Sep. 25, 2005

Big Finish

Well the Formula One racing season is "over". But not really, there are races still in Japan and then China. Renault's Fernando Alonso clinched the driver's championship today in Brazil even though he finished third. He's now the youngest Formula One champion ever at 24. Although it's Michael Schumacher who has been de-throned after five seasons Alonso's true rival was Kimi Raikkonen, who out-drove him all year but didn't have a reliable car under him for the first half of the season. McLaren finally managed the one-two finish they have deserved for most of the season and have now squeaked ahead in the team standings. Those standings are still up in the air though.

Fernando was on the pole thanks to a mistake by Kimi in qualifying that pushed his McLaren down to fifth. Kimi's team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya started second after a strong qualifying run even though he went out first when the track was in poorest condition. Giancarlo Fisichella in the other Renault was third followed by Jenson Button in his BAR. At the start Montoya got past Fernando pretty quickly while Kimi made short work of Giancarlo. Kimi was able to pass Fernando during the first round of pit-stops, but was unable to get past his team-mate and that's how they ended the race.

The early excitement was provided by David Coulthard, who got a great start in his Red Bull but lost control approaching the first corner and crashed into both of the Williams cars. One of David's tires flew right off its rim, which was unusual. Probably because the collision happened under high acceleration instead of the more usual braking circumstances. There were no other racing incidents. A pretty rough day for Williams, they didn't even get through the first corner! They've had a lot of bad luck this season.

Rock and Roll trivia: The Sex Pistols were formed to promote a clothing store part-owned by their manager, Malcolm McLaren (who does not own a Formula One team...). The stores name? Sex. I learned this listening to Alan Cross, a musicologist who has been producing a fascinating show about alternative rock called The Ongoing History of New Music. He's started supplementing his weekly show with shorter one minute podcasts.

Listening to: Lets Get It Started (Spike Mix) by Black Eyed Peas from Elephunk.

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