Monday, February 01, 2010

F1: Testing, Twitter and poorly punctuated press releases

A sizeable chunk of the Formula One world has gathered in Valencia for the first official testing of the year. This is where the cars hit the road for the first time and the designers all sweat as we get to see if they do actually work in real life as opposed to in the wind tunnel.

Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Renault, Toro Rosso and Sauber took part today. Red Bull preserves its air of mystery, as it did last year, by sitting out the early tests. It certainly didn't do them any harm in 09, that's for sure.

Virgin F1 isn't letting its car loose until Thursday and Friday of this week at Silverstone. Lotus doesn't launch its car until 12th Feb which leaves USF1, Campos and Force India are still to tell us what they're up to. Force India's last tweet suggested we'd know more round about 12 February.

Twitter has made a huge difference to we fans as we can get minute by minute accounts from teams, drivers and journalists. That nice James Allen has even sorted all the various tweets into intelligible form for us all. You can even filter them so,for example, you can only see the drivers' or the teams' tweets and cut out the commentary from the journalists.

More fantastic even than seeing Michael Schumacher back behind the wheel of an F1 car was Felipe Massa's return after that horrible crash in Hungary last July. I'm glad that he finished up on top today. The full results were:

1 Felipe Massa 1:12.574 (Ferrari)
2 Pedro de La Rosa 1:12.784 (Sauber)
3 Michael Schumacher 1:12.947 (Mercedes)
4 Nico Rosberg 1:13.543 (Mercedes)
5 Gary Paffett 1:13.846 (McLaren)
6 Rubens Barrichello 1:14.449 (Williams)
7 Sebastien Buemi 1:14.762 (Toro Rosso)
8 Robert Kubica 1:15.000 (Renault)

Mercedes GP are going to have to proof read their press releases more carefully - an apostrophe missing in the first line made me shudder. (Update: 21:45 - well, one word from me, and they change it. I'm impressed. Well, actually, I'm sure it had nothing to do with this but it's good to see such attention to detail from the team.)

However, it appears that Mr Schumacher is having fun. Actually, I'm beginning to wonder if his return is a bit of a mid life crisis:

"It felt just like at the very beginning of my career in 1991 when on the first lap, I thought ‘wow that was really fast’ and then on the second lap, I was just extremely excited. I feel like a young boy again and really enjoyed myself out there."

I just hope it feels the same for him half way through the season when he's truly back on the F1 treadmill.

I just wish Radio 5 Live had sent Ant and Crofty out there to cover the testing like they do the practice sessions.

Instead, I have to make do with German TV - but it is worth trying to kickstart my schoolgirl German to see Schumi fly again.

Seeing their reporter made me grateful for the BBC1 boys. You just don't wear a shiny suit in a pit lane, for goodness sake. Enjoy!


Roland Hulme said...

A typo in the Mercedes press release? Hmmm, what about all that so-called 'German efficiency'? ;-)

Sarah said...

It's not great attention to detail if they released a mistake and then had to re-release a corrected version! Get it right first time. (Sorry, I am an editor and proofreader, I've had 'attention to detail' hammered into me for past 11 years!)


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