The Missed Shift – A Nose By Any Other Name

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Philosophical Ponderings of Proboscises

Now that Formula 1 has done their dog and pony show at Jerez and the teams’ 2014 cars are revealed, we have a new talking point: the noses.  My favorite is the Definitive F1 Nose Chart over at Jalopnik.  Although, personally, I think the Williams nose looks more like the the antagonist from The Ant and The Aardvark:

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Yeah, it’s the best I got.  There’s a reason I never attempted the comedic arts. I’ve seen comparisons to Max Rebo, Binky from Life in Hell, and genitalia of all manner of creature.  And the joke has pretty much run its course, honestly. The only thing left would be to run black CENSORED bars over the cars’ noses for a television broadcast, which I would love to see.  Maybe pixelating the noses would be as funny.  Like I said, I’m not a comedian.

Yes.  They look funny.  In fact, some of the teams cars look downright phallic. Caterham’s nose looks downright weird, but also the simplest design, when viewed up close.

Yes, the noses are ugly.  The step-noses of the past couple years were ugly, too.

Most of the cars don’t look odd when viewed in profile, only head-on.

There was some rule that was handed down that dictated some aerodynamic change or some safety regulation.  The reason for the change to the nose styles may or may not be legitimate, but it is what it is.  All the teams have to design their cars within the regulations that are put forth.

The only people who care about these noses are the fans and the media.  I’ve no doubt that the engineers, team principals, drivers, and everyone else know that these noses look silly, but I don’t think they really care. They’re looking at the car from a different point of view, be it from the cockpit or under the cowling or the pure scientific view of telemetry data. We’re the ones who see the car from the outside, not them.

As the season progresses, the dangly noses will become a talking point of the past. I’m reasonably certain by Monaco, one of the F1 commentators will point out how everyone was making fun of the shape of the cars’ noses, we’ll all have a chuckle and move on. None of this matters because we’ll get used to how silly the cars look and get on to how fast the cars are (or aren’t), how boneheaded the drivers are (or aren’t) and how glorious the turbocharger whine sounds (or doesn’t).

This is the sort of thing that motorsports writers (including journalists, bloggers, commentators and analysts) love to dissect because it fills time during the off-season. Yay! The word count is up and hopefully I made you laugh.
Bonus points if I made you laugh so hard you spewed milk out the front of your car.

Some Farciful Automotive Ceremony

Mrs. Race Fan showed me this that gave us both a chuckle: Ecclestone slams Jerez testing ‘farce’.

Isn’t every F1 test session pretty much a farce?  There’s nothing happening except gathering data to improve tires or determine car setups or whatever the teams need. Considering we’re going into 2014 with a new powertrain, a new energy recovery system, new chassis configurations and new phallic noses, would you expect anything less than a Benny Hill-esque fiasco?  I’m sure you could run a static camera of the Jerez paddock, layer Yakety Sax over it and have some enjoyable television (because Yakety Sax makes everything funnier), but the testing hardly qualifies as a farce.  The teams found out what they needed, they hope. Some teams are obviously in a better position than others at this stage, but nobody knows anything of any substance until the lights go out in Melbourne.

And everyone knows it.

On one level, I want to believe that Bernie says the stupid things he says because he’s a tireless promoter and knows that everything he says about Formula 1 will generate readers or viewers or whatever. He definitely subscribes to the “no such thing as bad publicity” philosphy of promoting.  I have to wonder if he has any sort of mental filter that attempts to analyze the things he says before the words gush forth from his larynx.  Probably not.

On the other hand, Hamilton did bin it pretty bad on cold tires:

It’s also pretty apparent that Renault has some major problems. If you enjoy hating on Vettel, then you’re probably loving it.  It appears to be a chink in the seemingly impenetrable Red Bull armor, allowing a glimmer of hope for everyone else who has scrambled for points the past few seasons. While nothing official from Red Bull or other Renault-powered teams has come out as of this writing, it’s generally speculated that they problems are a result of the new KERS system where the energy isn’t recovered under braking, but harnessed by the spinning of the turbocharger. It’s a safe bet that the best minds at RBR (as well as Renault) will have the issues mostly resolved before Melbourne.