Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Race Time Again

Hooray, the Formula 1 racing season is going again. The Australian GP was last night my time; previously it was one of the few F1 races held at a time convenient for me to watch it, but they moved the start from mid-afternoon to later in the day in order to accommodate European television. (Apparently, F1's owner wanted a night race, but the Australia organizers said they couldn't afford the massive lighting that would require.) A 10:30 PM start wasn't too bad here on the US west coast, and I did manage to stay awake to watch the whole race, including chaos near the end.

Things have changed considerably, with very different looking cars, the return of racing slick (instead of grooved) tires, a complicated power boost system, and a movable front wing after years of "no movable elements on the wings" being the rule. Some things haven't changed: there is a rules wrangle with some teams claiming that other teams are following the letter of the rules while evading their spirit and as such should be disqualified. (Reminds me of certain discussions over the Hugo Awards.) As always, the teams will adjust and do everything they can to wring more speed out of their vehicles.

Cheryl is the person who introduced me to Formula 1. The reason I like it -- and pay little attention to NASCAR or any other motor sports -- is that it is an engineering challenge as much as a racing one. It is not a sport where the vehicles are identical to each other, but a series where the teams are given a set of technical specifications and told to build cars within those specs, but are otherwise free to do what they want.

I will have to get the VCR -- which I haven't used since the F1 season ended -- working again, because I do not have a DVR and the next race (next weekend) rolls off as something like 1 AM my time, as they will be racing under the lights in Malaysia.
Tags: formula 1
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