Just finished watching the Gran Premio de Espana on my PVR.
The PVR. Surely the greatest invention of all time. Not only can I still get up at the crack of noon and watch the race as if it were live, but I haven't seen a TV commercial since I got this thing.
"We'll be right back after this brea..." clickclickclick fastforwardfastforwardfastforward...
I can watch a baseball game in about 20 minutes.
Odd that today's telecast on TSN started with the American Speed channel feed, but switched part-way through with no explanation to the BBC with Martin Brundle, David Coulthard et al.
Wonder what was up with that?
Must say I prefer the Beeb.
Now, I like wheel-to-wheel competition as well - maybe better - than the next guy.
That said, it's a huge shame that it seems the only way to make that happen these days in Formula One is to develop tires which are deliberately designed to go away after just a few laps, so the race result is as much a product of behind-the-pit-wall strategy as between the drivers on the track.
Likewise the KERS - Kinetic Energy Recovery System - and DRS - Drag Reduction System, devices which alter the performance of the cars, but only under certain conditions.
A couple of instances - Nick Heidfeld today, Mark Webber in China - have also suggested that qualifying is no longer as important as it once was.
Historically, pole position in Spain meant victory; Webber was on pole today, but lost two places at the start and was never really in contention.
He is either unlucky - he probably would have won the championship last year if his teammate and eventual champion Sebastian Vettel hadn't run him off the road in Turkey - or maybe he just doesn't have the consistency that Vettel has.
Or perhaps Webber has to learn some drag racing tricks.
In any event, Vettel seemed doomed today as Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren-Mercedes had him in his sights, less than a second behind with a dozen laps to go. Vettel did not appear to have a functioning KERS system - an extra 80 or so horsepower down the straights - and unless he was lapping a slower car, he could also not use the DRS, which Hamilton could, and did.
Yet the young German kept (a) his amazing cool, (b) Hamilton at bay, (c) his now seemingly unassailable lead in the championship.
Hamilton's teammate Jenson Button had to modify his tire strategy after admittedly getting lost at the start, dropping back to '...eleventh, twelfth, I'm not sure...", as he himself put it after the race. But he worked his way back to finish third.
The last three world champions, on the podium.
So maybe driver skill still rules.
As it should.
Oh, "Gran Premio de Espana". Also, "Gran Premio d'Italia", and "Grosser Preis von Deutschland". Why is it that English is the only language that doesn't use its own words to describe its biggest race?
Okay, "Grand Prix du Canada" makes some sense because it is held in Montreal.
And I get it that "The British Grand Prize" sounds awful.