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Barcelona 2: The Drenchening

I suppose the rain at the Circuit de Catalunya came only today, but there certainly was enough of it for five days. This was similar to the case here in the New York/New Jersey area on Thursday of this past week. I tried and failed to come up with a folksy rain analogy that would incorporate Bernie Ecclestone’s sprinkler concept, but I’ll continue work on that, hopefully for a debut during the next rain-soaked event. I’ll say I’m ninety percent sure I will have a folksy saying ready by that time. That time or the next day. The afternoon of the next day. Unless it gets stuck in customs.

Sorry, sorry. Laughing at HRT at this point feels a little like laughing at Charlie Sheen: not only has the whole mess crossed that threshold from funny to sad, but it’s so last week.

I’ve never made any kind of secret of what I think about Colin Kolles, but I do feel for others on the team, including the drivers. Everyone involved is no doubt working their asses off night and day, but it just doesn’t seem like anything will be enough. Will they actually be on the grid in Australia, with dampers and an engine and all other crucial components that have made it through customs and into their car? It would take someone a lot more knowledgeable than I am to provide an opinion on that worth paying attention to. Frankly, I don’t have the slightest idea.

I’ll admit to being surprised at how much enthusiastic support HRT seems to have among the fans, in light of the team’s behavior toward its drivers last season. I’m getting the impression that, for many, the mere fact of a team being an underdog is enough, regardless of how that team goes about behaving as an underdog. (Although it seems even sympathetic fans are divided on the issue of whether or not HRT’s dampers really got held up in customs.)

Other than the Saga of HRT’s Totally Real Car, there were a just couple other aspects of this round of testing that particularly caught my attention:

  • Continued talk of the scary might of the RB7. It all adds up to one thing, I’m telling you!
  • Sergio Pérez is in the house! I’m very happy that he’s in F1 in the first place, and now he’s doing what I knew he would do: working super hard and doing well. I said this on Twitter a few days ago, and I’ll say it here, so I can refer back to it later on as further evidence of my near-psychic powers of prediction: people aren’t talking about him very much right now, but they will be by the end of the season.

The truth is, though, I’m no longer satisfied with mere testing. We were supposed to have a race this weekend, and my body can sense it and is rebelling against its absence. What the hell? every nerve ending screams. Text commentary? Nothing to watch? All the cars aren’t even on the circuit? What are you trying to pull, here?

Today didn’t help. As a result of the rain and of most teams being gone, the final day of preseason testing was the most boring session of all, with only three drivers (of five) getting timed laps in. Fernando Alonso apparently grew bored enough to leave, thereby missing out on the action-packed last few minutes of slightly-less-drenched testing time. That was a thrilling four minutes or so, there! Maldonado’s the fastest! No, it’s Hamilton! No, it’s Rosberg! No, it’s — *checkered flag* And just like that, no more testing. Two long weeks of waiting stretched out in front of us, like a…thing of very great length, stretched out in front of someone very anxious to have that thing to be considerably shorter. (Yes, so my ability to devise analogies is not getting any better just yet. Soon! Ninety percent sure!)

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