We're always being told by People That Know to live in the present, to embrace the moment, to focus on what's right here in front of us right now. But let's be honest, that definitely wasn't the case at the German Grand Prix. We were all focused on last week's British GP. It turns out, last week didn't matter.
In case you have an awful case of short-term memory loss (how tragic, I know a Dr. Sacks who'd love to have a word with you) or you missed it (more understandable), the race at Silverstone last weekend was marred by extreme and repeated tire failures. We're not talking about oh-look-there's-a-guy-who-got-a-flat-how-sad-is-that-now-he'll-have-to-stand-on-the-side-of-the-road-and-change-it-unless-he-doesn't-know-how-and-in-that-case-he'll-have-to-wait-for-a-Man-to-come-and-change-it-for-him-but-for-the-future-I-know-a-video-that-could-help, no, we're talking about virtual explosions coming in the consistent pattern of the left rear tire completely failing again and again.
It was a complete disaster in terms of public relations, both for tire maker Pirelli and F1 itself, and presented a true safety issue. Drivers threatened to boycott this week's race in Germany unless specific actions were taken to remedy the situation immediately and stop the tires from suffering complete and catastrophic disintegrations. Bernie Ecclestone went so far as to state that he didn't care what happened anyways (this is a joke, he never cares what happens).
Pirelli came through, though, and managed to manufacture 1,000 new tires in one week at a plant in Turkey before the race, which featured Kevlar instead of steel belting. It would appear that the race was saved, that we would never ever forever have to fear of anything being ridiculous in Formula One ever again.
Oh, how wrong we were.
Grand prix racing is always a bit ridiculous if you really break it down, what with cars with no fenders racing around a squiggly circle in a travelling circus that makes stops all around the world. This week, though, the teams joined together to make sure that no matter what happened, no matter how many issues Pirelli managed to fix, there would not be a staid and boring race. No, we would once again have a race whose only fitting soundtrack would not be the wailing banshee screams of engines at 18,000 RPM, but the theme song from the Benny Hill show.
Look at the face of the man below, and let me know if you can tell where this is going.
That's right, it's the ongoing sad epic saga of Mark Webber at Red Bull.
To be fair, Webber's incident wasn't the first bit of ridiculousness of this race. That honor goes to Felipe Massa, who randomly spun his Ferrari on lap four, which stalled the car out and forced him to retire in an incident entirely of his own doing. Am I saying I could do better? Hell no, but come on man, this is the big leagues. That would be like writing for Jalopnik and making a typo, and no one ever does that.
The second bit of ridiculousness did, of course, revolve around Webber. Pulling into the pits on lap nine for a standard quick tire change, something got stuck on Webber's right rear tire. The pit crew seemed to be fiddling with it, but after a few seconds he just took off, with the poor pit crew members waving at him to try to get his attention. But it was too late, he was already headed down the pit lane.
It looked like he barely made it 100 feet before his right rear tire came off, initially rolling down the pit lane before violently striking a camera man:
What shenanigans. Thankfully, it appears as if the camera man walked away without serious injury. His pit crew was forced to walk the car back to the box on only three wheels, and it all looked a bit sad, like a dog with only three legs.
The third bit of ridiculous, on lap 12, wasn't actually so bad, but it's something fans aren't fans of and it's something we all tried to move past. That's right, team orders once again reared their ugly head, with the incredibly unsubtle "you are on a different strategy from Lewis, don't slow him up" sent over the radio to Nico Rosberg. I thought we had moved on from this, F1. Or, at the very least, you'd learned better codes. I guess not. While not explicitly barred, they are bit, ahem, unsporting.
Ridiculousness #4 came just a few minutes later. Jules Bianchi's Marussia erupted in smoke and flame, and that's all very scary. Thankfully, Bianchi managed to hop out and averted any true disaster. He hopped out so quick, in fact, that he forgot to set the parking brake:
The car just rolled hilariously across the track, away from the stewards, away from the tractor, and just kept going. Let no one ever say that F1 is not entertaining.
To be honest, the German GP didn't exist solely for us snarky writers to rag on it. It was actually a great race, with a thrilling finishing battle between Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus and eventual winner Sebastien Vettel in his Red Bull. Vettel's KERS appeared to fail towards the end of the race, and the funny Finn sure tried his darndest to catch up. It was a little too late, however, and Vettel managed to cross the finish line just before him. Vettel seemed to acknowledge the peril he was in, however, in the post-race interview when he said he was "very happy it was 60 laps, not 61 or 62."
And to show just how much the cars were being pushed to the limit, Fernando Alonso's Ferrari seemed to run out of gas at the exact moment he crossed the finish line. Now that, my friends, is precision timing.
All in all, it was actually one of the few races I'd watch again. It had everything that F1 fans love – entertainment, laughs, and even really great racing. And who would want to get in the way of that?
Here are your provisional results:
Images via Getty