Any F1 fan(atics) out there?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter Kim, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Come March of each year, I live and breath Formula 1 racing (actually, year round, since I really devour the silly season stuff, too).

    Unfortunately, here in Minnesota, there doesn't seem to be much of an audience I can relate to. Media coverage of F1 is nonexistent - AT&T doesn't carry Speed Channel (nee Speedvision?) on it's regular cable and I cannot install a dish in my apartment.

    So, I hungrily eat up any morsels I can find on the web, read the real-time reports on itv-f1.com, and dream of the day I can attend a race at Suzuka, Indy, or Montreal (or any other venue for that matter...these three seem attainable to me).

    Actually, my wife and I were set to go to the inaugural Indy Gran Prix - we won a couple of choice lottery seats. We made the mistake in assuming our 1 year old would take an immediate shining to F1. Sadly, we gave up our tickets for lack of a babysitter.

    So, am I alone in my madness? Do others count the days between the 2 weeks each race is staged? Would anyone else give their right fingernail for a ride in the McLaren 2 seater?

    2 1/2 weeks to Melbourne, baby! Anyway, for those that care, here is the '02 schedule:

    2002 Formula 1 championship calendar

    March 3 - Australia, Melbourne

    March 17 - Malaysia, Sepang

    March 31 - Brazil, Interlagos

    April 14 - San Marino, Imola

    April 28 - Spain, Barcelona

    May 12 - Austria, A1-Ring

    May 26 - Monaco, Monte Carlo

    June 9 - Canada, Montreal

    June 23 - European, Nurburgring

    July 7 - Britain, Silverstone

    July 21 - France, Magny-Cours

    July 28 - Germany, Hockenheim

    August 18 - Hungary, Budapest

    September 1 - Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps

    September 15 - Italy, Monza,

    September 29 - USA, Indianapolis

    October 13 - Japan, Suzuka

    This is going to be one helluva year...I'm really excited by what Montoya could do to Schuey with a full year under his belt. He's the only one that had the balls and raw talent to not fall sway under Schuey's gaze.

    Coulthard could be a factor, but I find he's more hot air than anything else, but not as bad as Irvine. Sad to see Haakinen leave indefintely. The schadenfreude in me loves to see the Japanese drivers fail miserably - the fact that they buy their seats or are potential sons-in-laws to the daughter of the head of Honda only casts a shadow on F1. Would love to see Nigel make a comeback. But in the end, Schuey will take his 5th crown and tie Fangio.

    Happy, safe racing season, HTF F1 fans!
     
  2. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    I'm definitely ready for F1 to start.

    I hope Speedvision keeps the coverage this year. I hate it when ESPN televises F1. Half the show is covering the cows in the pastures in the near by village. And if anything of significant happens. ESPN is always in a commercial.

    I'm a big Shuey fan. But, would love to see some competition from a few teams this year. If Montoya isn't too aggressive he has a chance to win a lot of races.
     
  3. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    If you can't stand that your cable doesn't carry the speed channel, complain to them. When Nascar came to FX, many in my area complained to Comcast, and within a few weeks, it was there.
     
  4. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    I have complained, many times. Initially, I was told that ATT would soon include Speedvision in its regular cable lineup. I later learned that they reversed course, only to include Speedvision in its digital lineup, for which, I'm unwilling to pay.

    Ryan...were you aware that last season, in its first season of coverage outside of ESPN/ABC, FOX/FX only covered NASCAR for the first half of the season? NBC took over exclusive broadcast in midseason - this was not something dictated by the viewers. Instead, preseason contract talks determined broadcast rights.

    Well, we'll see if F1 gains wider coverage over here in the states - FOX bought Speedvision (hence the name change to Speed Channel).
     
  5. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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    Peter,

    Last year I was in the same boat you are. I eventually spent the extra bucks on the digital cable package that included Speedvision solely for F1 (dumped it after the season ended, will be getting it back in a couple of weeks).

    It's impossible to justify the cost for somebody else, but you should consider it. There's nothing like seeing all the races on TV (even if it is shoehorned into a shitty, low-bandwidth digital channel).

    Rob
     
  6. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Peter you are not alone. I am a F1 maniac! All indications are that Speed Vision/Channel will be showing all F1 races this year. There is some talk of up to 4 races being shown on ABC/ESPN also (USGP, Canada, Brazil (same times zone as eastern US) and Monaco (many people in the US have even heard of the Monaco GP!)) Also there is supposidly a deal to broadcast F1 on radio in the US year. I don't know the details or whether it will be simulcast over the net, but it does give some hope to the none Speed Channel people.

    I am eagerly looking forward to March 3rd. A year and half ago I was on a business trip to Australia and spent some time in Melbourne and of course I took a hotel within walking distance of Albert Park... I made it a point of visiting the only permenant parts of the track, the pit lane and building. It was a fantastic moment for me to be standing in the pit box and seeing Schumacher's tire tracks leading away from me.

    One weekend I even took a trip around the course (as much as is possible in the day-to-day configuration of the park anyway) in the sidecar of a Harley Davidson!

    Since then I have attended both USGPs in Indianpolis and had a blast both times.

    I think Ferrari will dominate again this year, but I think they will be challenged by Williams and especially JPM. Personally I don't think that DC has what it takes to be WDC unless he has a far superior car. I am interested to see how Kimmi does in the McL and if Minardi can not only beat the new Toyota team but also Renault.

    Min-ar-di! Min-ar-di! Min-ar-di!

    Sorry for the long rambling post but I am missing my F1 fix!
     
  7. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Charles...I am jealous. Both Indy GP's?!! Even my wife is still smarting that we didn't take the chance when we had it. Good to hear about the possibility of broadcasts on ABC and the radio.

    Otherwise, Rob's idea sounds very palatable. I never even considered it, but in my case, the cost is justifiable. I was sick of refreshing my browser at 7 am on Sunday mornings.

    As always, there will be some fascinating subplots. Charles,...I will also zero in on Kimmi in the McL. Especially in comparison to Nick Heidfeld's performance this year. It sounds like Nick was a little upset over his former teamate's promotion to McL over himself. Understandably so - Nick did have better qual and race performances.

    I've almost forgotten about Ralph. He seemed to have gotten overshadowed by the Montoya hype in the latter part of last season, whether it was perceived or justified. Although I think his much bigger problem is that he is always aware of the fact that Michael is his BIGGER brother. Tough to overcome that in the European/Asian culture.

    Yeah, that will be fun to see "tiny" Minardi relegate Toyota and Renault to the back of the grid. Talking about the back of the grid...what happened to Jacques? What a story of hero to zero. I don't understand it - I thought I saw a guy with consummate driving skills when he won the championship.
     
  8. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    As to what happened to Jaques? well the BAR is a dog for one and Honda is not what it was back in the 1,000+ hp days. Its unfortunate because the move to BAR has robbed JV of the opportunity to prove himself as a great driver IMO. When he won the WDC the Williams was superior to the rest of the grid, I mean even Damon Hill was able to win the WDC in one the year before after all.

    I don't know that Ralph has the mental toughness that Michael does, and I think that one thing required to be a true F1 great is an iron will.

    From all pre-season indications it semms that Sauber is consolidating themselves as "the best of the rest" behind the big 3. Maybe they will be able to challenge for the top in a 2 or 3 years.

    Have you seen the new Jordan? looks pretty cool. I've been a supporter of Jordan since their start (although the goinings on with HHF last year was a bit disapointing) I hope they are able to step it up also... but then again thats one of things I like about F1, there is only so much room at the top!

    As far as the USGP goes, if you get another chance go! Years of following the sport were unable to prepare me for the experience of these cars "live" the sound is mind blowing and to witness the acceleration, braking and cornering first hand is stunning. the cars look fantastic too, the TV does not do their paint schemes justice... (the first year we checked out the track on the Thursday and got close to the end of pit lane and saw them wheel Michael's Ferrari back into the garage, the sight of that bright red car was breath-taking!) And you can even smell the silly regulation "plank" rubbing against the racing surface.
     
  9. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    I was really disappointed with Jordan, especially with the HHH fiasco. Here's a guy who finished 3rd(?) in the standings the previous year only to get sacked before the end of last season. Although I don't know how much of it had to do with any real performance dropoff. Haven't seen the Jordan cars yet. What publication are you looking at?

    You're absolutely right on the mark with the mental toughness. Schuey, Prost, Mansell, and especially Senna had it. It was the hallmark of their driving. I can only point to Montoya as possessing that same steely gaze. Although I think Jacques also still has that iron will.

    Ralph does seem soft. So does HHH and the rest. Unfortunately, that trait also seems innate with the Japanese drivers - being deferential is part of the culture. Doesn't work in F1 - Ukyo Katayama was a nice guy, but always finished near last. It'll be interesting to see if the young ones, Heidfeld, Raikkonen, and Button will show any of this fiery passion.

    Definitely one of my goals in life to see a live F1 race. You've echoed everyone else in praising the "live" experience as unmatched compared to watching on tv. Were you disappointed at all with the pretty flat nature of the Indy course (except for the famous corner bank)?
     
  10. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    That's one of the things I dislike the most about F1, you don't really know who the "real" talent is unless they drive in one of the top cars. You know, is Coulthard really as good as he is, or is it just the car (except for last year he was for the most part out-shined by Mika). Are guys like Nick and Kimi really top talents, but just don't have the car under them to make them look good.

    Anyways, enough of that rant, I'm still a huge F1 fan. So this season I'd predict it's going to be another Ferrari sweeper, if they can keep the car reliable (and this is Ferrari we're talking about, so I would say that car is going to be VERY reliable) nobody will touch them. Schumi literally blew away the old Fiorano track record by what now, 1.25 seconds (that's a HUGE number for a race car, multiply a 1sec a lap advantage over 50-60 laps) on his second day of testing the car. Williams, if they can get their aero/handling package working a little better will probably take a few wins, especially on big HP tracks (Monza, Hockenheim, etc), and probably any other time Schumi is out of the race, I think you will see Montoya shine quite a bit this year, I think he's learned a lot about how F1 works last year and what needs to be done. He's going to take what he's learned about testing (and the importance) and working with his engineers and mix that with his raw talent and I'll bet that he'll shine in comparison to Schumi Jr. McLaren, well I dunno, David will be a strong competitor as always, and hopefully they've sorted the car out from the problems last year, but I don't think David has the stones/talent to compete with Ferrari (better talent, better car) or with Williams (better talent, equal cars).

    As to the rest, I think Sauber is gonna do it again at least for the start. I have to think Honda is going to get pissed sooner or later and start devoting real time/money back into F1, but until that happens I don't see much happening from BAR or Jordan. Jaguar is going to have another lackluster season as throwing money at a team just doesn't make it succesful.

    I'd say all in all it's going to be close to a repeat of last season, maybe a couple little changes here and there (like Williams and McLaren changing around).

    Andrew
     
  11. Michael St. Clair

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    I think there are at least a dozen members here who have been to the USGP once or more. I found it fantastic and certainly hope to be back most every year.
    It is truly a fantastic sport despite the politics and the fact that being a great driver is not enough to succeed. I bought digital cable just to get Speedvision last year and I consider it worth every penny. I can no longer imagine following F1 without Speedvision (now SPEED Channel).
    I think it is going down to the final race this year and if Williams has a good car, Juan Pablo Montoya certainly could challenge for the championship.
    I also enjoy CART very much and think that every F1 fan should give CART a try by watching a few races. I enjoy CART as much as F1, but for different reasons...the two series appeal to diverse interests I have as a motorsports enthusiast.
    I was also hoping to get down to Sebring next month for the classic endurance sportscar race but it doesn't look like it is going to happen. Petit LeMans looks more likely, and it looks like they are going to send the Bentley over! I do like the sportscars and have seen them race at Mid-Ohio back in the IMSA days (and CART, and vintage racing).
    some good links:
    http://www.itv-f1.com/
    http://www.formula1.com/news/home.html
    http://www.racingone.com/
    http://www.autoracing1.com/
    http://www.motorsportforum.com/forums/
     
  12. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    I'm not sure about this but is Renault back in the mix this year (both engine & car)? I thought I read this a while back... If it is so, who will drive?
     
  13. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Peter,

    I am no fan of "inside the oval" tracks or flat tracks (i.e. Magny Cours) in general, but that said, they have done a fantastic job with the Indy track. the facilities are excellent, luxurious even compared to your typical road course. The main straight and oval corner are flanked by grandstands and it is fantastic to see the cars go through that corner and down the straight.

    Other than that and the first corner the track is not that inspiring as a race course, although there are spots where you can get quite close to the cars. Overall I'd say its not the best GP track out there but far from the worst.

    John,

    Renault came back as an engine supplier last year and also bought the old Benneton team. The team is now called "Renault" but retains the Benneton facility and team structure. Button and Truli are the drivers.
     
  14. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    John,

    Renault is back - they bought out Benetton and will field Trulli & Button as their drivers. Let's see if they can recapture the magic they had with a young Schuey.

    Michael,

    I love CART. Perhaps as much or more than F1. But with all that's happened last year and their descent/deterioration, I just cannot bear to watch. I fear the worst. This still is a series that demands ultimate driving skills on a variety of tracks - I hate to see them succumb to IRL and all oval.

    To quote others...I love them, so I hate them.
     
  15. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Peter,
    Forgot to add, the pics of the new cars are all over the net. You can see the new "banana" Jordan car on their web site
     
  16. Michael St. Clair

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  17. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Sweet link, Charles. What happened to all of the pit babes that Jordan is famous for? [​IMG]
    The EJ12 looks gorgeous...am I the only one that thinks of these cars as beautiful? Especially compared to the pita pockets in the IRL.
    Michael...actually, it was rpm.espn.com that triggered my despair. Constant article after article in the last 2 years really boiled my blood. I promised myself to stay away from that site since I couldn't contain my anger - it was a real health concern. Even Robin Miller's articles sank my heart over and over, despite my admiration for his straight talk.
    I suppose I'll have to journey over to the site to read the article you pointed out. I just cannot accept Penske in IRL. Probably more importantly, I cannot accept CART without Penske, regardless of his motives. I'll peek for now, but as the season starts and progresses, I'll invariably find myself totally immersed in its shennanigans.
     
  18. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    I can't wait for F1 to start. It has been a very long season, especially since Michael clinched the WDC after so few races last year. I think Ferrari and Williams will be the two top teams by a bunch this year. MacLaren is going down, DC just doesn't have what it takes to win consistently, and Kimmi is too young for the pressure to win now. I would prefer a Schuey battle of the brothers, but JPM could really shine this season. 2 more weeks to qualification runs in Melbourne ...

    As for CART, I stopped watching the series after Greg Moore's horrifying accident. The lack of Canadian and US talent in the main driving seats was why I stopped watching, but with the current turmoil in that series, I doubt I will ever go back.
     
  19. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Greg Moore had all the markings for a great career. If I remember correctly, he was picked by Roger Penske as one of his drivers after Penske's team overhaul. Instead, Penske had to go to Helio after Moore's death.

    Moore's accident and last race was one of the most horrific and saddest racing days I've seen. I remember as my wife and I watched the race live on tv, with our mouths agape as Moore lost control and his car flipped side over side. You could see Moore inside the cockpit, his head being crushed. I remember this vividly since the commentators were talking, just prior to the accident, about the injury to Moore's hand (thumb?), and how this could impede his control.

    Unlike Earnhart's accident, which really didn't seem so catastrophic, after Moore's accident, even the commentators and the network itself immediately cut away. Everyone knew.

    CART changed dramatically after that race (I believe the last race of that season). Penske regained his perch on top of racing, but CART spiralled out of control.

    I used to record all of CART racing, but I've never looked back at that tape again. Unlike Zanardi's crash, Moore's accident seemed to go on forever. Really tortuous, quite haunting.
     
  20. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    Love F1, and wish it would start already. Should be an interesting year, while most of the front runners might stay close to the same (but then again, "Anything can happen in Formula 1, and it usually does"). I will be very interested to see what happens with the others though, Sauber had a great season and I hope they can continue, Jordon is completly unpredictable as always, and then we've got BAR, Jaguar, Renault and Toyota all trying to get themselves into the game.

    My prediction? A Schumacher wins the drivers championship, Williams gets their much coveted constructors championship back, and JV wins a race (Yaaa, right).

    But now the really important question. For those of you who get the ITV broadcast.... what do you think of James Allen replacing Murray?

    Go go go!
     

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