Monday, December 24, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 18 - The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - The Yas Marina Circuit

Abu Dhabi
The largest artificially lit sporting venue on the planet.  If the Singapore and Monaco circuits had a baby, it would be Yas Marina.  This circuit always reminds me of The Covenant's Carbine rifle and gives the drivers some interesting challenges. 

After the turmoil and uncertainty earlier this year, I'm glad the race stayed on the calendar. 

This year they've lengthened the DRS zones a bit and it looks like it's going to be a great race. 

Vettel is on cruise control with four race wins in a row.  He's on track to be the youngest three-time world champion and the first person to ever win their first three in a row. 

Let's see how it goes shall we?

Friday, December 21, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 17 - The Indian Grand Prix - Buddah International Circuit

I may have an overly romantic sense of this place but when I think of India I think of how colorful and cool everything and everyone looks. 

This is the second year on this track and they say it's better.  Better than what?  Better than Valencia that's for sure.

So Vettel now leads the championship with a ton of momentum.  Will it carry him to another win?

Monday, December 10, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 16 - The Korean Grand Prix - Yeongam


Built in 2009 the circuit is way more fun to drive on (at least in a simulator) than it is to watch.

From listening to the driver interviews, they feel the same way.

There are so many races now, it's great for watching cars and drivers at their best but it means that some of the perfectly good tracks get lost in the shadow of the greats.

Vettel is the only driver to win back to back races this year.  Can he shatter the record by getting three?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 15 - The Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka

11 World Championships have been decided at Suzuka over the years.  It's a classic challenging track where you get a sense that mistakes will not be brooked .  Suzuka is one of the tracks I really want to see in person.  I remember Senna winning a world championship here and a dramatic win for Alonso when Schumacher retired about 3/4 of way through resulting in a massive championship point swing,

I used to be ambivalent about this track but I've grown to really enjoy it.  Narrow and technically challenging it has a classic feel to it.   Particularly for the gravel traps.  I used to hate them everywhere but now, in Suzuka, they are awesome.  Drive a bit too crazy, what do you get?  Stuck in the gravel is what you get, son.

McLaren have 4 pole positions in a row.  Can they make it five?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 14 - The Singapore Grand Prix - Marina Bay

I always liked this track.  I don't know yet if it really has any soul to speak of.  Unfortunately I think there is some sort of spirit transference that needs to happen before a track "comes alive".  I really don't want to see that happen but there aren't many new courses that have a personality.  Shanghai might and I'm hoping Austin does but we'll see. 

The good about watching Singapore is the spectacle, more pit stops, and the inherent danger/excitement of a street circuit.

The bad is that this race is long.  Very long.  Often running past the 2 hour race time limit.  That in itself isn't so bad but at times it can feel long.

It's a street circuit, which means they take a regular city, go crazy and build a track in it.

Racing at night.  If you've never seen any racing at night you really should.  All kinds of flames and sparks and glowing things as we see the Second Law of Thermodynamics come into play.

There's been a safety car in every single running of the Singapore Grand Prix.   Will there be another?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 13 - Italian Grand Prix - Monza

Monza.  The fastest track of the year.  The cars get up to over 215 mph or so and it's all about straight line speed.  Hardly any downforce is used here and you can see drivers trying to work with cars that brake and accelerate completely differently than they are used to.

This place is hard on brakes but really hard on engines.  Most (over 80%) of the time they are at full throttle. 

The first corner here is often the site of a crash.  Will we get another pile up like we saw at Spa?  Let's find out...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 12 - Belgian Grand Prix

Spa.  I think I love this track more than Monaco.  Its beautiful, challenging, looks lke a phaser, and is never boring.   Even if nothing happened and it was just a parade, everyone has to go through Eau Rouge at least once every couple of minutes.  I'll gladly watch that for a couple of hours.

Eau Rough is awesome.  It's a bit downhill with a bit of a left then right, and at the end of the left, you climb.  Hard.  So hard, in fact that when you finish the climb, you're going to experience a full negative G.  This thing is just awesome.  Were it not for the downforce F1 cars generate, they'd catch so much air at the exit you could honestly say they would be flying off the track.  This section is so mean it's actually killed someone.  Sadly, this isn't just the entertaining hyperbole you've grown used to here.  Although this history of this circuit is even more grim we're currently still recovering from a more recent tragedy.  Namely, Hamilton's win in Hungary.

Will Spa cause F1-Geeks even more depression or will we see Lotus take their first race.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Round 11 Hungarian Grand Prix

In 1986 Oran "Juice" Jones had a hit with his song about betrayal, discovery, and fiscal revenge, and Formula One began the slow subversion of the Soviet empire by bringing the lavish luxury of capitalism to Hungary.  Coincidentally this also happens to be when vampires began a resurgence.

Just shy of 2.75 miles long the dusty twisty Hungaroring is not known as a track you can pass on.  While not as slow as Monaco, Hungary is still pretty technical and demanding with the second slowest corner of the season.  A 50 MPH hairpin at turn one provides the best passing opportunities on the track.  Lots of curves means lots of G and this should really push the drivers physically.

With just over 1900 miles left to race this year Alonso looks to be the man to beat but I'll bet this season still has some surprises left.   Speaking of Ol' Eyebrows, he celebrated his 31st birthday during the race.  Let's see what Hungary brings.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - German Grand Prix

Hockenheim.  I think.  Maybe it's just me but I completely lose track of which German track is being raced on every year.  The magic-TV-people say it's Hockenheim this year.   Barren and stripped of its soul, the Hockenheimring always makes me meloncholy.  I know F1 didn't like long laps and low total lap races, and I know that the cost of making the forest bits safe would be astronomical, I know it was put together by track designing legend Hermann Tilke, but to take something with so much character and put some corners and a hairpin in is just sad.

It's not all bad though.  It looks like a woolly mammoth skull and Parabolica is kinda cool.  I guess it has some distinction for being almost completely flat and bland.

Let's get on with it then.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - British Grand Prix

Silverstone.  In my F1 infancy I thought it was a cool track just because I heard it was a great track.  It then fell out of favor with me and I thought I was such an F1 rebel.  As of late it has started to win me back.

In 1950 the first ever F1 race was held here.  (Yes, I know some of you Internet people want to claim that technically it was held before that as Formula I or whatever.  If it wasn't a contest for a world championship, it wasn't F1.  So suck it.)

At 109 Miles long it is one of the highest speed circuits on the planet. More on that after the break.

Alonso took Valencia in a dramatic race.   Will the unpredictable clouds produce even greater drama?

Read on

Monday, July 23, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Europe (aka Valencia)

What was once an honorary title, the European Grand Prix has been its own race since 1983 and is currently held in Valencia Spain

A perfect record of seven races and seven winners this season just begs to be broken.

Was it?

Monday, June 25, 2012

F1-Geeks Get Fancy-The Concours de Elegance

This weekend marked the 9th annual gathering of high performance, custom paint, luxury, speed, and some of the best polishing I've ever seen.  Seriously, I've never seen black paint look so...... infinite.   See this? This car is black. No, not the blue Willys Knight.  The one you are using to see the reflection of the Willys. That's how shiny these things were.

See the unreflected Willys after the break.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Canada

With 14 corners and 70 laps, straight line speed is key here, but with four long straights ending in hard corners brakes are just as important.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, named for the famous Gilles Villeneuve who on the last lap in 1978 :
Won the first race ever run on this track
With his first F1 win
To became the first Canadian to win a formula one race
And did it in Canada.

How incredible it would have been to see.

Originally named the Île Notre-Dame Circuit, it was renamed after Villeneuve four years later, just weeks after he died as a result of a crash in the final qualifying lap of the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.

Six races, six winners.   Will Canada produce the 7th?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

For Sale: Senna's First F1 Car

Listed at Silverstone you can now buy Ayrton Senna de Silva's first F1 car.  The car he drove to a spectacular 2nd place in Monaco, in the rain.   The Toleman TG-184-2 was given to a driver in 1985 in lieu of salary.  He kept it until 1994 when he sold it to the current owner.

More after the break

Sunday, June 10, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Spain

The Circuit de Catalunya.  Is it me or does Bob Varsha love to pronounce the name of this track?

Memorable to me for the race where Michael Schumacher, in his early days, started driving very oddly around the course.   Odd lines, weird apexes, I remember thinking he lost his contact lenses.   It turned out his Benetton was stuck in 5th gear the second half of the race and he still managed to take 2nd.  I thought this was pretty cool but had no idea what he would achieve the next decade.

So far this season we've had four races with four different winners, Button, Alonso, Rossberg, Vettel.  Will Spain produce a 5th?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Senna Toe-Heel

Thanks to my buddy Mark for sending this our way. 

Senna, taking a look at the then-new NSX and doing some fancy heel-toe work as if it was nothing...  because for him, it was nothing.  They make an excellent observation in the post,

"You'll note he's wearing a button-down shirt, dress pants, Italian loafers, and no helmet while burying the speedometer on his way around the track."

The man had skills, no question.  The speedo is definitely buried.

From the wickedly smart and thoroughly entertaining  Give them a visit.  You won't regret it.  My current favorite - The Jenny McCarthy Body Count

Monday, May 21, 2012

Awsome.... what else can you say?

This is just great.  Awesome that the delay  caused these guys to grab their instruments and perform a very-mini-concert on the tarmac.   Awesome that the flight crew didn't pepper spray them.  Awesome that the passengers applauded.  Awesome that these guys were able to play quiet enough not to destroy everyone's hearing. And... just awesome that these guys were in tune after lugging their stuff around the airport.

There were 12 people who "disliked" this.  Apparently not everyone is born with a soul.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Bahrain

In the shape of the Kilngon reproductive system, Bahrain is an interesting track in challenge, spectacle, scenery and coverage.

Yes, our analysis has been held up but for good reason people. It looked fake and it might have actually have been staged.

Did you notice that the feed looked a bit strange at times?  We have had some surprising tips coming into our inbox and while we first thought they were just a joke, once we went back and watched the coverage we began to suspect there is a massive cover up going on.

Is it possible the entire thing was staged?
Would Schumacher really go out in Q1?  Could the camera work really be so smooth?

Read on to find out what the hell we are talking about.

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - China

Shanghi Internatinoal Racing Circuit.   Really, one of my favorite tracks.  This track is all about the corners and it starts with my 4th favorite turn of the season.  Turn 1.  A decreasing radius turn, it gets tighter and tighter as you go through it and eventually ends with an opposite side hairpin.  Very hard to get right. 

Then comes my 3rd favorite turn in the season.  Turn 8. With Turkey off the calendar, this is the closest we are going to get to a "Curva Diobolica" and the setup from 7 makes this a fun one to get through.  

Finally my 2nd favorite corner of the year.   The 12-13 combo.   You start out very tight and it loosens as you go.  If you hit it right, you can just go flat out and slingshot yourself on to the back straight.   Just awesome in simulation, it must be unbelievable in reality.

So how did the drivers fare on this bunny/snail hybrid?   Read on to find out.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Malaysia

Malaysia.  In its current incarnation, its been around since 1999.  It seems much more recent than that.  Juan Pablo Montoya holds the lap record here and Tim holds a position that luck is definitely a factor here.

Is he right?  Is it all a roll of the dice?  This season's results seem to support his stance.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"New" 400 Year Old Mozart Song Found... RIAA Files Piracy Suit Against Space-Time Continuum

I'll admit a fondness for Mozart.  That in itself is not unique.  I sometimes wonder, though, if I am alone amongst my peers for how deeply his music can move me.  I am no expert on Mozart.  I barely know a handful of his music.  When asked the inevitable "If you were stranded on a desert island..." question, I struggle to identify any number one spot if the list is restricted to music from this century.  If I have the option to include Mozart, he wins.

I listened to this once and was hummning it later in the day.  I don't know which was more impressive, how much I liked the music or how amazing the performer was. 

Check out the video after the jump.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Wood Pulp Product Into Spring Celebration Happiness

This has nothing to do with F1 and has everything to do with technical precision.  And technical precision, my friends, is something we are all about here at F1-Geeks. 

Check out this How-To from Happy Folding.  Way too complicated for fold-a-long session, you are going to have to pause the video several times but, hey, you've still got 24 hours to get it down.

Check out the video after the jump.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Because Science, That's Why

What happens when you have access to precision cutting lasers, an understanding of sound reproduction, some math and physics comprehension and a small crush on GLaDOS?

Something awesome, that's what...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

F1-Geeks Armchair Team Principal - Australia

And so it begins my friends.  The 2012 Formula One season is officially underway.  A beautiful location and picturesque setting, the Albert Lake Park is a great place to start the series. 

Although first raced in 1928, Australia wasn't part of the Formula One calendar until 1985.  The track in Adelaide was actually pretty cool.  Well maybe it's wasn't that great but I have a huge soft spot for actual street circuits and any place Ayrton Senna raced.  Unfortunately the demand for a race in Melbourne became great enough that the event moved to Albert Lake Park.

Were there any surprises?  Did RedBull continue their domination from the last two years?   Do the new Sporting Regulation classify Alonso's eyebrows as a movable aerodynamic device?

If you've seen the race, read on.   If not, you should, because we're going to talk about results. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

F1 Fanatasy League

Let me just start by saying I've never participated in any sort of fantasy sport thing.  Ever.   I've never tracked stats or averages or been willing to invest the time needed to even look at players in the NFL or MLB.  I've never even had arguments with my friends over whether Babe Ruth would do as well today as he did back in the "Chalk" period.  Although fossilized remains of Babe Ruths have been found above the K-T event boundry so we know they not only survived but may even have thrived. 

How did it turn out?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Maybe it's Me

Maybe it's just me, perhaps I've become a snob.  Maybe watching F1 over the last several years has skewed my expectations of  what I'm likely to see when watching a broadcast of a motor sport event.  Then again, maybe the announcers at NASCAR's Daytona 500 were idiots.

I don't make a point of watching NASCAR, but the Daytona 500 was delayed by a day this last week and was run and aired on Monday night.  How do I know this?  Because it pre-empted House and the DVR recorded NASCAR instead.  So I got to listen to my lovely wife complain about how the universe sucks for two or three minutes.  A few minutes late she says, "Holy crap! Tim you have to see this!"  I drag myself into the family room in time to see Juan Pablo Montoya careen in to the back of a truck filled with jet fuel and explode.  Holy crap is right!

They then proceed to show the wreck from a different angle.  As Montoya heads around the corner and into the straight he's about 150 yards in back of the truck and there is a puff of smoke from the back of his car and a few sparks.  The car then starts to swerve, and a second later there are a lot of sparks.  He then heads straight into the back of the truck and a fireball ensues.

The sharp-as-a-tack announcers say, "Did you see that?!  He just swerved right into the back of that truck!" They go on to speculate why he would have done such a thing.  "Did he lose control of the car?"  Now the first statement is disturbing enough, but I can't even begin to comment on the genius which is "Did he lose control of the car?"

One of the announcers says "Well there were some sparks that came from the car that might have meant he blew a tire."  OK, finally the are talking about the small issue of sparks just after the puff of smoke and before the swerving, but no.  He was talking about the huge plume of sparks from when the car began to slide sideways.

I don't mean to imply that F1 is better here, I mean to state it outright.  I watched that clip once and saw something go wrong at the back of the car before the initial swerve.  Had that been Steve Matchett he would have caught that, pointed it out and told us immediately that there was a 95% certainty it was "X" that went wrong on the back of the car.  Then he would have offered up the two or three other failures that could have caused it but why he thinks it was "X".

These NASCAR announcers rambled on about the sparks concluding that something must have happened to the car.  You think!?  Fortunately, the only injury caused by the accident was to me slapping my forehead in astonishment of how dense these guys were.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This Guy Rocks

You ever read someone's work or hear about someone and and think, "man, I could probably get along smashingly with that guy"?

I just found one.   Not only is this guy entertaining, he thinks.   How many people can you claim that for?

Check him out at the Sippican Cottage blog.

He has sons; three of them.  After his son received The Dangerous Book for Boys, he decided it was slightly more dangerous than eating cottage cheese and getting a pedicure.   Seemed like a damn fine excuse to conjecture what an actual dangerous book would contain.

My favorite chapter summary?

"5. Duct Tape. We're going to use a lot of duct tape. We are going to dress our wounds, splint our shins, fix our tools, and tape our little brother's door shut with glorious, magnificent Duct Tape. When the womenfolk complain about the gummy residue it leaves on your siblings, we will remove it with rags soaked in acetone. These will be disposed of improperly. I guess. Who reads the MSDS sheet? Girls."

That idea turned into a great blog about man/guy/dude stuff that isn't entirely irresponsible, not completely safe, and not always supervised, but always satisfying.
As exemplified here:  
Whatcher Wanna Do Today, Lemuel?

Trust me, you want to click that link.

Check out his always entertaining blog: The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Red Pill / Blue Pill... Regular / Extra Crispy

I can't tell if this is a brilliant idea decide if this is satire intended to call attention to the plight of the food chicken or if this is just amazing practicality.   It will serve both purposes and thus is a brilliant idea.

Reported by the future-looking folks at io9 comes this elegant horrific elegant design for The Center for Unconscious Farming. 

"As long as their brain stem is intact, the homeostatic functions of the chicken will continue to operate. By removing the cerebral cortex of the chicken, its sensory perceptions are removed. It can be produced in a denser condition while remaining alive, and oblivious.

The feet will also be removed so the body of the chicken can be packed together in a dense volume.
Food, water and air are delivered via an arterial network and excreta is removed in the same manner. Around 1000 chickens will be packed into each 'leaf', which forms part of a moving, productive system."

I'd also imagine it is quite a bit more sanitary.

While it may seem horrific, it is only so for people who somehow believe chicken magically appears in little sandwiches and celophane wrapped packages.   Their current conditions are far more horrific than this.

This offends us because it makes it impossible to ignore the reality of meat consumption.   Rationalize it any way you like but feeding on other living creatures is not pretty.   Tasty, but not pretty.   If you are going to take a life to consume for your meal and not actually do it yourself, at least man up and admit that it is what it is.   Own your behavior or change it.

If you do change it, consider how bleak the world would be without Popeyes spicy chicken tenders with extra biscuits.

OK… We’re Back

Yes.  We know.  Trust me on this.  There are like 3.6 of you who were wondering what the hell happened to your somewhat quirky, always witty, terribly handsome and (if we must admit) rather insightful web hosts.

Well, you may imagine any number of horrors that befell us.  Was it an accident?  Was there a baby stuck on the train tracks?  A sensory deprivation experiment gone awry? 

Mayhaps we discovered our latent mutant powers.

The grim truth is we just got crazy busy and, honestly, it started to seem a bit redundant posting about how Vettel won again.  No we aren't forgetting that one freaky time he got a flat tire when he ran over a spring that fell out of Massa’s face, but a single data point does not a trend make.
We aren’t trying to make excuses and it’s not like we don’t love that we are one of the Internets’* last undiscovered gems that hasn’t been bought out by Gawker (ie. Lifehacker or Kotaku) or The AOL Network (ie. Engadget or Joystiq) but when pressed for time, all cool things became unknowable and unreportable.   Life gets in the way sometimes and until all 3 of you get your best one million friends to regularly read our insanity, there is still that stuff called work we have to pay attention to.

We still watched the races and had a great time.   We still did cool geeky stuff but things happened and we didn't really post about them.   We'll be better. 

There are always F1 things to talk about but we aren't going to be doing it better than a lot of the great people out there doing it now. The guys at WTF1 find quirky and cool F1 stuff and they are awesome.  The folks at F1 Fanatic and Formula 1 Blog have more depth and seriousness but much less snark.   Which is cool, some people don't like snark.  Some people think Regretsy is mean.

We don't.   We also think that giving you "full" coverage (whatever that means) of F1 is not something any of you would come here for anyway.  We're going to talk about video games, F1, photography, stuff that irritates us and general geek stuff.   We think we're pretty damn good at that.

*That apostrophe is right the fuck where we want it to be.