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F1

Jenson Wins Again!
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By Carol Einarsson | 04/27/2009
Category: F1
 

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CHEERS to the cool flag display made up of other, smaller flags. What an excellent example of using what you have. They have wind, so they use it to make aerial art.

CHEERS to two BILLION dollars invested to get to the front row at Bahrain. Who says the economy is weak?

CHEERS to Peter Windsor in the shade, and still needing a drink! And then finding himself a visor, even.

CHEERS to a shout-out to the U.S. Navy!! No, we don't mind at all if you pick up the satellite. We appreciate all you do!

JEERS to me not recognizing Eric Clapton, but CHEERS to knowing Sir Jackie Stewart anywhere.

CHEERS to Robert Kubica who is, by Peter's account, such a cool guy he won't want to say hello, but at least he smiled for us.

CHEERS to learning a new word, even if I don't understand its application in that context. A "miasma" of people? Okay, we'll go with that.

JEERS to calling Ferrari cars "slow and fragile". I think that might be a little extreme.

CHEERS to Rubens having his initial on his ice bag, but they couldn't go for both initials? There must not be anyone else on the team whose name starts with an R.

CHEERS to "Row 5 is not a happy place." Nico and Kimi with their worst start of the season. No wonder they're not smiling.

CHEERS to the way we call it a "reconnaissance lap" in Formula One rather than merely a "pace lap". I imagine them out there exploring as though it's the first time they've driven the circuit.

CHEERS to Hamilton up to third by the first turn, but who lost car bits on that start?

CHEERS to landscaping at the track that looks so natural, it appears they merely paved a section through the sand. I'm not sure why, in the middle of the desert you'd make your pavement the same color as the sand, but it's kind of cool.

CHEERS to the way all the crew is standing in formation and waiting for the incoming car. Don't suppose anyone could ever miss a pit box that way.

CHEERS to "It's one thing to have KERS; it's another to use it intelligently." I suppose you could make that argument with any tool. "It's one thing to have a hammer; it's another to use it intelligently."

CHEERS to Barrichello's pass of Timo Glock! The two-car "packs", if you will, are like mini races all over the track.

JEERS to putting my friend Kimi on used tires! We're reduced to that, now??

CHEERS to "You mean the KERS isn't working very well?" You don't say.

CHEERS to telling the driver whom he's racing for a podium. On the one hand, that's great to know; on the other, shouldn't he just be trying to win?

CHEERS to Jenson Button's dad kissing the top of someone's head. How cute was that!

CHEERS to starting talks again with the folks in Canada, and perhaps Montreal will regain a spot in the schedule. Now if we could get them to come just a little further south...

JEERS to the producer picking the wrong pit, but CHEERS to showing me it's more than the driver that needs to find the right pit.

CHEERS to Hobbs' impression of Jarno Trulli's guys telling him how he must go faster! I'm amused enough by his regular accent, but when he impersonates other accents he actually gets funnier!

CHEERS to "You can bet he's kicking butt behind closed doors." Well, it is F1, after all. Everything goes on behind closed doors.

CHEERS to the "old" Kimi coming back!! Where's he been?

JEERS to "He had a bit of brain fade or brake failure... or both." Now that's not a good combination to have in a race car!

CHEERS to the Formula One version of the pass in the grass, but it's the Bahrainian pass in the sand!

CHEERS to whichever commentator that was that has a cartoon Muttley laugh. Was that Matchett?

CHEERS to calling Timo, "Glocky", and making Matchett laugh a second time!

CHEERS to Jenson Button with his third win of the season. And no wreck, no rain, no safety car!

CHEERS to advising your driver to pick up as much crap off the track as he can to make his car heavier on the post-race weigh-in. And CHEERS to the amount of debris stuck to his tires when he did arrive at the scrutineering garage.

CHEERS to Ross Braun accepting congratulations in his typical "over the top" way. And we mean that in a Kimi Raikkonen "over the top" kinda way.

JEERS to no champagne sprayed, but instead, a "fuzzy fruit juice". If I'm not mistaken, when you have fruit juice that's fuzzy, it's probably too late to be calling it fruit juice, and about time to call it a science experiment found in the back of the fridge.

And finally,

CHEERS to Bob Varsha pointing out that as soon as the "have not" teams first saw the diffusers on the cars of the "haves", they should have started work on building their own so that if the FIA ruled them legal, they'd be ready to change over their cars immediately. But now that they've waited to begin work on their own new design, they're that much further behind. That seems so amateur.

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Comments:
rdfox
04/27/2009 8:08 am (1)
Got a few comments on yours first this week, Carol...

"CHEERS to a shout-out to the U.S. Navy!! No, we don't mind at all if you pick up the satellite. We appreciate all you do!"
Darn right! I figure that, if the services are pirating the satellite feeds for the cable networks, that's just fine with me--they make enough sacrifices that they deserve a little bit of home, preferably for free. (Irony: the Navy started putting stabilized satellite dishes on their ships in the early 90s so that they could pirate CNN, to help keep the captain informed as to the world situation faster than military intelligence agencies could. It was only AFTER doing so that people realized they could also pirate "entertainment" channels for the ship's internal cable network... at least, officially. From what I hear, it took about five minutes from the time the first ship with one left port before the crew had added ESPN and Playboy Channel to CNN...)

"CHEERS to the way we call it a "reconnaissance lap" in Formula One rather than merely a "pace lap". I imagine them out there exploring as though it's the first time they've driven the circuit."
Well, since it's not behind the safety car, it's not really a "pace lap," though the rules prohibit passing during it. In the "old days," they would set up a "false grid" about a hundred yards back from the true starting grid and just have the cars roll forward to it; the reconnaissance lap was added after some nasty wrecks caused by drivers not knowing the conditions further down the circuit (back in the days when Spa was eight miles long, and they used the 14-mile Nurburgring Nordschlieffe circuit). (To see how the "false grid" concept worked, check out John Frankenheimer's movie "Grand Prix," which, while a pretty lousy movie, is some of the best "race car pornography" ever made--it was done with the level of cooperation that NASCAR did for "Days of Thunder," with camera cars in the European races of the 1966 F1 season, special track sessions at the race weekends for filming, and even Enzo Ferrari giving Frankenheimer full access to the factory and team for filming. The big difference is that he didn't "Hollywood" it up like DoT did--even the scenes staged for the movie were things that had really happened in F1 in the past. The DVD release includes a behind-the-scenes documentary done by Speedvision when they sponsored the restoration of the film to air as their last program ever before becoming Speed Channel.)

"CHEERS to landscaping at the track that looks so natural, it appears they merely paved a section through the sand. I'm not sure why, in the middle of the desert you'd make your pavement the same color as the sand, but it's kind of cool."
Natural-terrain road courses, the kind that just follow the contours of the land, are always the best ones--not only do they tend to be challenging *and* fast at the same time, they also have the feel that you're "going somewhere" instead of just circling around in town. The classic example, of course, is the Nurburgring Nordschleife that winds around a mountain, but some examples that may be more familiar would be Watkins Glen, Sears Point, and Laguna Seca.
As for the color of the asphalt... maybe it's because there's a lot of sand in the aggregate, like at Darlington? I wouldn't know any other reason...

"CHEERS to the way all the crew is standing in formation and waiting for the incoming car. Don't suppose anyone could ever miss a pit box that way."
Related: CHEERS to the men with the biggest "attachments" of anyone in motorsports, the F1 pit crews' front jackmen. Can you imagine being told for the first time that your job is to stand directly in front of the pit box with the car coming in at sixty miles an hour until it's about twenty feet away from you, and assume it *will* stop, so that you can operate the jack the instant you feel the car's nose hit it? Yikes!

"JEERS to putting my friend Kimi on used tires! We're reduced to that, now??"
Well, while I didn't hear any specific details, I suspect the "used" tyres were ones that he'd used for two or three hot laps in the late phases of qualifying--it's like sending him out on a set of scuffs instead of stickers. (Which has me wondering... if teams are worried that the softer tyres might not last adequately, why not pull the old NASCAR trick of scuffing a set or two in practice and qualifying, just enough to put them through a heat cycle and harden them up a little?)

"CHEERS to the "old" Kimi coming back!! Where's he been?"
Very good question. Even when running in the back, Massa (and, before Kimi was there, Michael Schumacher) will still drive like he's having the time of his life out there. Kimi's seemed like he didn't really want to be in the car since early last season; it's good to see him actually looking motivated again. Maybe it's because The Big Boss was there?

"CHEERS to Bob Varsha pointing out that as soon as the "have not" teams first saw the diffusers on the cars of the "haves", they should have started work on building their own so that if the FIA ruled them legal, they'd be ready to change over their cars immediately. But now that they've waited to begin work on their own new design, they're that much further behind. That seems so amateur."
In their defense, several of the teams, including McLaren and Renault, apparently *were* doing just that, since they were able to bring early "interim" versions of the super-diffusers to the track in China last week. Just to play "devil's advocate" for the other teams, it's possible that they're waiting until the scheduled upgrade cycle in Spain in two weeks, so that they can get a little more development work done on their designs *and* save the cost of air-freighting them to the other side of the globe, instead just sending them on the trucks that haul the cars around Europe--although F1 cars really are completely different every race, the biggest changes always happen at the first race back in Europe, simply because, while FOM (Bernie) will pay to fly the cars to the races outside of Europe, they *won't* pay to shuttle them back and forth between the European factories and those racetracks after each race; if you've got several in a row, like we did to open this season, FOM only pays the freight out from Europe once, and to ferry everything from one track to another.
I fully expect that, with the possible exception of the Red Bull/Toro Rosso (the need to integrate the new diffuser with the radically different aero at the rear) and Force India (funding issues--reportedly, they had, prior to Bahrain, less than a million Euros in the bank) cars, *every* car on the grid in Barcelona will have the new super-diffuser, even if it's not yet fully integrated into the overall aero package. (Don't be *too* fooled by the ban on testing during the season... while teams can't test their *current* cars on any tracks during the season, there's nothing that says they can't take their 2008 car and use *it* to test components. While the value of such testing on aero parts like the new diffuser is limited, it can still be done to stress-test the new design.)
The only real question is whether the teams will be able to get the new parts to pass the mandatory FIA crash tests in time, since the super-diffuser is actually a clever design of the mandatory rear-end crash structure, which must pass a stringent impact test before being allowed on the track, to make sure it'll adequately protect the driver if he backs it into a fence at full speed.

Now, a few of my own...

CHEERS to a race held at a time of day where I just have to set my alarm to make sure I can see it! While I may not be a morning person (given my druthers, I'd rather work from noon to 8PM, getting up at about 10AM after going to bed at two in the morning, thanks), it's a whole heck of a lot easier for me to get up at 6 or 7 to catch the race than it is to stay up until five in the morning! Racing is always better live than it is on tape, after all.

JEERS to Speed having not scheduled a replay this week, since the West Coast market skews more towards open-wheel racing than the East Coast market, and for them, the race started a bit after five in the morning. I understand that they had contractual commitments to MotoGP, but why not run the replay immediately after Wind Tunnel, for example? Even a midnight start for the replay would have been good for getting those in the Pacific time zone...

CHEERS to Toyota--a decade of work, about four billion dollars (the realistic budget for the team's about $400 million a year, the largest in the paddock by a healthy amount), and years of watching the rolling billboards that proudly carry your company logo fighting hard to avoid last-place finishes in front of tens of millions of people worldwide, and now you're FINALLY getting somewhere with it--just at a moment when the benefits aren't a moderate bump to the bottom line; at this point, winning on Sunday and selling on Monday may make the difference between bankruptcy and profitability! (Toyota's not in dire straits yet, but they're posting losses for the first time *ever*, thanks to economic conditions...)

CHEERS to only one retirement--due to a loss of oil pressure--at a circuit noted as being very hard on engines, tires, and drivers! Reliability is always good, and the more people on the track at the checkers, the better. Double CHEERS because it means that nobody took any scary hits, unlike ANOTHER race held the same day... but that's a comment for tomorrow!

CHEERS, once again, to how thoroughly shuffled the F1 field is now. While you can't exactly call the season to this point "unpredictable," unless you mean regarding pre-season predictions, it seems like now, everyone has a genuine shot at scoring points every race. I was discussing it with the friend who got me into F1 just the other day, and we agreed--after so many years of seeing the upper half of the race results dominated by single-digit car numbers, it feels simply surreal to look and see the number of "big" numbers in the points each week this year! (For example, the points-paying positions this race went to car numbers 22, 15, 9, 1, 23, 4, 10, and 7, in that order. At the same race last year, the numbers were 2, 1, 4, 3, 23, 11, 10, 7, and the 23 is only because of McLaren's exclusion from the 2007 championship following the spying scandal--otherwise, it would have been 2, 1, 6, 5, 4, 11, 10, 7.) Competitiveness. Don't you love it?
Greg in Dallas
04/27/2009 1:02 pm (2)
@rdfox / re: start times,

Best of both worlds: set your DVR to record the race, wake up a half-hour into it, and you'll get to feel like you're watching live, and still get to skip the commercials. :)
possum
04/27/2009 1:49 pm (3)
Hi Carol,

You wrote: "JEERS to putting my friend Kimi on used tires! We're reduced to that, now?? "

I'm going to guess that those were what the NASCAR world calls "scuffs".

And you wrote: "JEERS to no champagne sprayed, but instead, a "fuzzy fruit juice"."

Fuzzy? Or Fizzy? In the UK, "fizzy" is the adjective for any kind of carbonated beverage - fizzy orange juice means orange soda.

All in all, not a bad race, but you have to admit that it's hard to be as entertaining as F1 in the rain.

John
Carol
04/27/2009 2:17 pm (4)
I don't think they were "scuffs" that they put on Kimi's car because the commentators were wondering if they were simply out of tires in the garage, and I don't think they'd have wondered that if this was the plan all the while. They weren't described as scuffs or as any kind of otherwise-new tires that had been prepped for this situation, but rather, as simply "used" as though there weren't another option.

And "fizzy" would make more sense, wouldn't it? I just replayed it and he most definitely said "fuzzy".

C
jim88
04/27/2009 4:43 pm (5)
It would be my Guess that in Bahrain it would be against their Religeon to drink or display anything with alcohol in it.

CHEERS to teams other than those Red Cars finally getting their due in the Media unlike the last 8 years or so [unless they just wrecked]

But at the same time CHEERS to those same RED CARs for showing some life.

JEERS to my brain. Just found out I deposited a check stub [that looked like a check] through the bank ATM instead of the actual check. So I'm heading back to the bank in 30 minutes.

Jim @ Home
Cat
04/27/2009 5:28 pm (6)
I heard Fuzzy. Glad it wasn't just me.
Carol
04/28/2009 12:42 am (7)
I figured it out (I think). Maybe he meant it was juice from a fuzzy fruit! It's the FRUIT that is fuzzy, not the juice! Just a thought.

C
Carol
04/28/2009 2:38 am (8)
Organisers have created the special non-alcoholic drink for the podium celebrations which have been altered to respect the culture and traditions of the Gulf state. Warrd is a mixture of locally grown fruit - pomegranate and trinj [a kind of bitter orange] - combined with rosewater to produce an aromatic juice.

Pomegranate isn't fuzzy, and if something is compared to an orange, I doubt it is fuzzy either. So much for the theory of fuzzy fruit.

C
possum
04/28/2009 3:07 pm (9)
@Carol:

I got curious about this...seems like the quote you give originated with the BBC in 2004, and has been repeated by a bunch of other folk right up to the current day, unchanged.

Anyway, apparently the right name for the stuff is "

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