Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Formula 1: A Passion

As you may or may not know this weekend is the last race weekend of the 2008 Formula 1 racing season in Sao Paulo, Brazil,  and as the World Series and the Super Bowl are the biggest events in sports to most Americans, this race is the last chance for my favorite driver, Lewis Hamilton, to clinch the Formula 1 World Championship Title, which is without dispute bigger then any professional sports title in the world.

For those of you who don't even know what Formula 1 is, it is a motor sport and it is not those sad excuses of drivers who make 500 mile long ovals in NASCAR. Formula is the New York Yankees of the racing world, the most prestigious and highest grossing sport world wide with hundreds of thousands of spectators at each race in 15 different countries around the world. Formula 1 is run by the governing body known as the F.I.A. (Federation Internacional de Automobile) and has ten teams this season all with two drivers and cars, for example McLaren Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW Sauber, and Red Bull Racing. 

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren's number 1 and his teammate Heiki Kovalainen have had an outstanding season with 145 Constructors Championship points good enough for second so far but still attainable with a 1,2 finish in Brazil. And as for Lewis, he has 5 first place finishes this season and he is leading the Drivers Championship with 94 points which puts him just 7 points ahead of Brazilian National Felipe Massa who will try to close that gap on his home track in front of his home crowd. Lewis doesn't need to win the final race although it would be nice, he just needs to make sure he finishes ahead of Massa. 

Right now you may be asking yourself how i could say that it is the most prestigious championship in the world ahead of the Super Bowl and the World Series, so i will tell you why. Believe it or not, Formula 1 drivers are the most conditioned athletes in the world simply because if they aren't, they would die. Drivers experience up to 5 G's constantly for about two hours that the races normally take. As you can imagine, this puts an enormous stress on the body of the driver and if he is not at peak condition he would not last the race. Each team has a team doctor that monitors the driver as they drive and their progress throughout the weeks leading up to the race to make sure they are absolutely in perfect condition. 

As for my passion for the sport, i always had an interest in it because i like cars, and i like going fast and these just happen to be the fastest cars... But it really all began last summer when i had the opportunity to go to Canada for the Gran Prix du Canada at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve track and got to experience the raw power of these finely tuned machines. Just the roar that they made as the flew by at speeds approaching 200 mph or around 321 kph was enough for me i was like a kid loosing his virginity it was just baffling, almost scary and on the first past i was taken a back. You can just imagine, as they downshift 6 gears to hit a corner at 45 mph from 200 feeling almost 5 G's it is just insane. This race was also special to me because it was Lewis Hamilton's first career win in his rookie season which is quite a feet because there have been drivers who go their entire career without winning a single race. It is in fact history which i was a part of especially since this may be the year that he wins the title in just his second season. 

That is F1 racing for me, i love it and always will unless something drastically stupid is done by the F.I.A. in which i will try my best to still watch it and enjoy it. I hope after whoever is reading this does so, they watch a race or at least become somewhat interested in what is in my opinion the greatest sport on earth.

jon c

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