Alianora La Canta

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    Alianora La Canta

    I am rather confused as to how a school bus driver could possibly have mistaken a live race track for a school run. For that matter, I am rather confused as to why a school bus driver would have chosen this particular method of visiting the track even if the visit had been deliberate (race fans don’t generally want to stop races, and it wasn’t as if it was likely that anything other than a red flag would be the result of that bit of driving). It sounds like the F4 organisers are as mystified as me…


    Alianora La Canta

    Do football/tennis/cricket/rugby/golf commentators ever pretend dull matches are exciting?

    Can’t speak for football, tennis, cricket or golf – I don’t have a similar enough view of exciting/dull to even a “casual fan” to be able to judge how they handle dull events.

    Rugby commentators complain mildly about a dull half but only after the whistle has been blown. The most that might happen before that is it will be described as “quiet”, and there’ll be more in-match analysis and context discussion than usual.

    Triatlon doesn’t hide when a round is dull, but then it rarely gets a dull round (at least, once one looks away from any potential breakaway leader, which the camera direction and commentators are both able to do).

    Personally, faking excitement tends to backfire. Finding something exciting (even if it’s unconventional!) and getting excited about that works. If the top 5 drivers have an acre of space before and after them, it’s good to get excited about that driver who’s 3 places above their car’s natural pecking-order position on merit in 6th. Or the pitched battle for 10th between the sensible racer trying to get their team’s first point and the driver with steam coming out of their ears trying not to break a 15-race points streak. Or the question of modern track maintenance techniques (all of these were possible and underutilised discussion areas in the Monaco Grand Prix).

    And if a race truly is without excitement points, let the audience know and explain the reasons and context properly – BAFTAs have been won for such commentary efforts before (take a bow, ITV Indianapolis 2005).


    Alianora La Canta

    I see commentators as having three jobs, in order (but all necessary to some extent):

    #1 Telling people what is happening
    #2 Telling people why they should care
    #3 Translating complicated things that are relevant to #1 and #2 into simpler terms

    “Hype” could be interpreted as an element of #2. If the racing is good, no hype should be necessary, but if the racing is bad, some “spin” may be justified to prevent the whole thing from becoming an unwarranted moanfest. (Occasionally things are so terrible that a moanfest is the only proper response, but if that is done for an entire season, however justified, it’s kind of difficult to justify doing commentary on that subject for the following year).

    I can accept hype from a mediocre commentator, especially if the racing is bad at the time. However, a great commentator does not need hype – they can work purely with the racing as it is, regardless of what state it is in.


    Alianora La Canta

    That doesn’t sound like “every price point” to me any more than the £250 mouse mats of a few years ago did…


    Alianora La Canta

    I think you would need somebody who knew Chinese commercial law, as I believe that would be the jurisdiction of the agreement. In the UK it’s legal to oversell planes provided a full refund (ticket plus provable expenses or mutually agreed alternative travel arrangement) is offered to someone denied a flight as a result. I do not know if anything similar applies to Chinese racing tracks.


    Alianora La Canta

    I don’t use Instagram or Snapchat (I’m not a picture-orientated person) and have almost completely abandoned Facebook due to it crashing nearly every time I try to use it. I rarely use YouTube for F1 things. So when it comes to social media, I only see Twitter, Tumblr and a few forums (I count those as social media, and as of this week I’m down to three: actively on GPWizard and my upcoming forum, and mostly read-only on the F1 Fanatic forum).

    I’ve found that Twitter and F1 Fanatic almost completely remove my need to look elsewhere for F1-related things. Only for statistics and oddball research exercises do I bother using an item not linked in one or the other (at least when it comes to the internet; print books are another matter). For some reason, Twitter seems to be more useful the fewer people I directly follow; I’m getting uncomfortable at the 281 I currently follow, and some of those rarely post anything!

    I like the banter from the F1 teams; part of the joy of following so few is that you get a feel for the people behind the tweets, and of the teams’ relationships. From what I’ve seen during in-person visits to motorsports paddocks, the bantering is more true to what many teams are like than the dry reporting that one expects from, say, most of the on-site journalists produce. (Though perhaps there are teams in F1 where that is not so?) It also helps that quite a few of my friends produce long tweet-threads on their favourite topics during the week (9 chained posts is common, and I see 12+ at least once a week), so in comparison most of the banter pieces still end up being mercifully short.

    (Also, I may be biased in Force India’s case, since we may communicate rather more often with each other than usually happens between fan and team).

    Two accounts would be helpful for many teams; one “just the facts” account for people like Keith who need the news as straightforwardly as possible, and one “full output” account for people like me who enjoy the humour.

    I have noticed that people are tending to have shorter memories than when I started using Twitter (though not as bad as Facebook was getting before I near-abandoned it). Sometimes that can be a problem, and then being able to go to Tumblr – where this is less of a problem – is a relief. As far as I know, however, no team or driver has an official account there, only a handful of student journalists and fans (mostly, it seems, between the ages of 13 and 25 – I enjoy being a “senior fan” there).

    Those who use Twitter well are the ones who remember they are people: Force India, Renault and Mercedes, yes, but also McLaren (yes, being plain and straightforward can also be personable), Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Will Ponissi, among others. Lewis Hamilton is more difficult for me to judge because I find his style irritating; however, his use of Twitter is unique and the responses I’ve seen suggest he belongs in the “uses Twitter well” category too.

    Some use Twitter badly because they sound like robots (Red Bull, surprisingly, has had that feel for a couple of years for me, Sauber sometimes struggles with this, as well as the official F1 and FIA accounts). Some because they are apt to blunder (Taki Inoue and Joe Saward are the two I most remember for this – I can accept occasional dodgy tweets but doing so frequently does not a happy follower make). is starting to annoy me because it’s become so prone to dumping large quantities of link-tweets. I get it’s a big site, but there’s a limit to how much is useful or interesting for me to read, and it blocks out lots of other things… …even after I’ve stopped following it, thanks to people’s propensity to retweet!

    A couple of people who used to do Twitter in F1 no longer do so; the one who told me about it said it was to do with information overload and repetition. The next challenge for social media – and F1 – is not in getting the information out, but helping people to filter it so they can understand and enjoy it.

    I need to unfollow some accounts, if only to get the figure below 250 (which seems to be my personal upper threshold for not being annoyed at the number), but I will see whether inactive accounts will drop me below that number before seeing if any active F1 accounts need to be unfollowed…


    Alianora La Canta

    I’m OK with taking the Daily Mail on an item-by-item basis. Information literacy is more helpful to understanding the world than blanket bans, and even a broken clock is correct twice a day. Wikipedia has to marshal a huge number of contributors’ offerings, so it can’t really use a “some are OK, some not” stance because the subtlety would inevitably be lost. F1 Fanatic does not have this problem. The Wikipedia note is a reminder to treat sources with caution, even if professionals are writing the piece, but F1 Fanatic is in a better position to sort the wheat from the chaff in its specialised niche.


    Alianora La Canta

    Were they all involved with the only three-passenger taxi on a F1 track?


    Alianora La Canta

    There is a regular bus from Northampton to Silverstone (#88) on every day except Sunday on regular weeks. However, the traffic situation on Grand Prix weeks means this will have a different route. There may also be #88 buses laid on for that specific Sunday, but I cannot guarantee this.

    I would recommend Megabus, if only because that will definitely run on Sunday and definitely stop at a convenient point near the track. It may even be cheaper – the #88 bus is £5.75 each way…


    Alianora La Canta

    All the missed races I’ve been able to find, by entry list appearance. Note that I’m including all DNSes here, so Vettel’s today will be on the list even though some wouldn’t count that. DNSs involving the driver being on track for some part of the weekend and still getting a DNS will be marked. Replacements given where known:

    Ferrari, Raikkonen: USA 2005* – tyres (thanks OmarRoncal), USA/Brazil 2013 – back surgery/salary issues with Kovalainen substititing (thanks OmarRoncal)
    Ferrari, Vettel: Germany/Britain/Europe – between substitution duties (thanks David Not Coulthard), Bahrain 2016* – power unit

    Force India, Pérez: Monaco*/Canada* 2011 – concussion with de la Rosa substituting for the latter (thanks JackySteeg), Malaysia 2014* – gearbox
    Force India, Hülkenberg: Australia 2013* – fuel leak, Belgium 2015* – power unit

    Haas, Grosjean: Italy 2012 – suspension, substituted by d’Ambrosio (thanks JackySteeg)
    Haas, Gutierrez: never

    McLaren, Alonso: USA 2005* – tyres (thanks OmarRoncal/JackySteeg), Australia 2015 – concussion (thanks JackySteeg), Bahrain 2016 – chest injury substituted by Vandoorne (thanks to OmarRoncal)
    McLaren, Button: Monaco 2003* – concussion (thanks JackySteeg), Spain/Monaco 2005 – team suspended (thanks to OmarRoncal), USA 2005* – tyres, Bahrain 2015* – energy recovery (thanks AmbroseRPM)
    McLaren, Vandoorne: never

    Mercedes, Rosberg: never
    Mercedes, Hamilton: never

    Manor, Haryanto: never
    Manor, Wehrlien: never

    Red Bull, Ricciardo: Italy 2011 – team substituted by Karthikeyan
    Red Bull, Kyvat: Australia 2015* – car broke, Australia 2016* – car broke

    Renault, Magnussen: Australia 2015* – engine
    Renault, Palmer: never

    Sauber, Ericsson: USA/Brazil/Abu Dhabi 2014 – Caterham went bust and would have been replaced by Will Stevens had Caterham become a bit less bust (thanks JackySteeg)
    Sauber, Nasr: Britain 2015* – gearbox

    Toro Rosso, Verstappen: never
    Toro Rosso, Sainz: never

    Williams, Massa: USA 2002 – switcheroo with Frentzen to avoid a 10-place grid penalty (thanks Craig Woollard), USA 2005* – tyres (thanks OmarRoncal), Hungary*/Europe/Belgium/Italy/Singapore/Japan/Brazil/Abu Dhabi 2009 – head injury with substitution by Badoer and Fisichella (thanks to OmarRoncal)
    Williams, Bottas: Australia 2015* – back injury (thanks JackySteeg)


    Alianora La Canta

    @jackysteeg OK, thank you for the correction :)


    Alianora La Canta

    Manor has 2 WEC seats, and all WEC entries automatically get Le Mans entries. So there will be 2 Manors at Le Mans, barring some fairly spectacular misfortune.


    Alianora La Canta

    I’d take headphones and a 1-2 pairs of light earphones and experiment at the start of my time at the circuit. You can always forego them if you decide that works better – but keep at least one set of noise cancellers anyway, for the air displays.


    Alianora La Canta

    I hate the change as it means I now have to squint to see the timing and scoring information. Given that I watch with people who have even more trouble reading the screens than I do, it makes it difficult to follow the races (my family has long since given up on the commentators keeping up with what’s going on). If it’s a ploy to get me to pay for the app, it’s a rubbish one because the same unreadable-to-me font is used for the data there too.

    Did anyone else notice the total absence of the “fuel used” metric – something that was rather important to understanding pacing?


    Alianora La Canta

    Paulgilb, in 1976 the best 7 results from each half of the season were counted (each half having 8 races).

    1st half:
    Lauda 9+9+6+6+9+9+4 = 52
    Hunt 6+9+2+9 = 26
    (both dropped a DNF)

    2nd half, excluding Japan:
    Lauda 9+3+4=16
    Hunt 9+3+9+9+9=39
    (again, both would drop a DNF)

    Total points to Japan:
    Lauda: 52 + 16 = 68
    Hunt: 26 + 39 = 65

    If it came to a tie, Lauda had 5 wins to Hunt’s 6 at this point. So Hunt should have won a tie (if, for example, Lauda retired and Hunt came 4th). You are correct. It may be a misprint in the thing you were reading because correctly states that Hunt was aiming for 4th but thought he’d lost due to dropping to 5th for a time (he didn’t realise he’d passed two people on the last lap).

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