Welcome to Bakajima, the Desert Island of Jordan F1.

A while ago Lukeh of Gridwalk Talk rehashed the concept of the BBC’s Desert Island Discs of music and gave it a F1 related spin.  He then asked us to respond to his question and here is my reply.

Desert Island Drivers

You can take 8 videos of classic races with you to watch (there is a TV built into a tree, of course. And yes, it has HD.)

You can take one Formula 1 personality with you to keep you company (no funny business, now.)

You can take one luxury Formula 1 car to… stare at I guess (aerodynamics works in sand and jungles, right?)

Fair rules, right? I won’t even take you away under race stewards review, or anything. Anyways I implore that you all take a good think about this and post below, let me know what your choices would be! Even better, if you have a blog why not blog about you choices and go into further detail? It’ll be a fabulous opportunity to get plenty of F1 bloggers involved and see what we come up with. I’m gonna come back with a new post in a few days with my choices as, quite frankly, I’m still enjoying that banana and in no state to go including my choices so suddenly. These things take thought and I don’t want to go getting black flagged for poor choices.

Now get your thinking caps on and let me know what would be on your Desert Island Drivers list!

Welcome to Jordan F1’s Desert Island of Bakajima  I know that the Letter “B” is beside the letter “N” on a normal “QWERTY” keyboard.  But “Bakajima” is no mistake.  It means “Fool’s Island” in Japanese and it is the southern-most island of the Atoll known as Bikini.  So when it comes to “Funny Business” you are a little late here….As an example we seem to get aurora borealis or St. Elmo’s Fire every night but without any need for the pre-conditions of those natural occurences being forecasted.  More strangely, there was no known occurences before 1946.  Funny Business indeed.  But that’s beside the point.

When I first thought about my idea of who/what would accompany me to this Desert Island a sacrificial thought entered my mind to drag along Pastor Maldonado with me as that way we would not crash into another else or the walls or curbs and generally not ruin anyone else’s Grand Prix.

However there also a dream F1 car on this Island, so what is to stop Maldonado from crashing the car into the tree that supports the T.V. toppling the tree over and causing the screen to shatter as it hits the only rock on the island?  After all, this is Maldonado we are talking about…..

So Maldonado may not be such a great idea.  As the personality invited has to be a F1 personality and no “funny business” is allowed I seem to be stuck.  Hmmmm, maybe I could drag the gal along but the way things are going at the moment It looks like I have to be involved in some way with F1……maybe I should drive an F1 car under an assumed name that the Americans can easily pronounce like Jord  Vill-neuf or Jord New-town ?

So my F1 Personality that I would being along would be  Gerhard Berger!  Oh the practical jokes we will pull on each other is just going to be insane…..

The dream F1 Car:

Since I would like some method of roaming on or around the island in question a F1 car that can double as a boat would be needed…. so:

Either the all-conquering Williams FW14B it is so omnipotent that I bet it can walk (well roll) on water…..

or

A Ferrari 126C as it handled like a boat.  Who knows, maybe it might even float?  Although I would strip the ballast weights and strap my scuba tanks to the sidepods – just in case it goes under faster than Villeneuve’s 1980 title hopes…..

Video clips of classic races:

And here are my eight classic F1 races to watch on the HD TV, as a bonus, I found clips of actual race footage on Youtube for seven of the eight races.  Please note that there is no way I can order these eight Grand Prix in any certainty. I am pretty sure that four of my classics are on every else’s classic list but here they are anyway:

1)  The closest F1 race ever. The 1971 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

2)  Spain 1981 at Jarama – The precursor to the Ultimate Trulli Train.   “They shall not pass Gilles – All four of them!”

3)  1995 Canadian Grand prix.  The #27 Ferrari wins again.  But who’s driving it?

4)  1981 Canadian Grand prix – The awesomeness of CBC coverage back in its heyday.  Jack and Jill went up the hill to race in Montreal. Jack got DNQ and Jill got third with no nose ….  really!  Take us away race commentator Jackie Stewart!

5) Monza 1973 – Stewart unlaps the field for the Championship.  I wish I could find video for this race, but after a pit stop that took a minute, Stewart came out in  20th place and a lap down and was able to finish back on the lead lap in fourth place to secure his 1973 Driver’s championship.  JYS considered this his greatest race.

6) 1979 French Grand Prix.  Arnoux and Villeneuve battles for 2nd.

7)  The Pastor Maldonado of his day shows his best piece of work – Jody Scheckter’s only lap of the 1973 British Grand Prix   

8)  The Scottish Devil at the Green Hell.  JYS’s  Driving demonstration at the 1968 Nuerburgring There’s a 4 minute gap to second place.  Enough said.

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….About that contest for unluckiest ever Dutch F1 driver…..

Greetings everyone!  First, my thanks to all that voted on my somewhat “mean” question on who do you think was the unluckiest Dutch F1 driver ever, and poor Jos “The Boss” Verstappen was the winner with surprisingly everyone else coming up tied in second with one vote each, including Ben Pon, who was not listed.

The reason for this silliness was that I have created a script for what I call a “Sidepodparodyfilm” and have sent it down to Rockall for approval.  I think I will use this as a “trailer” just to see what you guys think of a very minor sub-plot in the blog that still manages to have a couple of Giggles type links to various segments of the story in itself.  The winner of the contest would have had their name being added to the script.

Basically, the hero and heroine of the “movie” find a cursed artifact that is compared unfavourably by the hero to the legendary cursed ghost ship known as the “Flying Dutchman“.  In legend, the ship is supposed to attempt to round the Horn of Africa until the end of days and as such is an omen of doom.   (As an aside, I can not remember which one of those “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies used this as their basic sub-plot too.)  The Heroine, with her someone-inspired crush for underperforming Dutch F1 drivers declares her crush for Jos, believing him to be the fastest ever Dutchman in F1 (very possible) and hence worthy of the adjective “Flying” being added to his nationality.

See how unlucky Jos is?  Was not being Schuie’s teammate in Benetton bad enough?

Je cherche du Yaourt! I seek Yogurt! I seek Yoda!

And once again I am coming with an F1 related blog post for those wonderful people over at Sidepodcast, but this time I am going to spoof a very popular movie and alter it with a whole buch of racing (mostly F1) references.  But this time, I am going to need your help to determine a very small plot device that makes fun of teh F1 driver of your choice and connects back to the interests of the central character at the same time….

So who is the unluckiest Dutch F1 driver of all time?  I have made a poll for this, and you have four choices:

1)  Christijan Albers

2)  Robert Doornbos

3)  Jos Verstappen

4)  Other (please name)

For the fourth pick, please name a Dutch F1 driver.  I need a Dutch F1 driver for the joke to work.  (No, I will not accept Bertrand Baguette – he’s Belgian!)   

Here’s a link to the pole:   (If this pole does not work) please answer in the comments. )

Once I have my script worked out,  I will send it to Christine and mr. C  for their admusement.  Hopefully they will post it for all to see.

Come to Tundraland! We Have Marmots!, Otters!, Les Castors!, – The soon-to-be loaned Pandas!, a full TV Season of F1 Racing!.

 In F1 news, the big story during the offseason was that the BBC would only broadcast live 10 races for our friends in Sidepodcastland, with the other ten being broadcast via Sky Sports on some sort of premium charge.  Seeing how the local sports network – TSN uses the BBC’s coverage to broadcast F1 in Tundraland and the owners of Skysports also own America’s FoxSports network, I wondered how this decision would affect F1 broadcasting in Tundraland in 2012.

 It turns out not much!  To check the schedule, you can go to the TSN website..  TSN is still going to show both the Qualifying session and race session of each event, with the weirdest things occurring during the British and American Grand Prix – they are going to be on two separate channels! (TSN (1) and TSN2!)

 That the U.S. Grand Prix is on at 7:00 EST on TSN2 (hope you have a digital TV set) smacks to me of decision made by FoxSports to broadcast it live to those who will pay the special package to have it.  Of course, it is November so chances are TSN(1) just could be covering an unimportant Make-Beliefs Ice Hockey game….

 The British Grand Prix is also split, with the race itself on TSN2 live.  Not quite sure why this is the case as even with the Molson Indy in Toronto just being down the street from TSN’s headquarters they should be able to cover both events on the main channel.

 Finally, all of the sessions for the German and Hungarian Grand Prix will be broadcast live on TSN2.  For those that remember the U.S. Grand prix at Indy days, this too reminded me of the days where Foxsports broadcasted these events live for their viewers and then sold the tapes to TSN for later viewing.  

So what more can you ask for?  Visit Tundraland during the F1 season have access to see most of the F1 races live and your Saturday and Sunday afternoons are still availible for whatever else you want to do during the day….

 First interested party might get to set up shop for the duration of their visit to the Diefenbunker!  This Cold War Bunker was built to house the Canadian Government from Nuclear Attack.

Anything But Transparent

Ladies and Gentlemen, as part of Viva F1 blog’s swap, Under Pressure of Some Sort, is pleased to publish a blog from the lovely and talented Saltire of Viva F1.  I shall now leave you in her hands as I see the people in the back row getting already restless of my presence…

A long time ago in a country far away, (well France 2008, but that’s beside the point!) the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile decided that it’d be a good idea to be more transparent in the reporting of stewarding decisions affecting FIA accredited motorsports championships. Gone would be the permanent race stewards and in their place would be a panel of three stewards, including two international stewards and one a representative from the (ASN) National Sporting Authority of the host country.

At the time, the FIA noted in their In Focus magazine that “To improve transparency, a short CV of each steward will be posted on the FIA website before each Grand Prix. Following the race, a short written explanation of steward’s decisions will be published on the FIA website. This will supplement the formal steward’s decision which largely defines the breach of the rules. And where appropriate, additional film evidence that the public may not have seen but which was reviewed by the stewards, will be made available on both the FIA and FOM websites.” Funny then that 3 years later we have even less transparency than ever before with neither extracts of stewards decisions nor video clips being routinely provided.

Indeed, the recent Hungarian GP sees no penalties recorded on the FIA site (or at least the section the general public gets to see) even though Hamilton and Perez received drive through penalties. Let’s not blame Hungarian officials for failing to provide data to the FIA; not posting details of penalties is now the norm at most races – even the Technical Reports have gone AWOL, but don’t get me sidetracked onto that. So much for greater transparency.

1

 

For a sport which likes to pride itself as being at the cutting edge of technology, keeping fans in the dark even after a race has ended seems ludicrous and leads to potentially innacurate speculation; it doesn’t have to be like that, especially in an age of instant communication. The FIA’s Race Contol uses pioneering digital audio-matrix systems from German communications company Riedel to link real-time networks of audio, video and communications data. Racewatch software which integrates GPS positioning with video feed, live timing and tyre data can accurately pinpoint the location of any incident, the system is so sophisticated that it automatically flags up incidents (like setting fastest sector times under waved yellow flags) that would normally be difficult to spot by eye. Once a potential transgression has been noted, Race Control notifies the stewards who investigate and decide if penalties are warranted.

“Then we started to analyse the data to pick out incidents, The software creates alerts and that automatically takes the Riedel technicians to the right cameras, instead of them having to find them, as used to happen. Within a few seconds Charlie [Whiting] can be looking at the incident: either for safety purposes or to refer it to the stewards. It is automated, using the data available and algorithms based on the interactions in that data.”

 
Gareth Griffith, Racewatch

For all the advanced technology we have we still have to wait occasionally until after a race to find out if a penalty has been given; that’s not ideal but sometimes complicated incidents will need input from those involved. Late decisions that influence the provisional race result can lead to resentment amongst fans who perceive favouritism (or victimisation) of a team or driver in a penalty decision. I’m sure we’d all accept that we need the right decision rather than a timely decision (ideally both timely and accurate) and systems like Racewatch help to achieve the right balance. Whilst automated systems ensure fairness is applied to most situations it’s still down to human input to trigger some investigations, as Gareth Griffith points out, “It is still Charlie’s [Race Director Charlie Whiting] decision whether to refer incidents to the Stewards and their decision as to whether the driver is penalised or not.”

Would it be better to have a panel of permanent stewards than the “open-to-interpretation-on-the-day” decisions we have with race by race stewards? I’d argue that it would; whilst most decisions will be cut and dry and it’s a simple yes he did – gets penalty situation, sometimes it needs that element of experience to achieve consistency. If you’ve dealt with a similar type of incident before and know that the outcome was a “drive through penalty” then next time it should be the same, that can only come with the internal consistency a permanent panel of stewards can provide. Only then can you truthfully answer the question “Is it coz I is black” with the retort “No, it’s because you broke a rule”.

Additional reading:
March 2006 Issue, FIA Automotive
August 2011 Issue, FIA IN Motion Magazine

Image credit: FIA In Motion, August 2011 issue.

Total Is Now Officially My Hero!

Interesting. The wonderful people at Sidepodcast do not have a Thursday Thought for December 9th, 2010. In their defence I was not totally awake enough to figure out Alex’s Daily Discussion and read it the way I was taught in a North American school, that is September twelfth…whoops! So with a sip of Java I am now capable of given you my Thursday Thought, which again centres of that lovely fiasco known as Lotus.

Total© is now totally my hero. How so ? Well, starting next year, we finally get to see the true value of sponsorship to F1. Okay, but I am not really known for being influenced on advertising in F1, but starting next year, one sponsor becomes critical to the saga that is Louts Renault, and its bottom line should increase greatly from the amount of sponsorship it will get next year. Still do not follow me well, which team am I rooting for ?

1) Go Lotus Go!

2) Er, Go Lotus-Renault Go!..

3) Go Black and Gold Lotus ?

So far I have made three statements of fact that the normal F1 fans chants while wishing his/her team to do well. Okay. I am rooting for the non-red highlighted Lotus. Not from any fashion sense on my part – My own idea to fix up this Lotus mess completely would be for Tony to use a “Malaysian Racing” Green with a “Malaysian Racing” Yellow Stripe and “Malaysian Racing” Red Highlights. By “Malaysian Racing” normal English speakers would say “Fluorescent.” Well, these fluorescent colours look awesome on bikinis right ? Sadly, while I seem to be correct in saying that every team its now planning to look alike I appear to be wrong in the colour scheme. I thought if would be British Racing Green with Yellow Racing Stripes instead of Black with Gold.

But the use of red highlights (on the old Renault-chassis’ed) on one car seems to be the only then that can quickly distiches it from the non-red highlighted car (Tony’s Lotus) other car. But it is too long to say The non-red highlighted Lotus so we might have to refer to it by the sponsor that is typed into its highlight.

That Sponsor is Total©, the French oil company, and at last we now have a way to quickly tell apart the two Lotuses.

The Total© car vs. The non-Total car. Well can now tell the Lotus apart! Let’s hear it for sponsorship!

But really, how else can you quickly tell them apart and refer to them over a TV set ?

I plan to invest in Total© shares now… They can only go up during the Grand Prix season….

As to the next Black and Gold car ? Well, I was planning to have a pigeon pie the other day when it flew to a stool and informed me that Walter Wolf is planning to buy Williams lock stock and barrel.  😛

Exaggerating vs. Lying in F1

JORDAN F1 DRIVER POLICIES:

1)      I expect a leader of a race, who has everything to lose, to complain about lousy conditions (track, weather, or otherwise) to attempt to win a shortened race. 

Otherwise, there is the possibility of the leader losing everything by crashing into a backmarker, thus having the pyrrhic victory that he is honest (Well, what do you know, an honest F1 driver!)  Oh hi Schuie! Out from jail from the “Rear-End Assault” on Coulthard at Spa?  

2)  I expect everyone from 2nd place down to 11th place below  to be saying that track / weather / or otherwise conditions are awesome in the hopes that cars in front of the driver in question shall crash out due to the said same conditions.

This is called gamesmanship.  If an F1 fan can figure this out, I am pretty sure the people at race control can too.

3)  The further down the field would be the most unbiased reporting about poor weather / track and other conditions.  They have very little chance of gaining points and given field spread, may encounter conditions to be similiar to the very front of the grid.

4)  Vettel was winning the race before the time of this grenading engine, so he does fall under condition #1, with  the poor condition being the lack of daylight.  Following  drivers might have a slight advantage behind Vettel as in these conditions ithey can see that red light on the back of each F1 car.  While I doubt that F1 drivers have that kind of vision and brain power to  figure out  which way the car is turning just from the rear red light  (Using your hand as a rear light Hold out your hand and pivot it, the outside  of the turn is the first part of the hand that is blocked by the remaining hand/light ) the disappearance of the red rear light would clue the drivers behind to at least brake and turn the steering wheel.  Vettel ==>  leading might not even have that chance.  Obviously his short term memory is just awesome.  He might even moonlight at Vegas counting cards at the high-rollers poker table…..(But he’s not a McLaren Driver….)

 Sorry but I could not find a better way of connecting Korea 2010 to Australia 2009, when many people where rightfully hanging Hamilton for agreeing to lie with his team about Trulli passing him under the yellow Safety Car period, but let us backtrack this to what actually casued the Yellow in the first place….

First I remember this race well, as it was quite a horror movie to Jordan F1 on Fantasy Racers at the time..  You see,  I had both Vettel and Kubica on my team.  To compound this folly, I booted Vettel off after the crash between Kubica and Vettel.  Of course there was carbon bits everywhere and a full course yellow to clear up this mess.  In the process Trulli had some off -track trip somewhere in a differnt time zone and Hamilton past him.  Trulli managed to get back on track only losing the one place to Hamilton.

So far everything is fine (Other than I am exhausting my language at Vettel, Kubica and Trulli) but whatever the reason McLaren ordered Hamilton to let Trulli pass Hamilton and regain the lost position.  I can only assume that Spy-gate scared McLaren silly into this mess, as it completely defies all attempts at explanation of my part, but as a Trulli fan, If I get a free Horse, as long as the horse is comfortable with the bit between its teeth I am going make a lot of profit at the local glue factory….. (that did not come out right…I meant to to say that there is going to be a run of material at the violin bow string factory!) 

Then at the end of the race we have McLaren lying to the stewards that Trulli passed during the yellow, and the FIA hit Trulli with a 25 second penalty which cost Trulli a 3rd place finish.

Now back to Korea, we see teams trying to influence the outcome of a race on the basis of where they currently are on the gird.  And it is done in a transparent manor, so you can not call it lying as it is above board.  Exaggerating, is the only thing, if anything, that  they are guilty of.

Now McLaren vs. Trulli. 

1) Will lie to race control to both cover ineptness  (Ooops, They were perfectly within their rights to keep that lost position) and steal points off you.  (Lewis: slow down to a crawl and let Trulli overshoot you)  (To Race Control:  See? Trulli past us under a Safety car!)

2) Then they will lie to cover the radio conversations and telemetry data that do not jive with what McLaren are saying to the FIA.

3) Then they persist with this lie until punished.

 And all McLaren had to do was tell Race Control that Trulli went off under the yellow and Hamilton was able to get by. What else could McLaren do ?  Stop and let Trulli maintain his position?  What happens if Trulli crashed a la di Resta ?  No McLaren had this one right until they shot themselves in the foot. They compounded this folly by lying and poor Trulli was victumized 25 seconds for something he did not do.  And what happend to trulli was just not cricket.