Formula 1 by Eugene O’Brien Apr23

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Formula 1 by Eugene O’Brien

F1 is the short word version for Formula 1. I remember the first time I was introduced to it. I was watching a documentary on the best ever F1 driver (in my opinion): Ayrton Senna. After watching it I was smitten and ever since then I have followed F1. Some people think it is the most boring sport in the world next to golf and cricket (now they’re boring) but I don’t think so; it’s just magic! I would prefer a F1 race  to a golf or cricket game any time. OK,  to be fair, some of the races can be boring but the build-up and the start are quite interesting. Some will say, “That’s boring too!” Well here’s what you get to see: the F1 car being tuned; the tires being warmed; the crew checking that the radio system in the car is working; the steering wheel being tested; and my favorite part – that amazing roar as the engine sound test is done to see if all is working and making sure the engine is warm enough to race.

I know this can be quite mean to say but I absolutely love it when the F1 drivers crash (only when they walk out of the crash). The best crash was Mark Webber’s of Red Bull. He and Adrian Sutil of Lotus were going around the final corner in The Monaco Grand Prix. Webber went around the bend first and as he was pulling back in on his racing line Adrian Sutil came behind him; Webber just saw him but it was too late. Webber clipped Sutil’s wing and Webber’s F1 car went flying over Sutil’s. Webber’s back wheel which was still moving at 210 km/h missed Sutil’s head by just 10 cm. Webber’s car then slammed at 210 km/h into the side tires that formed a safety barrier. He walked out of the crash. He was really ticked off as he was now out of the Grand Prix -but alive!

I like watching a lot of F1 drivers: Webber; Alonso; Button; Hamilton; and Sutil, but out of all the F1 drivers in the world present or deceased my favourite would still be Ayrton Senna . He exploded onto the F1 scene in 1984. He won his first Grand Prix ever in his first season. He did things that most F1 Drivers wouldn’t dream of doing like when he was going around a corner he would only use the brake and go down to gear 2. That would be an absolute “no, no” from day one but he did it. He had no fear: in his first press conference he told the press if he dies on a track, so be it. He had a very human side and used to get out of his car if another F1 driver had a crash and make sure he was alright. This was while F1 cars were passing at about 200 kmph. He won the Grand Prix 9 times and he was going for his tenth. It was one for the bookies to put their money on!!

During the race in San Marino, in Italy, he was on lap 109 and was going around a corner at 240 km/h. He was trying to get in front of Ron Dennis and he judged the corner and timing all wrong. He lost control and he went into a wall at 240 km/h. A part of the nose cone flew up and hit him on the wrong place on the head. He died two hours later in hospital. It was said that if the cone had hit him an inch higher, lower to left or to right, he would have survived. Sadly, his time was up. The world of Formula 1 was absolutely shocked by what happened. How could such a brilliant driver crash at such a young age? His body was brought back to Sao Paulo in Brazil where he was buried in his home town. His death led to a lot of safety improvements in the sport.