Friday, 6 September 2013

italian grand prix

It's the italian grand prix this weekend from Monza.

Monza is one of the fastest tracks on the current circuit and is not that far off being an Indi-car style oval circuit.  Indeed, I seem to recall the old, banked circuit was an oval.  I mean, it has a few chicanes and that, but if you were to take an oval and stretch it and put a dog leg in it, that wouldn't be too far off of Monza.

Anyway, the point is that it's a very fast circuit and the race often doesn't take much more than an hour to run.

It's normally an okay race.  It doesn't tend to have a lot of overtaking, though it is possible.  Part of the issue is that being so fast and having so few corners it's not often they make mistakes, so there's not much chance to take advantage of that.

Still, it's usually a good race for Ferrari who tend to build a car that does well on high speed circuits.  Hopefully therefore Alonso should do well, which should keep the championship alive.

There's also the possibility that if the Mercedes can get on pole in qualifying then they'll be able to dominate and hold the others back.  That was part of the key as to why they did well in Hungary - get on pole and stay there.

Of course that's also the general Red Bull tactic, but then the car (deliberately) doesn't tend to have the highest top speed so they may struggle to achieve it.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

belgium grand prix

Thought so - I wrote this yesterday, but turns out I didn't post it!

During my absence I only missed blogging on the one grand prix, which was Spa Francochamps in Belgium.

Usually Spa is one of the best races of the year, as it has natural opportunities to overtake and the drivers enjoy racing there.  It's also a place where it often rains, and unpredictably so.  Because of the hills it has its own little micro-climate that can take the teams by surprise.

Having given it the big build-up this year's race was okay.  Qualifying was good as it was quite exciting.  The weather played a major part and parts of the sessions were wet.  However, in the race it stayed dry throughout.

I also have to say I think DRS ruins a circuit like Spa.  The problem is that there are good places to overtake, and they still use them, but because there's quite a big DRS section some of the time they wait until they can get on the DRS straight and simply overtake with the extra speed.  Which is the worst form of overtaking.

Good overtaking is getting them into the corner (or I guess sometimes when coming out of a corner) but simply driving past the other guy on the straight because you have extra speed that he doesn't isn't overtaking.  And there was a fair bit of that this year.

DRS does work on a handful of circuits (notably the circuits in the middle east) but the intention was meant to be that it aided overtaking, helping them get into an overtaking position, not that it allows them to drive past.

Monday, 2 September 2013

a month away

I’ve obviously not been blogging for the month of August.

This wasn’t deliberate.  Well, it became deliberate, but it didn’t start that way.  It started as just the usual lack of blogging, but then some stuff happened that meant I haven’t really been having much fun, so writing a blog didn’t really seem like something I wanted to do.

I’m feeling pretty miserable, actually.  I definitely wouldn’t go so far or as dramatic) to say I was depressed, but I would rate my mood just recently as being below average and I’m one of life’s less cheery people, so you can see I’ve not been happy.

I’ll make some posts in the future about some of the stuff that’s been happening.  These won’t be immediate, and I’m not sure this blog will be particularly regularly updated for a while, but I’m definitely going to do my best not to be totally silent for a whole month again.

I thought though for this return post I’d mention something a little bit positive.

I’ve been struggling with the diet/weight for quite a while now.  I’d basically reached a point where my weight has stabilised, but it was some way above where I wanted it to be.

Now part of the problem was that I‘ve been eating bad things - high calories, stuff. However, it wasn’t like it used to be and I was a bit puzzled how my weight wasn’t really changing either way.

However, I've now figured out that exercise is also a big part of the problem.  It’s not that I’ve stopped doing my walking - indeed, I’ve been doing the same amount that I’d built up to before.  And that is the problem.  I think my body/metabolism has built up to cope with this level of exercise.

It’s difficult to explain, but basically the last couple of weeks I’ve been testing out doing more exercise and it’s led to some more significant reductions, despite still doing badly with sticking to the diet.  So the key is for me to increase the exercise.  It’s going to be difficult as it means more time spent doing it, but I’m some way below the recommended 10,000 steps per day so it’s not like I’m going nuts.