Watched the 12pm replay of the race yesterday, couldn't sit through all of it since my brother wanted to watch something else. Disappointing race for the Credit Suisse sponsored team, BMW Sauber, and it looks like the much feared Ferrari is back in the hunt.
If there was a Nissan team, I'd root for them, and there is, in the form of Renault. Since they aren't sold here, I don't have enough of a "relationship" with Renault, and I don't want to be seen as a front runner. Then there's Subaru, which doesn't compete in these races, but with their recent sale to Toyota, one would think I'd be in Toyota's boat. Not so, I've acquired 'some' of the hatred Playskool has for them as they do seem like a big soul-less machine of a company. I love their products, but rooting for them is akin to cheering on any team currently playing the Knicks (though Toyota's performance in Bahrain was atrocious). That leaves me with Honda, again I have no relationship with them. The last Honda I drove was an old Accord back in early high school and I don't want to encroach on Playskool's turf.
Naturally, the team for me to root for is the recently formed BMW Sauber team. Sponsored by Credit Suisse, Intel, Puma and a few other companies, they had a miserable time in Bahrain. I knew this season wouldn't be great since it would take time for the BMW-Sauber team-up to mesh and operate smoothly but not placing in the top ten is embarrassing.
Looking through the Credit Suisse intranet this morning (specifically our EMagazine which looks to be open to the public), I browsed through the F1 section of the site and saw a Virtual-GM like competition. The first two races are warm-ups, and my picks for Malaysia are below; yeah that Heidfeld third place finish is an insane reach, but he did place third last year at this very track, and the year before that he couldn't finish because of gearbox problems. If the car holds up and he gets a clean start I hope he can hold off McLaren and Honda. They give out prizes after every race, at mid-season and at the end of the season. The grand prize:
A Grand Prix weekend for two at a race in Europe during the 2007 season, including grandstand tickets for qualifying and the race itself, as well as an exclusive tour of the paddock, two nights’ accommodation in a double room and transfer between the hotel and the circuit (not including travel costs).
1. F.Alonso (Renault)
2. M.Schumacher (Ferrari)
1. Renault (Michelin)
Jacques Vlleneuve (16)
Update: After reading the report here of last year's race and the troubles from the race in Bahrain, I've decided to juggle around my standings. I must be nuts to not have Ferrari and McLaren in the top three, but I can't trust McLaren's reliability (not that Honda didn't have their own problems) and now that Ferrari's 2nd driver is starting so far back I don't know how high their constructors points will be.
If I have any shot at this, I better take my bias-ness out of the equation, which means lower finishes for BMW-Sauber when the picks do count. Playskool I'm taking you with me if I win, help me out with the picks here! And enter yourself! It looks as though the F1 Forecasting Game is open to everyone!
In other news, I'm looking to pick up some gear. Looks like I get 20% off all team items here. The only problem is that it doesn't look like they ship out of the EU. Going to have to work some Credit Suisse connections here.
Kudos to Playskool for pointing out this totally badass wallpaper that is currently adorning my desktop. You can find the full size versions here. This is Scott Speed's ride, the first American in F1 for a decade. The ride is so stylish, that bull integrates really well into the body of the car, the only thing I'm disliking are the eyes.
In other racing news, one of our traders received a package from Archipelago today, in it was a print signed by IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti. Not a big fan of Indy 500 but it's better than nothing.
Update: No prizes awarded here, but this one is closer to Virtual GM than the Credit Suisse picks game. Called F1 Manager, you start off with a set budget and you must choose your two drivers, chassis, engine, tires and pit babes. Budget is pretty small so I chose some unknown drivers and blew my money on a middle of the pack chassis and engine.
Update 2: Okay, so my picks for this week sort of went right out of the window. Can't believe Nick's engine busted with 7 laps to go. If there was any week for BMW-Sauber to get on the podium, it was this week since the top dogs started so far back and Kimi got knocked out on the first (or was it the second) turn. Looks like this forecasting bit is going to be harder than filling out some March Madness brackets. So much car racing this weekend. Watched Sebring most of Saturday, then some drifting coverage at around 1am, followed by F1 at 1:30am. Then this afternoon there was some Touring Car coverage, so many Mazdas and Hondas!