Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ripple Effects Of Freedom

The gentlemen at BBC Sport have posted an updated F1 schedule.  "What's the big deal about that", you say?

I'm glad you asked.

Not only do they show the dates but they have nifty .ICS files you can download so your calendar is automatically updated.  If you don't know what ICS files are, perhaps a less geeky site is more your speed.  If you are of that rare breed that refuses to allow ignorance of any kind to persist, look here.

I know Bahrain wasn't at the top of many fans' "favorite track" lists but I always dug it and it's a bit of a drag that it may not happen.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

If I Had A Million Dollars...

From the gear heads over at SuckSqueezeBangBlow* comes images of a car so beautiful I actually had to savor it a few days before posting it.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the XKE.  My parents gave me one in 1/8th scale when I was somewhere around 8 years old.  I thought it had the coolest shape and the spoke wheels just made it magical.  Even after I was older and learned about their reliability problems I still loved them.  I also never believed that the Stingray didn't nudge the XKE into Dead Man's Curve.  History belongs to the victor I suppose.

Regardless, no matter what they've done since, they never seemed to be able to capture that same level of style and grace as they did with the XKE.**  Someone over there must have figured that out.  Behold, beauty at such unparalleled levels it makes one weepy.

Oscar Wilde once said, “No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.”  To that I respond, "To Hell with you, Sir."

And while I've never watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate, I can tell you, this has got to be pretty damn close.

It even makes this fighter jet look retarded.

And finally, to those who insist only that which serves no actual function can be art, I say, "Face!"

This thing is better than Phoebe Cates.  Yes.  I said it.

*I know, how righteous is that name, right?
**You can't count the DB9 copy, which, although beautiful, was a copy of the DB9.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let Them Hear Pi...

If you've ever doubted our Geek cred, I humbly submit the following.   This is cooler than I thought it would be.

Big ups.   Layering this is genius.  I'll bet you a Spicy Chicken Sandwich* if you graph this out and layer it in the same frequency and repetition as it's played here, the face of Fibonacci will appear.**

From the cool dudes at [H]ard|OCP.


*The F1-Geeks unit of measure for all wagers.   Since this blog only has one follower our risk here is pretty low regardless of the outcome.   
**This offer is valid only for left-handed followers of F1-Geeks and void in Arizona, New Jersey, and Alaska.  In the event the number of followers of F1-Geeks becomes greater than one (1) F1-Geeks reserves the right to require three dimensional proof of the lack of "face".  F1-Geeks will also accept a spontaneous formation of the Golden Spiral as a caricature representation of Fibonacci's face.  "Golden Spiral" in this case may be defined as any shape that appears after staring at the 3D model for longer than 5 minutes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

...And In It's 51st Year, Bernie, Saddened By A Lack Of Passing Brought Forth A Deluge

After a couple of days of various Twitter conversations on the subject I figured I'd mention it here so that all 1.7 of you who visit this little corner of the Interwebs could catch up on the goings on.

Tamara Ecclestone*
Bernie Ecclestone, who understands that controversy equals coverage equals interest equals revenue, has declared that not only could there be artificial "rain" but that F1 leadership has been discussing it and some tracks have already been reviewed for adding this "feature".

Tim may have a different view on this, but I see it coming down to what you think Formula One is ultimately about.  We know it's about drivers' skill, team management, constructor performance, performance of team strategy, politics, a touch of fortune and a decent set of "attachments" (as David Hobbes would put it). 

The question is, "Does performance of Team Strategy, as an element of competition mean "Some elements of Team Strategy" or "All elements of Team Strategy"?

The answer to that question is your answer to whether there should be artificial rain or not.

I can go either way with it.  If you want to test all competitive aspects of the different teams, thus providing more Nico Hulkenberg moments, then you would want to see all challenge types represented in every (or almost every) race.

It would be the same concept as the different components in a Motocross track.  High jumps, burms, washboard sections, all artificially put in place to test the different skills of the racers, builds of the bikes, and strategy of attacking the course.  These are not naturally occurring configurations nor do they appear in only some tracks based on the whim of nature.

On the other hand, you could argue that the track design itself is the extent of the "core" driver/team test and that rain pushes that test to the extreme but it is not a core component.   You could also argue that at no time do burms and jumps and hills spontaneously appear and go away.

F1 already has many artificial challenges incorporated in the competition.  Whether it be engine re-use, forced tire changes, or eyebrow enhancements.  They exist to increase competition and spur innovation.

Rain occurs so infrequently that it's probably not high on the cost/benefit chart to dump a lot of research into the best rain "things".   If they knew it would rain a lot more, however, there might be a reason to see a bunch of new rain "tech".   That alone could be worth it.

In the end, for me, I could go either way, but if it happens, it must:
  • be completely randomized via computer program.
  • be programmed such that no one would know when it was coming up to 15 minutes before the event.
  • be programmed with a set number of events occurring across the entire season but not numbered by race.
  • last for a random period weighted toward 20 minute averages but possibly lasting twice that.
  • vary in intensity but the intensity can be "forecast" via "cloud factor" with an error rate of 10% such as to encourage teams to take certain risks regarding tire types and pit stops. Cloud factor numbers would be available from the formation lap and they could change as well, leading to or removing the possibility of rain.
Basically, simulate the entire experience with the only "artificial" aspect of it being that it happens much more often.  Anything outside of that and we'll be looking at a scenario where Flavio asks Piquet to urinate on the chicane after Alonzo goes by.

*Because I love you, dear readers.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

CTHD: (Update) Ferrari vs Ford

You may recall our original disbelief at the complaint from Ford against Ferrari for the use of their shared first initial and a number that happens to follow 149.

Ferrari decided to play nice and officially changed the designation to "Ferrari 150th Italia".  Ford seemed to be OK with this and dropped the complaint. 

The final chapter comes to us from the folks at Autosport who report Ferrari has tweaked the name again to "Ferrari 150° Italia - Ford Sucks It"**.  Changing the "th" to the Italian version, which should see the matter closed. 

While I still can't help thinking Ford really looked petty for this whole thing, I am glad they did finally Calm The Hell Down in the end.

**OK, I added that last part but it would have been way more entertaining this way.