Sunday, 28 March 2010


It's lap 10 as I write this, and Button's just pulled off a beautiful tactical decision. Too bad he went off on turn one (yeah, mimicking commentators here, but hey).

Also, this race has already been more exciting then Bahrain. The no refueling (as I guessed) is actually helping here. Drivers are pitting purely on the basis of their tyres instead of wasting laps on bad tyres because it's not time to refuel yet.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Student politics: science under-represented. Why?

My friend Grace wrote a piece about the lack of science sab. officers at Uni on her blog.

She makes a few stereotypical comments regarding science degrees - some accurate, some not. Here I expand on the reasons science students seem so under-represented in student politics.

There definitely is a two-part problem here. The first is that most science students do spend a lot of time in labs/lectures/whatever (not to suggest other degrees are less work, but there's less formal structure to arts degrees, and you do more work in your own time, allowing you to structure your work around whatever-Uni-stuff you want to in a way science students can't).

This tends to mean that science students spend less time around the Union, and see it more as a place to get lunch (but only when the queue at John's Van is too long) then a real entity.

This in turn also means they're less likely to see the campaigns, or be able to go to hustings (which always clash with my lectures) or get to know the candidates leading to apathy regarding the campaigns.

As for representation amongst the Sab officers: I would have loved to run for a position (Welfare, probably) but just didn't have the time to do it. When I needed to be out canvassing I was in lectures/supervisor meetings/etc... All things I can't put off until the evening.

In short, science students would care about student politics, but the difficulty is in making sure we can actively participate.

Monday, 15 March 2010

F1 Bahrain 2010 - race review and rule changes

Sadly, a boring race.

The new rules are, frankly, a bit rubbish. It's still just as difficult to overtake (F1's overtaking is not for lack of incentive - only a fundamental rewrite of aero rules will fix this).

In any case - after the first round of pitstops the race was - barring technical failures - done and dusted.

The pitstop window wasn't even that interesting. Drivers no longer have a few laps where they can put in their race winning laps to jump someone in the pits. They react straight off the bat. Trying to compete with their nearest rival when the rival is new tyres and they are on old (in exchange for a couple extra laps of freshness in their tyres after the stop) isn't going to work. The only overtaking in the pits will be straight races between pit crews. As much as this is a vital skill it's not the one I want to see races decided on.

Friday, 12 March 2010

F1 2010 underway!

Looks like McLaren and Mercedes got the best of the Friday running.

Rosberg running almost half a second faster than Schuey is rather surprising. The Williams is apparently fairly quick too.

Having said all this, there are still lots of different programmes running (the Ferraris were focussing more on long runs, so don't rule them out - they had excellent winter testing pace).

Qualifying tomorrow is going to be great. In the UK it's on at 10:10am on the BBC.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Car colours in F1

So HST revealed their gray car yesterday.

I thought, "come on guys, get an imagination." McLaren, Mercedes and Virgin are all already using gray as their main colours - a full third of the cars on the grid will be gray.

I think each team must choose a unique colour scheme with up to two colours. Oldest teams get priority. Each team would then have to stick to that colour scheme, with minor changes allowed for sponsorship.

That way, each car is uniquely coloured, and the grid looks prettier.

Simple, right?

Formula One 2010: Pre-season review (post testing)

Testing seems to have confirmed my guesses for the most part. Massa has performed excellently and has picked up where he left off before his injury.

Schumacher also performed well in his Mercedes car.

The pecking order will be somewhat different from the pecking order I guessed.

McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull will be the teams to beat, with Mercedes somewhat behind.

Williams appeared to be the strongest of the next group, followed by Renault and Sauber.

This leaves Torro Rosso and Force India, with nothing to choose between them, and Virgin Racing and Lotus and HRT (formally Campos) (probably in that order) pulling round the rear.

It is saddening to hear that USF1 have pulled out. I was looking forward to seeing more non-European teams take part (currently, only Lotus aren't based in Europe, and the majority of teams are based in the UK).

All hail the season opener in a week.