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?

First, let me just tell you, if you ever had any interest in watching formula one and haven't seen this race, watch this one.   This was a perfect race to introduce a non-F1 fan to the sport.

Favorite Track Feature:
The nearly 500 foot-long swing bridge.   They race on this thing.   I'd love for it to be swung slightly off and have a little jump at the end so the cars have to clear the water.

Favorite comment of the weekend:
Schumacher's post race interview math.  When explaining how he lost track of his place, he meant to illustrate how hard it was to derive his place.  Knowing he was ahead of Webbber and seeing Webber's pit board listing Webber in 7th, he explained that 1-1=3.  And it made perfect sense.   I'm glad to see him on the podium.

Favorite Moment
Alonso, in tears, on the podium.  Having never won in Valencia his emotions get the better of him.  On the victory lap he has a problem and waits until he is near some grandstands and stops his car on track, gets out, and celebrates with some of the happiest track marshals you will ever see and good for him I say.

Runner up was Schumacher's surprise at being 3rd.

Fred's Take
The whole weekend was so good I'm still enjoying it and I'm not even going to try to sum it up.

Qualifying was definitely surprising but a non-fan wouldn't understand why.  Hell, this year, it's almost impossible for me to understand what's going on.  Eddie Jordan said he felt redundant because he can't really add any valuable analysis this season as it's so unpredictable.   Perhaps Eddie, but there is always entertainment value in your wardrobe.

The race itself was even better.   Lots of drama without too much DRS "fake" passing.   Some purists hate the DRS.  I used to, but if DRS gave a driver an unfair advantage, then the driver just passed would have the same advantage and regain the position on the next lap.  Yes, it does make drivers take less risks in other sections, but that's sort of a "men from the boys" thing.  The good ones still attempt it.

One additional bit of coolness.   I happened to come across the capture of the video for the on-board cameras-only feed.  I synchronized the start of the video displayed on a laptop, with the start of the race on television and it was an awesome geek way to watch the race. 

This was the most entertaining race so far in the season and they've all been pretty good.  The streak is broken but the race was all the better for it.   Alonso moves from 11th to 1st and Shumacher gets his first podium since coming back to F1.   Damn fine job all the way around.

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