It's the weekend of the Australian F1 Grand Prix down in Melbourne.I used to go to the Grand Prix every year but 2006 was the last time I went.Since then my interest in F1 has waned.
Today I made a big effort.I told myself that I was becoming a grumpy old man about F1 and that I should get back into it this year.I sat down and watched this morning's free practice session on Channel 10.Well I tried to watch it but it was not a success.The cars all look the same,I don't recognise many of the drivers and the new cars sound like noisy Formula Fords.Most of the commentary seemed to be preoccupied with discussion about systems and data monitoring and technical details and discussing the overly prescriptive rules-did you know that even the tyre warmers have thermometers built in as the rules prescribe the max heat they can put into the tyres?The steering wheels look like a section of the flight deck instrument panel from an Airbus A380.And the pit crews seemed to be in continuous contact with the drivers as they lapped.Who's driving the cars -the drivers or the race engineers or some server in the Midlands of the UK?
All the cars seemed to have even more sponsorship logos on than ever before.Even the ads in the frequent commercial breaks were for IT - Microsoft Cloud running Lotus etc,etc.It was like watching an IT convention not motor racing.
I tried the watching qualifying late this afternoon but it was no better.The format for qualifying has been changed again and the cars hardly have any time on the track.After 20 mins I was bored and went downstairs to talk to my wife and watch the news on TV.
For me F1 should be very brave men with very big balls driving very fast noisy cars around a track very quickly.That is not what I saw on TV today.
I will try and watch the race late tomorrow afternoon but the signs are not good.
Before that I am doing something much more engaging driving way across country-hopefully on very empty roads to go to the Classic Porsche pie and coffee meet at Bilpin in the Blue Mountains.I was planning to take my 2.2 as it is such a great car to drive on the winding roads but have opted for the 2.7 as the endless summer continues and with 30ºC plus temps and high humidity forecast I fancy the aircon for what will be a tiring but fun five hour round trip.At least the Porsche only has a steering wheel,a gear lever and the minimum number of instruments.And I don't have to have someone on the pit wall telling me on the radio when to wipe my nose.