I feel like a chump for not writing more, especially as this season, and more importantly the next, are at full boil. Having a kid can do a number on your free time (if you do it right, ie not tempt divorce and/or bludgeoning). Keep your eyes peeled for a short series on all of the race series that may or may not come around to calling Austin a place they visit. Trust me, that'll be far more exciting than the premise might indicate. We're calling in some favors from some noted and well informed industry folks to give us some real insight into what a full calendar of racing might mean for Circuit of the Americas and Austin, from American LeMans to SCCA to karting. Suffice to say, if you enjoy the thrill of racing in any form, you have excellent reason(s) to be hopeful for the coming years.
While I'm here, howsabout that race? The one in Montreal, that is. I made some overtly optimistic prognostications during the pre-season about Button's noted but generally under appreciated capability to pilot a car further than most drivers on a set of tires. I just have to wonder if maybe Vettel's and the Red Bull's Achilles heel isn't now on full display. For several races, Vettel has been on the ragged edge by the last few laps, holding onto the eventual victory by the barest sliver of gooey rubber-like substance. Granted, this past weekend the endless parade of yellow laps erased any usable gap he might have otherwise been able to build, but to see Button go all ninja on the entire field, from last to first, was a thing of beauty. Most surprising was the way he inhaled that gap once he managed to overtake Schumacher, who was holding down an impressive second place right up to the end (I admit, I wanted to see him tough it out, but Webber did deserve that podium more, I suppose).
I did not exactly expect Vettel to blow the win the way he did, but it made perfect sense. The Red Bull devours tires, and the new Pirellis go from peanut butter to... well regular butter in a matter of a couple of corners. Unless Red Bull works to refine their stop strategy to ensure their man is in a sticky new set for the last few laps, guys like Button will be able to push and force an error. Didn't Webber figure that out in Malaysia? I just don't believe Vettel is that unflappable, based on what happened this past Sunday. It's hard to say if that'll be a recurring theme... Vettel on tired tires, hard charging challenger on fresher rubber cuts through the gap to force him to defend, and ultimately overwhelm his tires right at the end.
Technically speaking, Vettel's on some mutant level in terms of car control and and builds such an insurmountable lead that he can often cruise and not stress his tires until he needs to. The challengers eat up theirs just trying to get close and don't have enough left to successfully overtake. But in sort of seems like there's an exploit here, if you're in position to take it. That car gets really loose at the end. NASCAR loose. It's like the final battle in Metroid, you know? If you can manage to get in that one spot in the corner, you can just blast away at Mother Brain, free and clear. You know, just as an analogy everyone should be able to get.
Finally, get out there and continue to support COTA and F1 with facts. You know, statements that are verifiable and pertinent. In all honesty, those oposed to the entire endeavor are generally relying on biased and ill-informed (or flat out un-informed... OK, total lies) to support their position. Educate yourself on the METF (for starters, go here). Talk to the City Council. Write letters. Show your support.
Propagate the FACTS. How's that for a novel approach to politics?