It really sucks to come back from our little break with bad news but in case any of you F1 fans have not heard yet, 7 time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher is currently in a medically induced coma after hitting his head in a skiing accident while in France.
He was on an unmarked ski slope with his 14 year old son when he lost control and hit his head against a rock. Michael was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident but the impact was still great enough to cause significant damage. Although it was reported that when ambulance was air lifting Schumacher to the hospital he was awake but dazed. Upon reaching the hospital doctors felt it was best to medically put Michael into a coma so they could work on stopping any bleeding and/or swelling of his brain.
As of now Michael is in continuous care and his condition has been described as “life threatening” and his future at this point is uncertain. The full extent of his injuries are still unknown but racing fans all over the world including myself are all hoping that Schumacher comes out of this ordeal OK.
I will try to report any new developments on this as they become available.
Our thoughts are with the Schumacher family as well as Michael’s close friends at this difficult time.
UPDATE 1-2-14: According to a report today from NBC World news Schumacher’s condition has gotten “slightly” better according to the specialists working on him. He is currently “stable” but still “critical” however there was a “window of opportunity” for surgeons to remove a few major blood clots from Michael’s brain. He also remains in a medically induced coma while also having his body temperature carefully regulated to help reduce brain swelling. His team of doctors recently held a news conference in which the situation was explained in a bit more detail. You can watch the NBC report below.
Hey ya’ll did you miss that lil ol’- OK you know what? I can’t do the fake cowboy Texas cliché thing anymore I am just going to go back to regular typing. Anyhow if you missed the United States Grand Prix this weekend and forgot to tape it then we have the results below. As far as notable occurrences there wasn’t many to speak of really. The biggest news of the weekend was Kimi Raikkonen sitting out this race and the last race due to a “back injury”. Yes, I am sure it is completely isolated and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Lotus hasn’t paid him a “single Euro” so far this season. Anyway scroll down below for the race results and a video of the race recap from NBC Sports.
1st place: Sebastian Vettel (this makes his 8th win in a row setting a new record for most consecutive wins in a season)
2nd place: Romain Grosjean
3rd place: Mark Webber (This was Webber’s final F1 race. He is retiring from F1 to start his endurance racing career)
In just 10 days Xbox One will be released upon the world and all of us crazy kids can finally get our hands on Forza Motorsport 5. In anticipation, or maybe just to goad us further, Microsoft has released two new gameplay videos. One of the Lotus E21 F1 car taking a full lap around Yas Marina Circuit and another of the Audi R18 taking a lap of LeMans. Both videos will make you throw tantrums and ask “Why don’t I have Forza 5 now?! Waagghh!” Just me? Ok nevermind… Just watch the videos!
Driving a Formula 1 car is hard; very hard. In fact, it could be argued that it takes super-human levels of mental and physical strength to drive a Formula car. So does that mean that F1 drivers could be seen as superheros? While as unlikely as that seems you might change your mind after watching the newest episode of McLaren’s “Tooned” series which tells “The Flying Finn’s” AKA Mika Hakkinen’s origin story.
With the championship decided and less than a handful of races left this is the time during the season in which the strong attempt to dominate and the shaky attempt to prove their worth so they can keep their seat for another season. This past weekend F1 returned to the luxurious Yas Marina circuit to put on a show for all the local billionaires. Who came out on top? Scroll down for results and race highlights.
1st place: Sebastian Vettel
2nd place: Mark Webber
3rd place: Nico Rosberg
Leave it to Kimi Raikkonen to stir things up just as people are getting bored with the F1 season. According to a report from CNN sports the talented mumbly Finn is threatening to boycott the last races on the calendar this year due to non-payment from cash-strapped Lotus.
Due to Lotus’ financial situation their majority owners Genii Captial forced the team to make an arrangement that the drivers could not be paid until the end of the season and after all the final checks from their sponsors have cleared. This is clearly not ideal for Kimi and he is starting to express it to the public and his team. In fact Kimi has a bit of a public spat with pit boss Alan Permane at the Indian GP over the radio then again on pit lane. When asked about the argument during a press conference Kimi tried to downplay the incident but did express the reason for his frustrations when he said:
“Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear that you are not really a team player, and you don’t have the interests of the team (at heart) — but you have been paid zero Euro the whole year”
Will Kimi stick it to Lotus by refusing to drive the last two races of the season? Or will they make up over a six pack of beer? I guess we will find out if there is only one Lotus running at Abu Dhabi.
Remember a while back when Codemasters essentially combined F1 racing with Mario Kart? Well it was a barrel of monkeys having fun with monkeys in a barrel but if you had a Nintendo gaming console you were left out. Well there is good news from Codemasters that not only is a new F1 Race Stars game coming but it will be exclusive to Wii U! F1 Race Stars “Powered Up Edition” which expands on the original F1 Race Stars game but adds four extra tracks and nine accessory packs.
There are also all the wacky obstacles like Truckasaurus and other fun features like tracks that go in loops and crazy jumps. You can check out some official screenshots and the press release below.
F1 RACE STARS™: POWERED UP EDITION TO BRING A NEW WORLD OF FORMULA ONE™ FUN TO Wii U™ THIS DECEMBER
Los Angeles – Oct. 30, 2013 – Today Codemasters® announced that F1 RACE STARS: POWERED UP EDITION will launch in December for Wii U™ and will be available exclusively from the Nintendo eShop. F1 RACE STARS: POWERED UP EDITION is a fast-to-the-fun arcade racing game for all ages, expanded with fantastic new content and features to take advantage of Wii U hardware.
For the first time on a Nintendo platform, a cast of FORMULA ONE stars, including Jensen Button, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel have become personality-packed, cartoon heroes sprinting for the checkered flag in cars representing each team on a range of super-fast, feature-packed circuits perfect for split-screen multiplayer fun.
F1 RACE STARS: POWERED UP EDITION expands the world of F1 RACE STARS with four extra tracks and nine extra accessory packs. Racing on 15 circuits around the globe, players are challenged to race through marina and dodge flying tomatoes in Europe, whip through water gardens in China, make their move through a mountain railway pass and power through a palace in India and dodge the grumpy groundhogs and motor past the mighty moose in Canada.
New content and functionality means F1 RACE STARS: POWERED UP EDITION will let players enjoy the unique advantages and gameplay options of Wii U. Features including racing as a player’s Mii and Wii U™ GamePad motion and tilt controls are integrated to use the GamePad as a steering wheel, display a map or let gamers choose to steam into the action on the GamePad.
With instantly accessible pick-up-and-play gameplay, F1 RACE STARS: POWERED UP EDITION will enable players of all ages and abilities to dive straight into position-swapping, wheel-to-wheel competition. With up to 4-players competing in split-screen multiplayer, head-to-head or coming together in teams, F1 RACE STARS: POWERED UP EDITION is perfect for sharing the fun with friends and family.
Racing fans of all ages will experience FORMULA ONE like never before as they dodge a Truckosaurus, speed past Robo-Sumos and leap into a shark’s mouth on speedy circuits inspired by 15 iconic tracks including Monaco, Silverstone and the new Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas. Game modes include a range of globe-trotting Championships, Free Play so players can dive straight into their favorite events and Time Trials for players to set the best time in their household.
Coming this December and available exclusively from the Nintendo eShop, F1 RACE STARS: POWERED UP EDITION for Wii U is developed by Codemasters, the home of the BAFTA award-winning series of Official FORMULA ONE video games, and is created under exclusive worldwide agreement with Formula One World Championship Limited. Fans can stay in touch with all the action by liking the game at www.facebook.com/f1racestars or following the team on Twitter at www.twitter.com/f1racestars.
It is already very well known that Ayrton Senna is one of, if not the greatest F1 driver ever. His rise to fame and his rivalry with Alain Prost is well documented and still discussed today. Although the creator’s of McLaren’s “Tooned” reckon that no one knows the “real” story told from the POV of the team. Hence their latest episode! Turns out there was a whole different rivalry that the world was unaware of! Scroll down and watch!
Miss the Indian Grand Prix? Did you also forget to DVR it? No worries! We got all the important information right here. Just make sure you really want to know before you keep reading!
Its official. Sebastian Vettel is officially the most boring driver in F1, oh and by winning the Indian Grand Prix over the weekend hes also the 2013 Formula One World Champion! This makes four in a row for young Vettel but still three away from matching his hero and countryman Michael Schumacher in total championships. Nico Rosberg grabbed a second place finish while Romain Grosjean came all the way back from 17th to finish third.
With three races left in the season, now all Vettel has to worry about is how he is going to continue to embarrass the rest of the grid until the year is over.
For Indian GP highlights check out the video below.
Last week I was invited by the good people at Brembo to watch Ron Howard’s new RUSH movie and frankly I was nervous. Heck, I have been nervous about RUSH ever since I saw the first trailer. Afraid to let my hopes gain full altitude. Why? Because despite “Hollywood” being interested in motorsports, for some reason they just haven’t been able to produce a good racing movie that racing enthusiasts actually like for the last 40 years or so. They continue to try but as of late the results of their efforts have been flicks such as Days of Thunder and Driven.
Why is this? Well my personal theory is that the people who make these films typically are not racing fans or enthusiasts therefore they aren’t excited by motorsports. By not being excited by motorsports, they believe fiction is more exciting than the real thing. So, instead they use motorsports as a backdrop then tack on some trite, cliché-ridden story with over-used archetypes and the result is usually rife with technical inaccuracies intentionally committed for the sake of “drama”. Even though that pisses off race fans to no end, its hard to really blame past directors for going that route. I mean, how does someone make a compelling feature-length movie about cars driving around really fast in circles?
Ron Howard found the answer: make the movie about the people who race rather than just the racing itself. Race car drivers have always been something of a mystery. Why do they risk their lives in such a way? Is it their ego? Pure bravado? Why are they so exceptionally competitive with one another? Wouldn’t it be great if someone could create a story about two drivers with egos bigger than anyone of their competitors going at it for an entire season against insurmountable odds?
Well Ron Howard, along with writer Peter Morgan did just that; and luckily for them that story just happened to be true! What are the odds? OK, so if Ron Howard and Peter Morgan didn’t have to make up the story of James Hunt and Niki Lauda when making RUSH then why do they deserve any credit for creating this film? Because they cared enough to get it right.
One of the trickiest things for a director to do when making a true story is to get out of the way of said story. They tend to over embellish because they don’t have enough confidence that the real story is compelling enough. That is not the case with RUSH. Ron Howard did an excellent job by choosing Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl to bring James Hunt and Niki Lauda (respectively) to the big screen. From there Howard and his production crew really pushed for authenticity. I am not just referring to the 70s era of F1 racing either, I mean the 70s era period!
Not only are the cars, tracks, and rules of the day brilliantly and respectfully represented but even when it comes down to the personalities, sensibilities, fashion, language, drug use, and casual sex of the mid-seventies; everything seems spot-on. The details were definitely sweated on this film and it shows. If the production designer doesn’t get some type of award nomination for RUSH then there is no freaking justice!
Before I talk about the cinematics let me talk about the actors for a bit. When I learned that Chris “Thor” Hemsworth was going to play James Hunt I was admittedly a bit worried. Let’s be honest: casting the biggest heart throb on the planet right now as a race car driver lead can be seen as a bit opportunistic. However, Hemsworth really shows his acting chops by going deeper into Hunt’s psyche by brilliantly portraying some of the racer’s hidden insecurity and other vulnerabilities.
While Hemsworth’s performance was impressive it is really Daniel Bruhl who steals the show as Niki Lauda. Bruhl’s interpretation of Lauda as a unapologetically blunt, socially challenged, calculating, genius with a pension for F-bombs is amazing and easily one of the best things about the film. Furthermore Bruhl himself brings out some of Lauda’s insecurities as he struggles to keep himself from alienating people with his blunt nature and inability to relate to the more jovial aspects of the human experience.
So now that you know the actors don’t screw it all up lets talk about how awesome this movie looks! Beyond the production design, the cinematography really pushes for realism. Yes, there is use of CG in RUSH but its not so overused that it becomes easy to pick out the computer generated effects from the practical shots, and there are plenty of practical racing shots which equate to copious moments of vintage Formula 1 car porn! Seriously the shots are so beautiful and the angles so unique that when combined with the sound design, you will swear you can smell race fuel and burnt rubber!
If you love racing of any kind (especially Formula 1) then you are going to find plenty to like about RUSH. It brilliantly tells one of the greatest stories in all of motorsports while respecting the sport itself, its fans, and its heritage. RUSH is our generation’s LeMans. Its artful representation of a time when “sex was safe and racing was dangerous” as well as its respect for the sport itself.
It could be said that anyone who wants to understand the essence of America’s love affair with Baseball should watch The Natural and that anyone who wants to understand the spirit of Football should watch Rudy. Well, I think it can now be said that if anyone wants to understand the spirit of Formula 1 and why it is an important sport to the world should watch RUSH.
RUSH is a 10/10 for me. Go watch it this weekend! Just, don’t bring the kids!