turbo problems

Monaco Grand Prix: Old-school F1 thrills and spills return, credit cards accepted

It is motorsport’s biggest weekend of the year. On one side of the Atlantic, the snaking streets of Monaco host the most ostentatious event in sport while, on the other side, a 2.5-mile oval circuit is home to the self-styled ‘Greatest spectacle in racing’.

Monaco or the Indy 500, take your pick. Rascasse, Casino Square, Sainte-Devoté, or The Brickyard. The claustrophobic confines of Monte Carlo, or the vastness of the Indianapolis arena, with its four huge 90-degree bends.

This year, there is something for F1 fans in both races: the titanic battle brewing between Vettel and Hamilton (pictured) will add spice to the Monaco F1 menu while, in the US, Fernando Alonso’s one-race sabbatical from Formula 1 has already sparked huge interest – especially as Alonso has qualified a remarkable fifth, despite turbo problems.

Mind the walls

Monaco is a race that shouldn’t take place. F1 cars have no place on the sinewy street circuit, with its impossibly narrow race space and barriers (pictured) that cars must kiss if they are to eke out the fastest laps.

And these laps will be fast. Based on what we’ve seen already this year, you can expect records to tumble.

Monaco demands precision like no other circuit and that, of course, is the attraction. This year, the challenge will be greater than ever.

That’s because 2017’s F1 cars are wide, extremely wide – 2metres, compared with a relatively svelte 1.8metres last season.

That means anyone trying an overtake – or being overtaken – has 40cm less track to play with.

To put it in old money, that’s 16inches less road space, on a circuit where every inch is precious.

For the likes of Lance Stroll or Jolyon Palmer, simply completing the race will be an achievement.

For others, it means more kissing of those barriers… there’s some great Sky footage of Kimi squeezing an Armco til it wobbles. That’s how tight this circuit is.

Let’s hope the teams have brought extra touch-up paint: they’re going to need it.

Clash of the F1 titans

Lewis Hamilton has won at Monaco twice, Sebastian Vettel (pictured) just the once, so neither can really claim to be a master of Monte Carlo.

Nico Rosberg – remember him, the World Champion? – won in 2013, 14 and 15.

Alain Prost won four years out of five in 1984-88 and, as for Ayrton Senna, he took the big trophy a remarkable six years out of seven in 1987-93.

Other big winners here include the likes of Michael Schumacher, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss.

So Hamilton and Vettel still both have something to prove at mighty Monaco. But that’s not why victory for either of the main title contenders would be sweet this year.

Vettel goes into this grand prix with a slender six-point lead over Hamilton, the sort of advantage that can vanish in the blink of a pitstop or the frustration of a poorly-judged hairpin … one called Loews or Rascasse, say.

Mercedes’ power advantage – they still have a power advantage, don’t they? – should count for far less on Monaco’s streets. But, if we’ve learned anything this season, it’s that Merc and Ferrari can both pull it out of the bag when the pressure is on.

And any power advantage the Mercs do have could be offset by their long-wheelbase chassis, which will be less nimble around the bendy bits than the Ferraris.

Much as it would be nice to think Red Bull could repeat their 2016 performance and grab pole, then lead the race, they’d have to better both the on-form Ferraris and both the on-form Mercs too.

One consolation for Red Bull is that, if they don’t lead the race, they won’t be able to chuck it away like they did last year when they somewhat carelessly told Daniel Ricciardo to pit for new tyres but forgot to get the new tyres ready. Oopsies.


Hit the rewind, Button

He’s back, for one race only. Well, unless Alonso decides that driving in a circle is better than driving in a McLaren, and refuses to return to F1.

Jenson Button has won at Monaco but, and it’s a big but, arrived in the Principality with exactly no time logged in a 2017-spec F1 car.

That’s no time with the extra width and no time with the extra cornering forces; however, he does have plenty of experience of the frustrations of trying to extract performance from a recalcitrant McLaren Honda. Poor Jenson.

Button expects to have a sore neck after practice and his physio, Mikey ‘Muscles’ Collier (pictured), has been flown in to lend a strong hand or two in that department.

On the one hand, it’s fair to say Button won’t be under too much pressure this weekend, though he’ll be keen to get one over on team-mate Stoffell Vandoorne.

On the other hand, it’s also fair to say this weekend is as good a chance as McLaren will get to score points in 2017, if they can get their cars to the finish.

Sadly, it’s more than likely that Button’s 2017 Monaco adventure will end early enough to allow him to watch Alonso’s Big Indy Adventure on the telly.

Monaco’s brilliant, brutal history

This circuit has produced some of F1’s most memorable moments – amazing drives, appalling tragedies, all within a popping champagne cork of Monaco’s OTT wealth.

Think back to 1996, when only three cars finished the race. Panis, Coulthard and Herbert all got their 1996 trophies for being the last men standing after a long day of crashes and collisions in the wet.

Talking of wet drivers, in 1955 double World Champion Alberto Ascari crashed his Lancia D50 out of the lead into the harbour, and had to swim to safety. Having survived that scare with just a broken nose, he died four days later while test driving a Ferrari at Monza.

The only other driver to stick his car in the water was Australian Paul Hawkins, who escaped unhurt as his Lotus sank to the harbour floor during the 1965 race.

And then there is Senna’s (pictured) arrival on the scene in 1984, surfing his Toleman to second and being denied a win in the wet only because the race was stopped early.

If Monaco floats your (large, expensive) boat, a new book by sports writer Malcolm Folley – Monaco, Inside F1’s Greatest Race – will make great bedtime reading, looking at F1 down the decades through the prism of Monaco. And Monaco is one hell of a prism.

Will history be made this year? It will certainly be the fastest Monaco GP we’ve seen but, whatever happens, Monaco will be a masterclass in precision driving. It always is.


take-her-to-the-moon-for-me’s Top 15 WDAS movies

10. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Gosh, I love this movie so much! This is going to very short because what really can I say about it? This movie is so damn creative.

The 3 worlds are so much fun and so cool. Fix-It Felix is your Mario Bros., but it’s a very cozy, bright environment. I just want to live there, especially at the new neighborhoods at the end. Hero’s Duty is futuristic, post-Apcolypase, laser tag-like arena which is all darks. And Sugar Rush is very cool with bright colors and full of candy. I especially love this world because they take every opportunity with video game knowledge in this. Like it’s so smart to have Vanellope get her car by a mini game and have their be power ups during the races. The characters there are especially very creative because of the hilarious names and designs.

The four main characters are wonderful with the perfect casting. I do think Ralph is a little too angry, but that is his character. He’s still very lovable and you just feel bad for him. Vanellope is very likable, as well. She is your average, bratty kid, but she is very sincere about everything. The best thing is that she is one of the closest things we have to a disabled character and you can just see disability in her. The friendship between Ralph and Vanellope is very sweet. They have very strong chemistry and they go together because they are so alike. They’re defientely brother and sister. They do care about their goals, but they care about each other lot more, which is why Ralph does all these sad things for her. Fix-It Felix is so damn lovable. He is literally like a human puppy. He’s so naive and irrestiable and Jack McBrayer did a perfect job, bringing that charm in him. Sgt. Calhoun is hysterical. She’s serious, but she’s still so much fun because how seriously she takes stuff. Jane Lynch was absolutely perfect and she couldn’t get a better Disney character. Plus, she has my favorite line: Doomsday and Armageddon just had a baby and it… is… ugly! The best performance by far is Alan Tudyk. King Candy isn’t the best Disney villain (will get to that in a sec), but oh my gosh: He is totally unrecognizable. His Ed Wynn impression is so extraordinary and he nailed his performance: Sweet and happy, but absolutely a psychopath a second later. Alan got a major award for the performance and he deserved it!

The greatest part of the movie is the last 15 minutes. My gosh. The villain twist is BRILLIANT. Absoutely BRILLIANT. I knew that King Candy was going to be the bad guy, but when I saw Turbo earlier on the movie, I knew by his creepy appearance that he will somehow be evil. What they did to both of them was genius. Not only the result, but the execution of it. The reveal was RIGHT there in your face, the whole entire movie (the Code Room, for example). But, you still don’t figure it out until the very, last second. When the twist was revealed, I didn’t pay attention to the scene because immediately, the puzzles came together. My jaw was open, the WHOLE entire time. Even, my mom was smiling. The boss part is fucking awesome. We didn’t had a climax like this, forever. And it was so refreshing. Plus, Turbo was so awesome in this! “Let’s watch her die together, shall we?”/“You fools!” The twist on Vanellope is perfect, as well. It is the last piece of the puzzle and it puts the movie together. Plus, it’s a excellent twist on a Disney cliche.

I have two problems with this movie. Gosh, I wish this was a musical! The very first thought after the movie was “How wasn’t this a musical?” Out of all of the non-Disney musicals, this would make so much sense as a musical. Like think of all the genres they can do: Pop, disco, rock and roll, techno etc. The possibilities are endless! I mean, King Candy had a musical number! It would make so much sense to give this guy a number. My other only complaint is that I don’t think King Candy (not Turbo) is not fleshed out for a villain. I appreciate that it was a reveal like Hans. But, after it was revealed that KC made Vanellope a glitch, we really don’t have a scene that shows his true villainy. After that, it’s just the identity reveal. There’s no explanation on how he finds Vanellope and arrests her. There’s no scene in the dungeon who he monologues on how and why he is evil. KC is just evil. Turbo, on the other hand, is fully fleshed as a villain. He wants power. He wants victory. He tries to kill a little girl, FGS. And Turbo has no problem of killing anyone to get what he wants. Turbo is a great villain, not KC. I do hope that Turbo comes back in the sequel in a few years.

Wreck-It Ralph is not only the most creative movie, but it’s one of the strongest. It’s not classic Disney (It can be determined that way, though), but it’s still a great underrated, Disney movie. The writing is clever, the story is very strong with awesome worlds and very memorable characters. It’s one of the strongest movies from the Disney revival and it deserves the love and the Best Animated Feature Oscar that it was robbed from. If only Disney can pay attention to it.

11. The Princess and the Frog

12. The Emperor’s New Groove

13. Atlantis: The Lost Empire

14. Brother Bear

15. Pocahontas / Lady and the Tramp

Honorable Mentions

Don't Bug Me || Open RP

Cybugs were naturally programmed to be Agendered, Turbo knew that, the only reason he identified as male was because he was Turbo the Greatest racer ever. With that in mind, it wasn’t at all surprising to find out that his inability to return to his racer form and increased moodiness the last few days had something to do with his Cybug data preparing to be a parent.

The real surprise was that, since becoming a Cybrid, he hadn’t laid any eggs and so assumed the ability to multiply had somehow been lost.

The clutch of  eight eggs he was now guarding proved otherwise, and that presented a problem. Turbo was bound to the clutch with the Bug’s strong sense of parental love, but a voice in his head kept reminding him that he had a responsibility to Sugar Rush and the hatchlings that would come from these eggs would be a danger to the game and the whole station.

The resulting conflict made Turbo unable to do anything but lay in the den he’d made and guard his eggs, his solution to his problem being that he’d deal with it once they hatched. Which wasn’t a plan at all.

Turbo growled when he heard someone approaching his hideout.