What’s Up? (11/27/2016)

Formula 1
How about that? Nico Rosberg is the 2016 F1 Champion. It’s been 966 days since watching my first race, the Bahrain Grand Prix of 2014, and 966 days of hoping for this moment. 2014 was rough–a mechanical failure destroyed Nico’s championship dreams in Abu Dhabi. The next year was worse; in 2015 Nico barely challenged Lewis Hamilton, but he ended the race on a high note that gave his fans a lot of hope.

And 2016? It was a brilliant year to be a Nico Rosberg fan, I was sick to my stomach more than a few times, but it feels amazing to finally see Rosberg on top. He wasn’t the fastest driver this year, not the best over-taker, not even the best qualifier — but he was consistent, he kept his car together, and it took nerves of steel not to give this thing up when it came down to one last race.

As I say ‘auf wiedersehen’ to Formula 1 for a few months, I’m looking forward to the attention Nico will get in the off season. Mercedes is likely to sell special “champion” merch, and maybe Nico will even be lined up for some mainstream TV interviews. Vettel got to go on Letterman, and Hamilton got a 60 Minutes story so… one can hope.



Pre-Prix: Singapore

In about five hours I will be waking up to watch the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit. Honestly, I haven’t been so excited for a Formula One race in quite some time. The last three races in the European leg (Hungary, Belgium, Italy) weren’t my favorites, but these last six races all sound pretty exciting to me. Singapore has a reputation for being a good track; some have been calling it basically, Monaco at night. I’ve played Monaco and Singapore back-to-back, and I can see how the comparison works. Lots of really tight corners, lots of crashes and contacts, and hard overtakes.

In any case, waking up at 8AM to watch Singapore celebrate in all of its neon firework glory is going to be excellent. Something about the European stretch of the Formula One season felt a little boring. The circuits were all kind of just, circuit-y. Just race tracks, you know? The first six tracks, and the last six tracks, are just such a nice little motley crew.

United States
United Arab Emirates

Nico Rosberg lost pole position by .007 seconds, but this is a tight circuit, and if Singapore is truly similar to Monaco, then Nico may have some advantage here. Between the two Mercedes drivers, you know I’m rooting for Nico, but I’d be beyond delighted to see Daniel Ricciardo or Sebastian Vettel take first place. Change is good, and I welcome craziness on the track, as long as everybody’s safe, and as long as Nico stays ahead of Lewis.


Top 10 Reasons I Root for Nico Rosberg


#1 Nico Rosberg makes home-made, healthy Pizzas.


#2 When possible, Nico obviously seeks out the world’s best pizza.


#3 In a Sky News exclusive: What’s the secret to Nico’s Pizza?


#4 Driven by his love of pizza, Nico won the Pizza-wheel trophy in Austria.


#5 The four-week summer break from racing took its toll on Nico, who grew this totally real beard.


#6 The more Nico poses with food, the more I like the guy.


#7 After every race, I’m pretty sure Nico gets a neck massage by both a human and a cat.


#8 Nico did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge right, and in German. I encourage you to watch the video, the German language accurately describes the feeling of being doused in ice water.


#9 After the 2nd place finish at Monza, Nico got some ice cream in Ibiza to make himself feel better!


#10 Nico is just a smart guy. He knows his car really well, and I think he’s maybe one of the best at avoiding tech problems.  Watch him rock the “Professor Nico” outfit. Boom, style.


What’s Up? (4/21/14)

6 AM, going to hit it again. Twice actually, this weekend.

The first time, in all fairness, was pretty pleasant. Watching the Shanghai Gran Prix was absolutely fantastic. It couldn’t compare to the Bahrain Gran Prix from two weeks ago, but definitely worth staying up until 5AM to see the end of the race live. My boy Nico Rosberg couldn’t vie for 1st, but I was happy to see him recover to 2nd after a rough qualifying session and rougher race start. Nice to see Alonso make it to the podium, and for Ricciardo to overtake Vettel. Rooting for anybody but Lewis Hamilton come May 11th’s Barcelona Gran Prix. (By the way, it felt great to sit down for the start of a sporting event at 3AM when everybody else is in Pittsburgh is winding down or asleep; I’m meant to watch live sports in different time zones).

The second 6AM, the one I’m in right now; also not unpleasant. Do I want to be up? I mean, I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t. At this point, I’d be happier spending another fifteen minutes writing rather than not recording this mindset somewhere. Still, I wish I could have finished some of those essays earlier – but I’m a stickler for detail. Honestly, I could have turned it all in back at 4AM, but proofreading turned out to be incredibly valuable. Would I have lost any points for writing “show” where I meant to write “shop?” Probably not, but it’s my final paper and I give a shit about things like that. If I’m going to be up this late working, it might as well be for some quality work.

I’m not out of the woods yet though; the final and most dry and boring of all papers must be written later today, for World Literature. Gayle, if you’re reading this right now, I’m sorry – it’s not your class that’s dry – it’s the prospect of writing a few thousand words about it. Still, the semester is over in less than 48 hours. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel… though that may just as easily be the sunrise coming through my window.

Ease yourself on down
And if you’re bound and frowned 
You better put it on down 
‘Cause 4am, gonna hit it again