldonado to take the lead back and hold on to it for the rest of the race. That started to get boring, so focus was put on other things like HIGHLY EXPERIENCED Michael Schumacher plowing into the back of Bruno Senna, who was already having a crap weekend of being completely shown up by his teammate. I felt bad for Bruno, and am sad to see Schumie having such a bad season, because his teammate has already won a race.

(Photos from Planet F1 – click for their full gallery)

The final result was Maldonado winning the race, with Eyebrows behind him, and Iceman Kimi Räikkönen in 3rd. Check out Kimi in the picture, looking thrilled as always. You can also see some amazing Eyebrows action.

(Photos from Planet F1 – click for their full gallery)

Still not sure about this champagne business.


Ahh, Monaco. You are the fanciest of grand prix, with your rich people and fancy yachts, and lots of Formula 1 drivers as residents because you are a tax haven.

(Images from Planet F1 – check out their gallery here)

Qualifying was busy, as Pastor Maldonado caused an unfortunate crash with Sergio Perez that ended with a 10-spot grid penalty. Michael Schumacher would have started on pole (notorious for being the winner’s position due to the lack of overtaking that generally takes place in Monaco) but his grid penalty from the last race where he crashed into Bruno Senna was enforced putting him 6th on the grid. Mark Webber ended up on pole position, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton behind him.

(Photos from Planet F1 – check out their gallery here)

Going airborne is generally frowned upon. Unfortunately, Kamui Kobayashi clipped another car during the start and managed to survive the car jumping into the air, but only enough to drive to the pits and retire for suspension damage. The top 3 in the grid held out the race for a while, and it was obvious that pit stop strategy was going to play a big role. There was some turnover in the ranks, but nothing major. Monaco seems to be more of an endurance race than anything else, because those drivers have to WORK to not hit walls and such. There was a bit of movement in the ranks, but the result was Mark Webber winning the race, Nico Rosberg in P2 and Eyebrows Alonso taking the last slot on the podium.

(Photos from Planet F1 – check out their gallery here)

Then this happened after the race. WTF, Mark Webber.


Canada is quickly becoming my favorite race. Last year and this year were AWESOME, I’m thinking the track is just designed in such a way that there is always something happening. Last year, Jenson Button awesomely (yes, awesomely) won the race after Sebastian Vettel slipped around a corner, which is the thing I remember the most. This year was FULL of overtaking and positions changing, and I did a lot of yelling at the TV.

(Photos from Planet F1 – check out their gallery here)

Sebastian Vettel (who I like a tiny bit more since I watched him on Letterman) was on pole position by a big margin after qualifying. However, his early lead didn’t last long, it was another race where pitting at the right time would completely change your positioning. Lewis Hamilton, Eyebrows Alonso and Romain Grosjean were all in the lead at some point, but in the end, tire strategy was the determining factor for the victory. Lewis stopped again to change tires, and ended up winning the race, while Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez had no trouble passing Vettel and Eyebrows, as their tires were just done. I was happy that Lewis finally got to win a race, he has been qualifying well all season but could not pull out a victory, so good for him.

(Photos from Planet F! – click to see the whole gallery)

Lewis also has a better handle on the champagne situation, not setting himself up for creepy photos. Congratulations Lewis!

Valencia and Silverstone coming up in a few weeks. I can’t wait to see who the first repeat winner will be!

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At this time last year, my husband told me that he wanted to watch Formula One Racing with me (he had previously watched it while growing up). I begrudgingly agreed, figuring that I would hang out on the couch and either read or spend time with my laptop. Little did I know that I would become OBSESSED with the sport.

Hello, my name is Jamie, and I am addicted to Formula One. (HI JAMIE!) I think about chicanes and slipstreams when I’m driving my late 90s sedan.

So, in celebration of the beginning of the 2012 F1 Season (the Australian Grand Prix takes place this coming Sunday), I will list my top 5 favorite things about Formula One.

1. Location, location, location.

(Image from BBC Sport Website)

Formula One races take place all over the world, and some of the locations are super swanky. The most obvious of this is The Grand Prix of Monaco, which takes place in Monte Carlo. (Side note: Many F1 drivers make their home in Monaco as it is a known tax haven.)  Bernie Ecclestone apparently LOVES a race with a view, which explains why 2013’s Grand Prix of America will take place with NYC as the background. (More on that later.)

2. Aesthetics & Impressive Design.

In a sport where sponsors are KING, the branding could be a hot mess. While I do sometimes wish there were fewer logos, I think that for the most part, the cars look pretty amazing. I do think that teams Red Bull and Toro Rosso need to figure out a way to differentiate their cars, though, because a blur of red and blue is hard to distinguish on a car taking a corner at 140 mph.

Similar, right? Image from

In addition to just the aesthetics, the actual design that goes into a Formula One car is ASTOUNDING. The slightest changes in design can mean fractions of seconds shaved off of a lap time, and it means everything when pole position is often determined in those fractions. I cannot recommend enough this amazing episode of Megafactories from National Geographic, in which we are taken on a tour of the Williams factory.

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It is amazing, and you get a taste of the development of new car components.

3. Drivers.

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, drivers for McClaren. Photo via BBC News.

Yes, there are a lot of hot Formula One drivers, and no one minds that. However, for the most part, the drivers are classy and accessible, which is not something I’m used to as a fan of things like pop stars. It’s not like there’s a news crew backstage right before Britney goes onstage to ask how she’s feeling about the show, and that is EXACTLY what happens on the grid before each F1 race. Reporters running around all over the place talking to drivers, and while not ALL drivers are into this (Lewis Hamilton will not talk to the press on the grid, and other drivers only do scheduled interviews on the grid), Jenson Button seems to be assaulted by someone on his way to the grid for every race, but is always graceful and accommodating.

Sebastian Vettel was the 2010 and 2011 World Champion and is Red Bull’s number 1 driver, as you can tell by his gesture. Mark Webber is the number 2 driver, and doesn’t seem too thrilled about it. Image via the

Regardless of said classiness – there is no lack of drama. Shady moves on the track happen during every race! It gets more interesting once you see that the same drivers keep coming together. In addition, each team has 2 drivers, and the drivers are billed as number 1 and number 2. While the ultimate goal should be to move the team forward, it seems obvious that the drivers all want to be number 1.

PS – A lot of the drivers are on Twitter. You should find and follow them. Especially Paul Di Resta, because I am a big fan.

4. The Grand Prix of America.

(Image via Sports Illustrated)

Early into the 2011 season, I decided that my husband and I would travel to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix in June 2012. Then, in October, I obviously proved the power of the Law of Attraction, because it was announced that starting in June 2013, a Grand Prix will be held in Weekhawken and West New York, NJ, with NYC as the backdrop. This is about 10 minutes from where I live now, so I am skipping the Canadian Grand Prix and saving my pennies for the inevitably hella expensive grandstand tickets.

In addition, if anyone working on the Grand Prix of America needs someone to manage marketing and social media for the race, I am definitely available. My email address is in the right column.

5. The racing!

(Image via F1 Fanatic)

Obviously, my favorite thing about Formula One has to be the actual racing!

They are crazy fast of course, and the competition between the teams, as well as insane driver skill, make for lots of gasp-inducing moments.  Add to this the technological shenanigans (such as the Kinetic Energy Recovery System or KERS, and the Drag Reduction System or DRS) and it makes for a really interesting and exciting event.

Here’s a video explaining what DRS and KERS are and how they work.

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During the off-season, I’ve taken the opportunity to go back and watch the races from 2010. I am so glad that I did, because the 2011 season was less interesting than 2010, as Sebastian Vettel was incredibly dominant throughout the season. However, 2010 was full of crazy passing at the front of the pack! I have high hopes that changes to the cars for the 2012 season will mean more variety in the podiums, especially because I wasn’t able to pick only top teams in my F1 fantasy league (yes, I just copped to fantasy F1).

So, there you have it. I have never really cared about sports, but I am so excited that I was introduced to Formula One because I really get so much enjoyment out of it.

Does anyone else like F1? Let me know what your favorite thing about F1 is in the comments.

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