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Cheers - AE

Monday, 15 March 2010

Bore-hrain Grand Prix

For the benefit of Mummylonglegs, who's clearly expecting me to say something about it, I'll write a few thoughts on the opening round of the new Grand Prix season.

First off the new points system. It's long past time that the points scoring positions were extended, though why stop at tenth? There are six more cars so I feel that only two more points positions is a little tight. Only a minor issue compared to how many points can be scored. I agree that the reward for finishing first wasn't high enough compared to second or even third and meant drivers would be tempted to settle for points now in the hope of later wins rather than trying to overtake and win the race that's on, but seven points from 1st to 2nd? They've gone too far the other way. Clearly they've forgotten what it was like when the points went 10, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 and a good driver in a good car could have the championship wrapped up as early as round 11 with a third of the season still to go (by comparison the last few seasons have all been decided in the last three races of the year)

On to the changes of drivers and addition of new teams. What? The? Fuck? Maybe I've come down with Attention Give-a-shit Disorder but it felt like a motorsports swingers party. Brawn that used to be Honda is now Mercedes but Mercedes is still co-owner of McLaren, and Mercedes's old driver and current champ Jenson Button left Brawn to go to McLaren-Mercedes. After that it got complicated and I stopped paying much attention. It was all overshadowed anyway since all the talk was about Michael Schumacher returning to F1. My thoughts were just 'yeah, he's coming back, so let's just see how he gets on', though I was amused to hear that Mummylonglegs was so excited when that news broke back in December that her knickers basically smashed.

Now the race, which just goes to show how wrong I was last December when I said Schumacher's return would make the season worth watching on it's own (not to mention the needless shattering of Mummylonglegs' pants). Oh dear.... er, tell you what, let me talk about my table instead. It's pine and was quite a good deal from Ikea. There's a leaf tucked away underneath so we can get up to eight around it, and that's something you really can't do with round dining tables like we used to have. We don't usually need the leaf because you can get four round easily and at a push there's room for six if you don't have to dish up at the table itself. It's 1400mm long, 805mm wide and 750mm high, and there are 7,200 results on Google for those measurements. All of which I haven't looked at. If it was all in one piece it would come in a box getting on for a cubic meter allowing for packaging, but because the legs come off it doesn't. One of the legs is slightly wobbly and I should probably tighten up the nuts that hold it on. The left hand side has noticeably more knots than the right, unless of course you're looking at it from the other side of the room. It is almost certainly not suitable for any kind of surgery. I've just been for a look and currently there is a dog of indeterminate heritage underneath and a cat of indeterminate utility on top. I do wish she wouldn't do that. The top is just over an inch thick and would, if it was gold, weigh over 600 kilos and be worth getting on for AU$24 million, which in turn would be more than enough money for me to buy so many interesting movies and TV series on DVD that I would never, ever, even if live to be 120, have to sit through anything as monumentally dull as last night's Grand Prix. But sadly it's just pine, which I may already have mentioned. All that should have bored the tits off of everybody, but I'd still contend that it was more interesting than last night's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Mrs Exile sat through it but I lost the will to carry on with it once, as I'd feared, the succession of broadly similar pitstops began. Without refuelling all stops will be like they were in the 80s and early 90s: a competition to see who can change a set of tyres fractions of a second faster. The strategic element that means a pit stop might actually change the outcome, either because someone took longer in the pits than another driver or because one car ends up lighter than another after the stops, has gone. Likewise the random element of a fuel rig going tits up, which was as likely to affect a big rich team as a little poor one, has been lost. If you still care about Formula One, and on this showing I highly doubt I will by the season's midway point, you might just as well watch the first couple of laps and confirm the placings in the paper the next morning. The piss poor TV coverage we 'enjoy' in Australia courtesy of channels Ten and One doesn't help. Normally they'll do a fantastic job for the Melbourne GP in a fortnight but the rest will be shit previews and reviews bracketing a race that's cut to shit, and probably not shown live either. This year it's on the same weekend as the opening round of the main Australian Rules Football tournament and, since the Aussie GP now starts at fucking 5 in the evening because he thinks a few more people in Europe will get up to watch it at 6am on a Sunday morning than will stay up to watch it at 2am after a Saturday night, it's going to be competing with no less than three AFL games, two of which involve Melbourne teams with large followings. Frankly the GP is going to struggle even if they promised the grid girls would be dressed in nothing but Swarfega, and that only from the waist down. Maybe I'm going native but on last night's showing I'm currently inclined to watch the footie over Fuckula One.
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