Sunday morning at 8 a.m., I was up bright and early watching the action from Istanbul (Constantinople, anyone?) where Red Bull Racing and Mclaren were clearly the class of the field.
RBR was on it's way to a one-two finish when Sebastien Vettel decided that he wanted to overtake points leader and teammate Mark Weber and essentially crashed himself out of the race and bumped Weber back to third.
A few laps later, McLaren teammates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button did EXACTLY the same thing, in almost exactly the same piece of track. No contact between the cars, this time, but I am sure that the team principals of McLaren were pulling their collective hair's out over the manoeuvre.
After swapping the lead, Hamilton re-passed Button and then managed to settle down and finish one-two for the second time this year, with Weber in third.
After lunch I then watched the Indy 500 and was greeted with what can only be described as a sensory overload of stimulation.
Everything from attempting to talk to race car driver during the race, focusing on Danica Patrick while the race leader is passed to keeping a running count of the 'push to go' button (which adds an extra 20HP of power for 18 seconds...as we were so often told).
Who was running low on the 'push to go' counter? Who was hoping for a yellow flag? who needed a splash of fuel? who's car was 'pushing in 1 and 2?' who's car was 'pulling in 3 and 4?' How the pit crews were making mistakes because of nerves...blah blah blah.
On and on it went—it was endless.
All the while there were limitless commentators throwing in their two cents, running around trying to interview everyone who would speak into a mike—then the coup de grace; heard throughout the race from the lead play by play commentator— "...Live from the world's capital of auto racing."
The world capital of auto racing?
Correct me if I'm wrong but Indy-Cart was losing the battle in it's own country (the U.S.) to Nascar—struggling to make inroads against the Daytona 500—but now it's the center of the earth for auto racing?
Here are some other juicy tidbits overheard during the week.
"I'm not sure that moving to Formula One is realistic. They are very cold, over there. I like the warmth and camaraderie that the drivers have here," Patrick said.
Because you would do so well in Formula One...
*During the race*
"Tony Kanaan, you've moved up from 33rd to 3rd spot. How do you feel?"
"Well—we'll try and get Tony to talk to us later"
"Well—the key is now to go fast"
Brilliant! Been doing this a long time, eh?
While in Formula One there is a gulf in class between the front runners and the Hispania/Lotus/Virgin's of the world, give me hard fought, skillful passes any day over smash-bang-crash 'em up yellow flag, pace car racing any day.
It seems a foregone conclusion that at some point in the race, there will be an accident which will shred a car all over the track, bringing the race to a crawl as they clean up the mess and teams can pit their cars for tires, fuel and wing adjustments.
I guess the spectators expect it and want it.
Maybe I'm just different.