#F1 Features: Australian Grand Prix 2014 – The Initiation

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Jennie Mowbray

Editors note: Jennie is a new F1 fan and has written for TJ13 over the last few weeks. This weekend she has traveled to Melbourne to experience her first ever Grand Prix. She is writing daily articles to share her experiences with all of us.

“Anything that makes a noise is satisfactory to a crowd.”
~Charles Dickens – The Old Curiosity Shop~

We reside in a rural town; we look down over the valley below our house and see no lights apart from an occasional gleam from a distant farm house.  We see stars glowing brightly above us. We hear cows mooing.

Tonight we are in Melbourne. There are lights so bright you can hardly see the stars – although my husband with his superior astronomy knowledge did manage to glimpse the Southern Cross despite the urban glow.

The cars on the concrete far below us look as small as ants from the eleventh floor of our apartment. If we leave the door to the balcony open we can hear the constant cacophony of the vehicles below. The tallest building in our home town is the hospital where we both work – it is four stories tall and stands out like a high rise from the surrounding single story buildings. Tonight we are surrounded by buildings that make it look insignificant.

I have yet to hear or see the new breed of Formula One cars. They remain hidden from the public view for one last day.  Tomorrow at half past 12 they will suddenly emerge – though they are more likely to do one solitary lap and then disappear for a significant period of time to analyse their data in the hope of evidence that their cars will be able to successfully achieve multiple laps with few mechanical difficulties.

We did have the privilege today of hearing a blast from the past- a RB7 being driven by David Coulthard. I was standing near the end of the main straight when, from far away beyond our sight, came the sound of the loudest engine we had heard that day.  We could make out the sound of rapidly increasing revs all the way down the main straight until suddenly it appeared – flashed past and was gone.

Even though it was now out of sight – we could follow its progress around the track from the sound of its engine echoing across the lake. At least I will now have a chance to compare one solitary V8 to a mass of turbo V6’s!

Earlier in the day I had been amazed by the V8 Supercars! We had arrived at the track shortly before their last practice session. As the first cars braked hard for Turn 3 then accelerated hard into Turn 4, their engines backfired, which caused me to jump because it sounded like a gun going off. After a few of these occurrences I started to anticipate it!

The initial cars were all hitting the inside curb perfectly as they went through Turn 3 – when suddenly a car went wide. I was about to comment that he had missed the turn, when suddenly he was in the gravel in front of us!

He HAD missed the turn; properly missed it – not just braked a bit late and had to go a bit wide. He did manage to get out of the gravel but for the first time I truly appreciated the challenge of this corner. I had also gone into the gravel on so many occasions during my recent practice in F1 2012.

The V8’s in their gorgeous livery flashed past. I sat in bemused amazement – in wonder that the F1 cars would manage to be even faster and look more spectacular.  You could smell the rubber of their tyres as they locked up going into the corner. Their engines screeched as they put on their power on going into Turn 4. The smoke rose from their rear wheels, flames burst from their exhaust, and they disappeared…

Now I just have to wait (impatiently) for the spectacle that will occur tomorrow!

11 responses to “#F1 Features: Australian Grand Prix 2014 – The Initiation

  1. I love what you write, you have such an easy style, its a joy to read. (Let us know when your first novel is completed (if it isn’t already)).
    I am sure you will enjoy your weekend immensely and I look forward to your further reports.

  2. Congrats, hope you can keep up with the chaos, LOL. Excitedly glued to all the screens back here on the other side of the world. Enjoy the show!!

    • Loving the chaos:) It’s what emergency doctors thrive on! At least you get it on screens – if we were at home we’d just have the computer telemetry but even that can be riveting!

  3. I stayed up for FP1 and OMG, I freakin’ love the sound of that Mercedes works car. It sounds like it means business.

    I listened through some decent headphones so I didn’t wake the wife and every car has a slightly different tone and pitch. I don’t believe Ferrari have turned it up to 11 yet even though they got P1 for the session, the car just didn’t sound as if it reved as high as Merc. They did show a graphic with revs on it for Rosberg, for all of 15seconds and he never only just hit 12,000rpm for a split second. Interesting session. I changed my GP predictor table twice in the hour and half lol.

    An hour and a half sleep now, and back up for FP2 at 5.15GMT

    • Looking forward to following your weekend Jennie. I’m sold on all the technical and engineering changes after just an hour and half of watching. I’m interested to hear your 1st thoughts on the new ‘era.

  4. No ear protection needed yet…

    They sound very interesting – you’re right in they all sound different. Not near as loud as the RB7 though.

    A Mazda 3 has just got stuck in the gravel in front of us! Everyone else has driven out. Here comes the crain for the first time. ..

  5. Sorry for being cynical here, but F1 is the pinnacle of MOTORSPORT. It needs to be as loud and impressive as possible. An F1 car should NEVER be confused for a lesser formula. I’m 100% in support of electric or hybrid road cars that are as quiet as possible for our everyday lives. But F1 is supposed to be the top level of a RACING SPORTING EVENT and it should always be that.

  6. Congratulations, is a great chronicle, I have read your other articles and as a new fan of F1, I have gone through the F1-2012 game, the indifference of non-fans and am now living my first grand prize in your writing.
    I´m a radiologist doctor and I hope you have time to continue contributing to Thejudge13. Regards.

    • Thanks:) Having the opportunity to write about the GP has added to my enjoyment of it too…

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