Sunday, July 22, 2007

Racing in the rain.

Today was the European Grand Prix, a Formula 1 race in Germany. A young German driver, Marcus Winkelhock, was starting his first GP in 22nd position, last place.

Rain was forecast a few minutes after race start. F1 has dry tires, "intermediates" with some grooves, and "wets" for full rain. Everybody stated on dry tires... except Winkelhock, who went through the pits and put on intermediates.

Before the first lap was finished, it started pouring down rain. Everybody pitted for intermediates... except for Winkelhock! He opened up a 30-second lead!

A bunch of cars skidded off track at the bottom of a hill (oval track fans click here) with five out of the race. They red-flagged it after only four laps and lined up for a restart. Very rare in F1, hasn't happened in six years. The grid restart wiped out Winkelhock's big lead.

Ten laps later, Winkelhock pulled off the road as his car quit. I'm sure he still had fun today. Racing in the rain is always fun to watch. Just another reason why F1 is better than NASCAR.

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