Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Poll #11: Supposedly Pretty People: Nicole Scherzinger

What do you think about Nicole Scherzinger?
Kind of looks like a tranny.

pollcode.com free polls

Letter to the Editor (Election Day Edition)

In the off-season, I think I'm going to start doing a little something called "Letter to the Editor." If it sounds simple, well, that's because it really is. Simply send your questions about F1 (or anything, really; I know about a lot of stuff, haha!) to scrutineering@gmail.com, and I will post the responses here weekly.

In the spirit of Election Day, we're going to have an election-themed question, because surprisingly there is one of those on hand.

Well, maybe not too surprisingly: It's from my younger brother.

Grant writes,

Hypothetically, if Ferdinand Alfonzo [sic; lol!] could run for president, and it was either him or McCain, who would you vote for?

This was followed by a postscript which reads,

P.S. I'm from Britain

Hypothetically, if I could vote for Fernando Alonso, yes, I probably would. Never mind that Alonso is not an American citizen, nor is he 35, has no idea whatsoever about how the United States Government works, and whose foreign policy experience is, well, being the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Alonso would not be qualified to be the next president of the United States. But I would still vote for him because he's pretty darn cool. I don't plan on voting for McCain anyways, but it'd be like,

"Hey, John McCain, can you drive an F1 car? Ha, I thought not! That's why I'm voting for Fernando Alonso!"

Alonso would have to have a very good running mate, though. I've always imagined Mark Webber would be a good political figure. He's well-liked, well-spoken, and conscientious, and he looks a bit Kennedy-ish. However, he does tend to make that weird sad face all the time. Which is why Felipe Massa would be my other pick. Actually, Massa and Alonso are getting on rather well these days. And Massa, popular before, has now been virtually beatified (as he should be, because he's fantastic!) after this Sunday (although largely in Brazil, so I don't know how much that would influence the US election). He's also good at giving inspiring speeches (see my post from race day) and he has no truly embarassing vices (unless you count his race superstitions), arrests, or traffic infractions, a la Nelson Piquet or the Hamiltons.

So there you have it, Grant. Given the option to cast my ballot for Alonso and Massa, I certainly would. But since I can't, I'm off to vote for Barack Obama!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's OVER!?

Ahh, the 2008 season! It's officially over! Where did eighteen races go?!

Today when I checked formula1.com, I met up with the Countdown Clock... now counting down until 2009... I'd forgotten what a depressing sight that is.*

So, as of right now, 143 days, 15 hours, 22 minutes and 16 seconds until the Australian Grand Prix.

And now withdrawal sets in..

*(Oh, it's equally depressing have to read through all the articles singing Hamilton's praises. But I'm still doing it. Because there's nothing else to do for 143 days..)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

You may have noticed that image of jumbled words on my last post. It's a Wordle of Felipe Massa's most used words in his press conference responses.

Well, just for fun, I did a Wordle of Andrew Davies' "Winners and Losers" editorial column for Monaco 2008, the Grand Prix I attended this year. Click on it to see it larger!

A Gentleman Through and Through

Today Felipe Massa did not become World Champion, missing out by one point to Lewis Hamilton in perhaps the most dramatic Grand Prix finish ever. Although Massa took the win at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton managed to pass Timo Glock in the final corners of the last lap to finish fifth and take the Driver's Crown.

In truth, I'd been dreading today since the Chinese Grand Prix. The outlook looked decidedly bleak. I knew deep down this might be this too long a shot.

But in the end, after the initial tears, I'm impressed with how calm I was. I realize this serenity may appear like resignation to "defeat"; as if I wasn't completely invested to supporting my squad this morning. But this isn't true. Obviously I wanted nothing more than for Felipe Massa to take the title. And for a brief moment, the chance was there. However, I can't be up in arms that we didn't take both titles, because realistically there is nothing more I could have asked for or expected from Felipe Massa and Ferrari. We ran the race we needed to run and had anything happened to Hamilton and McLaren, we would have been in the position to win. In the end, though, it was all down to Hamilton, whose finish dictated the final result.

I'm not shocked by the outcry against Timo Glock's (particularly untimely) slip in position during the final corners of the last lap, but I'm disappointed. I'd admonish tifosi to avoid unflattering anti-Glock sentiments. Let's be frank: it's unrealistic to expect a driver to exercise superhuman car control on dry tires in a downpour. And it's unfair to place the blame for Felipe Massa's heartbreaking loss squarely on the shoulders of Timo Glock. Glock's responsibility was and will always be to look after himself and his own race, and I personally find it unreasonable to lambast him for doing this.

Despite the fact that we didn't win the Driver's title, I'm proud of my team. Felipe was nothing but gracious in defeat (see his speeches below for details). Emotional, yes. It was painful to watch him this morning, in tears in the car, choking up on the radio to the team at the end. I couldn't believe he got through the podium. Whenever Kimi Raikkonen gives anyone a hug, you know the situation is serious (voila, a Kimi Raikkonen "hug," below).

(...and now for a real hug! I have to admit, this picture was a day-brightener. Everyone was so somber during the press conference. Alonso looked like he was going to be sick. Additionally, I have never seen Kimi Raikkonen look happier than Felipe Massa. It was kind of a shocker.)

To all those of you who don't think Massa would have been a worthy champion. Look at these pictures. This is a man who put everything into trying to win that title. And if you think differently, well, I have no words for you.

"I think you know the race was just perfect. We did everything fantastically with such a difficult weather. I am so proud about that race I am so proud about the team. I am so proud about the people around who support me more than ever, more than 100 percent, much more than I expected. That is really an emotional day for me. You always do everything perfect even with the temperature but we saw Lewis passing Glock again and that is really mixed a lot of emotions, but that is racing. The race finishes at the chequered flag. We finished in front and we have to be very proud of that, we missed one point but that is racing. We need to be proud about our job, we need to be proud about our race and our championship. I know how to win and I know how to lose. It is another day of my life. I will learn a lot from this day but I am very emotional. Everything perfect today and unfortunately it was not enough, and I think we did a great championship we had some ups and downs and we paid for that. There are races like that, sometimes you have a perfect year with so many victories and a very reliable car, sometimes you have ups and downs, that is racing. One year to the another many things change and that was our championship, but even if we have some ups and downs, I think everybody did a great job, everybody worked really hard to achieve our goals with the heart and sometimes thing don't happen in the way we want, but that is racing, that is the sport, but we need to be happy with our constructors' championship, it is very important. I am sure our president, everyone in the team is very proud, very happy like me - and we need to congratulate Lewis as he did a great championship, he scored more points than us so he deserves to be champion. I know how to lose, I know how to win and it is another day of my life where I will learn a lot. Hopefully we come back here with the title (next year), but it is part of our experience and part of our life."