F1 coverage on NBC Sports is pretty good!

This post has to do with Formula 1 racing coverage. Skip it should this not be your thing.

At the end of last years’ season, Speed Network lost the contract for US coverage for the 2013 season to the unknown (to F1 coverage) NBC Sports network. As I (and many others) had come to appreciate and respect the Speed coverage of F1, this change was met with trepidation. It was actually a point of conversation and bonding at the F1 race I attended in Austin last year (‘I hope they keep the Speed TV team’ was the predominate theme).

NBCSports kept 3/4 of the team, and the one not carried forward was Bob Varsha, their play by play guy with an encyclopedic memory of F1 races and politics. He ‘retired’, and I hope his life goes forward in a good fashion. Bob was terrific, and his replacement (Leigh Diffey, who covered a race or two every season) is quite good. Carried forward were the excellent David Hobbs, Steve Matchett and track-side reporter Will Buxton (who has no wikipedia article yet). I see that as a huge nod to the fans, as there have to be a lot of people who could do the broadcast job, but there was concern at NBC about the audience who liked and respected these TV personalities. Good for NBCSports for keeping them on.

The new NBCSports coverage for the first F1 race this season was quite good, and that that despite challenges! NBCSports not only covered the usual practices, but, when qualifying was delayed by rain, showed all of qualifying off-schedule before the Australian GP! It was a good race, and the Twitter coverage was, IMHO, better than the Speed effort [blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/f1onnbcsports/status/313211455795232769″]. An embarrassment of riches in F1 coverage.

A good race, covered well. Thanks.


Update: fixed the title, it is of course NBC, not nbs…

Dumb American Speedometers: Ford Mustang

The other day my lovely wife bought a Ford. It’s nice. (They sold her a car that’d already been sold; then made up for it by giving her a car with more options than the one she originally tried to buy and eating the difference. Thanks Ford!).

While she was beating the dealer until they cried negotiating I looked at the other show-room vehicles. And I found the Ford Mustang (genes and all).

I was thinking Steve McQueen, and Bullitt. Really.

The drivers’ door wouldn’t close (on the showroom floor) and then I saw the dash:

Seriously, nobody in the US (or Canada, eh), needs 1/2 of this speedo. Yes, there’s a stretch or two of Texas highway that are 85, but 220? Drop this car out of a C-130 and it wouldn’t do 220.

I get marketing. You want to sell this car as a True Sports Car with a lot of Speed!!! Here’s the thing: as my eyes slowly age I don’t want to have to squint at the 1/2 inch to discern the difference between 35 and 45 while knowing this bad boy won’t go over 160, and never near 220. I don’t need a big HUD to tell me, but this display is just dumb.


a guy who’d buy a Mustang but not one with this silly detail in it.

Find The Sign

Sent in by my eldest (not her accident, just a witness to the aftermath):

Only one maroon bluebonnet was harmed

Find the Sign

No prizes. Void where prohibited.

Think Fast Engineering

My brother (the Aerospace Genius) is branching out into race engineering consulting.

Think Fast Engineering is his effort, and if you want to go fast, you’re looking for the right fellow. (If you are rolling your eyes in a ‘what’s he done’ mode, have a look at his ‘about page‘, and then pick your jaw up from your chest).

I’m biased, but aside from my Dad he’s the best engineering brain I know. (Dad’s not for hire).

“Speed is money: how fast do you want to go?”



IndyCar: Dan Wheldon killed by multitude of factors in Las Vegas crash – Autoweek

A multitude of factors on Oct. 16 combined to kill popular IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon, series officials announced Thursday during a news conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

via IndyCar: Dan Wheldon killed by multitude of factors in Las Vegas crash – Autoweek.


BBC News – F1 team grants teenager hand wish

Very cool. Good for all involved.

A Formula One fan has had his wish of a new bionic hand fulfilled after a plucky letter to boss of the Mercedes GP Petronas team, Ross Brawn.

via BBC News – F1 team grants teenager hand wish.

Think Fast! book gives interview

Yes, he’s my brother, the smart one. Here he gives an interview to GoRacing TV (new to me) about his book, and why you should definitely buy one for Christmas. Oaky, he didn’t say that, but it’d make an appreciated gift to an aspirng racer…

The interview starts at 1:10

goracingtv on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

The book can be ordered through the web site or through Amazon. (I get nothing from the book sales except satisfaction that my brother the Aerospace Genius has achieved his career dreams).

Nice: F1 coming to Austin in 2012-2022

I’ll hold my breath for this to last 10 years.  I hope so, but…it’s a business deal with F1.  Ask Indy how that works out.

Formula One World Championship Limited and Formula One Administration Limited together, the F1 Commercial Rights Holder and Full Throttle Productions, LP, promoter of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™, announce that a historic agreement has been reached for Austin, Texas to serve as the host city of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ for years 2012 through 2021.

“We are extremely honoured and proud to reach an agreement with the F1 Commercial Rights Holder. We have been diligently working together for several years to bring this great event to Austin, the State of Texas and back to the United States. All parties involved have a great amount of trust and confidence in each other and are committed to establishing the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in Austin, Texas as a prestigious global event,” stated Tavo Hellmund, Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, LP.

via Formula 1™ – The Official F1™ Website.

That’s cool!  An F1 race within easy driving distance.

Then the BS begins to flow toward the end (it’s BS anyone making a pitch this scale has to make but…)

– over 250,000 hotel rooms within 180 miles;
– desirable year-round climate, with an average annual temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius);

Heh.  San Antonio has a lot of rooms, and they’re withing a typical F1 driving range, so…okay.

And, yeah, Austin’s year round average temp is 68, but in the F1 season it’s going to be summer in Central Texas.  Ick.

All that said, I’m going to go, and look forward to F1 being back in the US.

Think Fast: The Racer’s Why-To Guide To Winning

My brother, the Aerospace Genius, has written a book!

Here’s just part of the description from his web site:

Think Fast is not about the technology, but about WHY TO use some technologies and avoid others in your quest to WIN races. Think Fast can help any race car driver or race engineer tackle the big challenges and cross the finish line FIRST.
Think Fast is a professional racing industry insider’s detailed description of his unique process that makes racing drivers and race cars faster and work together more effectively. Both driver and car development techniques are covered, including very cost effective approaches to problems faced by every motorsports competitor.


So, if you’re in the market for a how-to go-fast book, here’s the one I recommend (nepotism works).

Available on Amazon.com!

VIDEO: Red Bull Racing gives a virtual tour of 2009 F1 rulebook – Autoblog

VIDEO: Red Bull Racing gives a virtual tour of 2009 F1 rulebook – Autoblog

Very neat overview of the major rule changes in Formula 1 racing this year; let’s hope they work for better passing.