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Last updated on August 10th, 2017 at 12:55 pm
Chatting with Nick, the Greek guy who owns the coffee stand at work, on Friday:
Nick: “You going to the Grand Prix?”
Me: “Yes. You?”
Nick: “I go every year! Taking the wife this time. Should make sure I don’t miss the first three laps, like last year.”
Me: “But, Nick … the race started at 2pm.”
Nick: “I know. Big night.”
This year’s race was brilliant. Some notes:
* Michael Schumacher made a series of 11/10ths micro-errors in the three laps before he finally tagged the wall; he was working hard.
* Does Felipe Massa ever complete two consecutive laps using the same lines? It’s like he’s in the World of Outlaws or something.
* The McLarens are the only cars you can pick by ear. They sound like 19,000 rpm diesels.
* Giancarlo Fisichella reeled off a sequence of late-race laps in which he hit exactly the same exit point on the kerb leading on to the main straight, a point beyond which he’d have ended up in the same situation as Schumacher. Haven’t seen his times yet; bet they were quick.
* Juan Pablo Montoya’s parade lap spin demonstrated how difficult it is to replicate Fernando Alonso’s aggressive weave-and-burn tyre-heating technique.
* Massa is out of contract at Ferrari next year. Mark Webber is out of contract at Williams next year. Hmm. No Australian has driven a factory Ferrari since Tim Schenken was a member of the Scuderia’s sports car team in the 70s.
* Although Alan Jones was offered a contract in 1978, only to be overlooked in favour of Gilles Villeneuve.
Naturally, The Age—as is its custom—went negative:
The crowd of 103,000 at yesterday’s Grand Prix was the lowest race-day attendance of the past five years.
Attendance across the four-day event was down on last year by almost 68,000. Over the four days, 301,800 people attended this year’s Grand Prix.
Only 301,800; hardly worth hosting the thing. Actually, the drop in attendance (over four days) was equal to just one-and-a-half Telstra Dome AFL crowds. Which might explain that slight reduction …