So it’s Sunday afternoon and I am meant to be packing up my house getting ready for a move, but I'm not. I’m sat on my sofa engrossed in the lead up to the Singapore Grand Prix. A couple of years ago I doubt I would have known it was on, let alone bothered watching. Even now I have minimal knowledge of the cars, even less about the mechanics and the only thing I knew about Bernie Eccles-cake was that he looked a bit like a hobo in a suit and needed a hair cut.
Grand Prix, as far as I was concerned, was a bunch of rich kids racing round and round and round a track and at the end, the top three trundle into a media interview wearing massive watches and caps advertising some bank or other and the number 2 and 3 usually moan about why they aren’t no.1.
But having given it a chance I think I’ve got a slightly better grasp of it now. So if you’re reading this and know next to nothing about the rules here are the main ones as I understand them. And if you're reading this and know a lot about the rules don’t laugh. Okay:
• There are 2 drivers per team
• There are 3 races or 'qualifying heats' before the main event and the driver that gets the fastest speed at the end of these heats gets to start on pole position for the actual race. (Actually not 100% sure that is strictly true but it sounds like its a good idea so we'll just go with it, cool?)
• There are certain rules everyone needs to abide by - all cars have to change tyres at least once and they can’t refuel the car (that’s a new one this year).
• Then there are the things that seem a little unfair. Mechanics can develop parts of the car within certain strict rules of which I couldn’t even begin to comment on! I don’t think they are really that important anyway. If they do it quicker than the mechanics in the other teams, their car will naturally be faster. For example Red Bull developed something that pushes down on the erm...exhaust (?) thereby creating a more streamlined G-Force - I think. Don’t quote me on that though. So they were winning all the races until the other teams managed to invent the same thing.
• There are 19 races (this year) and the person that wins the most races gets a massive cup and a ton of cash.
But enough of the technical talk. There is part of the Grand Prix I feel more qualified to comment on, the personalities of the drivers. This is for no reason other than I'm quite good at getting a feel for a person from snippets of information provided to me by my television. My opinion of the current top five follows:
Webber (Nickname Desperate Dan) Drives for Red Bull - Here’s a guy that should be on top of the world. Tall, rich and I’m sure many people find him at least a little bit attractive but I have never seen such a moaning old woman in my life. Even when he wins he still moans! He’s the first to complain if he feels someone has messed up but the last to accept any responsibility for his own mishaps. Watching him when he’s happy is just as annoying, his stupid leap-frog fake happy jump when he collects his trophy makes me wish he would go back to eating cow pies.
Alonso (Nickname Alfonso Bonzo) Drives for Ferrari - He seems like a decent driver, isn’t a big moaner and is doing rather well at the moment having won the last two ,but a man that waxes his eyebrows into two fat caterpillars across his forehead is not to be trusted. Who knows what secrets he hides underneath those hairy beasts? Plus he has taken to copying Webbers 'leap frog' happy jump which is just wrong.
Hamilton (Nickname Cutie Pie) Drives for McLaren - He’s the wonder kid that came from nowhere, took the championship in 2008 and hooked himself a rather hot, if slightly vacant looking, girlfriend (probably by batting his eyelashes). But I reckon the highlight of his year was when Santander made him into a toy for their advert.
Vettel (Nickname The Village Idiot) Drives for Red Bull - Off duty he rather resembles a German student on his gap year. He's made some ridiculous mistakes which has left him and several others not able to finish races, the Button incident in Belgium to name one. But I kind of like him, he looks like a kid that can’t believe his luck at being allowed to race cars for a living. Except when he's grumpy, then he looks like a kid who's pissed off!
Button (Nickname The Gentleman) Drives for McLaren - I’m not really sure how you can be racing for as many years as he has, come 8th pretty much consistently, still make a mint and then jump right up to win the whole thing last year, but that's what he did. Maybe being towards the back of the points section for all that time has contributed towards his relaxed persona but he has yet to put a foot wrong. He covers for his teammates if they make any mistakes, doesn’t judge others for their driving (or for their preference in jewellery, BTW nice earring Hamilton) and basically delivers sportsmanlike behaviour at all times. He’s pretty much one of the only drivers you could have a normal conversation with. And he’s hot.
With four races left I’m more hooked than ever and as long as neither Desperate Dan or Alfonso Bonso wins the whole thing, I’ll be happy – check back with me on 14th November.