F1 Racing at Melbourne

Discussion in 'Sports' started by ccrobinson, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. ccrobinson

    ccrobinson
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    The Australian Grand Prix started at 12:01am on Sunday (midnight yes, but this makes it clearer what I'm saying) and I recorded it. Since I recorded it, and since the Bristol race just finished and I have my trusty laptop here, I decided to review the race for you guys.

    4:25 PM
    Great overhead shots of Melbourne. I didn't realize the city was right off the coast, so all the blue from the water makes it gorgeous. While it looks gorgeous, the temp is over 100 degrees.

    BTW,here's a recap of the 2007 F1 season for you.

    4:32 PM
    One of the big stories in F1 this year is the elimination of driver aids, including electronic launch control, traction control and the engine braking system. I think this is a very, very good thing.

    4:36 PM
    Steve Matchett, the technical guru of the broadcast team, did a piece on the Electronic Control Unit, which, as I understand, is responsible for eliminating driver aids. Matchett really knows what he's talking about, as he used to be an engineer at Ferrari. Last year, he wrote some nice pieces on speedtv.com and I hope he does the same this year.

    Bob Varsha, host and main announcer, said that the humidity was 11%. Living in Illinois, I know all about what high humidity and high temperatures are like. It's misery. What's it like with high temperatures and low humidity? Can anybody give me an analogy for that?

    4:40 PM
    Peter Windsor, pit road reporter, interviewed an engineer from Williams and he mentioned how everybody gets to see the Diffusers on all the cars. What's a Diffuser, you ask? I didn't know either until I found this article. In addition, Michaels said that you'll likely get pushed out of the way when you try to look at them. That statement highlights how cutthroat F1 racing is. From everything I read, he wasn't exaggerating in any way.

    4:41 PM
    We're going through new drivers in 08 and there are only 2 names that I know. #1 is Sebastian Bourdais, who utterly dominated Champ Car racing the last few years. I have low expectations for him in the Scuderia Toro Rosso car sponsored by Red Bull. This is the 2nd year of what used to be the Minardi team, which was always slow. Toro Rosso is using Ferrari engines, but they still have a mountain to climb to be able to compete against Ferrari, McLaren and even Williams and Renault. The other name that I know is Nelson Piquet Jr, the son of 3 time F1 champ Nelson Piquet.

    4:44 PM
    Toyota running up front? I highly doubt it. For all the worries in Nascar about Toyota coming in and dominating the sport, fans only need to look at Toyota's F1 efforts to realize that they aren't a company of supermen. They've been in F1 for years, rarely run up front and have never won.

    4:48 PM
    There's nothing cooler in motorsports than the start of an F1 race.

    4:49 PM
    Big wreck in the first turn of the first lap and the Safety Car comes out. On the start, Raikkonen took an outside line to rocket from 15th to 8th. Wow.

    4:51 PM
    On the replay, we see that the wreck happened because they went 3-wide into the 1st corner. Obviously, 3-wide doesn't work so well on a road course.

    Maybe the best part of these F1 telecasts are the onboard cameras. You get a great sense for how fast they go and how the cars pretty much stop and turn on a dime.

    4:53 PM
    Lewis Hamilton takes off on the restart.

    4:55 PM
    Bob Varsha mentioned how hard the driver's job is without driver aids, and I have to say, as swaim did about Nascar drivers after Atlanta, that I like it when the drivers have to work hard and are more involved in driving the cars. No electronic driving aids is a very, very good thing in F1 racing.

    4:59 PM
    Great onboard shots from Raikkonen's car. If you're wondering, they top out at 180+ mph at the end of the main straight here at Melbourne. And the cars weigh somewhere around 1,100 lbs, 1/3 that of a Cup car.

    5:04 PM
    F1 is starting to move to night races. They'll run a night race at Singapore later this year and, after this race lost 34 million Australian dollars in 2007, Bernie Ecclestone, who runs the show for F1, says that, in order to keep the race, they're going to need to light up the place and run the race at night.

    5:06 PM
    They just showed exactly what can happen without traction control. Takuma Sato, Toyota driver, was running behind a car, and that guy made a mistake and Sato almost ran him over.

    9:01 PM
    Got back from church and taking the family to Monical's. Love Monical's. Lewis Hamilton sat on the pole for this race, btw, and has just run away with it, setting fast lap after fast lap.

    9:04 PM
    38 to go, and we're treated to a nice battle between Sato and Massa for 12th. If anybody ever says that we don't see position battles in F1, that's not true. The problem is that we rarely see battles for the lead, which is what we really want.

    9:08 PM
    36 to go, and Heikki Kovalainen, 2nd McLaren driver, just came out in front of Raikkonen in the Ferrari. Should be a nice battle for 2nd here.

    9:09 PM
    With 35 to go, the nice battle for 2nd is taking place. We're looking at Raikkonen's lap from the onboard and I love those shots. Raikkonen tries to oubrake him and winds up doing some agricultural racing.

    9:12 PM
    Wreck between Massa and David Coulthard. Coulthard tried to block him, their tires hit and DC's car was damaged, the right front tire coming off. The wreck brought out the Safety Car for the 2nd time.

    9:17 PM
    My wife just asked about the cars and the difference isn't so much the drivers, but the cars and, by extension, the teams. A few years ago, Michael Schumacher, 7-time champion, was asked if he could win in a Minardi, one of the lesser teams at the time. The answer was no, absolutely not.

    9:19 PM
    Safety Car in and Kimi stays on the track. For somebody who just tried to pit, it's weird that he didn't come in. The lap before, Kimi did everything he could to get around Kovalainen, but he wound up overdriving the turn and went off the track. I don't know how he kept it off the wall.

    9:20 PM
    Massa has a problem and is out. Fantasy junkie that I am, I have a fantasy F1 league and chose Ferrari today. Ai-yi-yi.

    9:21 PM
    Nelson Piquet Jr is out of the race, and he's not only out of the race, he's out of the car. My wife looks at me strange and the thing is, if the car is off the track, they don't necessarily stop the race to retrieve the car. They'll just leave the car there while the race is going on.

    Another car is out and I don't know which one, and this race is turning into a race of attrition.

    9:24 PM
    Peter Windsor makes a great point by saying that if Kimi didn't have to stop for fuel, at least he should have stopped for tires. His tires just weren't good enough to outbrake Kovalainen.

    9:25 PM
    25 laps to go and Sato was the driver that went out 4 minutes ago. Half the field is still running out of the 22 that started. It looks like just finishing the race is going to get you championship points.

    9:30 PM
    18 laps to go. Hamilton is running away with it. David Hobbs on Fernando Alonso: "His car is El Twitcho. Which is Spanish for very twitchy." :laugh:

    9:34 PM
    Raikkonen's bad race continues when he spins out. No Safety Car for a spin, btw. About the only thing that brings out the Safety Car is debris on the track.

    9:34 PM
    Hamilton is in for his final pit stop. Kovalainen just set fast lap at 1:27.418.

    9:36 PM
    They showed Raikkonen's spin and his problem is he got 2 tires on the grass when he was trying to outbrake Timo Glock.

    9:36 PM
    Glock just hit something and went spinning down the track spraying debris everywhere. Safety Car comes out for the 3rd time.

    9:38 PM
    Speed showed the replay. Glock got off on the grass and hit a couple of bumps. The last one was particularly nasty and is the one that sprayed debris everywhere. His back is going to feel that hit tomorrow I think.

    9:38 PM
    Barrichello just left with the fuel line still in and the gasman still holding on to it. They raised the lollipop, which tells the driver that he's supposed to go. He went and the gasman went flying. Barrichello also left with the red light still on and he'll likely be DQ'd for it.

    9:42 PM
    Kovalainen just went into the pits for his last stop. That'll put him back to 10th, and while he'll get points, there's no chance that he'll catch Hamilton.

    9:48 PM
    Nice battle between Bourdais vs. Alonso for 4th with 8 to go.

    9:49 PM
    The race stewards apparently missed Barrichello coming out with the red light on because there's been no penalty. The guys in the booth are very surprised they missed it.

    9:50 PM
    6 to go, and Hamilton is in complete command of the race.

    9:52 PM
    Bourdais has driven away from Alonso. Alonso is doing everything he can to keep Kovalainen's McLaren behind him. After his troubles at McLaren in 07, there's no other team he'd rather beat than that one.

    9:53 PM
    Raikkonen's engine just died, which means no points for Ferrari. This race was a complete disaster for Ferrari.

    9:54 PM
    Now, Bourdais' engine just died. His team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, is using Ferrari engines. Out of the 6 Ferrari engines in this race, 0 of them will have finished the race. Disastrous race for Ferrari.

    9:56 PM
    Alonso and Kovalainen continue their fight. Excellent driving by Kovalainen to get around him and then, for some reason, he slowed and Alonso went back around.

    9:58 PM
    This was a nice race. Not much of a battle for the win, but a chaotic race with great drama. It's not Nascar and I'm rather glad of that. We've got one Nascar. Why do we need another one?

    If you have the ability to do so, I recommend checking out F1 races this year. They don't have finishes like Bristol every week, but, every once in a while, there are great races like Turkey in '06 and Imola in '05.
     

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