The Drood Report

Nick Fry is a jerk.

Spanish Grand Prix Preview

We’re off to Barcelona. Hu-bloody-rah. I hate that circuit. It’s funny, in Formula One racing games over the years, going all the way back to the original F1GP on the Amiga, the one circuit I can never remember is Barcelona. It’s just a nothing circuit. The racing is almost universally horrendous. In short, after three good races, I fully expect this weekend to be utter crap. PROVE ME WRONG!!!!

Top news is Super Aguri who are hanging by a thread. A THREAD I tell you! The team is hoping for a sudden hot cash injection so they can actually race this weekend. That is an extremely depressing situation. I remember the days when we had 34 cars fighting to make 26 slots on the grid. Now look at it. Aguri go, we’re down to 20. Now admittedly the sports golden era only had a grid around that size but still, it’s a depressing prospect. More cars on track means more action. Yes, it’s a simple equation, but it works for me.

Ferrari have figured in the leadup to the race, in that they’re the only team stirring anything up really. Firstly they’ve said they have no interest in signing Alonso. What cracked me up in the story was this quote.

“To line up a Raikkonen-Alonso double act would mean wanting to damage yourself.”

Lord knows seeing Ferrari win used to make me want to damage myself… Anyway:

“I want two equal drivers that work together”

What the hell do Ferrari know about having two equal drivers? For the decade Schumacher drove for them the other driver was contractually obligated to a subservient role every year. The team have only run two equal drivers once in the last 12 years. The fact is with Alonso and Raikkonen they WOULD have two equal drivers. Just like McLaren in 1988 with Prost and Senna. To imply that Kimi and Felipe are equal is a bit of a slap in the face for Raikkonen. Massa, I’m sure, will be in his now traditional subservient role come seasons end. After all he’ll have thrown away several more races by then and unloaded into his foot on a fair few occasions.

Next up from the Scarlet Menace is that they expect a fight in Spain. Well duh! Hardly surprising. No team has shown the desire to really dominate so far. That’s good for us though. Sensible money, however, would have to be on Raikkonen. However, the endless testing at Barcelona makes things a bit of a lottery. The circuit is ridiculously well known to the teams, so it’s not unthinkable that something wacky could happen up the front. You drive the same circuit hundreds of times, you’ve gotta learn something, right? That’s the theory anyway.

Ferrari’s vice president Piero Ferrari, who looks alarmingly like the old Commendatore, has said the FIA, should Max step down, needs a strong president. Something must have been lost in translation. What’s Italian for “Very pro-Ferrari president”? (Given when the sport was on the verge of breaking up the FIA plans involved building a new F1 with Ferrari at the center. So largely the same as the one we have now.) Piero has also said that the KERS being introduced next year (that’d be Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems fact fans) will only increase costs and not actually improve the racing.

Now he has a point, though I am actually giddy with excitement at KERS as it’s the first time I’ve found an F1 technology exciting since active suspension was around in my first season of viewing. Yes, I admit it, I’m a tech geek. I love racing. I am also a lover of tech, and KERS is fascinating to me. The potential to store energy and have a boost button brings to mind the old days of F1 when I first started watching. The thing is, there is a LOT of expense involved in implementing these systems. Not to mention there are two vastly different approaches to the technology. (One mechanical, one not.) Nobody is sure which will be the better solution, or even if there is an advantage with one or the other.

They make us spend time and money to design the KERS, for which we can’t evaluate the costs precisely because it’s a new technology.

At a time when the FIA are seemingly hellbent on cutting costs in the sport, it does seem rather hypocritical to bring in a new technology that is unproven and so new that the costs can’t be calculated until the money has actually been spent. Of course hypocrisy from the FIA is nothing new, but it’s just yet another ruling that makes one sit up and go “Huh?!” Great idea, but seems to go completely against the current “SAVE SAVE SAVE” ethos of the sport.

Force India are reiterating that they will achieve their goal this year. That being advancing to Q2 on a Saturday on merit. Not going to happen guys, sorry. It’d take a monstrous leap up the grid for that to happen, not to mention a fairly major stumble from a team or two. I do not believe for a second that even ONE Force India will make it to Q2 without something happening, whether it be a red flag, weather, mechanical issue. I have no doubt they WILL make it to Q2 this year. Well, Fisichella anyway. But it will NOT be because the car has been legitimately quicker than six others.

Bored with racing? How about some asinine bureaucracy? Always good to stir the blood.

The European Union is investigating shenanigans over the Valencia race coming up later this year. The most interesting/depressing is the noise level issue. The stupid red tape loving bureaucrat assholes are saying that the race could violate European law. Now don’t get me started on this noise issue. Like these whiny little maggots who move next door to Silverstone or Monza. Both are world famous tracks, with a history stretching back prior to World War II that even the most closeted non-race fan knows by name. Then what happens? People move next door to these MAJOR HISTORIC RACING VENUES, then bitch and moan at the local authorities because of the noise, and the circuits are forced to cut down on the number of races and institute all manner of other stupid measures, which leads one to ask WHY DID YOU MOVE RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO A RACETRACK THEN YOU CONTEMPTUOUS, MENTALLY DEFICIENT PARASITES IF THE NOISE WAS GOING TO BOTHER YOU?

Makes me so angry. Now fair enough, someone slaps down a racetrack next to your lovely new house, you have the right to complain. Any noise violations in Valencia… Well you just know the race is going to happen, no matter how many palms Bernie has to grease to make it so. Bernie has largely laughed in the face of the EU in the past, and I expect the giggling to continue. Gotta cash in on Alonsomania while it lasts don’t you! But honestly, you move next door to Silverstone, Monza… The correct course of action from officials, when Mr. and Mrs. Shagwit come to complain about the noise, is to say “You moved next door to a race track. Either admit to us, IN WRITING, that you are a stupid idiot who has no business being allowed to use the precious oxygen on this planet when you’re clearly just wasting it. Or if you’re not prepared to do that, then GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE!” That right there would kill 99.9% of these complaints stone dead. Of course nobody seems to care outside us racing fans. I wonder what the reaction would be if someone near Old Trafford complained about the crowd noise from Manchester United home games? Can you imagine the authorities saying “Sorry, you can only play 20 games a year here from now on.” Would never happen would it. “Old Trafford was there when you moved in. Shut up.” Double standards, the governmental currency of choice.

Anyway, moving on from that blood boiling situation, there isn’t much else to report right now. Then again it is only Wednesday. Perhaps something interesting will turn up after the Thursday press conference. I won’t hold my breath though. Those damn whiny Silverstone and Monza residents are using up all that oxygen AS WE SPEAK! BREATHE DEEP MY FRIENDS!


April 24, 2008 - Posted by | f1

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