Drama at Hatena’s HQ, Queenscape drops ranks, wonderboy Kisielewicz fails and Zapata finally showers in champagne. Read along to know more.
This weekend’s qualifier session ran to the rhythm of the solemn and nostalgic anthem of Azerbaijan, one couldn’t help but imagine yurts, old soviet castles, and images of a hard, solemn land. Tradition is the name! And yet, Azerbaijan brought winds of change. Let’s first talk about the qualifiers!
From the beginning of the session, Kisielewicz started climbing places making one great lap over the other, running just like a bat out of hell. His laps were a bit slow before the first curve, but the superior grip of his Epona allowed him to produce one great time after the other.
Biskup drove bravely and even led the times in the first sector, but after Sahil Park, Kisielewicz already had secured his pole position, and no one would be able to take it from him.
But just as Kisielewicz climbed and stood first for most of the race, all the drivers with Hatena engines were stuck with the last four places. Only Zapata managed to maintain a slight advantage over Jochen during the last lap of his qualifiers, but it wouldn’t last long.
Of all Hatena’s engines drivers, Gaburi had the slowest time, qualifying with over nine seconds after Kisielewicz’. This was because she oversteered at the start of her second lap, almost crashing, and she would never be able to recover. A shame for the Japanese driver who is recently gathering a lot of attention especially from female fans all around the world.
What is happening with Hatena? Since their new team composition was announced, made up of celebrities that many fans argue are just “has-beens”, and them selling engines to other teams for the first time in decades; rumors have abounded, ranging from the company going through a full process of reinvention, to the fact that they are boycotting themselves in favor of higher corporate interests.
This reporter will not contribute to these rumors, but I will tell you something: Hatena changed their colors from white to blue for this GP, without any previous announcement. Their stocks went up, by a lot. And after this GP, they have maintained the price, so you make your own assumptions.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon at Baku!
Kisielewicz started the race as a meteorite leaving everyone behind without much trouble. Gaburi and Denzi fought like bitter enemies for the ninth place, but during that first lap, Gaburi not only snatched the ninth but also the eighth place! Leaving Hatena’s team with the last places for a while.
Wichman started his routine of being too reckless. One would think he’d realized by now that he should be a little more careful and conservative.
The second lap would bring a disappointing event… near the Philarmonic Hall, Kisielewicz lost control of his car and started spinning, and by what we can only consider luck, he managed to save his own life and his car. Not so much his leading position in the race, as he dropped to the third position before managing to get back into the track.
Near that same curve; the next one, in fact, Azneft; Geckinho does a “Kisielewicz” and tries to dance ballet with his car. He was already in tenth place, but with this? His last place was now secured barring a miracle. On the other extreme, Simernino was on the lead with his teammate Casalini in a close second!
Kisielewicz started to recover and seemed very close to the second position, but near the House of Government, on lap 4, he lost traction and dropped to seventh place, ouch! This was just what Zapata needed… the Colombian upstart had been steadily climbing places, but this far into the race he was slowing down, he probably didn’t want to risk a good place by doing a Wichman, but he saw this chance and took it!
The Swedish driver, by the way, was now in ninth place after several small accidents, but he still had something on hold for the show: near white fountain park, his recklessness made him almost crash. What was he thinking? This race hadn’t been good for Epona, and Wichman didn’t make it any better.
This was a great day for Majeyaux and Slashware Racing. Zapata got his first podium! The smiles from his team are testament enough to their feelings.
“The race started great, but when I got to the fourth place I didn’t want to risk it. I’ll be honest and say that I’m not yet confident enough. This is my team’s first season after all, and we’re competing against some of the biggest names of the sport! But after Kisielewicz’s issue near the House of Government I chose to risk it and by god did it pay up!” Said Zapata.
Although they didn’t finish in terrible places, Queenscape’s performance has steadily declined. They are now behind Majeyaux by almost 40 points and this is the third race where they score no points at all. We haven’t seen this since before FormulaProc was formalized and Queenscape was a British team still.
And since we are talking about lack of points… Wichman. What’s going on with the Swedish starlet? He hasn’t managed to score a single point this season, and by his looks, the pressure is getting to him. Kisielewicz and Wichman have been seen fighting numerous times now; this could explain the surprising lack of performance from Kisielewicz, and this may very well be the breaking point for the team unless Wichman straightens up. Alessandro Ricci, Epona’s spokesman refused to comment. Wichman and Kisielewicz also refused to comment.
We’ll see you next week! Don’t miss out on another exciting race!