March 9th, 2003


Formula One and counting

The first Formula One race of the new season starts in less than an hour. I've been meaning to post some comments on it all day, but haven't got round to it. However, just so I can get some predictions down before the first race: Ferrari 1-2, Williams and MacLaren to get exactly one scoring finisher between them, four of the six BARs, Saubers and Renaults to score points and someone really unlikely to pick up a sneaky point for eighth as there are no more than ten finishers. It's down now so we can all laugh later.

syn_promo rocks. Just one post there and my syndication unit consumption has already dropped from 9.880 units to 8.579. (And falling - please keep adding lots of nice RDF feeds so the prices get cheaper and I can add more!)
  • Current Music
    1998 US Jeopardy! theme tune

Another day which got much better

Am in a ratty mood today. Stayed up to watch the Grand Prix last night; my predictions were definitely more wrong than they were right.

*interrupt* Go and see best friend since childhood who I haven't seen for almost two months. Walk his dog with him. Show him unusual parts of Middlesbrough which we agree we hadn't seen before despite their closeness. He is impressed. Have reasonably good chat. Now in better mood.

The new qualifying system for Formula One is not quite the spectacle that it might be, though I can understand the reasoning behind it. It was strange to see so few commercial breaks on ITV during the qualifying session - and the breaks did occur were just filled with public information films, for there is so little demand for off-peak advertising at the moment. I do like the new theme tune and presentation package rather more than the old one, though.

The on-track action had a very experimental, trying-to-figure-out-what-we-can-do-within-the-rules feeling to it, which was very interesting, but more from a game exploration point of view rather than a classic motor racing one. The first couple of laps alone had more overtaking than most of last season put together. Unfortunately I fell asleep shortly after 4 with 17 laps to go and woke up as they were just about to mount the podium and spray the champagne after the race. I then found it difficult to get back to sleep afterwards, woke up late and have felt grouchy all day.

Predictions for the season: hard to say, but I anticipate lots of rule-changing and tactical shenanigans. Back in 1998, I maintained a strictly-paper spread-betting account to see if I could notionally make a profit over the duration of the season; all told, I exactly broke even. My usual tactic was to sell one particular driver or "The Field", thus making a small profit if they did badly or a large loss if they did well. (It's a known tactic, though there were tales of someone losing tens of thousands using it in the Monaco GP when there were only four finishers.) In 1999, I had one notional bet for the season, buying Michael Schumacher's final points total (effectively an "over" bet on an under/over line). Sound theory, but that was the season where he broke his leg. I've been rather turned off sports betting, even only on paper, since then.

Two other good pieces of news: my blister from last week lost all its swelling over the last 2-3 days and has even split today. Also my favourite comedian, Tim Vine, will be playing at Middlesbrough Theatre about a quarter-mile away from here on June 11th. Today has improved a lot.
  • Current Music
    American Gladiators theme tune from late 20th century