All entries for Wednesday 27 April 2005

April 27, 2005

Academic vampirism

Houston, we have a problem. It seems I'm becoming ever-more incapable of working in daylight hours. A whole day off and I'm just starting to think about doing actually useful stuff. The main issue with this, of course, is that the days are getting longer. I thought it was about 7:00 until I looked at the clock.

On a related note (ahem), I'm up early tomorrow – I'm off to Silverstone to watch a Formula 1 test session – which is FREE to get into! We're expecting Williams and possibly Jordan to be present. Actually while I'm talking about F1 testing issues:

Nico Rosberg

Rosberg started his job as Williams' second official test driver today (alongside Pizzonia). The interesting thing about this is not that he's the son of F1 world champion Keke Rosberg (1982), but that he's younger than I am! He was born on 27th June 1985 - it's just depressing! I mean, look at him – not even past the acne stage yet! He first drove an F1 car at the age of 17; he and Nelsinho Piquet (son of 3-times F1 champion Nelson Piquet) will both be racing in F1 by 2008, I'm sure.


Now, everyone knows Minardi are the minnows of the F1 grid. Their annual budget has been compared to what Ferrari spends on hospitality in a year (and Ferrari's budget is actually beaten by Toyota, who have set aside – seriously – around $500 million for this year's spending!). So it wasn't unexpected that they announced their test driver would be someone who'd bring sponsorship money to the team. The surprise was that he was a 41 year-old Israeli who took up racing in his thirties – albeit very successfully, winning lots of championships in lesser formulae. The story on today did amuse me though (I don't mind replicating it because most of their stories are stolen unattributed from other sites):

At Mugello the Minardi team began their two-day test to learn more about their new PS05 car. Testing got underway for the Italian team around noon, but was soon halted when test driver Nissany crashed into his team mate Albers when Albers tried to overtake him.


Possibly more amusing is a fact slipped in by the reporter, who stated

It was the second time Nissany tested for the Minardi team in Italy. In Misano he managed to complete six laps, spinning in five of them.

Although it's easy to laugh at the guy and the way he's seconds and seconds off the pace of a regular Minardi driver, I'm willing to bet he's still comfortably quicker than the best racing drivers I've been beaten by. More proof (if proof were needed) that I'm not going to make it into serious competitive motorsport!

The same article provided a nice insight into the Italian way of doing things. Minardi's a small team, up against the wall, and they've committed a huge sum of money to hire out a test track for the day. They're running two cars each worth nearly a million dollars, supported by a handful of the best engineers, mechanics and drivers in the motorsport world. It's the first time they've tried to gather serious amounts of engineering data from their new car, a monumental task. And yet, reading the article:

We started our day of testing at Mugello just before noon. It went pretty good in the morning… At 13.00 we had lunch…


Talking to one's housemates via MSN… the height of silliness.

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