F1 Fairy Tale

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This long weekend for me could be titled Movies and Cars as I finally put up several movie posters in my garage: a Pulp Fiction centerpiece, flanked by two James Bond (Goldfinger and For Your Eyes Only), with Reservoir Dogs across from them right opposite Pulp Fiction. One side of the garage has windows (allowing plants to be inside); on its opposite, next to the McLaren, I found something that I felt was a good match.

Before I get to the F1 race, let me first say that the new Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F was not terrible, and clearly was made to recall some highlights of the earlier movies. Not quite the Top Gun (see Top Fun) remake, but it was actually quite watchable.

Beverly Hills Cop is a film franchise of American action comedy films and an unaired television pilot based on characters created by Daniel Petrie, Jr. and Danilo Bach. The films star Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who travels to Beverly Hills, California to investigate a crime, even though it is out of his jurisdiction. The box office receipts were $735 million (on a budget of $90 million).

My favorite among the three is (in part because of Bob Seger’s Shakedown, which sadly lost the Oscar to Dirty Dancing’s Time of my Life at the 60th Academy Awards; my other favorites of his are Old Time Rock & Roll and Against the Wind):

Beverly Hills Cop II is a 1987 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Tony Scott. It grossed nearly $300 million (on a budget of $27 million).

Here is the New York Times review of Axel F:

The best parts of this comedy return to classic bits, like Serge (Bronson Pinchot) and Axel reviving their verbal volley from the first movie, and reuse the franchise’s past soundtrack hits like “Shakedown” and “Neutron Dance.” The worst parts involve lazy allusions to better films. A climactic shootout in a mansion attempting to blend the gunfight from the first “Beverly Hills Cop” with “Scarface” is tedious and unremarkable. While this installment isn’t nearly as woeful as “Beverly Hills Cop III,” it doesn’t have the charm or energy of the first two films either.

In addition to the posters in the garage, I took the opportunity to add add two posters in my study (one being WBCN and The American Revolution), and six in the basement (including Scarface and Godfather).

I had these framed in a local Sewickley shop, whose owner brought the posters in his van (as some did not fit in our Porsche SUV),  and as we were mounting them, he commented that Mario Lemieux, who lives in the neighborhood, had some of the same ones (Scarface, for instance) in his house!

Now for the main event.

The exciting qualifying event on Saturday set the stage for a possible surprise winner, because unlike Monaco, here the track is wide enough that there can be many changes in the leader board:

George Russell tops a British-led qualifying result

One of the most entertaining qualifying sessions of the season ended with a happy home crowd.

George Russell secured pole position for his home race, lining up alongside teammate Lewis Hamilton in P2 for Sunday’s British Grand Prix. Lando Norris qualified P3, making it an all-British top three in qualifying, and Max Verstappen will line up next to him in fourth after suffering damage earlier in qualifying.

So, coming into the race:

Mercedes. Mercedes. McLaren. Red Bull. McLaren. Ferrari. Ferrari. Aston Martin.

My wishes going into the Sunday race were:

  1. Anyone but Max Verstappen (Red Bull): He is so much better than other drivers that even without the best car (McLaren) he cannot be ruled out to win, starting from fourth position.
  2. McLaren over Mercedes, unless it is Lewis Hamilton. (See Hamiltonian Path).

It was a fun race to watch, except for George Russell who unfortunately had to bow out due to (Mercedes) car trouble, ironically due to its water system, on a day when rain was thought to be the most likely spoiler! For a while, I thought a McLaren would win, but Red Bull was always a viable threat, and Lewis Hamilton settled in (and held on). The strategic tyre error by McLaren (and a slow Pit Stop) took Lando Norris out of the running for the win. His post-race interview said it all.

It was a Fairy Tale victory for Lewis Hamilton, having won his first F1 here seventeen years ago, having no wins since 2021, winning his 9th (a record) here, and this being his last year with Mercedes (looking forward to seeing him live in Miami next year with Ferrari):


Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix, the 12th round of the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship, at Silverstone for Mercedes

It was great to glimpse Rowan Atkinson (and Emilia Clarke) in the audience (of over 160,000), as was seeing Physicist and Musician Brian May.

Let me close with another story about cars that popped today:

As the E.V. Revolution Slows, Ferrari Enters the Race

A lot is riding on Ferrari’s 200-million-euro “e-building,” which went into operation last month and is nearly twice the size of Rome’s Colosseum. The factory is intended to bring the 77-year-old sports-car maker, known for the sonorous vroom of its gas engines, into the age of electrification.

But challenges loom. Enthusiasts who had gathered outside the factory gates last month wondered: Will it look, handle and sound like the classic Ferrari growler, or have the understated whine of most electric vehicles?

Mr. Vigna is already thinking about how to market the new electric car. The target customer probably will not be buying the car for purely practical or even planet-saving reasons, he said, adding: “The emotional part of the brain is driving the purchase.”

Indeed! See True Grip. And, of course, I am eagerly waiting (see F1 Edition) to test drive the 2025 Aston Martin Vantage that should be landing in the US soon.

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