Monday, May 12, 2014

In the Simulator

Did you watch the Spanish Grand Prix?  The usual Mercedes dominance, which is fine with me, with Hamilton once again holding off Rosberg, which is less fine with me.  The man's a whiner.

Me?  Prior to a given race, I like to spend some time driving the course in the simulator.  Teams like Ferrari and McLaren spend tens of millions of dollars on their simulators.  My simulator is less impressive -- it cost $299 four or five years ago and is made by Sony.

Nonetheless, I did step into the virtual version of Mark Webber's 2012 Red Bull and managed to negotiate the Circuit de Catalunya in 1:30.6.  Which phonetically sounds like "one minute thirty point six seconds."  Which I thought was pretty good, even though I had it set on "easy" with both transmission and brakes being automatic.  Being somewhat Red Bull-phobic, I initially tried a Ferrari.  But in 2012, if the Red Bulls were like nuclear submarines then the Ferraris were like submarine sandwiches.  If that's not too labored a turn of phrase.

For comparison's sake, Kimi Raikkonen set the track record back in 2008 at 1:21.6.  He was driving a Ferrari like this one ...

This was back in the day when Formula 1 cars were, if not exactly beautiful, at least not completely hideous.

Update:  After the race, the Mercedes boys, at the request of F1, will stay behind and test out some knucklehead's idea of strapping a megaphone onto the end of the exhaust pipe in an attempt to make the cars sound cooler.  I find this appalling, but not the least bit surprising.  Right up there with BMW playing engine noise through the stereo, so the drivers of their ├╝ber-expensive M5 feels more at one with the car.

Dude.  Roll down the window.


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