Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Kids these Days.

Okay, I'm a gamer, and I've been known, on occasion to talk about motorsport on this blog. So naturally, being both a gamer and a Motorsport fan, I was pretty happy to see news of F1 2011 appearing in the gaming media, more specifically, this Developer Diary:

I want the steering wheel Ant Davidson uses in that video SO much.

Now, I first came across that video on a gaming site. As you tend to with Video Game news. What I then did was make the mistake of looking at the comments. Most of it, to be fair, was the usual mix of vitriolic hatred and enthusiastic responses. The one that caught my eye, though was a comment related to the footage from about the 1:45 minute mark of the video, at the VIP developer event.

As you may notice if you look at that video, a lot of the people trying the game out are rather young, which prompted some enlightened soul in the comments to ask:

"That's stupid, what the F**k do kids know about car handling?"

I have, of course, corrected the spelling and grammar.

Now, at first glance, the commenter has a point. What does a young person know about the intricacies of car handling and physics? What could a young teenager know about Racing a car? What could a child know about competitive motorsport and how a car handles under pressure?

What could this 15 year old girl:

(Picture Courtesy: BBC)

know about car handling and physics? And what does this nine year old child:

(Picture courtesy: Youtube)

...Know about how a racing car handles? Look at the pair of them? What could they possibly know about racing car Handling that some gamer commenting on a website doesn't? Everyone knows kids don't know anything!

Tell me, gentle reader, how good are you at spotting incredibly loaded questions?

That first picture? The fifteen year old? Her name is Sarah Moore. In 2009, on Live British Television, she won the Ginetta Juniors championship, one of the best Junior GT racing categories in the country. She was the first female champion in it's then five-year history. She won five races and had ten podium finishes in the 20 race season. Now aged 17 and racing in the Intersteps series, Her ambition is to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours. She also has her sights set on being the first British Female F1 driver.

Just to illustrate that this series isn't just kids playing around, here's some footage from the 2008 season, as Ginetta Junior footage is disappointingly difficult to find:

Oh, and I bet you're wondering about the young nine year old boy in that photo. Well, that picture was taken in 1989. I cropped it from this footage:

Twenty years later, that nine year old boy did this:

Yeah. Thats Jenson Button. The 2009 F1 world Champion.

So whats the point of this blog entry? The point is that Racing drivers don't just drop into the seat at the age of 25 and start winning races. The point is that Motorsport, like everything else in life, is a craft that needs to be learned.

The point is that some Gamer posting a comment on a website doesn't know more than that 15 year old girl and eight year old boy. They have probably forgotten more about car handling and physics than you will ever know. Sarah Moore is a veteran champion racing driver at the age of 17. Jenson Button has been racing for over 20 years, and is only 31 years old.

So, "What the f**k do kids know about car handling and physics?"

The answer? In the case of some of them, A hell of a lot more than you.

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