Ouch is right. After just four corners, Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen, the Iceman himself, took a turn wide, bumped back onto the track, and crashed at 150 miles per hour. The crash was immense. It’s said he experienced more than 47G—47 times the force of gravity—as he slammed into the wall, taking Williams Martini driver Felipe Massa out and almost hitting Marussia driver Max Chilton with a tire in the process. Neither Massa nor Chilton were impressed.
Luckily, as Wired magazine points out in an awesome article, F1 cars are incredibly safe. Since Ayrton Senna’s tragic crash at Imola in 1994, no F1 driver has fatally crashed during a race weekend (I consider María de Villota a test driver). In this video, also included in the Wired article, Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Lewis explains the driving posture:
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Speaking of Hamilton, he won (in a total fluke). After refusing to continue qualifying when it started raining, Hamilton qualified sixth, whereas Rosberg was (duh) first.
Luckily for Hamilton, fate was on his side. Around lap 21, Hamilton’s teammate and Driver’s Championship points leader Nico Rosberg’s gearbox started getting wonky. By Lap 29, he was out. Even though it was the first time he’d retired from a race all season, Rosberg stayed to cheer on Hamilton.
The Briton then could not resist offering a slight dig at Rosberg when asked if winning at the German’s home race, in Hockenheim in less than two weeks’ time, would have any extra significance.
“Well, to be honest, Nico has never actually been in Germany so it is not really his home race,” Hamilton said. “When I was racing with him in karting he didn’t stand next to a German flag ever. They would go on the start line and all the drivers would have to stand next to the grid girl – he always stood by Monaco and never stood by Germany.”
Oh, the drama. F1 is nothing without rivalries. After Rosberg retired, Hamilton dominated. Now that Rosberg’s only four points in the lead, with 165 points against Hamilton’s 161, the pressure is on for Rosberg to win at his “home” track at Hockenheim in Germany in two weeks.
In other news, Williams is back! One of the longest-standing teams in Formula 1, Williams has finally returned from the back of the pack.
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Valtteri Bottas, the Williams Martini driver, came in second this past weekend. (A total side note: Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams is one of the only prominent and powerful women in F1, and she’s just awesome.)
Third went to Infiniti Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who, in true Valley Girl fashion, called it “like the best third place I’ve ever got,” according to “The Sydney Morning Herald.” In fourth, McLaren’s Jensen Button celebrated his late father with a pink helmet.
Kimi, most importantly, is doing okay. His ankle is bruised from the crash.
But, I would be remiss if I did not give a gold star for effort to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. After a rough season, where Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo threatened pulling out of F1 and then denied it, and then Alonso’s five-second grid penalty, he drove fantastically. In a duel with Infiniti Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, Alonso managed to keep Vettel behind him despite Vettel’s two-second advantage per lap. Vettel and Alonso finished in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Also, what’s this nonsense about “regular” tires in F1‘s future? Make it stop.
Photo: Paul Williams via Flickr