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Formula One heads down to Nurburgring

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I'm a big Formula One fan. Also a supporter of Michael Schumacher.... and Ferrari.I don't support them because they are the winning team. A lot of people think that. I am not into it just to be "cool" or "hip" by associating myself with a winning team. It's just that Michael has got real talent. If Ayrton Senna is still around, i am sure the battle is going to be fast and furious. I've been a supporter even before their winning days.

I've been to every Formula1 race in Sepang since the Malaysian GP started in 1999 (except for two years; one when I was still studying in Australia, and one more because I wasn't feeling so well). The sound of a 19,000 rpm revving engine and the sweet sound of it going down the two long straights in Sepang Circuit is just pure ecstacy (with earplugs) on. You can feel the noise even. And it's really a technological marvel. 900+ bhp from a 3.0 litre V10 engine... weight of around 600kg... the facts could go on. Ok, if someone isn't into technology and gadgets, he may just find F1 boring because the cars just go 60-70 laps like a procession... Well, if you knew more about what's going on, it may just be interesting for you...

How the tyre degradation works, why they are not fast enough, what tyre choice the competitor is making, the sound of the engine cutting in and out for traction control, looking at the aerodynamic bits... the pacing rhythm of the cars, seeing how the drivers attack/overtake and follow the lead, how to keep a safe distance from the "wake" created from the aerodynamics of the car in front and maintaining downforce... slipstreams! It's just amazing.

Heading down to Nurburgring for the European Grand Prix, where Ralf Schumacher won last year, I think Ferrari is going all out for vengeance this time around. I know I am ready for some quality action this weekend. Although last weekend's race in Monaco didn't turn out to be a Ferrari red-wash, and there isn't any testing this week due to the proximity of both race dates, all they had time for was just a shakedown by Luca Badoer. The Ferrari F2004 should be more suited for the medium downforce circuit of Nurburgring. It should be relatively fast and a as seen before in races prior to "maximum downforce" Monaco street race, Ferraris are the ones to beat.

The scarlet Ferraris didn't do too badly in Monaco, if you see the best lap times and the position Michael Schumacher was in before he was hit by JP Montoya. Posted a lap record for Monaco... four fastest laps in a row before he came in for his first pitstop. Wow.

But in retrospect,one has little blame for Michael over what happened. It has always been known that under safety car procedures, you are to follow the lead of the car in front. Just like the formation lap process before the race start, you have to abide to what the front person is doing. Even if the car in front of you is a Minardi, you have to watch what the car is doing. He can warm up his tyres by swerving left and right... he can go 20kmh and suddenly accelerating. You just follow your leader. No complaints about him going to slow or too fast in the formation lap. Its the same behind the safety car. Too bad that the incident happened in the tunnel because there isn't any rule that states any location exceptions for this rule.

You should watch your front... Maybe Montoya is just feeling a little too prideful to admit that there is a possibility he may have just made a mistake, crashing into the Ferrari. Especially after the Imola incident... Where he was jumping his pants off when he had a clash with Michael Schumacher.

Won't be going out much this weekend. It's Formula One weekend. Six races in eight weeks... There just isn't any time for much testing in between so we'll see a status quo of machinery from now till 8 weeks later. Go Ferrari.

Oh well, thats life. You win some, you lose some.

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