Yesterday was the 2nd edition of the Indian Grand Prix and I was lucky enough to be a spectator there. Well, not exactly lucky considering I bought the (expensive) tickets but nevertheless, the experience made me feel that way.
We always talk about World Class facilities. Well, I have no reference point (regarding Grand Prix) but Buddh International Circuit (BIC) is pretty much up there where world class facilities in general are considered.
The roads might be the best ever built on Indian surface and the track, created by Professional and world-renowned German architect and racetrack designer, Herman Tilke. This alone says a lot about how much effort has gone in its creation.
The good thing is: Unlike most projects, this one shows.
But I am not here to talk about just the track. I am here to share my amazement at a sport that truly creates a cocktail of Sports and Technology and adds a dash of zing to it that creates a completely unique experience. Now, I am not new to watching games live.
But no other game has even given me Goosebumps! Every time a car would swoosh (yes that is the only word I can use) past me, my whole body would shake to the core.
Also, being just in front of the pit crew I could see the cars from great vicinity. These are true engineering marvels. Each of those cars has been designed to be pushed to their limits. Every car is supposed to give it all in every race and this is where the car is reaching more than 300 Km/h. Planes can take off at a lesser speed!
Also, at such a pace it is not possible to control the car alone manually. In fact, with all the restraints that have been put (no more than 18000rpm, at least 640kg weight etc), it has become even more important to use technology to extract more juice from the car.
In fact, an F1 car is equipped with over 200 sensors that send data back to the pit. Also, different settings are present in the driver’s steering wheel which helps him control the car settings. This is done at the press of a button by the driver while the whole actual work is done by a microprocessor (called the Electronic Control Unit-ECU). Imagine, the use of technology increased to such an extent that since 2008, a rule has been made to control it.
I found this video of Panasonic Toyota (it’s an old video) but it explains beautifully the use of electronics (or technology) in their cars.
Technology in Formula One
Looking at this video and the race yesterday I can say one thing-
No other game has such extensive use of technology as well. Other games may get enhanced by technology a bit, link the use of cameras help umpires make less mistakes in Cricket, referees can now see better with cameras from all around. These effects though, do not change the outcome of the game or the way the game is played.
Formula One is different. The game not just is dependent on technology, it thrives on it!