PASSNOTES

Your es­sen­tial F1 brief­ing #3: Spec­ta­cle

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Name Spec­ta­cle Age Long dead, ac­cord­ing to the com­men­tariat Ap­pear­ance Neb­u­lous con­cept recog­nised only when seen

What… so if they were ar­ti­fi­cially made nois­ier, they’d then ac­tu­ally have to race at lower speeds in or­der to last the dis­tance with the reg­u­lated amount of fuel? Cor­rect. I bet no­body’s thought of that. Do say: Hand me the vapours. Don’t say: That idea is spec­ta­cle-larly bad. I know this joke: “No, nurse! I said ‘Slip off his spec­ta­cles!’” Not quite. The great and the good of F1 are pok­ing their heads over the para­pet to say we need to do some­thing to “im­prove the spec­ta­cle” for track­side fans and those watch­ing on TV. The rac­ing’s not good enough for them, then? What are they af­ter – jug­glers? A lion tamer? Swap­ping sides at half time? The world cham­pi­onship to be de­cided by a bake-off? Ac­tu­ally, a bake-off would prob­a­bly be less un­pop­u­lar than the dou­ble-points rule, but that’s not im­por­tant right now. We’re talk­ing about spec­ta­cle. Noise! Vapour trails! Sparks! Oh, I love Sparks too, but it’s been a long time since ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’. Have they had any hits re­cently? That’s also by-the-by. What we’ve got on our hands is a ran­dom se­lec­tion of bolt-on ideas to gussy up the rac­ing a lit­tle bit. It all kicked off with com­plaints that the en­gines are too quiet. What are they go­ing to do about it – fit some Cherry Bomb ex­hausts? Not far off. People are talk­ing about the ‘good old days’ when the cars kicked up sparks off their ti­ta­nium skid plates and left vapour trails. You know, I don’t mind things be­ing a lit­tle bit qui­eter. Now I can tell which Red Bull is Seb Vet­tel’s be­cause I can still hear the whine when they turn off the en­gine… Very droll. But since noise is a form of en­ergy, mak­ing the en­gines nois­ier would con­tra­dict the point of mak­ing them more ef­fi­cient. The rea­son they’re so quiet is that more of their en­ergy is be­ing used to make them go faster.

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