Tag Archives: Cars

Love is … like a car crash!

car crash

Sometimes it’s just the merest bump and you walk away unscathed with your insurance in tact.

Sometimes one vehicle is crushed more than the other. So whilst one walks away scot-free, the other is left to recover, recuperate and work out what the hell happened!

Sometimes both vehicles are written-off. In which case there is nothing that can be done, but try to build up your confidence to get back in the damn car again!

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So what do you think of the new F1 Qualifying Format?

mercedesIt’s the start of the new F1 season, and along with the new cars, new driver line-ups there’s a whole raft of new rules and of course, the new qualifying format.

From this season drivers will have at least a five-minute window in Q1, Q2 and Q3 to set a time – but after that point, the slowest driver will be eliminated every 90s. From the 22 entries this year, 15 will progress into Q2, and then eight into Q3 – until there are just two men fighting it out for the right to start from pole.

In theory, it sounds like a recipe for a fun, fast and furious set of qualifying sessions.

In reality – and yes I was up at 5am this morning to watch (I am such a car geekette!!) – meh!!!!

The problem is that the format works well when all the cars initially race out on to track to set their times, but then there is not enough time to turn the car around, i.e., do an in-lap, change tyres, re-fuel, re-jig set-up etc. and get back out and do an out-lap prior to another flying lap before the clock starts ticking.

So, what we ended up with was a lot of cars sitting in the garage and not bothering going back out.

Thus making the first qualifying session of the new season rather dull and lack-lustre.

I think in an attempt to try to make F1 more interesting this new format was pushed through too quickly with not much thought to the actual practicalities of time constraints, turnaround and more importantly, the fact that super-soft tyres don’t do more than 1 lap before they go off and as an aside there’s also the fact that not all tracks take less than 90 seconds to go round!

BUT, on the flip side, I think it is possibly unfair to just write this new qualifying format off after one attempt. After all it was a new system, it will take time to get used to, and it probably threw the engineers as much as the drivers and the viewers., and with a few tweaks could provide the excitement that it was intended to.

So, what would I tweak?

Well, I actually thought the system worked really well in the Q1 and the initial part of Q2 sessions – you saw all the cars on the track and there were some surprises in the knock-out stage – this could, of course, have been caused by actual car problems. Then, there was the excitement of 1 car being counted down to knock-out and then improving its time so the car above then being in the knock-out zone, etc. In my humble opinion I thought that worked, but again it was OK for TV viewers, but the spectators in the stands at the actual track had no clue what was going on.

So, a big thought needs to be put in to how to let the live spectators know what is going on.

But the final part of Q2 and Q3 was just a complete damp squib. No excitement whatsoever. No 90 second shoot-out between the last 2 cars standing.  In fact, nobody bothered going out again with 3 minutes and 4 seconds remaining on the clock! It was all over and done with. That fat lady, so they say, had sung!

Maybe an idea would be to lengthen Q1 session and knock half the field out with the new elimination format.

Thus leaving 11 drivers for Q2 and Q3.

Then go back to the old format for the last 2 sessions, but reduce the time and have, say 2 x 10 minute sessions. At the end of Q2 knock out 6 drivers, which should leave 5 standing and then we’ll have a fairly empty track for 5 cars to shoot it out for the top 5 positions.

But even if qualifying becomes more exciting, will that stop the tedium of some of the races that are pretty much just parades? Once the first lap is over there is no overtaking, just the spectacle of cars going round and round.

Much as I love cars, F1, speed, etc., there is no getting away from it, some of the races are dull.

The race should be about the drivers pushing themselves and the car to the limit, going as fast as they possibly to win, rather than it being about tyre management, fuel saving, team orders, etc.

And I fear that until the race can be about that, then whatever you do to try to spice things up won’t make any difference whatsoever.

So, what do you think about the new qualifying format and how would you improve F1?

 

 

 

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How many miles?

I’ve been driving about quite a lot this summer holiday and a curious phenomenon has revealed itself to me.milestone

I’ve decided, there is a distinct difference between a mile driving in town and a mile driven in the country. Whereby, the country mile is much longer than the town mile!

Now, this could just be because signs are more frequent in towns, but when I have been driving in the deepest darkest countryside, I swear I drive more than a mile and yet when I reach the next sign, my destination is just as far away, or only ½ a mile nearer.

Is it just me that finds this?

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What’s the most important piece of equipment in your car?

So, here’s a little survey I found on a ‘social media’ site that I belong to.

Basically, the question is which piece of equipment in your car couldn’t you live without?

And the options:

  •  Cruise Control
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Keyless Entry
  • In-built SatNav
  • MP3 Player Connectivity

Personally, for me, the piece of equipment I couldn’t live without in my car is the steering wheel!

It is a pretty essential piece of equipment as far as I’m concerned, along with the gear stick 😉

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Tyres

Heard an advert on the radio today …tyres

“Kwik Fit offering Pirelli tyres at discount price”

My thought, I’m not surprised.

Will anyone buy them?

No offence, but if their tyres are shredding on F1 cars halfway round the track on their first lap, would I seriously want Pirelli tyres on my car?

I don’t think so 😉

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Motorway Madness (Part 2)

Well, after a stiff drink I feel fully refreshed to continue one’s “letting off of steam” regarding motorway driving.

First off today – overtaking. Why is this a gripe? Mmm, let me see now. My biggest pet hate is those drivers who seem to think everyone else has psychic ability and fail to indicate when they are pulling out – this does include the lorry drivers that do it too I hasten to add – and they’re worse – they’ve got a bigger vehicle in which to make a bigger splat! We are not mind readers and just because you are on a motorway does not mean you should forget that golden rule which every learner driver has to learn (albeit we subsequently forget) – Mirror, SIGNAL, Manoeuvre! If you fail to signal and pull out into the path of some poor driver concentrating on every little detail to the nth degree, do not give him the birdie when he honks his horn because you have been a complete plonker and narrowly escaped causing a major accident because you were stupid, ignorant and downright selfish!

Also on the point of overtaking, why do so many drivers seem to think it necessary to be DUMB and get as far up the person they are trying to overtake’s backside before swerving out and overtaking (probably without signalling as well)? It’s all well and good them doing it in all these dire Hollywood movies – they are films, and the drivers are professionally trained stuntmen, but we are mere mortals and should respect life – ours, but more importantly everyone else on the road.

So please, please, please unless you know you have Uri Geller in the car approaching on your right SIGNAL BEFORE YOU PULL OUT!

Oh, my! Another good one is those poor souls who are so tuned into the music blaring out from their super-woofer sub-base speakers they actually forget their turning, or take the turning and then realise it’s the wrong one! How many of us have actually seen a real life re-run of the Hugh Grant moment in 4 Weddings when he reverses up the dual carriageway?? I’ve actually seen one driver swerve across 3 lanes of heavy traffic, literally less than 100 yards from the junction, take the junction and then just as it starts moving away from the motorway, screech back over the lined markings onto the hard shoulder and rejoin the main carriageway because it was the wrong junction. Why are these people let loose on the road and where are the Police to catch them instead of standing with a speed camera increasing revenue by catching people doing 71mph! I do know of someone who actually missed the M6 turning completely and had to then go to the next junction to work out how to get back to the M6. Excuse was – stuck in lorry sandwich – plausible, we’ve all been there, praying to God that sometime soon there will be a break in the traffic so I can pull out and overtake the lorries – but for more than a mile???

Motorway junctions are not hard to spot and you are generally given at least 1 miles notice. If this is too difficult for you to work out……

Finally, road works. Don’t we all love them? Average speed limits, cones, cones and more cones and then the icing on the cake when suddenly 3 lanes are brought down to 1. Again, we are generally given more than a mile’s notice for this in order to prepare ourselves mentally for the challenge of driving in single lane traffic, but why do some people (next time note the make of cars they generally drive!) seem to think advance preparation does not apply to them and they carry on their merry way all the way to when the cones start marking off the lanes and then wonder why other drivers are not too happy at their just inching their way into the single lane traffic. We are all on a journey to somewhere, matey! No one likes being stuck in a single lane of traffic at 30mph for miles, for sometimes seemingly no reason at all, as proved by the absence of workmen. Unfortunately it’s a fact of life, and one we have to deal with.

It’s like that advert for car insurance says we don’t behave as selfishly in real life when walking along a pavement. So why do we turn into “Super-human, selfish, DUMB, arrogant Idiot Person” the moment we get behind the wheel of a car?

If we behaved as we do in normal life when we drive and show a little courtesy to our fellow road users (and I include bikes and motorbikes in that) I’m sure there would be less road rage and hopefully fewer accidents.

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Motorway Madness (Part 1)

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. We all drive on the motorway and totally forget everything we were taught in the Highway Code.

Obviously, the main thing is speed, we’re all guilty. Isn’t it about time they changed the limit. 70mph was all very well and good when the first motorway was opened in the 1970s (guessing at this), cars were lucky to reach this speed. However, nowadays cars are being built that do greater speeds and 70mph feels very sluggish. In Germany I believe there is no speed limit on the autobahn and they have fewer accidents as a result. Food for thought.

Speed brings me nicely onto my pet peeve – DUMB! Which quite clearly means all you drivers who Drive Up My Backside, and not necessarily in the outside lane either. Traffic flows at a greater speed on the motorway, therefore I need slightly more room than a gnat’s hair breadth between me and the car in front – just in case the car in front is one of those who brakes…..for no particular reason. If you are DUMB you will go into the back of me and be the exact reason why the motorway snarls up and people get hot and bothered sitting in a traffic jam whilst the police clear away the mess because you were DUMB.

Talking of traffic jams and accidents – rubberneckers. WHY? The accident is on the other side of the road, there is already a big queue one way and you cause another long hold up – in some cases longer than the queue on the side of the accident – by slowing down to crane your necks to see what’s going on. Please don’t! Just be thankful it’s not you and stop causing a traffic jam. The French have the right idea, they have something down the central reservation so you can’t see what’s going on, on the other side of the road. Seems a sensible idea to me – besides if you slow down to have a good look you may have a DUMB driver behind you – resulting in???

Middle lane hoggers. Oh you are just sooooo annoying. Sitting there in the middle lane, totally oblivious to everyone else doing 50mph. WHY? The Highway Code clearly states:

“You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past. Slow-moving or speed-restricted vehicles should always remain in the left-hand lane of the carriageway unless overtaking.”

How difficult is that to understand? And you don’t just do this when there is a lot of traffic and you can annoy thousands of motorists. Oh no! For some strange reason you do it when the motorway is totally clear and you are the only car for miles. Why?? And why 50mph, why not go slower and grind the traffic to an even bigger halt? I read someones explanation of why they sat in the middle lane once and they said they did it because “once I’m there I don’t have to think about anything else and can switch off!” DVLA, please remove their licence. Clearly no idea at all. No you cannot switch off in the middle lane. You are on a motorway. You have traffic passing – probably at your speed – on both sides of you. You need your wits about you – lorries pull out, cars swerve in. It’s a veritable jungle of madness out there.

On that note, I need a large drink to calm my nerves. Back for Part 2 soon.

Drive safely.

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