Monday, July 03, 2006

USGP Better than Last Year, But That's Not Saying Much

Formula 1 is arguably the biggest sport in the world, with an estimated 300,000,000 fans world-wide, it has a larger fan base than soccer. It is considered the most glamorous of motorsports, as is also the most dangerous. These high-tech, very expensive, and very beautiful race cars travel a road course at an average speed of over 180 mph, and contact can be deadly in open wheel cars.
In Sunday’s USGP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, eight cars, including Scott Speed, America’s first F1 driver since 1993, wrecked in the second turn of the first lap at Indianapolis. That left only 14 of the 22 starters. Two more cars wrecked in the same turn on the second lap. That still left twice as many cars as started in last year's infamous Michelin Tire Issue.
Formula One racing consists mostly of blocking, pit strategy, and preserving mechanical equipment, such as tires and brakes. Once the cars get up to speed, which happens very quickly, it is very difficult to pass. This may seem almost boring, for most of us NASCAR fans, and it would be, if not for the sensation of very high speeds. It takes a different set of skills than does NASCAR, where "rubbin' is racin'.'"
There is no doubt that Michael Schumacher, seven time World Champion, is a master at those skills. He begain dominating the race very early on, and the Ferrari team's pit strategy was impeccable. Sure enough, he became the first driver to win five Indianapolis races in a single series. If winning is "old hat" to Schumie, he certainly doesn't show it. Pumping his fist in the air and clapping his hands, while still driving the car on the victory lap, he seemed just as jubilant and excited as if it had been his very first win.
I still find F1 racing exciting, though I prefer NASCAR. I know that it seems as though the outcome is already determined by the end of the first lap, but to watch the strategies--and the quickness of the drivers when an opportunity to pass does present itself--holds my interest. Out of twenty two cars, only nine finished, which is still better than last year's debacal. And it was good to see Michael Schumacher, once again, make history.


Kaitlin said...

I thought this years race was better beacuse I am a Ralf Schumacher fan. Last year he crashed during practice because of bad tires. I didn't get to the race until qualifying so I didn't see him race.

RevJim said...

They were making a big deal of his "love affair" with the same part of the wall two years in a row. He took it with a great sense of humor, which I didn't know Ralf had. I hope his team improves, and his carreer starts going up. Thanks for stopping by.