By on February 27, 2013

There is a majesty in Formula One that is rarely found elsewhere. This six-minute film documents that majesty in completely convincing, and satisfying, fashion.

The 2013 season promises to be enjoyable; Red Bull looks vulnerable and the move of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes should be very amusing both for fans of close-run racing and those of us who look forward to seeing what Mr. Hamilton can accomplish without McLaren’s competence to back him. I’ll be cheering for Fernando Alonso to match Senna’s three WDCs myself!

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53 Comments on “The Start...”


  • avatar
    James2

    I’m hoping Massa can return to form. He was World Champion for, what, half a lap?

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I to will be shouting for Alonso. I am pleased that they got the dull factor out finally an I will be following this year. Perhaps TTAC would give us a race review after each race. Your opinions and insight would be interesting.

  • avatar
    rnc

    Last time I saw anything worth watching in F1 (CART was the best of the best, in terms of combining tech, driving skill and actual competitiveness, until the Indy idiot destroyed it) was watching Senna at the Brazilian GP during a rain storm, turning off TC, staying out on Flats and actually increasing his lead in the process, that was true driving brilliance.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    I’ve always been an open wheel fan, but grew up on Indy car racing. The thrill in the 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s was the competition among the best drivers and a variety of chassis/engine combinations. Unfortunately, Indy car has become a spec series where everyone has the same stuff (I think you can buy everything you need at Home Depot).
    Formula One has replaced the space previously occupied by Indy car on my racing “menu”. The best drivers, engineers, and a variety of equipment. Yes, it takes a spectacular amount of money, but they do it with such style.

  • avatar
    belfagor

    watching this makes you realize what a clowns’ circus NASCAR really is

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      Yes I stopped watching NASCAR when (and I never liked Gordon for any particular reason), Gordon’s team designed a car completely within the rules that was so radically superior (and NASCAR always had RULES), that NASCAR changed the rules and made him use the car from the year before, every year since then, its become more WWE and less racing, I fell in love with it in the 80′s (born in 74′)when the ability to build an engine (as they were basically using STOCK cars) meant as much as anything and damn the Elliot brothers could build an engine (nothing quite like watching a square shaped thunderbird hit 200mph and seeing the wheels lift off the ground here and there).

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      What exactly about watching a bunch of guys putting on their driving suits made you realize what a clown’s circus NASCAR really is?

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Good observation. Open-wheeled racing sobers the sport – less smash-up derby, more finesse.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Bernie needs to hire Antti. Where does that guy get those clips, anyway? Hmmmmm?

  • avatar

    Was there ever a man who deserved the description “dashing” more than Graham Hill?

    You know, in the wake of the spectators’ injuries at Daytona, it’s hard to imagine just how dangerous auto racing was in the 1950s and 1960s. In the last 10 years how many racing deaths can you think of offhand? There was Dale Earnhardt in 2001, Dan Wheldon more recently, Scott Kallita in drag racing, Simonicelli in MotoGP. In the ’50s and ’60s racers knew that friends of theirs would be dead by season’s end. Guys like Bill Simpson, John Fitch and Jackie Stewart deserve a lot of credit for making the sport safer.

    • 0 avatar
      CliffG

      Hill looked like what a daring gentleman race driver should look like. Following racing since the ’60s I have to cringe when I look back at some of my old pictures, “oh, he’s dead, um, he’s dead, sheesh”. Simoncelli was a real throw back, miss him.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      Look up the BBC documentary Grand Prix: the Killer Years. I’ll warn you some of the content is graphic and hard to watch. It’s a sobering look at the issue of safety in Grand Prix racing up through the 70s. It’s no longer on youtube (I’m guessing copyright issues) but I just found it easily using a search engine. It’s long, close to an hour, but well worth watching. I know we like to talk about the “golden age” of motorsports, and while much of the way thing used to be is appealing, when confronted with the human cost of that era, it’s hard not to realize we have it way better now.

      • 0 avatar

        At the Detroit Indycar race, I stopped into the Chevy tent where the Corvette pace cars were, so I could use a golf cart there to put my camera bag while I set up my 3D rig. There was an older guy sitting on the cart and after a few seconds I said to him, “You’re Johnny Rutherford, aren’t you?”. He was very, very gracious and spoke with me for about 15 minutes. I asked him about the danger back then and he said that it was as dangerous as you made it. When I mentioned Eddie Sachs’ crash at Indy, he said the he drove right into that wreck (and was injured). They had big ones, made of titanium, not just brass. The women who raced then, like Suzi Dietrich and Denise McCluggage, had complimentary female parts.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Yeah, that’s a really good one. Caught it on The Documentary Channel. The last scene brought a tear to my eye.

        Rallying: The Killer Years is pretty good too.

        To quote Raikkonen: “Drivers made from steel in cars made of wood.”

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I’d really like to see Caterham do better, but I’m rooting for Lotus and Kimi to win the championship.

  • avatar
    Dr. Michael Delaney

    Jack, thanks for finding and posting this video. I was absolutely mesmerized. Kudos to Antti Kalhola for such a fine job from clip to music selection. I look forward to watching it with my petrol head buddies and name the drivers, cars, tracks, etc.

  • avatar
    chimichanga

    Honest question: I don’t have cable, and don’t want to have cable. But I am willing to pay to watch F1. Anyone knows what my options would be? Can F1 be watched online?

    • 0 avatar
      akitadog

      http://www.eplsite.com/f1.html

      It’s a bit ungainly to navigate, but you’ll eventually get a streaming player with the races live (from the BBC, I think). Pop-ups galore, and there may be a virus or two looking to get in, but I have a MacBook Pro, and it doesn’t seem to have been affected.

    • 0 avatar
      mitchw

      There’s VPNs. TunnelBear is a brand. The rest is up to you. I don’t know you.

      • 0 avatar
        chimichanga

        Thanks guys. Google brought that up akitadog, but wasn’t sure it was legit. I can handle the limitations you mention. Your message is more cryptic mitchw, but i think i know what you’re pointing at.

  • avatar
    Mykl

    I’m in the “can someone from a team that’s not Ferrari or Red Bull win one?” camp. For no real reason I was kind of pulling for Kimi this year, but was pretty satisfied with the overall level of competition for the 2012 season. Lots of good racing to be seen.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    That was brilliant! Thanks Jack.

  • avatar
    RRocket

    In the 2012 season, there were what….4-5 passes for the lead (on track) the ENTIRE season? I’m sorry…lead changes occuring in the pits does not constitute good racing for this race fan.

  • avatar
    belfagor

    RRocket, you sound like the average Murican who’s not watching soccer because… there aren’t enough goals scored!

    • 0 avatar
      RRocket

      We’re talking about RACING. And racing generally means SOME meaningful passing. But generally, there’s not even ONE per race in F1…unless you enjoy the dicing between the back markers…which means nothing in the grand scheme of the race. I don’t go to races to watch the backmarkers dice it up.

      Oh…and I’m not American.

      • 0 avatar
        philipbarrett

        Oh…and obviously haven’t watched F1 in 4 seasons. 1139 overtaking maneuvers in 2012 including 90 in China alone.

        • 0 avatar

          How many of those “overtaking maneuvers” were for the race lead? I wouldn’t be surprised if in a typical 500 mile NASCAR race that there are over 1,000 passes for position. At heart I’m a fan of road racing and I’ve been a fan of F1 since I was a kid, but one thing you can say about NASCAR is that there is a lot of passing for position. One reason why I’ve started watching MotoGP and other motorcycle racing is that there is passing.

          When Ferrari and Michael Schumacher reigned, F1 races were parades. It’s more competitive now but how many races aren’t won by the driver in first place after the first lap?

          • 0 avatar
            philipbarrett

            WWF Raw has a lot of title fights. Your point is?

          • 0 avatar

            My point is that F1 would be more exciting to watch if there was more passing for position on the track, particularly for the lead and the other podium spots.

            Fuel and pit strategy are undoubtedly part of racing and a win is a win, but ultimately racing is about two drivers head to head and too few F1 races, at least for my tastes, have head to head racing for the lead.

            The ’55 LeMans deaths were in the news lately. A documentary on the crash described how early in the race Mike Hawthorn and Juan Manuel Fangio traded the lead back and forth. That’s racing.

            I’m not a fan of how the France family has run NASCAR but I don’t think it’s completely fair to compare them to the WWF. It’s more like the way the NBA refs give the superstars more steps when they drive to the basket, or the way the same league wants a final between the Lakers with Kobe and the Heat with LeBron. Dale Earnhardt Sr. would have been black flagged in most other racing series.

            BTW, am I the only person who thinks that Fox and ESPN fell down in their responsibility to report on the injured spectators and the crash that caused their injuries? Those networks are the business partners of NASCAR.

        • 0 avatar
          RRocket

          Oh..and obviously your reading skills are lacking. I said FOR THE LEAD and MEANINGFUL. There are 4-5 on track passes for the YEAR for the LEAD in F1. For what is supposedly one of the greatest racing series in the world, this is unacceptable.

          As I said..I care much less about overtaking for position at the back of the pack. I don’t go to races to watch dices for obscurity.

          I too much prefer MotoGP racing these days. And it’s not like I’ve never been to F1…I went to nearly every race in Detroit when they were held there, saw a race at Indy and have been to Montreal a few times. The point is, due to lack of good racing and MEANINGFUL passing, I’m not much of a fan anymore.

          Sadly, the most exciting part of an F1 weekend these days is qualifying.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            You are definitely right. Although I am a big F1 fan, there needs to be more actual racing. Also DRS passes aren’t passes, and it stops drivers from trying to pass in a non DRS zone.

          • 0 avatar
            serothis

            I wouldn’t mind DRS passes if the driver could use it at any time, whether to pass or just keep the lead.

    • 0 avatar

      belfagor,

      Google “pitchers’ duel” and then tell me that Americans can’t appreciate a low scoring game.

      Americans aren’t great soccer fans not because there aren’t enough goals, the game hasn’t really caught on here because there’s hardly any offense at all, with very few shots on goal and even fewer real scoring chances.

      See, in baseball, in a low scoring game, on every pitch there is still the chance that the batter will connect and maybe even hit a home run. In hockey, when a goaltender turns away dozens of shots, they call that “standing on his head” and the fans go wild.

      It’s scoring chances that are exciting. Kicking the ball around between the two teams at mid field (or is it mid pitch?) may appeal to aficionados of the game but it won’t appeal to a casual sports fan who has abundant other choices.

      Speaking of those choices, considering that the American market supports four different major league sports, plus motorsports, plus soccer as it exists, plus minor league sports, plus big time collegiate sports, I’d say that Americans are fairly diverse in their sporting tastes.

  • avatar
    Variant

    But, I didn’t see 50Cent anywhere?

    Seriously though, who is the total badass at 0:56?

  • avatar
    TomHend

    Joe Saward does a great job of covering the F1 season.

    He goes to every race.

    http://joesaward.wordpress.com/

  • avatar
    Windy

    My dad took me to several F1 GP races in the late 50s and early 60s and the cars were so beautiful with out all the advertising and graphics on them. The drivers sat up with the huge steering wheels and you could see them working so hard heaving the wheel back and forth and with the old fashioned helmets you could see their faces as well.

    I understand the need and I am in favor of all the advances in driver safety that we have today and I guess all that advertising covering the car and drivers suits etc helps pay for that… but I do wish we could do without it.

    The thing that bothers me about F1 today is the way that the rules are such a drag on progress. The rules about testing and how much cash that they can spend per team are the worst ones for me but if I ruled the world of F1 I would have just a rule on displacement and one that said the car had to fit into a box of a given size be open wheeled not weigh less than X and of course the driver safety rules… tires etc would be what you could afford to buy of convince any maker to build and give you. perhaps even have a formula that would let any sort of engine be used if it fit in the car and the car in the box and make weight..

    Almost every form of racing has suffered since they capped lap times/speed for safety reasons…
    if the track/car/speed combo is too dangerous then do what you need to do to the car or the track to bring the risk to where the drivers are comfortable with it but do not limit speed as that is where the excitement is and seeing the speed get faster every year is something I miss the most… if it could have been don this way think how fast the card at the 24 hour races would be going today…. in the 50s and 60s the speeds went up every year in almost every sort of race… all sorts of different things were tried even jet turbine engines.
    . (Nascar ceased to be of interest when they stopped using real cars in the 60s but that is another area)

    • 0 avatar
      philipbarrett

      I’m with you, I’d do the box, the weight and a predetermined quantity of fuel for each race. Run any kind of engine you want.

      • 0 avatar
        serothis

        I would love that too. Could you imagine a track full of v8′s, v10′s, v12′s (and in my wild fantasy, rotaries)?

        I don’t mind caps as long as they allow teams to be creative and take risks in other tech.

        • 0 avatar
          Numbers_Matching

          ‘I would love that too. Could you imagine a track full of v8′s, v10′s, v12′s’

          It was that way in ’89-’92 the first few years of the 3.5L ‘aspro’ formula. Totally awesome before the v10 was basically settled on by almost everyone but Ferrari.

  • avatar
    Matzel

    The days of ‘run what you brung’ are gone, but I would prefer to have refueling reintroduced to allow for more varied strategies.

    As far as the 2013 season is concerned: GO SEB & GO Red Bull!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      +1 on the reintroduction of refueling. I was an F1 fan from 1976 until fairly recently, and it was reintroduced in 1994 because of complaints that the races were tedious processions. Apparently Max and Bernie had lobotomies and forgot.

      There are lots of things they could do to improve the racing that they don’t even discuss. Getting rid of the front wings and freeing up the rules on floors and bodywork between the wheels would allow comparable downforce while letting a faster following car run closer to a leading car without losing as much grip, which is a big reason they don’t pass. Or they could take the wings off and reduce overall grip, increasing braking distances and the opportunities for a driver to out-brake another driver into a corner. They could pair this one with a return to powerful engines, keeping lap times brag worthy while reducing cornering speeds and emphasizing driver talent. Reduced cornering speeds would reduce crash energy enough to compensate for any increases on straightaways.

      I don’t have any love at all for the current tire rules, gimmicks like DRS and KERS, and the increasing frequency of safety car use. All of this is counter to the idea of F1 being a real competition and for me they combine to remove any additional legitimacy of a grand prix over a NASCAR road race. The tires are just about the worst of all possible worlds from a meaningful competition perspective. Soft slicks create marbles that only reduce passing opportunities which require skill. Managing tires makes viewing races as exciting as standing on the side of the beltway watching people go as fast as they feel they can without getting a ticket. How many passes this year were because the leading car was limping around on fragged tires? Where is the excitement in that? Once suppliers figured out how to make grooved tires with useful grip, the requirement of maintaining the grooves and keeping the tread from chunking dictated relatively hard compounds that didn’t shed marbles and ruin the racing surface. With a single tire supplier, a slick tire could use a similar compound. Unfortunately, randomness is what the FIA thinks the fans are insipid enough to celebrate as competition.

      Engine management rules are another detriment to the sport. They don’t save any money. Teams will always spend what they can raise. Engines that last 2,000 miles instead of 250 miles require massive development programs which take place behind closed doors. Where is the return for the fans? Not in watching practice, when the cars are parked most of the time to keep miles off the engines. This also applies to tire limits, which ‘save’ money by minimizing the time fans get to watch cars on track during a race weekend. Silly. Testing limits also keep cars off the track. Instead, the same money and more is spent on test benches, wind tunnels, and simulations. Yippee! That’s just as interesting as when one could follow testing reports on line and local fans could go to the track, except for not being at all as interesting. The engine and gearbox durability rules are also there to introduce randomness to the grid. Once again, if randomness is what someone is looking for, F1 should not be catering to them.

      That’s my view on the current state of a former sport that I formerly loved. Other series have as many problems and more, but I think F1 has been taken down from the loftiest heights.

  • avatar
    Tifighter

    I don’t know what to do about Alonso anymore. He was the guy to take it to Michael/Ferrari which made him a favorite for me for years. Then he went to Ferrari. which is like having Ichiro go to the Yankees (or everyone go to the Yankees). Still, he’s the most talented driver of his generation, and has been in the championship hunt into the last race nearly every season since the mid 00′s. Let’s see Vettel do that.

    Oh well, I’m a Sauber guy anyhow. Tschuss…


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