Monday, September 12, 2005

Bring Your Earplugs

The V-10s are running their final races. Sunday was the last race for these fantastic engines at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, the greatest track on the whole Formula One calendar. Kimi Raikkonen drove a masterful race, but that's another story. Today we bow to the singular technological spectacle that is a modern Formula One race car. If you have never seen an F1 race, set the TiVo to record the Spa rerun on Speed Channel. It is the pointiest point of motor racing. Even my techno-phobe wife is intrigued. (OK, she thinks Fernando Alonso is "hot, hot, hot!" No technology there, I guess.)

Next year, as payment for the loss of the 3 liter 18,000 rpm V-10s, we will be treated to 2.4 liter V-8s spinning at a mind-numbing 21,000 rpms. The sounds alone are worth the price of admission. It's the sound of pure money. The technology of an F1 car makes every other racing series seem like duelling haywagons, because of the insane amount of money poured into this sport. It's estimated that Ferrari spend around $400 million per year to run two cars in the world championship.

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