After a qualifying session so exciting that I nearly watched it, Sebastian Vettel has claimed pole position. Alongside him is Lewis Hamilton who appears to have pimped his car out with gold-plated, spinning alloys, a tinted wind-screen, a TV in the back of his headrest so the following driver can watch the latest episode of 16 And Pregnant, some nifty under-carriage neon lights and a top of the range Bose stereo pumping out some classic Public Enemy. Is it just us or does he seem a little blacker today?
Martin Brundle begins one of his infamous walks down the grid. Under the impression she’s Lindsay Lohan, he stops for a chat with Geri Halliwell. To be honest, it’s all a little bit cringey and uncomfortable, particularly when Brundle says he was surprised with the standard of her Herbie and Geri looks nervously down past her midriff. Ever the pro, she chats away politely. It’s somewhat speculative, but there’s a tone to her voice that says ‘I will give you sexual favours if you continue this interview for another 2 minutes’.
Lap 1: The tension builds as the starting sequence begins. Bam – we’re off. Wow – I haven’t seen that many red lights go out in unison since the last time there was a police raid down by the canal. The cars hurtle towards the first corner and … everybody’s through safely. Oh great. Yay. No crashes. Hooray for safety.
Lap 2: We’ve got a red flag situation. Now what does a red flag mean? Don’t swim? Danger – high chance of communism? Let me check … hmmm it means the race has been stopped and they’re going to restart it. Apparently, that start wasn’t interesting enough so the FIA has decided to make it more interesting and try to give the TV ratings a boost.
Lap 3: And the race gets underway for a second time. This time it all goes to plan as two loser drivers we don’t care about hit the carefully placed oil-slick and smash into each at high speed. There are wheels, rear wings, debris and what I’m hoping was a limb flying through the air. This is fantastic. I mean terrible.
Lap 9: The race has settled down now and we can have a look at some of the incredibly precise data all this high-tech equipment can compile. Apparently this race is within 20,000 viewers of Songs Of Praise and if it continues at the current rate may even be the BBC1’s 8th most popular programme on Sunday night ahead of that Last Of The Summer Wine episode where they put wheels on something for some reason and Compo is sent uncontrollably hurtling down a hill.
Lap 16: Michael Schumacher hasn’t disgraced himself since coming out of retirement to return to Formula 1, but age seems to be catching up with him. He’s been indicating to turn right for the last four laps without realising. It goes from bad to worse as nearly he hits the tyre wall when trying to switch from the Archers to Radio 3 Live in Concert on his radio. This is getting embarrassing.
Lap 23: It’s the first round of pit stops and everything goes smoothly for most of the leading contenders, but there’=’s a hold up for Felipe Massa. He nips into the garage to buy a Snickers and a bottle of Lucozade, costing him valuable seconds.
Lap 24: It’s gone from bad to worse for Massa at the till. The shop assistant has informed him that there’s a 2 for 1 deal on Lucozade. The Brazilian driver tells him that he doesn’t want the other bottle, it’ll just go to waste. The shop assistant tells him that the barcode scans as two bottles and if people don’t take both, it’s really going to feck up his stock take at the end of the month. Massa insists he doesn’t want the other bottle, saying he’ll just throw it away, but that doesn’t stop the shop assistant from launching into another disbelieving lecture on why it’s such a great offer and how young people have more money than sense these days. That’s him out of contention for the afternoon.
Lap 28: With all the pit-stops, the lead has changed hands several times in quick succession. Momentarily the race is led by Eddie Irvine running after what he thinks is the Saturdays’ tour bus. Proper order is soon restored as Vettel retakes the lead, followed by Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton with Jenson Button firmly in his shadow.
Lap 32: Vettel is gradually and imperceptibly edging away – a lot like you do when you’re talking to someone and then they reveal they hold some outrageous view that borders on insanity. Like saying the Hangover 2 was better than the Hangover.
Lap 36: Mark Webber clearly isn’t as quick as Lewis Hamilton, but he keeps the Englishman in check by reverting to being an Aussie stereotype and reminding him he’s a sissy Pom.
Lap 38: Lewis has decided he’s had enough and he seizes his chance. As Webber enters the braking zone at turn 2, Hamilton stays off the brakes and shoots up the inside line. It’s dangerous, ill-advised, but by God it does the trick and now he’s up to second. It’s the trademark move from Hamilton.
Lap 40: And now Jenson Button is trying his own trademark move! He pulls in along the straight, stops the car and starts chatting up a buxom blonde in the crowd. He runs he fingers through his thick hair before saying “you know baby, I may not be the best Formula 1 driver, but I am very rich and I can get as many tickets as you want to a Pussycat Dolls gig.”
Lap 46: I’m no expert, but there are signs that some of the leading contenders could soon be coming in for their second pitstops. Those signs are most of the crowd looking at their watches and wondering how much more of this procession they have to endure.
Lap 47: Oh there’s drama in the pit lane! Flames and thick smoke are billowing out into the sky. This is horrible. It can’t see who it is, but the engine must have caught fire whilst in the pits. No wait … David Coulthard has stolen Eddie Jordan’s ‘trendy’ shirt collection, poured petrol on them and set fire to the pile. No he’s taunting him by dancing and singing ‘mid-life crisis, you’re having a crap mid-life crisis’ at him.
Lap 48: It’s ok, things are under control. Jordan counter attacks by asking if Buzz Lightyear is Coulthard’s real dad.
Lap 52: And there’s more blistering pace from Eddie Irvine. He’s just set the fastest lap of the race ON FOOT after a representative from the Department of Revenue walked into the VIP area and started asking questions about Irvine’s property investments over the last couple of years.
Lap 53: With laps running out, Lewis Hamilton is in hot pursuit of Vettel now. He’s throwing his McLaren around the corners, trimming off bits and pieces like a Pusssycat Doll with a new Gillette Venus.
Lap 54: OH NO! STOP GO PENALTY FOR HAMLTON! He’s been very aggressive and a little too aggressive according to the stewards. They’ve handed him a stop and go penalty for cutting a corner. The replay shows, he barely went up on the curve coming into to turn 5. Oh that is cruel. I’ve not seen punishment that harsh since the last time I went to one of Max Mosley’s fondue parties.
Lap 55: That means it’s a Red Bull one-two at the front of the field and the now legendary team spirit is in evidence. Mark Weber’s engineer has been busy switching signposts around a la Wil. E. Coyote style to send Vettel in the wrong direction and Vettel responds by launching into some outrageous twitter flirting with Webber’s mum.
Lap 58: The modifications to Hamilton’s car have finally attracted the attention of the local constabulary. Then lights on top of the Mountie’s horse are flashing and he’s being asked to pull over this is going to cost him some time at a crucial stage of the race.
Lap 60: Michael Schumacher is growing increasingly frustrated with his lack of competitiveness. He’s down in 12th, but he does a u-turn mid-lap and starts driving the wrong way around. He takes a slip road off the track, makes a beeline across the VIP car park and slams his car into Damon Hill’s vintage Aston Martin DB5. I don’t think he’ll be able to claim he had the racing line on this occasion.
Lap 62: We return to the Hamilton situation now. The 2008 champ is handcuffed and appears to bleeding from a cut above the eye. The officers have just pulled a small bag of white powder from underneath the driver’s seat. We don’t think calling the officers “batty boys” and claiming he’s just “keeping it real” is going to help.
Lap 63: Hamilton’s race is over after he insists that bag isn’t his and the cops tazer him for resisting arrest. He was never going to catch Vettel but that still seems a bit excessive. It does make one wonder, is it coz he is black-ish?
Lap 67: With all this excitement I hadn’t noticed that dual World Champion, Fernando Alonso has got himself into a place on the podium. It doesn’t look like he’ll make it a hat-trick of Drivers Championships this season, but he is on course to land his ninth successive ‘Most Depressed Looking Spaniard’ award.
Lap 69: I wouldn’t want to accuse Vettel of complacency, but he’s so far ahead he’s show-boating with some nifty donuts and parallel parking, all the while waving at the crowd like the Queen in fireproof overalls.
Final Lap: And there’s some last lap drama. Vettel is crawling along after a mechanical problem. He’s still moving, but a grinning Webber overtakes him. It’s a cruel lesson for the young German – that lesson being never ignore the service light when it appears on your dashboard.
Finish Line: Webber takes the chequered flag with Vettel limping over the line in second and Alonso the grouch guiding his Ferrari into third. It’s been a bad day for McLaren with Lewis Hamilton facing some pretty serious allegations and Jenson Button ultimately getting nowhere with that buxom blonde. Now it’s over to the BBC pundits who’ll spend the next hour explaining how one car was slightly faster than another remarkably similar car.