Week in review 2024-05
Vision Pro launches, Care packages arrive, Lewis goes to Ferrari and house hunt 2.0 begins.
Notes on the week
The news of the week, perhaps the year, is that Lewis Hamilton will be leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari for the 2025 Formula One season. This is Brady leaves the Patriots, Messi leaves Barcelona or the UK leaves the EU levels of bombshell. A hint of a rumour started to float around Wednesday night that something big might be about to hit the paddock, and by Thursday morning those rumours had picked up more credibility as more informed and respected voices started to share what they had heard through the grape vine. My little F1 group chat was giddy, especially when the likes of Adam Cooper started to corroborate the story.
Before any official announcement had been made, we were already busy determining the knock on effects across the paddock, as the seat freed up in Mercedes must be filled, and Carlos Sainz leaving Ferrari will surely stay on the grid? The permutations were debated, with dream scenarios (Alonso to Mercedes), and likely outcomes (Sainz to Sauber ahead of it becoming the works Audi team in 2026) passed back and forth. It was great craic, and within about an hour Sky Sports were reporting on the move as ‘a done deal’. Ferrari and Mercedes both came out later that day to make it ‘official official’, but at this stage the reality was already beginning to sink in. Lewis will be wearing red in 2025.
So what does this mean? First, it backs up a statement by Sebastian Vettel a few years ago, “Everyone is a Ferrari fan. Even the people that say they aren’t, are Ferrari fans”. The most romantic, turbulent, brilliant and infuriating team in the sport’s history, Ferrari has an allure for F1 fans and drivers alike, one that transcends the reality of sporting accomplishment or statistical methodology. Are they the best team in F1? Absolutely not. Does everyone want to drive for them? Absolutely. To win an F1 race is a dream of any driver, to win for the Scuderia goes beyond simple dreaming and is more akin to a religious experience. The Tifosi, the ultra passionate devotees at the alter of the Prancing Horse, have already dubbed Charles LeClerc “The Little Prince”, as if awaiting his inevitable coronation as the World Champion some day, now they have their King.
This driver line up is a win-win for Ferrari. Lewis arrives with nothing to prove, 7 World Titles in the bag, the most wins, the most poles, the most points. If the Little Prince can go toe to toe with the King and hold his own, the future of the realm is healthy, and if the King comes out on top, well thats what a King is supposed to do. In 2025 Ferrari will have the strongest driver pairing on the grid, with Lewis bringing unrivalled experience, mentality, an underrated technical ability in the garage and the personality to forge a team around him, and with Charles they have the outright fastest driver on the grid over one lap. If they can close the gap to Red Bull over the course of 2024, ‘25 could be very, very interesting, and who knows what the competitive order will be after the new regulations come into effect in 2026.
I often refer to F1 as my Soap Opera. The characters are larger than life, the plot lines incredulous and the political subterfuge more potent than any season of Succession. That this drama is all merely the backdrop against which the main event takes place is the icing on top, because for all the gossip, rumours, write ups and emergency podcasts, at some point in March 2025 Lewis will put on a scarlet race suit, climb into the seat of a Ferrari, his Ferrari and put his life on the line for the Scuderia. If the car is competitive, if he’s still sharp and if the dice rolls the right way, the Tifosi will take their yearly pilgrimage to Monza, The Temple of Speed, and maybe, just maybe he’ll win. In Red. In Italy. They have hated him for so long, perhaps begrudgingly respected him in recent years, but once he dons the red they will love him, and if he can win for them, they will immortalise him.
Okay, with F1 Corner out of the way, this past week in Rotterdam was pretty good. I spent a bit of time hacking away getting Elle’s video project running on the CRT TV we bought last week. The connection was a mess of adaptors, HDMI->RCA->SCART, which I was shocked worked straight away and without much strangeness. The only weirdness was the SCART adaptor had a switch to toggle between PAL and NTSC, and for whatever reason I was getting terrible flickering when set to PAL, despite the TV being European. Flicking over to NTSC solved the problem though. I set up a Raspberry Pi to autoplay the video files on startup, without any input so that if the power went it would go straight back into action. This was pretty straightforward, just a little shell script to trigger VLC on boot, with a few arguments to play without and window chrome, on screen controls or video titles.
cvlc --no-osd -fL /home/pi/filename.extension
One of the days this week I was out doing some shopping, and it was cold. Not the bitter chill of winter that we had a few weeks ago, but a more insidious cold. Because the weather has been improving, I wasn’t ‘prepared’ in the same way as a few weeks ago, no leggings, no scarf, hat and gloves. By the time I got home I was freezing, tired and just wanted a cup of tea and a biscuit. When I got up the stairs to our door there was a little An Post package at the door. A care package, from home. Let me tell you, there are precious few things in the world better than coming home to surprise HobNobs, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and ‘real’ tea bags. The fact that you know in that moment that your people at home are thinking about you, and went to the effort to send a little taste of home is enough to warm you right up, without having to put the kettle on at all.
Apple Vision Pro launched this week (in the US). I am convinced that this is one of those roadmap products that will influence how we think about computing on a global scale, the ramifications of which probably won’t be obvious for at least another ten years. I would give an arm and a leg to test one out, and have been watching and reading every review I can get my hands to learn more about what the experience feels like. Elle hates it.
Of all the coverage of Lewis going to Ferrari, nothing else quite matched the level of giddy glee and utter bewilderment of Matt on the emergency episode of the P1 Podcast.
An Oldie, but such a goodie. Ahnohni has one of the most unique voices out there, and this album is a masterpiece. Definitely not a happy body of music (The opening lyric to the album is literally “I hope theres someone when I die, who’ll take care of me”), but so beautiful.