Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

A lighter shade of fail // How social networking can provide entertainment during delays

Published by Mr. C

The lighter side of F1 came to the fore Saturday afternoon in Suzuka, as the planned qualifying session was repeatedly delayed and then finally postponed due to bad weather.

Ted is in his element
Ted is in his elementCredit: Virgin Racing

Having stayed awake until 5am in the UK to catch qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, it was looking as though the morning would end in disappointment as the worsening conditions in Suzuka diminished any hope of seeing F1 cars take to the track in anger.

We've sat through this kind of thing before of course. A washed out race at Fuji in 2007, saw us sit through seemingly endless laps of safety car procession. While qualifying in Brazil 2009 dragged on for hours and hours until a suitable break in the weather could be found. Neither of these events were enjoyable to witness and the idea of repeating them had us pining for a pillow.

However, F1 in 2010 is a very different animal and with so many people at the circuit connected via Twitter, entertainment was never far away. Lotus' Mike Gascoyne and Silvi Schaumloeffel led the charge, providing endless banter throughout the morning. Other members of the Lotus team kicked off a paper boat race in the pitlane while Riad Asmat on the pitwall snapped pictures of the BBC taking pictures of him.

Mike and Silvi head home
Mike and Silvi head homeCredit: Lotus Racing

There were so many fantastic updates from teams, drivers and personnel that in the end the session was more enjoyable than qualifying ever could have been. When text updates turned to the boat race, allegations flew about flexing hulls while it was suggested Virgin were trialling an experimental all-CFD designed assembly.

Aside from bailing early, in the UK the BBC stepped up to the challenge of filling a heck of a lot of dead air, grabbing impromptu interviews with anyone willing to talk. Today offered some of the best F1 television insight I've ever seen as both Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz were dispatched to the pitlane to hunt for information. The presenting line-up was changed for this race, but if anything the result was a better overall Formula 1 broadcast. Even Buemi saw some airtime.

Finally, to cap off one of my favourite days in F1 this year, Lotus Racing put out this brilliant post qualifying press release.

09 October 2010 - Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying

After qualifying was postponed until Sunday in Japan due to the torrential rain, Lotus Racing has nothing to announce for the first time in several weeks.

Heikki Kovalainen (Chassis T127-01) "Nothing to say."

Jarno Trulli (Chassis T127-04) "Nothing to report."

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne: "Nothing from me."

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer "Nothing from me either."

Heeh! F1 qualifying in Japan, a session damn well worth staying up for!