The throaty roar of an inline-four, the swish of a chequered flag, the camaraderie of riding together, and the legends and their greatest hits.

The Valencian Volte-Face

Every race has its moments. There have been many moments this season. And just when I thought things couldn’t get any more interesting…WHAM, it got super exciting.

In my defence, it was Valencia, not an exciting track by a mile.

But there I was, sitting in front of my television, shaking my fist at the screen, yelling, screaming, shouting, and biting my manicured nails (they aren’t so manicured now).

In so many ways, the Valencia race was akin to a good ole Bollywood masala film – minus the dancing and music. Worry not, I had a ceaseless background score playing in my head. There was drama, a touch of sadness, emotions running riot, colour, big smiles, romance, and even a villain (I shall come to the latter shortly). I loved the race; not so much for the players, but for the way it made me feel. It was a touch of the old days; neck to neck racing, hard-core, aggressive, determined, and so unpredictable.

Just look at my tweets. I was a happy little monkey bouncing up and down.

i miss one Qualifying and what do i get? A cucumber at pole!!!! #F1sigh!

I have taken to calling Sebastian Vettel a cucumber. It’s nothing personal. I just found the whole cucumber-cry baby deal amusing. It was so 4th grade. Isn’t it? But my frustration was also born of fear that the races would soon because a mirror of the previous years: One winner, no excitement, and no competition. But it was a close Qualifying at Valencia, a matter of seconds that separated racers. Finger-licking good!

Im convinced Massa has been replaced. He is fast #stunned and#surprised #F1

Look at Felipe Massa go! I was stunned. He seemed a man possessed, on fire; obsessed, driven… you get my drift. It was a brand new Massa on track, well for a brief while. It looked like he would bring home some points, until Kamui Kobayashi struck, quite literally. Poor Massa ended up at the 16th slot, while Kobayashi now faces a five-place grid penalty at Silverstone.

Bruno Senna, Williams FW34 Renault, changes his front wing in the pits at the Valencia Street Circuit, European Grand Prix. World Copyright:Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic.ref: Digital Image _G7C1023

it’s just one line of cars!!! @BSenna get past Schuey!!! C’monnnn

Seee @BSenna ‘s car and he’s back out!!! But right at the back! #F1

@BSenna gets a drive through penalty! #F1

You have to see this in perspective. (No, this has nothing to do with my Senna fixation. I WILL deny it!). It’s racing right? Stuff happens (erm, do I hear you scream bias?). Anyway, Bruno was trying to get past Michael Schumacher, but Kobayashi was hot on his tail. Result: an itsy crash and Senna got a drive-through penalty for causing a collision. The downside? Senna was running a good race, keeping pace, and looked like he was well on his way for some points. But, the brush with Kobayashi left him at the back of the grid. The upside? He fought his way to front of the pack and ended the race at the 11th spot.

ARRGGHHH the #McLaren pit dudes make a ham of the pitstop again!!! ARRGHHHHH

WANTED: a quick, efficient pit crew for #McLaren#F1

McLaren’s brilliant pitstop crew have been the bane of our lives this season. And just as we were applauding their valiant efforts, they (well it was a jammed jack, actually) went and did it again! Lewis Hamilton was a strong contender for the podium, the man who has challenged Vettel consistently. But that jack, oh that front jack cost him important seconds. Hamilton fought a brave race as he struggled to hold off the Ice Man. But with three laps to go, Kimi Raikkonen flew past Hamilton to score a second position.

Vettel is in TROUBLE!!!! wooohooooo #F1

Love the way the crowd’s cheering 🙂 love it!! LOL they are removing Vettel’s car 😀

hehe the cucumber threw a tantrum on the track. did u see it? did u see it? #F1 #Valenciagetsexciting

I am not a Vettel fan, and I know I make it pretty obvious. But, I can’t help it! So I was pretty disheartened when Vettel showed great pace while leading the race for 34 laps. But things took a turn when the safety car was deployed at the 28th lap. Vettel made a great pitstop move at that moment, and stayed on top. The race restarted at the 34th lap, and eager beaver Vettel rushed to the lead. But somewhere along the lap his car came slowly to a halt. An alternator failure lay at the heart of the problem. I do have a confession to make. As much as I dislike the thought of Vettel on the podium, I felt bad (just for a minute though). He did run a good race (BLASPHEMY)!

Pastor Maldonado, Williams F1 Team at the Valencia Street Circuit, European Grand Prix. World Copyright:Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic.ref: Digital Image IMG_4415

oh no hold on Lewis!!! Hold onnnnnnnn #McLaren #F1

Bloody bloody bloody hell

BLOODY BLOODY hell!

Maldonado what were you THINKING?????

Schuey will get a podium ALL because of Maldonado!!! I can’t believe it! I just can’t believe it!!! What were u thinking?

I guess you know what I am talking about. The villain of the entire piece: Pastor Maldonado. McLaren’s hope Lewis Hamilton had a chance at the podium. Fine, a third slot, but it was an all-important 12 points, especially considering the season looks like it will end up being a points game. The race was nearing its end and Maldonado surged forward, chasing a struggling Hamilton. They ran side-by-side with Maldonado trying his best to get past a stubborn Hamilton. Maldonado made a wrong move and Hamilton went into a wall, ending his race and his run for points. Later, the stewards gave Maldonado a 20-second penalty pushing him down the position ladder, but giving Bruno and Williams one point.

Awwwwww @alo_oficial got a huge big smile on my face. i am glad it was alonso. #F1

President of the Valencia Generalitat Alberto Fabra presents the award to Fernando Alonso. Image courtesy PresidenciaGVA. under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I was happy, even though Jenson Button ran a horrid race, Bruno had a terrible day at work and lady luck abandoned Hamilton – what can I say, he is growing on me. My favourites may have done badly, but Fernando Alonso just about made up for it. There is something very heart-warming about a racer struggling against all odds, displaying admirable determination in a field full of tech-savvy cars. He became the first driver to win two races this season. The Ice Man came second. And even though Michael Schumacher took the third slot, it didn’t matter. Alonso’s smile, his tears, and happiness at winning his home race made up for all the disappointment.

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