Thursday, March 15, 2007

A different March Madness

Stuff just ahsn't seemd to slow down for me at all. Too much work. Too much stuff on the periphery of work, possibilities of more or new work. I just haven't had tome to sit back and relax and watch movies, and take them in. In the past week I have watched The Passion of Joan of Arc and Battleship Potemkin. Somehow two silents come up in my netflix queue right after one another. I will say that I enjoyed The Passion of Joan of Arc much more this time than when I first saw it, some 7 years ago, likely a little bit drunk in college. As for Battleship Potemkin some scenes will forever stick in my mind, but the overall impact fell short of what I was hoping for.

And over the next few weeks due to travel I will not get a chance to watch as much as I would like. Though, I will bring my portable DVD player on the plane, no doubt, and maybe watch some extra features from Criterion DVD's that I haven't gotten to yet. But then, there is also sporting events this weekend, that will hold most of my interest. And, while I have entered three seperate NCAA polls, due to Villanova and Indiana's discourging draws, I don't have much hope for my teams succeeding.

This weekend will be more about the beginning of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Melbourne, Austrailia. I can't wait. Saturday night at 930 I will be at Otto's place taking in the race with him and Frampton as geeked as can be. Here are 6 quick storylines that have me so excited about this season.

1. It's the first season sans Michael Schumacher since I have followed the sport. Schumacher won 7 World Driver Championships. The past two seasons he was beaten by Fernando Alonso. However, there was little to no doubt he was at the very least amongst the top 3 drivers in the world at his time of retitrement. Every season started with Schumacher as a if not THE favorite for the title this season the title race is much more open, in part due to the other storylines here.

2. Fernado Alonso, after winning two straight titles at Renault has bolted to McClaren. This seemed like a good move when it wasannounced before last season that Fernando was spending his final season at Renault. Renault's future in the sport seemed uncertain and McClaren was a major player in the title race in 2005. Then in 2006 Macca failed to win a single race. Renault won the Constructors title (in very large part due to Alonso) and reaffirmed their commitment to stay in Formula 1. Drivers usually take a while to become acclimated to a team. How quickly Alonso acclimates himself to the McClaren team will determine what factor he plays in the championship this year.

3. Ferrari has two championship contenders Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. A year ago to have stated that Massa would be a championship contender in 2007 would have been met with hearty laughter. But, he came on at the end of last season, he has probably the fastest car in the grid under him and a years experience with the team last year. Kimi is arguably the greater talent, but his work ethic is questioned, he needs to acclimate himself with the team like Alonso at McClaren, and some such as myself see his history of engine failures as partly due to Kimi overdriving the car. Kimi was a favorite to win the title last year, and didn't win a single race. One would think he needs to get a jump on Massa at Ferrari or else you could see him become a second priority as the team pushes Massa towards the title.

4. We have 3 rookies in great cars driving for top teams. Lewis Hamilton at McClaren, Heikki Kovalainen at Renualt, and Robert Kubica at the suddenly very quick BMW Sauber team. Any of these guys have the potential to win races. While they might not have the consistency to win the title, they very much may nip some points of their teamates. Kubica and Kovalainen especially may even outscore their teamates by the end of the season. Hamilton has a much tougher order with the champion as his teamate.

5. My team of choice for the past several years, Renault, looks to be in trouble. Giancarlo Fisichella, as much as I wish him to be, is likely not a viable number one driver or champion contender. After two consecutive years of running at the front, with a chance to win every race, they will be fighting for podium spots all season. It's not gonna be pretty, it's gonna take some getting used to. But, as I said before Kovalainen may be the real deal and does have potential to win races.

6. Finally, one of the great names in Grand Prix racing, Williams F1 had an abysmal season last year. The FW29 car has looked faster than some anticipated in preseason testing. I would like to see them at least fight their way back to respectabilty. However, I am less than impressed with their choice of Alex Wurz as a second driver to Nico Rosberg. It's just not a very inspiring choice in my mind. However, for some reason the sport is more fun when a "private" team such as Williams succeeds.

Each driver and each team has multiple storylines, but those are just the ones I look forward to following the most. I can't wait to start racing.

1 comment:

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