Saturday, August 24, 2013

Eau Rouge

Do you ever wish you were in Belgium?

Me?  I spent a lot of time in Belgium back in the day and I think the country is a little bit under-rated.  And I say this with the full understanding that literally every man in the country appears to own the same dark-green hounds-tooth blazer.  Truth is, I desperately wish I was there right now.

Why?

Good God, man!  They're running the Belgian Grand Prix tomorrow.  More specifically, tomorrow at 7:30 EDT.  NBC Sports Network, if you're counting.  My boy Alonso is 9th on the grid and perhaps it's time to just admit that it's just not our year.

Here's some static footage of what is possibly the coolest corner in all of Formula 1:  Eau Rouge.  Disregard the weird opening graphics.



I don't know if it ever passed, but the Daytona International Speedway last year introduced some state legislation that would allow fans to be buried at Daytona.  Me?  I'd like to be buried on that crescent shaped patch of green right in the middle of Eau Rouge. I'd of course insist that my gravestone be made of styrofoam so as not to present a danger to the drivers.

You don't really get it from the video, but Eau Rouge is the epitome of F1 racing.  Flat out, entering at 190+ (and we're talking miles per hour, not kilometers) coming down the hill, slight left turn, bottom out, slight right turn going back up the hill, slight left at the top of the hill and you're back on the straightaway.

All of which is being done at the absolute limit of adhesion.  Lateral g-forces reach 4; 2Gs compression at the bottom of the hill; -1G going over the top of the hill.  Which means the car wants to fly, except that modern F1 cars exert 2-3 times their body weight in downward aerodynamic pressure so it still sticks to the road (meaning that @150+ MPH they can drive upside down).

Not sure what the internal organs are doing during this transition period.

Is this too much?
Possibly.
Forgive my enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is good for the soul.
Yes it is.  And I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest that Kimi Raikkonen's pass of Michael Schumacher on Eau Rouge in, maybe, 2011 was one of the ten greatest sports moments of the millennium.

Let's all tune in tomorrow and live-blog the race.

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