Monday, July 11, 2011

What a weekend!

Well, the weekend has just drawn to a close, and what a great weekend it was. We had the F1 race at Silverstone, a new episode of Top Gear, and friends at posted their write up and on-board video of our drive in the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package up and down the Goodwood hillclimb. Best of all, I made another cameo.

Formula 1

First things first. We have another winner in Formula 1 this season. After nearly half the season complete with plenty of drama, this weekend started off with it's own - the blown diffuser-gate. Several teams took advantage of some regulatory gaps to force their cars to open the throttle and send hot air through special outlets to give the cars extra downforce when cornering. That's what gives this year's cars that rather odd harsh sound through corners.

The FIA decided, just before Qualifying, to ban the system. Well, more limiting than banning anyways. This caused the pundits, the paddock and audience to go into a bit of a frenzy. The two former kept going on about how this is super confusing and that no-one will understand. As far as I can see, the audience looked on as part of the "circus" (personally, I hate calling it that, but that's what best suits it right now) that is F1.

Quali finished with Webber on pole and Vettel behind him. No big surprise until you see the gap between the Red Bulls and the Ferrari of Alonso in third. The gap was just a smudge over a tenth. Either Ferrari benefitted from the rule reversal or their new aero parts have been working wonders. Must be the aero since they've been reported to have contracted Toyota's former F1 team's facilities in Cologne to do wind tunnel tests.

During a crucial pit stop, where both Vettel and Alonso came in in that order, the boys at Red Bull had trouble putting on Seb's left rear, letting Alonso go into the lead. From there on, there was no contest. Alonso pulled fast laps after fast laps building up a double digit lead. But behind him, the race went on right until the cars crossed the finish line.

Webber was fast catching Vettel up, but Christian Horner came on the radio (which was broadcast on the world feed) telling him to maintain the gap. Remember, team orders are now legal, but not before Ferrari was penalised several times in the last few years. Those two kept the fight up, with the Aussie ignoring his team boss, right until the end.

Ferrari's Massa fought Hamilton so close that, by the last corner, they had touched and Lewis had lost a big chunk of his front wing. Massa was eventually forced onto the run-off area and crossed the line behind Hamilton.

So, apart from Vettel and the two McLaren drivers, Alonso picked up his first win of the season. Should this trend continue, and seeing how Vettel struggles under pressure slowly but surely, the season will end up being more interesting than it is before now.

The highlight of the weekend, though? It was when Murrary Walker joined Martin Brundle in the commentary box during the closing stages of the final Qualifying session. It is really splendid to see him back in the box, and with Martin, the best combination for F1 commentary ever!

Tron Gear... again!

Another episode of Top Gear and another fun Sunday evening entertainment after a nail-biting F1 race. Once again the music editor decided to overuse the Tron Legacy soundtrack. I maintain what I said before - I love that soundtrack and it really matches pretty much everything Top Gear ever does. But it's getting annoying and boring. They're not being creative anymore. It's like they found the CD and thought: "we found the perfect soundtrack. Let's never go back again!"

Back to Vettel... He made his debut on the motoring programme. The episode and the segment were preambled by the BBC F1 team when they filmed a pre-show segment for the F1 pre-race show. For the first time, the audience had a chance to see behind the scenes of the world's most successful motoring programme.

Seb promptly screeched his tyres after some banter with Jeremy and set the fastest lap time, beating Rubens comfortably. The kid has skill after all. He was really smooth in his approach, unmistakable sign of a fast lap. vs. Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package

I'll keep this one to a minimum so you can read on their site. But, I make yet another cameo after Lexus Europe posted their official Goodwood video with me featuring in it. Have a look at the Lexus Europe vid and then go and visit our friend's at! The on-board shot from their mounted cameras is aboslutely amazing! Much better than mine!

Lexus Europe Video

GTSpirit Video

- Coming straight from my iPad

Image source: BBC Television, BBC Formula 1

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