jump to navigation

Was it worth it? April 22, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

20120422-221154.jpg

You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t blogged or tweeted much about Bahrain, this is because I am not a political person! I feel for human suffering of course but I don’t understand the complexities of the political situation there so don’t feel qualified to pass judgement on what is going on. I was however concerned for all the personnel who would be in Bahrain and their personal safety so I am now relieved it is over.

There were a few worrying moments over the course of the weekend and I think we were all shocked to hear of the couple of Force India guys who had to go home. What was more shocking though was to hear of the protestor who died over the weekend!

I don’t want to put a dampener on the race or anything but now the race is completed though I’m left wondering if it was all worth it? I’m sure many fans will have enjoyed the race and for Vettel and Red Bull some valuable points were won. I take nothing away from these guys, I know they deserve these points and worked hard for them but was it worth the worry and anguish of family members? Was it worth the danger these personnel were in? Was it worth the panic that the Force India guys must have gone through? Was it worth a life? I can’t answer these questions, I’m just an outsider looking in but I can’t help but wonder!

20120422-221519.jpg

Follow me on twitter @NicF1Fan

Information overload March 17, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

20120317-171904.jpg

It’s the first race of the F1 season, I dutifully got up at 5am to watch the Sky F1 coverage then tuned in again at 1pm for the BBC F1 coverage.

Normally on a race weekend I am quite an active tweeter and enjoy conversations with people about the races but today I felt like my brain was getting well and truly boggled! I wondered why? Why was this different to the other qualifying sessions I have tweeted through? Have I really aged that much over the winter that I can’t handle it? I can only put it down to one thing – information overload and I blame 3 things for this!

20120317-172133.jpg
1. Twitter – Last year I had a different twitter account and on that account I didn’t follow very many people and had a smaller group of people I talked to, as a result it was easier to follow while still keeping up to date on the race. Since last year I changed my account and now follow nearly 700 people, as you can imagine this now makes my timeline pretty full. I was still trying to follow my twitter account in the way I did the old account ie reading every tweet but I soon discovered this is not possible. I also found that when I tweet things now I have a lot more people who respond, which is fantastic and I love that but can also be distracting.

20120317-172336.jpg
2. The amount of ipad F1 apps I have – I will admit I barely looked at the apps I have this morning but I have numerous ones I could refer to and it was playing on my mind during qualifying, wondering what these apps had to offer. There would be no way I could have followed the apps, Twitter and the race so this weekend the apps are getting ignored.

20120317-172455.jpg
3. The Sky F1 style of coverage itself – This is not a criticism but the new Sky F1 coverage is much more technical than the BBC coverage. Anyone who follows me will know that I love the BBC coverage but even I find they do ‘dumb down’ F1 too much sometimes. Sky cannot be accused of this and this will take a bit of getting used to! I don’t really have a technical mind, unfortunately, and this, combined with the fact that it was a 5am start, made it a bit hard for me to follow everything that was being covered! I wonder if I might find this easier at races which are held later in the day? At the moment Virgin TV have not got the red button facilities up and running, in some ways I’m glad because it will mean even more information when they do! I definitely felt that the BBC coverage is more designed for the masses wheras the Sky coverage is aimed at the crazed F1 fan. Where I would call myself a crazed F1 fan, at 5am in the morning it was a little too much for me. (Oh and I know you were excited but did you have to shout quite that loud Crofty? I went back to bed with a headache after it.)

So what can I do to stop feeling this overloaded during the race tomorrow and even at the subsequent races? My style of following twitter will have to change, I’m afraid I won’t be able to read every tweet but I’ll do my best to find the edited highlights! The apps will have to wait until a later race to be used, or maybe I will peruse them after the race but during the race, this weekend anyway – no way. As for the Sky coverage, there is not a lot I can do about that other than try to have an early night and pick up as much as I can.

So tomorrow, during the race if I suddenly go quiet, spare a thought for me as my brain may have exploded!

20120317-172643.jpg

Follow me on Twitter @NicF1Fan

Why do people always say that? March 6, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

20120307-144655.jpg

I was in hospital last week for a small operation which involved a General Anaesthetic. I had been told that I had to be in the hospital at 7.30am even though my operation wasn’t until the afternoon and that I would be kept in overnight so I did what any self respecting F1 fan would do and took in a copy of F1 racing magazine and a copy of Autosports magazine to keep me entertained.

Nothing unusual there you may be thinking but I am female and this seems to make a difference to people. I am used to the producing of these magazines causing a few raised eyebrows but the comments people make still astonish me and it was brought to my attention again on that hospital ward. Comments of ‘what on earth is that you are looking at?’ and ‘you’re not a car fan are you?’ are bad enough but the one that really gets on my wick is the ‘I don’t know how you can watch that racing, all it is is cars going round and round in circles!’ comment. It makes me so mad.

Generally the people who make these comments know nothing about F1 and have never actually tried to watch a race. These people have seen one or two laps around about the middle of the race (you know that bit where there is a little bit of a lull with not much happening) and they have made a snap decision on the sport based on those 5 minutes or so. They then feel, having made this snap decision, that they can make comments on the sport in an educated manner. I’m afraid not!

I am not a fan of football but I have watched many full matches (and I even understand the offside rule) but I would never criticise someone who wanted to watch a match, I don’t like skiing due to Ski Sunday being inflicted on me for many years by my sister and mum but if anyone chooses to watch it I am not offended – feel free. Something about a woman watching a motorsport though really seems to offend people and I cannot for the life of me understand why!

As for cars just going round and round in circles, well yes there is an element of that, but there is so much more going on that, obviously to the untrained eye, seems to go unnoticed. The strategies involved, the timings on when to make the perfect move, the team orders (unpopular as they are), the messages coming back and forwards between team and driver, the pitstops and the battles within battles going on all over the racetrack are what make F1 and many other motorsports great! I understand that if you have only ever watched a dull 2 laps of a race you will not have seen all of these aspects but if you have only seen a dull 2 laps of a race then don’t make a judgement on it! There are millions of F1 fans worldwide, do you really think we would all watch race after race if it was really just all ‘cars going round and round in circles’?

I am an F1 fan, I am female and I am proud of it, if you want to know more about the sport ask me -I’m happy to answer but please don’t say those words again!

Follow me on Twitter @NicF1Fan

20120320-221227.jpg

F1 Drivers on Twitter February 13, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
Tags: , ,
2 comments

20120213-142339.jpg

I am a fan of Twitter and I use it every day. Like most F1 fans I follow F1 drivers along with the teams and other F1 fans/bloggers but I started to wonder what we really get from following these drivers, especially with the speculation that Alonso may soon join Twitter and the recent addition of Kamui Kabayashi to the Twitter scene. For those who are unaware Alonso’s ex-wife recently tweeted that Alonso is a ‘future tweeter’, see tweet pictured above!

Drivers are bombarded with tweets from fans as soon as they are online! It must be challenging to read all the comments, not least of all when some of them are negative. I think we should bear in mind that these drivers are opening up their lives to us and always be respectful if we tweet them. Remember they don’t have to be on twitter and as fans we don’t have to follow them so respect should run both ways!

Below is a brief summary table of the drivers for this year and their respective Twitter accounts:

20120213-144405.jpg

As I have summarised in the table all of the drivers include personal and team based tweets on their accounts but it surprised me to see just how different each if the accounts are! Some are more serious and tweet mostly team stuff eg @BSenna and @NicoHulkenberg whereas others seem to do more personal tweets like @H_Kovalainen and @realTimoGlock.

Some drivers tweet quite regularly which gives us a sense that we know them, especially when they talk to each other (who can forget @JensonButton talking to @AussieGrit about eating fish sperm) or when the drivers talk to their wives or girlfriends (remember Heikki asking @KataHyde how to work the washing machine). These tweets give no end of amusement to the fans and show that, many times, these drivers are just like us!

The team based tweets seem a little different though, they seem more planned and deliberate, this is to be expected though since the teams do employ them so they would have to be careful not speak in any way that could be viewed as negative! The Caterham team do set an example though of a team who still keep up some ‘banter’ even on team tweets with Heikki often joking with @MikeGascoyne and @TonyFernandes.

My favourite tweets from the drivers though are the ones that include pictures! If a picture paints 1000 words then each picture is worth a lot of tweets and far more entertaining in most cases. They give us a glimpse through the window in to the drivers lives which previously we would never have had, before the invent of social media we would have to wait for articles to be written about drivers before we could see pictures of the them and these would be contrived, arranged pictures! Now through Social Media we see things as they happen, even down to what the driver is having for breakfast! Here are a few of the pictures that the drivers have posted over the last few weeks:

20120213-173237.jpg

20120213-173312.jpg

I feel we are very lucky these days with the kind of access we get to the drivers and their lives and we should never take it for granted. As for Alonso joining Twitter, I am very excited at the prospect of that happening and will be one of, no doubt, thousands who will follow him as soon as I can!

Follow me on Twitter @NicF1Fan

Best of both worlds February 9, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
8 comments

20120209-134730.jpg

20120209-134657.jpg

BBC F1 v Sky F1 has been a hotly debated subject of late with people on both sides of the fence. I have been keeping an open mind as much as I could but here are my observation, feel free to agree or disagree!

With the BBC we know what we are getting. I’m sure almost all F1 fans would agree that the BBC have produced some World Class F1 coverage over the last few years so we all know that their coverage will be outstanding! But they only have half of the races live and the rest as extended highlights!

How about Sky? Sky is an unknown commodity as far as F1 goes so it is harder to say. For certain they have invested a lot of money in the new channel and the introduction of the GP2/GP3 coverage is a huge addition but does the investment of money necessarily mean that it will be amazing coverage?

Firstly lets look at their choice of ‘the team’. I personally was slightly disappointed with their choice of commentators. I have never been a fan of Martin Brundle and find Crofty fairly average, I know at this point many people will probably shout at me in disagreement but as I said this is my opinion and I don’t make any apologies for it! The choice of Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz were inspired I feel, although Natalie does not have as much paddock experience as Lee McKenzie she is very enthusiastic which I think helps immensely! Ted is just a genius in my eyes so I am pleased for him to get a more prominent role. The rest I don’t know at all so can’t comment on but since I don’t know them it does make me nervous of what they will bring!

As I said earlier Sky have invested a lot of money in to their coverage but that won’t bring the rapport that the BBC currently have with the drivers/teams and I’m not talking about Martin on his gridwalk here I am talking about Jake, EJ and DC! The kind of relationship you can see between Jake and Jenson or EJ with Christian Horner or DC with Michael (tension is good as well) isn’t built up overnight, it takes time! Personally I love how EJ runs off to find some random person that might give them an insight or how he is quite happy to walk up and turn off someone at Red Bull’s ipod because the music is too loud, he may ramble sometimes but I can forgive him this for the pure entertainment he brings! Also lets not forget it was to Lee McKenzie that Lewis uttered the words “Maybe is because I iz black” and on many occasions has Vettel had a cheeky dig at Lee, she may not be top of everyone’s list but she does catch drivers on a back foot sometimes which is classic TV!

20120209-140121.jpg

I have (as of today) subscribed to Sky Sports in order to get the Sky F1 channel so I am not against Sky in any way. My finances allowed me to be in a position where I could purchase the channel and as a F1 fan I could not deny myself half the races. What do I expect from it? I expect excellent coverage, I expect a team working hard to bring us all aspects of F1 and I expect lots of adverts (although Sky have promised none during the race I can guarantee that pre and post race will be full of them).

Some say the BBC have sold out the fans by making this deal with Sky and maybe they have made a deal that is unpopular but at least F1 is still going to be on free TV in some format. If the viewing figures were to dip to an all time low then perhaps the BBC would give up on it altogether and then millions of occasional viewers will be lost along with those who simply cannot or will not get Sky! This is why I feel it is important to continue watching the BBC coverage, we certainly don’t want it to be lost forever and if viewing figures remain high then maybe the BBC will reconsider at the end of this contract with Sky.

So what are my plans for the races this season, simple, when a race is only on Sky then I will watch the races in full on Sky and then the extended highlights show on the BBC, when a race is on both then I will watch the BBC coverage but record the Sky coverage and watch the pre and post-race shows for all the best bits! That way I will be getting the best of both worlds!

20120209-162950.jpg

20120209-163053.jpg

Follow me on twitter @NicF1Fan

Testing times February 6, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Formula One.
Tags: ,
add a comment

20120206-140718.jpg

Winter testing time is finally upon us at Jerez and the excitement is building amongst the fans! What will the new cars reveal? Will the step noses be better than the conventional nose? How will the drivers get on in comparison with each other? How will the new drivers fare? And will the Pirelli tyres have the grip and wear that the teams want? So many questions so little time!

So what really will the teams get from this testing session? Data, data, data is the short answer! Teams will analyse every aspect of the car and drivers performance and will take all this analysis back to their respective offices and study it. They will also study their competitors in fine detail to see if there is anything on their car which is showing promise and also for anything they can challenge regarding legality. As always there have been a number of changes to the regulations this year and this gives the teams a chance to test their changes and try new innovations. For the drivers it gives them a chance to get back behind The wheel of a F1 car after the winter break and for many a chance to get a feel for the new car that they will be driving next year.

20120206-143923.jpg
What can we as F1 fans gain from the testing sessions then? Unfortunately not a lot that will be reliable, the teams will be running settings that we are not aware of so we won’t know what all the data means! It will not stop all the speculation on twitter when ‘driver X’ goes faster than ‘driver Y’ though. It does however give us the chance to see our favourite drivers out in a F1 car again and a chance to hear the magnificent noise of the engines screaming past! As can be seen in the running order above Marussia will not take part in the running at all, HRT will only take part in 2 days of testing and Mercedes in 3 days. Mercedes will be running last years car and will be using the testing session to evaluate the new Pirelli tyres. Interestingly Caterham are running their test driver one of the days with Jarno Trulli only having one day of testing compared to Heikki having 2 days!

So when will we know who is fastest? The only real answer to this is in Australia, during the first qualifying sessions! Everything up until then is just speculation but let’s face it, we all love a bit of speculation!

Running order via @F1Times

Follow me on twitter @NicF1Fan

20120206-151145.jpg

What’s in a nose? February 3, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

20120203-141435.jpg

20120203-141402.jpg

Today was the unveiling of the F2012 by Ferrari and the VJM05 by Force India both of which have the same ‘step’ or ‘Platypus’ noses as the Caterham so what is in a nose?

The FIA regulations have stipulated that the nose on the cars in 2012 can be no higher than 55cm from the ground, this is to help prevent a car flipping if in an accident and to give greater visibility to the drivers. With the drivers themselves having to fit in the car not far behind the nose this step concept seems to have been born!

So why doesn’t the McLaren have the step? According to an article written by @ScarbsF1 http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/launch-analysis-mclaren-mercedes-mp4-27/ which explains the technical specifications of the MP4-27 in more detail, the McLaren have a family history of low noses so much less alteration was needed.

Does this mean that McLaren has an advantage over the others? Only time, testing and racing will really answer that question. In my opinion though I don’t think there is any advantage! Any of the F1 teams have the opportunity to ‘copy’ innovations or existing parts from their competitors so would have been able to use the concepts from McLaren at any time however, so far, 3 teams have chosen to go with the step nose. After months of testing in a wind tunnel and simulations there must be some reason why this is the case and I think every F1 fan is now intrigued to see the results from testing and also what the other teams unveil! Personally I want to see what Red Bull (or should I say Adrian Newey) comes up with!

Does it matter then what the nose looks like? In an ideal world we would all like our teams to build cars that look nice at the same time as ‘going like stink’ and maybe McLaren are the team, so far, that have managed this but given a choice between a pretty car or one that is going to go faster, as a F1 fan, I would want the faster car! If this style of nose helps Ferrari, Force India and Caterham to improve their chances within the race then ‘bring on the ugly noses’ is what I say!

So what is in a nose? McLaren have gone for an aesthetically pleasing nose whereas Ferrari, Force India and Caterham have chosen the ‘uglier’ option, which is right? Only time will tell!

20120203-141509.jpg

Reference and pictures via @ScarbsF1

Follow me on twitter @nicf1fan

The launching of a F1 car February 2, 2012

Posted by nicf1fan in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

20120202-153333.jpg

I have recently started using Twitter and have discovered a whole F1 world which I never knew existed. Drivers and Teams have all of a sudden become more accessible and I am now aware of aspects of the F1 world which I was mostly unaware of before, this includes the launching of an F1 car!

As a relative novice to F1 car launches (I knew they happened but hadn’t seen one as it happened) I was expecting big things when McLaren launched the MP4-27 yesterday. I’m afraid I was very disappointed! There was a lot of hype amongst the twitter based fans but it was little more than the lifting of a cloth and a couple of interviews! Even the car, to a novice like me, looked no different to last years.

I started to wonder whether this would be the case for the other car launches as well so started to look forward to the Ferrari launch on Friday only to find out today that it is cancelled due to the bad weather in Maranello. While I was disappointed regarding this I was greatly dismayed at the reaction of many McLaren fans! While gloating at the so called marvels of the McLaren launch they laughed and remarked ‘Fail’ at Ferrari for being unable to do their scheduled launch. This angered me, do they expect Ferrari to continue with the press conference and put many journalists and staff in danger? Powerful as Ferrari are, they are unable to control the weather and I totally respect the decision they have made to cancel the launch!

I would like to say that it is a small minority of fans who have reacted this way and most have been respectful of the decision Ferrari have made. I have many friends who support different F1 teams and we can have intelligent, respectful conversations without being derogatory towards each other. To the small minority who seem incapable of doing this, I am afraid you disappoint me!

Cartoon via @grandprixtoons

Ferrari picture via @InsideFerrari

Follow me on twitter @NicF1Fan

20120202-145851.jpg