November 19, 2005

Knots

Follow-up to Social Viewing from Bloggle

I can now say that I've seen two episodes of The X-Factor (soon to be three). This shameful admission needs to be seen in the context of being friendly towards my housemates.

The situation I find myself in is this:

Initially I was pretending to like the show but wasn't very good at it, giving the impression that I disliked it.

However such was my difficulty in prentending to like it that my housemates think I'm doing that thing of pretending to dislike something whilst secretly harbouring a love for whatever that thing may be.

Whereas in reality I do actually dislike the X-Factor but am pretending to to do that thing of pretending to dislike the X-Factor whilst secretly harbouring a love for the show in order to justify watching it.

Of course, you have no way of knowing whether I actually really do like the X-Factor but am pretending to dislike it and do that thing of pretending to dislike the X-Factor whilst secretly harbouring a love for the show in order to justify watching it.


November 14, 2005

A question for scientists

The sun is:

  • roughly 15 million degrees celsius
  • turns around 4 million tons of Hydrogen into energy evey second
  • approximately 109 times wider than the Earth
  • 2×1027 tons heavy

My question is: if it's so great and so full of energy, why can't it be arsed to get up before half seven? Lazy fucker.


November 01, 2005

Formula Blog: Post Season Detox

Positions 15–8

9pts, 15th Place: Pedro de la Rosa: Arguably the most memorable performance fo the year was de la Rosa's in Bahrain. The amount of time he spent swerving around the back of Mark Webber's Williams meant he probably covered a complete race distance before Alonso took the chequered flag.

12pts, 14th Place: Narain Karthikeyan He made a terrific start to the season looking as though he'd be more suited to rallying. This meant he almost became the new Sato, but then Sato became the new de Cesaris and Karthikeyan nearly became the new Frentzen after he fell out with his team. Once the season was properly underway Monteiro made him look slightly amateurish and his season petered out to nothingness.

14pts, 13th Place: Robert Doornbos He immediately went into the Minardi team and looked a match for Albers. Of course, the best thing about him getting the drive were the obvious "Double Dutch" jokes. He produced some strong drives and certainly looked a deserved F1 driver.

20pts, 12th Place: Felipe Massa On occasion he showed glimpes of real class, unfortunately most of the season he looked very average. At least he seems to have more or less overcome his addiction to spinning wildly every third corner. And he must have done something right to get a Ferrari drive, though that something may just be his choice of manager (Jean Todt's son Nicholas Todt). It's hard to predict anything for him next year other than being trounced by Schumacher. Presuming Ferrari produce a decent car he might be able to stand on a few podiums though.

22pts, 11th Place: Giancarlo Fisichella: Every bit as good as Alonso is there was no way you'd have predicted Fisichella would be shown the way quite so comprehensively by the young Spaniard. You'd have thought he'd have managed more than three podiums for a start. His finishing position in this championship would have been much lower if it weren't for a pro-Fisi bias from the author. Sadly this bias has gradually slipped away over the course of the season after mediocre performance after mediocre performance, culminating with things being thrown at said Author's television during the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix. Hopefully next season Fisichella will recover his form, you can't help but feel that without that bad run of DNFs in Malaysia, Bahrain and San Marino his whole year would have been much more impressive. And he had the edge over Alonso at Barcelona and Silverstone but was let down in the pit lane.

22pts, 10th Place: Christijan Albers In my opinion he's the rookie of the year. He generally had the measure of his teammates, he was sooner on the pace than Monteiro, drove enough races to be properly judged (unlike Liuzzi) and wasn't so mind bogglingly wild as Karthikeyan. Thankfully Midland have actually managed to do soemthing good by signing him up for next season.

22pts, 9th Place: Jarno Trulli Perhaps he deserves to be higher. He's been pretty fantastic. The only trouble is that he always looks so amazing in qualifying that his race results are disappointing by comparison so you never get the feeling he's done a good job. Also he needs a haircut.

24pts, 8th Place: Juan Pablo Montoya It took a while for Montoya to recover from his "tennis injury" (possibly the worst excuse ever) but when he did he was spectacular, though not necessarily in a good way. Brazil was an incredible drive, for the second year running he beat Raikkonen in a duel. Trouble was the other eighteen (sorry, sixteen) races where Raikkonen was leagues ahead, not to mention ridiculous moments such as: that stupid pile up in Monaco during practise, running a red light in Canada, spinning off during qualifying in Germany, swiping Pizzonia at Spa. And other incidents such as the Suzuka crash (probably not his fault in the most part), being clobbered by Webber at the Nurburgring and being the driver to find the errant drain cover with his sidepod at Shanghai.

At least so far in his McLaren career he doesn't seem to have called his team "a bunch of wxxxers" as he famously did during the 2003 French Grand Prix when they robbed him of his chance to beat Ralf Schumacher. But then, at McLaren they wouldn't use the term "wxxxer", they'd probably go for something like "one who participates in an activity using their right hand to stimulate their reproductive organ to a state of orgasm".


October 31, 2005

Social Viewing

All over the United Kingdom otherwise perfectly sane, rational people are watching The X-Factor in order to spend quality time with housemates, brethren and spice (the plural of spouse).

In the worst cases these people find themselves forming opinions about who should stay in and find themselves groaning when Kate Thornton says "we'll tell you after the break". Indeed these people now know that Kate Thornton presents the program and not Ant and Dec as previously assumed by people who avoid ITV like the metaphorical bird-flu it is.

The Government is concerned about this phenomenom as experiments have shown that watching such drivel can reduce a person's IQ by 10%. So a person who previously had an IQ of 110 would find themselves left with just 78 IQ points after watching an episode of the aforementioned X-Factor.

A common defence against the intellectual impact of the show is to watch it "ironically". This involves tutting alot, moaning about how the contestants don't have any talent and were picked for their looks/personalities, that you could do better on a karaoke machine after half a dozen pints and laughing malevolently at the snide remarks that Darth Mentor Simon Cowell says. Unfortunately, whilst this helps preserve intelligence it pushes people TQ (Twatness Quotient) up by an inordinent 25%.

The best defence is to throw your television set out of the window as though you were a crazed rock star who had just found out that they were being dropped by their label after not selling as many records as the latest TV created teeny-boppers.

Do it now.


October 28, 2005

Formula Blog: Post Season Detox

So another Formula One Season comes to an end, Alonso may have won the real title, but in this championship you need more than fast skills. Personality, a GSOH and good locks of hair are all required. So in reverse order, this is how things turned out (positions 24–16):

Disqualified: Jenson Button He would have been in 14th place, already hampered by contractual wranglings; integrity is valued highly in Formula Blog. Ultimately he has driven well this season but off the track he's been a very poor version of a sporting hero. The clincher which led to his disqualification was this quote taken from FHM when asked about Danica Patrick's F1 chances:

Danica is very quick. But in F1 cars I can't see it happening due to the G-force in fast corners… And one week of the month you wouldn't want to be on the circuit with them, would you? A girl with big boobs would never be comfortable in the car. And the mechanics wouldn't concentrate. Can you imagine strapping her in?

Whereas a male driver with a big head fits so snugly into a racing car, of course. I really don't think Button is in any position to comment on mood swings, I'm sure Danica Patrick is at least capable of choosing which team to drive for without the whole sorry mess ending up in court.

-35pts, 23rd Place: Jacques Villeneuve: It's been a miserable season watching a former champion go so badly, god only knows what it was like being a former world champion going so badly. To Villeneuve's credit he did manage some strong points scoring finishes, notably drives such as Imola, but the trouble is that you'd have expected more from him. Struggling to hang on to Felipe Massa's gearbox isn't befitting for a driver of Villeneuve's talent.

-20pts, 22nd Place: Takuma Sato: Before the season began I had this to say about Sato:

He’s completely crazy. It’s absolutely fantastic. Its hard to think of a driver who tried to make more overtaking manoeuvres last year than Sato, even though sometimes you had to wonder if maybe the others had got it right (Nurburgring anyone?). Even so, if only a few more drivers tried so hard F1 would be much more exciting.

Now I think I'll edit this to:

He’s completely crazy. It’s absolutely terrible. Its hard to think of a driver who tried to make more stupid overtaking manoeuvres than Sato… ever, sometimes you had to wonder if maybe the others should have punched him in the face. If a few more drivers tried so hard to be dangerous F1 would be a wreckers yard.

-6pts, 21st Place: Rubens Barrichello I like Barrichello, but it's not worked out for him this year. He's driven well on occasion: Australia and Europe leap immediately to mind. But he's been let down by a few foolish whinges, such as moaning about Schumacher's move on him on the last lap at Monaco. I hope he's made a great decison joining BAR, er, Honda because he's a driver capable of winning plenty more races and in the right circumstances, possibly even a championship. Though I suppose the right circumstances would have been Schumacher retiring a few years ago and Barrichello taking titles for Ferrari.

-4pts, 20th Place: Ralf Schumacher I must admit that Ralf Schumacher's grown on me slightly this year. He had a torrid start (relative to Trulli) and continued to whinge but he came on strong towards the end of the year. He's one of those drivers who when he's on it can produce fantastic drives, but unfortunately it's all a bit too rare.

2pts, 19th Place: Vitantonio Liuzzi His position in the championship is not indicative of a dislike for the guy, more of him only getting to drive in four races. In those races he did okay but you can't really say much more than that, not compared to (the admittedly more experienced) Christian Klien's sparkling qualifying performances and solid races. At least Liuzzi's an interesting character. When he gets into an F1 car for a full season I fully expect him to have those silver spinning hub-caps fitted to his wheels.

2pts, 18th Place: Antonio Pizzonia I was mega impressed with his performance in Italy, unfortunately the memory of this is blotted by his tangling with Montoya in Belgium, though it's impossible to be sure of who's fault that was due to the poor TV coverage. Sorry, I mean "perfectly normal standard for F1" TV coverage.

6pts, 17th Place: Patrick Friesacher Before the season began I was interested to see what Friesacher could do in an F1 car. He'd been good, if not spectacular in F3000 for the previous seven hundred years or so. He made a strong start but by mid-season Albers seemed to have the upper hand and when he ran out of money that was it. It's a shame for him but he'll probably be able to make a good career in Sports Cars or elsewhere.

-2pts, 16th Place: Tiago Monteiro At the start of the year you'd have reckoned he'd struggle to beat the medical car round the first few corners, but he's easily the driver to show the most improvement over the course of the year. He beat Karthikeyan in the one race of the season that we saw the Jordans (Indy) and got his piece of F1 silverware. On the subject of unlikely podium finishes I recently had a dream where I finished third in a Grand Prix. What does it say about me that I dreamt of finishing third and not winning? I digress. Monteiro's best drive was surely in Belgium to score the only genuine Jornardi points of the year.


October 15, 2005

Formula Blog: Round 18 – Japanese Grand Prix

Oh no! Now the championship (the real one that is) has been sewn up I've lost all enthusiasm for an extra one. Well for the sake of completeness here are some points:

Drivers

10pts Raikkonen
8pts Schumacher
6pts Webber
5pts Coulthard
4pts Monteiro
3pts Massa
2pts Klien
1pt Alonso
-2pts Barrichello
-3pts Ralf
-5pts Heidfeld
-6pts Villeneuve
-8pts Sato
-10pts Fisichella

Drivers Standings

With one round to go six drivers have a chance of taking the title (strange how that worked out), but let's face it: it's gonna be Alonso or Raikkonen. As for who's the biggest chump: Villeneuve's taken it with great aplomb.

47pts Alonso
43pts Raikkonen
42pts Webber
37pts Coulthard
36pts Klien
30pts Schumacher
30pts Heidfeld
24pts Montoya
22pts Trulli
22pts Albers
21pts Fisichella
14pts Doornbos
12pts Button
12pts Massa
10pts Karthikeyan
9pts de la Tosa
8pts Monteiro
6pts Friesacher
5pts Pizzonia
2pts Liuzzi
-6pts Barrichello
-9pts Ralf
-10pts Sato
-35pts Villeneuve

Constructors

I never got round to blogging the constructors points from Brazil. Whoops. It's not as though anyone cares anyway but here we go:

10pts Renault
8pts Jordan
6pts Ferrari
5pts McLaren
4pts Red Bull
2pts Minardi
1pt Sauber
-2pts Toyota
-3pts BAR:
5pts Williams

And the points from Japan are:

10pts Williams
8pts McLaren
6pts Renault
5pts Red Bull
3pts Jordan
2pts Minardi
1pt Ferrari
-1pt Toyota
-2pts BAR
-8pts Sauber

Constructors Standings

69pts McLaren
67pts Red Bull
64pts Renault
60pts Minardi
50pts Toyota
18pts Sauber
10pts BAR
-2pts Williams
-7pts Ferrari
-8pts Jordan


September 25, 2005

Formula Blog: Round 17 – Brazilian Grand Prix (Drivers)

Drivers Points

10pts Fernando Alonso: Well it had to be, didn't it? What can you say about him that ITV haven't already repeated three million times before? I'm going to gazump F1 Racing with their tendency to hail drivers as giga-stars, Alonso is a tera-star! And surely one of the best icons in the sports. Not wild like Raikkonen, cool and aloof like Schumacher, shifty like Button, sulky like Montoya, Barrichello, Ralf, Villeneuve, Webber and Coulthard etc… Just an out and out hero. As F1 drivers go he's a great role model. If I were to be any of the current grid I'd want to be Alonso. I'm not sure what the best superlative is so here's a list of them:
Brilliant
Fantastic
Mega
Incredible
Astronomic
Awesome
Supercallyfragilisticexpealladoscious (sp?)
Schumacher
Other worldly
Mind-blowingly fast

Good…

Good? Oh yes, Ron Dennis's response to Alonso's drive. He seemed about to say "Alonso had a great drive", but he paused and we were left with "good". A touch of sour grapes. I'm not sure Dennis has any other kind.

The most incredible thing about his season is how difficult it is to pick out his best drive. Monaco, Canada and Hungary excluded he's been absolutely fantastic (ha! There it is). Overall I'd go for Australia because it was so gutsy and aggressive, but it seems rude to ignore his wins. France stands out because McLaren were really tightening the screws, personally I think he'd have beaten Raikkonen even without the Finn's engine penalty.

So what's the best description for him? How about "World Champion". It says it all.

8pts Christian Klien: A great qualifying performance and what must have been a great drive, even if we only saw all of ten seconds of it. I do hope James Allen is talking nonsense with his suggestion that Klien will end up in the Red Bullardi team because of his great performances this year.

6pts Juan Pablo Montoya: Hurray! All year long I've been half concealing my support for the driver at last I can rave about him without feeling (too) silly. It's an even better performance if his shoulder still gives him problems (though I doubt it. Old injuries are supposed to be worse in the cold, yet he won in Britain. Strange.) He didn't seem to suffer from going anti-clockwise, not like that wuss Raikkonen. That wuss Raikkonen who's fastest lap was four tenths quciker than Montoya's. hmmm.

5pts Tiago Monteiro: How incredible was that for a result in qualifying? Though given that he started from the pitlane (ie. a convenient chance to stop for some 4 star) you have to wonder how many fumes he actually qualified with. My best guess is two and half. An F1 team using qualifying as a chance to gain some publicity at the expense of race perfromance? Surely not!

4pts Michael Schumacher: Thinking back, this is only the second race Schumacher's managed to improve upon his 2004 result. It says more about the rest fo his year but he broke the dominance of the "big-two", which is no mean feat. And his battle with Fisichella was the best of the race. Talk about an aggressive first lap. He may only be a matter of months away from announcing his retirement but he ain't giving no quarter.

3pts Jacques Villeneuve: Say what you will about his driving (usually a negative thing) but his interviews make for great reading. In the latest F1 Racing he lays into Patrick Head (lots) F1 Racing itself (lots) David Richards (lots and lots and lots) and anyone else who happens to get in his way.

2pts Rubens Barrichello: A nice move on Button, even if maybe it took too long. He might not have had a great year, but at least Rubens hasn't forgotten hwo to overtake.

1pt Takuma Sato: A good drive, I think. As in "I think you need to take the A1 at some point to get to Newcastle" Rather than "I think Newcastle is a dive." The distinction comes from having seen nothing of him all weekend after he didn't set a time in qualifying. Given Sato's usual antics perhaps it's better we don't see what he gets up to.

-1pt Kimi Raikkonen: You sort of felt sorry for him, losing the race and the title all in one go. But his sulky demeanour on the podium was an abject display of how not to accept defeat. He should take a few tips from Mika Hakkinen and ask him about surrendering his crown to Schumacher in 2000. I suppose you can't reallly blame him but it wasn't a great display of sporting behaviour, and I'd rate it at the worst effort of champagne spraying for years.

-2pts Jarno Trulli: Even by Trulli's standards this was a poor race. It was almost as if he was trying to slip down the order without realising he was starting from the back anyway.

-3pts Jenson Button: Finally The issue of where Button drives has been resolved, with the driver dipping into his own pocket to buy out his contract. Except for the fact that it would appear that BAR have upped his wage, presumably by the same amount. On the issue of contracts there are rumours of Steve Ryder moving to ITV in spite of being contracted to the BBC. It's exciting stuff, what next? Fleetwood Mac being brought back for the theme music?

-4pts Mark Webber: For a driver who has achieved so little in a season and whinged so much he's very high up the order in my championship. This is a little bit of compensation

Drivers Standings

46pts Fernando Alonso
36pts Mark Webber
35pts Nick Heidfeld
34pts Christian Klien
33pts Kimi Raikkonen
32pts David Coulthard
31pts Giancarlo Fisichella
24pts Juan Pablo Montoya
22pts Jarno Trulli
22pts Christijan Albers
22pts Michael Schumacher
14pts Robert Doornbos
12pts Jenson Button
10pts Narain Karthikeyan
9pts Felipe Massa
9pts Pedro de la Rosa
6pts Patrick Friesacher
5pts Antonio Pizzonia
4pts Tiago Monteiro
2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi
-2pts Takuma Sato
-4pts Rubens Barrichello
-6pts Ralf Schumacher
-29pts Jacques Villeneuve


September 22, 2005

Turning Left – Human Indicators

We've all been there merrily walking down the street, we come up behind someone walking slower, we try to go past them, but lo! Suddenly they veer right into your path causing you to stop abruptly, bump into them or swerve out of the way into the path of a double decker bus, causing your own death (or at least severe injury) and delaying the traffic resulting in a backlog of congestion in our already overcrowded cities. Many people don't get to work on time having a disasterous effect on the economy, causing hyper inflation giving rise to a hotbed of political extremity and before you know it we have World War 3 on our hands. If only there were some way of avoiding all this unpleasantness.

Well now there is. Mad scientists have invented human indicators. They attach to the back of people through bionics and are wired up to the brain. They sense when a person is about to deviate from their current path and start flashing. The government is highly in favour of the scheme and have moved valuable resources away from pointless things like education and health to fund the project.

There were some initial teething problems. For instance, when male subjects were testing the device issues occured when they walked past lingerie stores. The indicators would start flashing insanely confusing the male's natural urges with a desire to go into the shop. This was very embarrassing so scientists had to fit a "bra-detector" (invented in 1978 in Luxembourg as a way of finding women after the entire female population pretended to be men for a bit of a laugh) to the indicators. If a man with the lights goes past an area densely packed with bras then the indicators will not flash.

Whilst many are delighted with the new invention some sections have raised concerns about mixing human beings with technology. The We're Really paranoid about Killer Robots and Stuff Society (Now with a club at Sheffield Hallam as well as Warwick) fear similar consequences to those produced by Otto Octavious' experiments in Spiderman. "People think that Spiderman 2 was just a film" begins Pru McTractor, president of WRPAKRASS's Hallam branch, "but it could happen. You start fitting indicators to people and who knows where it could end up? The indicators might take over their bodies and drive them to Conservative Party headquarters forcing them to join up. And can you imagine if this indicator rebellion spreads to cars? You'd have people going left at roundabouts but indicating right! Can you imagine?!"

However the financial carrot on offer for perfecting these devices in massive. And since physicists proved in 1836 that money makes the world go round, their presence is inevitable.


September 16, 2005

The History of the University of Warwick

Foundation

The University of Warwick was founded in 1965. A common misconception is that the university takes it name from the town of Warwick whose district council put forward funds for the institution at its birth. This a myth put about by those pompous people who like Warwick to sound grand and impressive.

In actual fact the university was founded by four militant candle makers from Coventry with the proximity to Warwick town being a mere coincidence. They invented a special candle wick which when lit reacted with the candle wax and exploded, these wicks were known as War-Wicks and became common place. It was on the back of this success that they founded the university, giving it the name of their invention. The hyphen was dropped and the second "w" made silent to confuse Americans.

Notable moments in Warwick History

When the university was first built it was upside down due to a clerical error. Someone mistakedly ticked the "build upside down" box on the plans. This issue was corrected by getting a few thousand people to stand at one of the far edges of the university and jump up and down, thus causing it to flip over. This caused a big mess at what became the top (previously the bottom) of the university. This mess was named Canley.

Officially no UFOs have ever crashed at the University, however unofficially the story goes like this:

In 1972 a spaceship crashed in the heart of the campus. Rather than attempting the cover up the crash, denying the the incident ever occured in the face of the crashed spaceship clearly being outside the Arts Centre, the powers that be in a rare move of genius unveiled the craft as a piece of modern art known as the Koan – more commonly known as the cone by clever scientists or that bloody weird thing with lights that makes a noise by foolish artists.

Hauntings

Supposedly the Cryfield residences are haunted by the ghosts of people hanged at Gibbet Hill, however more recently a much larger and more sinister spectre has appeared: the ridiculously pointedly mentioned ghost of the British Higher Education system. An entity brutally slaughtered using the money gained from tuition fees.

Also the Union is supposedly inhabited by ghosts. From time to time they possess students on nights out and make them behviour strangely, such as pulling odd people, dancing like a twat and in extreme cases losing the ability to walk.


Formula Blog: Round 16 – Belgian Grand Prix

Drivers

10pts Jenson Button: Anyone who overtakes is okay in my book. A dubious performance in qualifying – not that I saw it, I sat in a café in the Peak District at the time. If anything interesting happened like a herd of wilderbeast invading the track please let me know. But it meant he had to race hard and that was good for us the viewer.

8pts Mark Webber: It must have been a brave decision to go on to grooves when previous attempts by drivers to do so had resulted in pirouetting of the sort that would make a ballet dancer look on with envy of such abilities. It was odd how the track refused to dry. My best guess was that it was suffering from the same curse that my clothes have after being to the laundrette when I desperately want them to dry for the following day. I don’t suppose ironing a racing track to speed up the process would be much help.

6pts Jacques Villeneuve: I had’t realised how old Jacques Villeneuve was looking these days until he was offering his comments on Alonso. So credit (Suisse) where credit (Suisse) is due, the reputation of elderly drivers is not the best, Jacques may not seem as quick as he was but he’s still a damn sight quicker than the OAPs you follow at thirty miles an hour along country roads.

5pts Tiago Monteiro: F1s most improved rookie of the year showed again some real skill. Remember how utterly bad he seemed at the start of the year? Jordan would have been better off with Chanoch Nissany. Yet he’s now scored some real points, you can’t help but be impressed.

4pts Giancarlo Fisichella: After his qualifying third and then making great progress in the race after an engine change, you couldn’t help but wonder if the old “fisi” was back, alas for Eau Rouge, though I blame Renault for making him have to push harder to make his way up to somewhere useful.

3pts Michael Schumacher: He was making Rubens Barrichello look like a clown, unfortunately Sato showed us that there’s only one real clown (okay, two real clowns – I was forgetting Montoya) in F1. I’d like to know why there was such a huge gap in front of Schumacher after the safety car went in, there was another after the first six or so cars too. It’s the sort of bug that ruins otherwise good computer games, maybe it’s a case of real life imitating (electronic) arts.

2pts Fernando Alonso: He’s making the most of a points system that differentiates so little between finishing first and second. As early as seven rounds into the championship he could have finished second from then on and still been assured of the title. Though if you do the maths his lead at this stage would still be a commanding twenty points.

1pt Ralf Schumacher: For a while it looked like we were going to be treated to a show of brilliance by fast-Ralf (as opposed to sulky-let-his-teammate-do-all-the-work-Ralf). But then came that silly decision to put on slicks. Naturally if it had worked it would have been pure genius.

-1pt Christian Klien: I’ve been saying throughout the year how under-rated he is but then he puts in a performance every bit as damp as the Spa weather. On the plus side it proves my theory about his improved driving being related to the threat of losing his drive on account that he’s surely got a drive at one of the Red Bull teams.

-3pts Rubens Barrichello: Rubens seems to have entered the zone of “got a drive for next year, can’t be arsed with Ferrari anymore”.

-5pts Antonio Pizzonia: What was he thinking? You have to wonder if there’s some sort of pact between the drivers to punt Montoya off when they’re being lapped by him. Pizzonia and Monteiro would do well to top Verstappen’s effort in Brazil 2001 – that sort of idiocy takes some beating. To Pizzonia’s credit he did at least have the decency to say sorry.

-6pts Kimi Raikkonen: Not content with messing around with inflatable toys during the off season he was found half naked (I don’t know which half, the left?) in a garden near Monza and received a written warning from Ron Dennis. Rumours that this garden belonged to a taylor specialising in red racing overalls have yet to be confirmed. I had to laugh when on the ITV pre-race show there was a feature going through Raikkonen’s diet, they missed out the beer! I bet he has cheeky fry ups when Ron’s not looking too. In all fairness a “wild” lifestyle doesn’t seem to slow him down.

_-10pts Takuma Sato: It just gets worse and worse for Sato. The phrase “it ain’t happening” springs to mind, along with “here’s your P45”.

Drivers Standings

With just three rounds to go the alternative championship is much, much closer than the real one. The fact that Kimi Raikkonen, who looked likely to storm the title, had six points taken off for dubious reasons is of course not related to trying to fix the scores so the title is decided as late as possible, another difference from the real championship. And while we’re on the topic, is anyone else concerned about Bernie Ecclestone? What was that about him wanting the title to go as far as Japan? Correct me if I’m wrong (I’m not by the way, it’s just a turn of phrase) but isn’t the last round in China? Poor bloke doesn’t even know which race to go to next, I do hope he doesn’t end up in Adelaide in the middle of October.

40pts Mark Webber
36pts Fernando Alonso
35pts Nick Heidfeld
34pts Kimi Raikkonen
32pts David Coulthard
31pts Giancarlo Fisichella
26pts Christian Klien
24pts Jarno Trulli
22pts Christijan Albers
18pts Juan Pablo Montoya
18pts Michael Schumacher
15pts Jenson Button
14pts Robert Doornbos
10pts Narain Kathrikeyan
9pts Felipe Massa
9pts Pedro de la Rosa
6pts Patrick Friesacher
5pts Antonio Pizzonia
2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi
-1pt Tiago Monteiro
-3pts Takuma Sato
-6pts Rubens Barrichello
-6pts Ralf Schumacher
-32pts Jacques Villeneuve

Constructors

10pts Toyota: I walked past a panasonic shop and in the window was a TV with a Toyota F1 car going round a track, finally this is a good thing, rather than an "Oh my God! Panasonic are associated with Toyota, bugger this I'm buying a Sony" type thing

8pts Diet Red Bull (aka Minardi): Oh come on, it was too easy a joke to leave out. It’s a sad day for Formula 1 with the last vestige of true independence leaving the sport, though with Dieter Mateschitz seemingly hell bent on buying the whole grid what chance did they have? I’m surprised the manufacturers haven’t cottoned onto this yet, though apparently McLaren are considering running a “B-team” in 2007, Maccy Bs perhaps? What next, the prancing ponies? Oh, I’m on fire today!

6pts Red Bull: There are rumours that Minardi will become Red Bull Team USA. Which is quite exciting if your name is Scott.

5pts McLaren: McLaren and their sponsors have a carefully thought out image they want to convey, they don’t need Raikkonen spoiling it by exposing more flesh than is absolutely necessary. That’s not what companies like Mercedes, Johnnie Walker and Hilton hotels are about. Hmm, the name Hilton and nudity? Nope, can’t think of any jokes there.

_4pts Sauber:_If it weren't for putting slicks on Massa's car they could have been on the podium, or at least maybe in fourth, which is Sauber's favourite best-result-of-the-year position.

3pts Williams: They might be very qucikly running out of sponsors but at least the on track performance is improving.

_2pts Jordan:_The team's first genuine points since Monaco last year at their "favourite" track. Maybe it's got something to do with chips. Belgians like chips. Chips are yellow, Jordans are yellow. I'm not sure where I'm going with this.

1pt BAR: Disappointing in qualifying, much better in the race. Given McLaren's performances in the first three races of the season this might bode very well, or it might mean bugger all. I know which I'm going for.

-2pts Ferrari: Before the Belgian Grand Prix you’d have thought Ferrari’s best chance of winning a real race would be if it were rain affected, preferably with as much as possible being run on intermediate tyres. Well, that appears to be nonsense, though without out Sato’s assault on Schumacher’s gearbox then maybe it could have been a bit better.

Constructors Standings

58pts Red Bull
56pts McLaren
56pts Minardi
53pts Toyota
48pts Renault
25pts Sauber
15pts BAR
-7pts Williams
-14pts Ferrari
-19pts Jordan


June 2019

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