#F1 Features: Melbourne 2014 and Expectations

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Jennie Mowbray

“Oh, Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them,” exclaimed Anne. “You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them. Mrs. Lynde says, ‘Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.’ But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed.”

~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables~

It was in March of last year that the males of our family headed south en-masse to attend the Formula One race at Albert Park and forsook the women of the household who remained at home to view the race on TV.  In reality, I was the only one who watched it. My sister and our five daughters baked muffins and painted pictures, while I watched the race in peaceful solitude. I perched anxiously on the edge of the couch and cheered Kimi to his fairy-tale win of the opening race of the season.

Melbourne Grand Prix 2014

By the end of the 2013 season it became obvious that the “boy’s weekend” was at risk.  For the last two races my husband, fatalistic at Vettel’s winning streak, deigned to stay slumbering in bed instead of rising in the wee hours of the morning to watch, yet again, another Red Bull domination of the field. Despite this I could not resist the allure of the unknown and dragged myself out of bed at 3 am if only to see if Heikki could contrive to score even a solitary point in Kimi’s car.  There was no conceivable way that I was going to be watching the Australian Grand Prix of 2014 on television.

In fairness to our three daughters we offered them what seemed like an un-resistible proposal. Four nights in a 4 star apartment in the centre of Melbourne, water views, dinner at the world famous Neil Perry’s Rockpool restaurant, and four days of watching spectacular machinery blast past in a blur of noise and colour. We even promised them undercover grand-stand seats so as to better withstand the vagaries of Melbourne’s weather which can range from blistering heat to thundering rain all over the course of a single day.

Much to our surprise, they all refused! Even the Rockpool Restaurant couldn’t make up for hours of boredom ensconced in a grandstand with only the surrounding crowds as entertainment. The people held greater attraction to them than the cars.  I obviously have been remiss in educating them on the finer points of Formula One strategy and tactics and it was too late to start now.  Our oldest daughter did offer to spend all day writing in the apartment as an alternative but this option was turned down. We were after all paying her university fees and she was better off attending classes and completing assignments than wasting her time (and our money) travelling to Melbourne purely to sit in a hotel room and write.  She could be just as productive at home.

Melbourne Grand Prix 2014 2

And so, on Thursday morning, I will be boarding a plane for Melbourne with my husband, our son and my brother-in-law, exhilarated at the thought of seeing and hearing the vehicles for the very first time. I have watched each race of the 2013 season and discussed in detail every strategy point with my ever forbearing husband who is fortunately well versed in all Formula One lore since 1983 and who is able to answer my every question. He has even tolerantly put up with watching every race of the 2001 season so I could observe Kimi’s prospective potential in his minor successes during his rookie year.

Needless to say, I have great expectations. The cars will be blindingly fast (hopefully some of them will actually make it around the track). The noise will be deafening (I’ve never heard the V8’s except on TV so I have no pre-conceived ideas).  Melbourne will be amazing, the food delectable, the weather unpredictable, the experience exhilarating…

Will the Mercedes dominate the field and leave everyone else stumbling at their heels? Is Ferrari keeping their speed obscured, ready to stunningly reveal it during qualifying? Will Red Bull even be able to achieve a qualifying lap? Will Kevin Magnussen score points in his very first race, causing him to emerge instantaneously as future championship material?  Could Williams possibly attain a podium? Most important of all, will Kimi contrive to prevail against Alonso? What do you think? It won’t be long before we find out!

Editors Note: Jennie will be giving us her experiences from Melbourne after the race. If one of our readers would like to do so for the Malaysian Grand prix (or any of the other) please contact us.

37 responses to “#F1 Features: Melbourne 2014 and Expectations

  1. You are soooooooooo lucky Jennie. Wishing you and you husband a great trip, really indulge in the weekend so you can bring you experience to life for us on here, with what appears to be, ever improving writing. Looking forward to an entertaining read.

    • I’ll do my best to make it feel like you were there:) My writing is starting to improve with the practice – before TJ13 I’d only written research essays for uni and that was 25 years ago!

  2. Hey Jennie! I’m so happy that you will be there!

    It’s amazing how much more you can learn and see by being trackside versus watching a broadcast on the television.

    Also, selfishly, I’m jazzed that a thoughtful literate spectator will be sharing their trackside observances here. Because I’ll learn a bit more too!

    • I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s like seeing it live…

      Hopefully my rookie writing talents will do it justice:)

        • Thanks:) unfortunately I can still see the great gap between me and most of the other TJ13 writers such as yourself but I am working hard to close it:) It is easier to tell humorous stories about my family than it is to make the history articles as entertaining – that is a real skill..

          • I do understand, humans are their own worst enemies. I’m never satisfied and always looking for improvements but trust me your writing is of a great standard. It will develop also.

            I’ve written a couple of personal features before and sometimes it’s the human touch that makes the difference.

          • ….TJ13 – “Of the fans, For the fans, By the Fans”….

            We want to develop many different kinds of well written content….

            And to improve writing skills – one needs to write…..

          • Thanks so much for your kind words Carlo -I really appreciate them! I had never written anything for fun until the last couple of months so it’s weird to get used to the fact that I can write better than I ever thought I could (especially as I’m not at all young!) I am still learning everything I can though but this is such a good environment to get instant feedback and encouragement:)

      • Enjoy – there’s nothing to beat seeing the cars in the metal – or should that be carbon-fibre.
        Showing my age there!!

  3. Balls, I’m dripping with jealousy. First race, new regs and you get to be there???!!! What amazing luck you’re such an entertaining and thoughtful writer and generous enough to share with the rest of the community. I can’t wait to hear of your epic adventures. And though I’ve had only minimal luck converting my own 9 yo daughter to the fold, I will say she became partial to Ferrari once she saw a picture of FA, LOL. Now she’s a veritable mini-tifosi (tifosa? quick a little help Italian speakers thx) and whenever I point out the Ferrari running, she immediately shushes me. 🙂

  4. Have fun in Melbourne Jennie! If you want to watch Kimi in his prime, you could watch 2003 and 2005 seasons. Just don’t watch the 06 season. That will just be masochistic. I still ended up watching the whole season and Nando got his second title 🙁

    • I’ve also watched most of 2002 where his engine seemed to blow up every second race so I’ll look forward to 2003…

  5. I think it might be a big advantage you never heard the v8’s (or the v10 ‘ s and v12’s) you can only be amazed. For us it would only be a disappointment I guess. So have fun, enjoy it to the max. And don’t be tied down to your grand stands. Walk around and see it from different angles!

    • I think you’re right – not having the comparison will help…

      Will definitely walk around the track too:) Unfortunately we get there too late for the pitwalk this year – we’ll know better next year…

      • I think the sounds are just great with the new regs, particular the fact you can now quite clearly hear the tyre squeal during cornering and acceleration so that brings a new layer of interest to proceedings.

        • The thought of hearing the tyres squeal sounds really good – we’re sitting on Turn 3 and they should be accelerating hard into turn 4 – I do while playing F12013 anyway!!

        • Something about that sounds wrong.
          I remember being at 1988 British GP and through the old Bridge/ Woodcote complex there was team – Eurobrun -whose cars were such poor designs that the slick tyres squealed.
          Everybody else, the slicks just gripped.
          If they are squealing, they are sliding.

          • From what we’ve seen in preseason, the cars will be slipping and sliding so much this year with less downforce and more low end torque.

  6. I’ll be interested to know whether you need earplugs, Jennie, with the new engines. They were absolutely necessary with the V8s. My first F1 race I managed to brave it out for about 3 minutes, then in they went. What’s your opinion, Your Honour, from the testing?

    • Of course you’ll need them.
      Just as with a rave or pop concert. But being sensible is not the same as fully enjoying the experience. I should say: enjoy it for a few minutes without and then protect your ears: damage is permanent.
      (Hobby musician)

      • Just rembered thst we get free headphones with commentary with our tickets because we ordered them early so good ear protection as well as being able to hear what’s happening elsewhere on the track. We went to the drags last year and that was loud!! You could actually feel the sound waves in your chest.

    • I’m surprised by some of the responders to this.
      I tried them once when I was 13 and hated the fact they muffled the sound.

      I have stood track side since 1982 and listened to all types of mechanical music, I have stood in garages as they fired up 12 cylinder Ferrari, Honda and Matra engines and been left with stingy eyes when they ran rocket fuelled cars.
      At the Goodwood Festival of speed listening to cars in the paddocks and on the hill is a pure symphony; possibly the harshest sounds come from the pre-war Mercedes and Auto-Unions.

      Surprisingly some of the 1960’s Honda motorcycles are exceptionally loud.

      Everyone to their own of course, but in 32 years of attending all kinds of events with all different noise, I still have good hearing.

      I took my wife and daughters to the 2008 British GP and took ear protection but within minutes they had removed it, and that is during this fabled V8 period.

      • I’ve been to bike races without ear protection…Not sure how that compares though…

        I didn’t use ear plugs at the drags because they didn’t stay in very well but I sure had to put my fingers in my ears as they revved up because of the pain!

        I will experiment and let you know what I think in my writeup:)

      • But have you ever done the sound engineering / mixage for music?
        My ears as tools are more important than a muffled engine. And after a few minutes, I’m like meh, heard it.
        I guess music is a more important hobby than F1 to me.

        • I listen to music produced by professionals but I have never had any desire to pick up mixing equipment or play an instrument myself.
          Music to me is hearing an engine’s symphony.

  7. Just looked at the weather and still looks like rain on Saturday afternoon but minimal rain now on Sunday…

      • Very interesting! We’re sitting on Turn 3 so now I know what to look out for:) We did see three of the V8 Supercars go off there yesterday….I wonder how many F1’s will go off there today?

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