I've started watching TV again. My beautiful apartment in Brooklyn has HDTV and an HD-DVR. When bored, I look through the program listings and record every show which looks interesting, and the next day I scan through them all and watch whichever ones turn out to be good (side not: DVR lets you FF through the commercials, and then rewinds a few seconds when you hit play, to account for your reaction time).
Anyway, I've recorded (sorted from high to low in order of eventual interest) some great motorcycle races (with dudes pouring smoke off their rear tires as they back it in and overtake for position), the New York Triathlon, and Formula 1. But then I found a GP2 race--and it was the most exciting circuit race I've ever seen. GP2 is F1's little brother—a series packed with fearless young guns vying for spots in F1. Lewis Hamilton (19 years old) and Nelson Piquet Jr. are the stars. Piquet Jr. is like a little Gilles Villeneuve, stepping on the gas at every opportunity and generally being a huge badass. (Here is a race from earlier in the year, with Hamilton raging through the pack-check it out).
The cool thing is they race on Saturday, then the top 8 finishers are inverted for Sunday, so the best drivers must claw their way back to the front. At the beginning of the race, tons of cars flew off the track--then the real fun began. I watched Piquet Jr. attacking corner after corner until he overtook the cars in front of him. His car setup was brilliant and he could carry a tiny bit more speed than the other drivers. The cars don't have so much aerodynamic dependence as F1, and are a bit heavier, so there is much more scope for overtaking, and indeed, there were many, many more passes than in an F1 race. Furthermore, the person who gets the fastest lap gets a championship point, so when drivers are out of the points, they can put on a fresh set of tires, find some clear track, and put in a couple of scorchers. The best bit? A couple of times, I saw drivers take a whole corner on full opposite lock under power, laying two thick darkies. When's the last time you saw that in F1?
One more thing, the GP2 cars all run the same tires, as F1 is planning to do next year. Will we see such close, exciting racing from equi-tired F1 cars? It would be great.