Thursday, October 12, 2006

F1: 2006 - Sayanora Suzuka

Holy Smokes! I still just CANNOT believe it! With 17 laps remaining, final pit stops completed and Michael Schumacher on his way towards his record 8th World Championship. Schumacher’s Ferrari V-8 engine goes “KABLAMOE!” while leading the race! Amazingly this was Schumacher’s first detonated engine failure in 6 years… (France, 2000)

Sadly this past weekend’s race in Japan appears to be Suzuka’s final race for the foreseeable future. This extremely popular circuit with F1 drivers has always had a very loyal fan base. This year’s sold out event hosted 160,000+ spectators sitting patiently through rainfall at 8AM of Friday’s practice session to see the race cars navigate the famous course.
After 20 years of hosting the Japanese Grand Prix, this wonderful circuit owned by Honda will be replaced by the massively upgraded Mount Fuji circuit owned by Japanese rival Toyota…

“The Pen is mightier than the Sword?” I can only imagine what its like to be a TV commentator under the scrutiny of a nationwide audience… Yet again I found myself frequently catching SPEED’S Bob Varsha making many ’“blunders.” During Friday’s practice session, “Messer’s” Varsha pointed out the BMW-Honda… Later during the broadcast, “my friend” Mr. Varsha further “misspoke” once again. As I sat ruing about his blunder that Lamborghini’s foray into Formula One was during a period when it was owned by GM. I always enjoy how they simply go to commercial break and continue on as though nothing wrong has happened…At least I wasn’t the only person to notice the blunder. Varsha corrected himself during Saturday’s qualifying show after an astute viewer emailed to correct him that it was Chrysler who’d owned Lamborghini instead of GM…

During Sunday’s race, Varsha commented on how Bridgestone will become F1’s sole tire supplier next season. Claiming that not only will Bridgestone provide “equal” tire’s for all competitors, but has asked the FIA to utilize it’s current Champ Car philosophy of “Alternate” red sidewall tires. This strategy would require all drivers to use the alternate (softer) tires for at least one stint during a race distance. I presume this is Bridgestone’s idea to “spice-up” the show a la Champ Cars…

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