Justin Wilson dies of head injury

Racing has become a lot safer over the years and while accidents do happen, the drivers usually walk away with minor injuries or are taken to the hospital and end up with injuries that are none life threatening. There are however times when it seems that racing is not as safe as it actually is and 2015 seems to be such time. Not long ago Jules Bianchi died after his crash in Formula 1 and during a Superbike race at Laguna Seca both Bernat Martinez and Daniel Rivas Fernandez died after a crash with multiple drivers.

Today Justin Wilson died after a freak accident during the Indycar race at Pocono Raceway where he got hit by debris (nose cone) coming of another car that crashed into the wall. Because he had nothing to do with the crash and he had no blame what so ever, this might be more difficult to accept then when a driver crashes after a mistake he made.


Justin Wilson drove for Minardi and Jaguar Racing in the Formula 1 and after a few years he moved to the Champ Car / IndyCar in the USA where he raced many years. Justin Wilson had a wife and 2 daughters age 7 and 5.


This accident will no doubt spark another discussion on racing safety and the need for a closed race car. I think this is not the way to go, mainly because the danger that comes with racing is part of why people watch it and why drivers race. Sure we all feel bad when something like this happens, but all drivers know the risks and are willing to take them.

Jules Bianchi

Een jonge, bij de niet Formule 1 kijkers, onbekende Franse coureur van een klein team die vanwege een bizar ongeluk met een takelwagen na 9 maanden helaas toch is overleden. Tijdens de race in Japan verloor hij de macht over zijn auto en botste tegen de takelwagen aan die op dat moment een andere auto uit de grindbak aan het slepen was. Dit ongeluk heeft er voor gezorgd dat de regels in de Formule 1 zijn aangepast en bijvoorbeeld de virtuele safetycar is ingevoerd. Voor de Formule 1 heeft Jules in diverse andere klassen geraced, onder andere de Formule Renault, Formule 3 en GP2.Ondanks dat er helaas vaker coureurs van andere klassen om het leven komen is het voor alle coureurs die nu in de F1 rijden de eerste collega die tijdens het uitoefenen van zijn werk om het leven komt en sinds zijn ongeluk zie je ook alle F1 coureurs steun betuigen aan Jules en zijn familie door middel van de hashtag #ForzaJules. Ik verwacht een indrukwekkende herdenking tijdens de race in Hongarije volgend weekend.

Jules Bianchi bw3 August 1989 – 17 July 2015


Het is voor het eerst in 21 jaar dat er een coureur aan de gevolgen van een crash tijdens een race is overleden. Toen zijn in 1 weekend zowel Ayrton Senna en Roland Ratzenberger om het leven gekomen. Sinds dien is de Formule 1 een stuk veiliger geworden, zelfs zo veilig dat sommige coureurs zich afvragen of het niet TE veilig is.

Changes to Formula 1 in my opinion

Recently I watched a few Formula 1 race from 1995 (20 years ago) and those were a lot more fun to watch then there 2015 races I have seen so far and with the discussion the last few months about the future of Formula 1 I thought I might add my 2 cents about why the 1995 races were a lot more fun and what the changes to formula 1 should be.

First of all the sound. In 1995 there were 8 types of engine in use, the V8, V10 and V12 and those were all very LOUD. I do understand that 3 types would be a bit of an issue to run, so 1 type would be OK with me, but make it sound great. V12 is great of course, but I would settle for a V10. A little example of what I mean in the below video.

A very fast pitstop was ~8 seconds (“8 seconds, one of the best we have seen today!” according to the commentator) back then and that was all because of the need to refuel. This gave you a nice view into the strategy of the teams and gave you the opportunity to do some math and figure out when the next stop would be as the fuel went in at 12 liters a second and you knew how much fuel each car used for each lap, so easy math.

Tires, well the 2015 rule is stupid, I don’t care about bad tires, just put on a piece of rubber and drive your ass of until it goes bad, get a new set and repeat. This is an artificial way to bring more excitement (which failed if you ask me). Get more tire manufacturers into the game and let them make the best tire they can, bring back the tire wars !


A blue flag you say? Well those were not there in 1995. Drivers just had to pay attention and try to get passed. Sure you would eventually get a little sign, after about a lap of blocking, that it might be a good idea to get out of the way. I remember a few “international signs of friendship” coming out of some cars when it took a bit to long.

DRS, never really understood that one as it is an artificial way to make cars pass each other. In 1995 you just had to be smart, use a slipstream and try to pass the guy in front of you. Seems to me that in 1995 cars could run much closer to each other too, without much trouble, which was probably because the aerodynamics were simpler. It might be that there were less actual passes, but drivers were trying for lap after lap to get past and to me the TRYING to overtake is much more fun then the actual overtaking.

Had a couple of examples where drivers just drove along with a smoking car, obviously there was something wrong with the engine. But the car stayed on track as it might just make it to the end and the engine would be replaced if it didn’t. This caused another piece of excitement “will the car hold until the end, or will it blow up?” So make simpler (and cheaper) engines and let teams use more of them.

A little comparison between the 2015 and 1995 number of engines manufacturers:

01. Ferrari
02. Mercedes
03. Honda
04. Renault

01. Ferrari
02. Mercedes
03. Honda
04. Renault
05. Yamaha
06. Hart
07. Ford
08. Peugeot

Might this be a part of why the 1995 races were much more fun to watch?

Spare cars, yes we had those back in 1995. During a crash at the start the race was red flagged (no there were no safety cars back then) and drivers would get out of their crashed car and run back to the pits to get in their spare car. There was just 1 spare car per team, so you might end up in a car setup for your team mate, but at least you could drive. This was only permitted with a start crash, you could not get into your other car when you crashed at any other time during the race.

“Formula 1 needs to have more danger” that’s what Kimi Raikonnen said this week. By this he did not mean people should get hurt more, but the game is just to safe these days. I think achieving this can be done my getting the stewards out of the picture and not penalize everybody when they misjudge an overtake and crash into someone. We are racing here, stuff can go wrong.

So what should happen to the F1 if you ask me?

They are shouting ‘reduce cost’ for years now, but to me it looks like they are just making it more expansive, a few examples:


Expansive system to make the rear wing move, has all sorts of mechanics and electrical stuff that can break, go back to the fixed rear wing and make it simpler, so just 1 level (for both front and back)


Batteries, electrical systems, stuff that breaks, extra gear for the pit crew to wear because of the risk of electrocution.

Different tire compounds

Seems to me that making just 1 compound and a rain tire is much cheaper then making 6 different types.

 More engine manufacturers

I really believe that if the engines would be simple (and cheaper), so lets say a V10 without KERS and turbo’s and other stuff, more engine manufacturers would join. I’m not really into the engine specs myself, but I’m sure some rules could be made to make the engines simpler, but still very fast and without all sorts of ‘driver aids’. They would also just have to make the engine and maybe gear box and don’t have to build a car. So just get as much power out of that thing as you can and still make it reliable for, lets say 2 race weekends and all of that with a reasonable fuel consumption, as more fuel means more weight , means slower car.

Less/no factory teams

When looking at 1995, but also at the 2015 GP2 championship, you do not see any factory teams (except Ferrari in 1995), which means less influence of those manufacturers. This alone would make the sport a lot cheaper as private teams just don’t have the cash to spend as Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda and because they all would have less money to spend the sports gets cheaper. Just buy the engine you want and build your car around it.

Get rid of the steward that ‘investigate’ every little incident on track, scaring the drivers to try and overtake. Misjudging the situation is part of racing and so are crashes.

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Grand prix of China 2015, my short evaluation

Was an early morning again today (for a Sunday) as the grand prix race in China started at 8am for me. So had my breakfast ready and watched a nice race. Wasn’t to spectacular and as expected the 2 Mercedes boys were the top 2. Vettel 3th and Räikkönen was 4th, so again a Mercedes vs. Ferrari race. Young Max Verstappen did very well again in his Torro Rosso, doing some very nice overtakes but about 3 laps from the end his Renault engine blows up, great job again Renault !

What did the other teams do, well good news I guess is that McLaren finished 2 cars, which is new to them this year, so I guess they are progressing. Hope they will sort stuff out sooner rather then later as Button and Alonso do not belong at the back of the pack.

Williams did what they did last time and finished 5th and 6th and it seems that those are the places they belong this year . I think it is very nice to see them back at the top of the field.

Red Bull, well 9th and a no finish, don’t think they have their issues sorted yet lets see what happens at the nest grand prix in Bahrain.

Marussia finished with 2 cars, which is a big step up from just starting with 1 at the last race, they were also both 1 lap less behind than in the race in Singapore, so they might be progressing as well.

The other teams basically did what you would expect from them and no big surprises there. Manor

Next race will be grand prix Bahrain in a week, hot race which might suit Ferrari a bit more, like Singapore, we’ll have to wait and see.

verstappen next to his blown up renault at the China grand prix 2015

@Max33Verstappen  next to his blown Renault Engine

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My view on the 2014 formula 1 season



Well 2014 is over, when it comes to Formula 1 and it was not a real exciting one when it comes to the championships for both drivers and constructors. Pretty soon it was clear that Mercedes were going to be the champions and with almost double the amount of points as the runner up is was not a surprise indeed.

In the drivers championship the only exciting bit was if wither Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg would become the winner and they took it to the very last race to decide and that only because of the double points in the last race that that happened. Whether you like those double points or not, it did bring the outcome of the season all the way to the last race, knows as ‘the battle in the dessert’. Well Lewis won and it did not turn out to be a battle in the end due to technical issues with Nico’s car. But what else was there to watch this year?


As every year 2014 got a few rule changes and probably the one that stood out most was the engine changes. A 1.6 litter V6 engine with a turbo with a maximum rpm of 15.000. This made the engine sound very un-formula1-ish and people complained as usual for a few races, but got used to it I guess. The less loud engines made you hear other stuff though, like tire squeal when they drove of from a pit-stop. Next to the 600 horsepower or so the engine puts out there is also an electric motor in the car putting out another 160 bhp. This is very similar than the KERS sytem of previous years but they can use it for a lot longer (33 seconds a lap instead of 8). Another big change is the amount of fuel used by each car. This was limited to 100kg a race instead of the around 160kg car used in previous years.

Other then these rules there are a lot more changes either large or small, ranging from nose height to driver numbers.



Well they did something better then the other teams over the winter and it seems that some how they ‘got’ the rules better then other teams. We have seen this before (Brawn GP) in the past and that was usually just for 1 season. Lets see what happens to Mercedes next year. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, they have been racing together for a long time during their career and even are friends. But the things that happened this year might have cooled that friendship a bit. Because they were basically only fighting each other everything that happens during those fights were between 2 drivers, where every other year stuff happens as well, but usually it is between different drivers that fight for the win all the time. So things heated up a bit between them, lets see what happens in 2015.

Red Bull


With them being the champs the last 4 years their season was a bit of a disappointment, but with Mercedes being as good as they were, being second in the championship was the best they could get. Sebastian Vettel ended up being 5th in the championship, which is way below his ‘standard’ of the last 4 years and 3 places below his teammate Daniel Ricciardo who was the rookie in the team but turned out to be a force to be reckoned with for both his teammate as the rest of the drivers. Ricciardo, well he’s the only driver not driving a Mercedes that won a race this year, 3 actually, so that makes the always smiling Aussie the best of the rest, but with a car that was just not good enough that is all he could be this year, lets see what he can do next year.



Weren’t they a surprise? To me they were as the last couple of years were pretty bad for them. No idea what happened for them to be as good as they were this years, but I’m happy that they are back as to me they are still the best private team out there (and I know that technically Red Bull is too, but I have a soft spot for Williams). Maybe the surprise of the year was Valtteri Bottas because with a good car this year he could show what he is capable of and it seems he is capable of a lot and he is already nominated as future world champion by many and it would not surprise me if he indeed becomes world champion some day in the near future. Felipe Massa, many might have written him off after his accident with Ferrari and his mediocre comeback, but it seems he found his place at Williams and he seems to be much more relaxed that he was at Ferrari and he’s enjoying himself a lot more.



Well, their season sucked to be honest and 4th in the championship is not up to Ferrari standards and even they think so as a lot of changes are happening in the management. Maybe Vettel can change their luck next year. Fernando Alonso is arguably the best driver of the bunch but even with his intelligent driving he was not able to turn the bad luck around ending up 6th. Still no word on what he is doing next year. Kimi Räikkönen after some issues with him and Lotus last year (money issues) he returned to Ferrari, the team that made him champion in 2007, but being 12th this year will not make him to happy I guess.



Well it seems most teams did not do as well as they should in 2014 and McLaren is a team you would want to be in the top regions of the standings but this year they have to do with a 5th place. Jenson Button, probably the nicest guy of them all always doing and saying the right things, the guys from the BBC says this weekend and that seems to be the case for sure. Never heard anything say anything bad about him and still he is a very fast driver and a master in driving neat and tidy saving fuel and tires. Next year we’ll see the return of Honda with McLaren, which brings back an iconic brand of the past in F1.

Force India


After years of dangling at the bottom of the list they finally got stuff together and got things to work fighting with both McLaren en Ferrari for the points. It looks like they will be a force to reckon with for the coming years.

Toro Rosso


They did what they were supposed to do being a training team for Red Bull and that is end up right after the bigger teams. Daniil Kvyat did very well and has earned a place in the bigger brother RedBull for next year. For 2015 we will see the youngest ever F1 driver enter the car at Torro Rosso with Max Verstappen who so far did very good in the Friday practices he did and for me as a Dutchman I happy to see a countryman enter a F1 car again, especially one that has this much potential.

Lotus, Marussia, Caterham, Sauber

What can you say about these teams, one thin comes to mind and that’s ‘Money Trouble’. We know that the smaller teams have to scrape money together each year to run their cars, but this year the number of teams having to do that is a bit high and actually having to stop running at the end of the year because the money ran out is pretty bad. Even though Bernie Ecclestone did not like it to much I loved the crowd funding the Caterham guys did and even more so that they actually got it to work out in the end, could that be the future of F1 sponsoring for smaller teams?

Jules Bianchi

Can’t really talk about the Formula 1 of 2014 without mentioning Jules Bianchi the Marussia driver. Driving for Marussia he did not do very well in the standings, but unfortunately his year was dominated by his horrible crash at the Japan Grand Prix this year where he drove into the back of a vehicle that was along side the track clearing another car that had crashed there. Just a few days ago his family brought out the news that he was no longer in a artificial coma and that he was brought to France from Japan.

Formula 1 has become safer and safer over the years but freak accidents like this always happened and will always happen, all drivers know the risks and take them every time they step into the car. This is part of the fun and excitement of the sport, but you do not want to see a driver get seriously hurt or even killed. Lets hope Jules will be better soon.


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What can you learn from video games?


Like many people my age I started playing video games at a young age. I remember my first computer being an MSX, which had a cassette tape drive and a slot for a game cartridge of which a friend of mine had 1. These were all simple game compared to today’s standards. Slowly the computers got better and games got more complex and better looking (not sure if they also became better games) and I of course followed that trend. NES 8bit (The Legend of Zelda), SEGA Megadrive (Sonic the Hedgehog) at a friends place, 386 PC (Dune), 486 PC (Command & Conquer – Red Alert), Pentium 4 (Need for Speed) with nice graphics, Core2Duo (The Elder Scrolls – Oblivion) with even better graphics up until the Quad-core with about the best graphics you can think of right now (Watchdogs) to name just a few of the computers and just a fraction of the games. A lot of people will either have taken about the same path or have taken the console path (PlayStation or Xbox).

During the last decade or so, playing video games has been in the news for a lot of bad things. People got addicted to it, people got violent from it and people let their kids die as they forgot to feed them because of video games. And of course there are bad examples out there but I think that in 99% of the time nothing bad happens and people just enjoy themselves as an older generation did when reading books or watching television.

There are however also a lot of good things that can come from gaming. People meeting each other in a video game and eventually getting married and having kids to people winning some kind of video game championship and winning lots of money (yes that happens, millions can be won). There are of course also games out there that will teach you new skills. MineCraft is one that comes to mind, teaching you how to build structures and entire worlds using just cubes (a bit like Lego).

What did I learn from video games?

First of all I think that the skill I have in speaking, reading and writing in English is in a big way because of video games. Today’s games are online games where you play and interact with people from all across the planet and in most cases the language spoken (or written) is English.

Second is something that not all gamers get to learn from their games and that’s the use of different kinds of software. After playing a game called Entropia Universe for years I got mixed up in a community driven website where people discussed and collected information about that game, named Entropia Planets. First I was just one of the many, but after a while I started to become more active in collecting and storing data in their wiki (like wikipedia) and not long after, I was asked to become a staff member so I could do more to help out. Being part of the staff meant that I was able to take part in activities like re-designing the website and community management but also in the continued development of the wiki, with new software and added functionality and features. Later I was asked to become an official co-owner of the website, together with 3 other people, which I did. This in some parts caused yet again some interesting changes.

Website/community management

There were a few changes over time, one of which was a conversion from old forum software to new xenForo software. The conversion itself was done by the website administrator, but things like logo design and various graphics work was something I took part in. Later, when the 3 other people became co-owner we again decided to change the design and logo. This time most design was with a standard template, but some minor changed were done and a new logo was created, with the 4 owners. Learning a lot of Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop in the process.


Other then the design of it all there is also the management of it. Meaning managing the users and making sure they follow rules (and that there actually are rules). But also taking care of forum structure and even copyright stuff. “Can we use the image I found on the internet or can’t we?”, “do we allow people to use stuff we created on our website and who owns the info other people put on our forum”. This taught me a little about the legal part of the web and that, as some people might think, not everything is allowed.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This basically mean thinking about how search engines (called Google from now on) find you on the web. The way Google does this is something they keep a secret, but there are some basic rules that seem to make you go up in the search results and a few that make you go down. Understanding what you need to do is something I learned in part from the website/forum I own, but also from my own website and this blog. The basics are simple, find words you want Google to find you on and incorporate those in your website, but also in tags, page names, alternate text for images and so on. There are also ‘rules’ for length of titles, word count of articles and names of paragraphs. Being easier to find is also part of the reason why I did this article in English, so that people searching for any of the terms I used will easier find this article and the audience is larger then when I would have done the article in Dutch. There are also penalties for using the wrong methods for getting your page up in the results, methods that used to work years ago, but now get penalized by Google. One of those things is a so called landing page that just has a lot of popular search terms on it and automatically forwards you to your actual website. Using this popular method in the past will now drop you down a few pages in the results or possibly even remove you all together.


This is the most uses wiki software in the world and is best known for wikipedia, that uses it as well. As I mentioned above I started to collect and store data in the wiki pretty soon after I joined the website (even before I was staff member) and noticed that creating databases and tables so people could easily find and enter info was something I liked (found out later I might be an information junky), but also something I had never done before and was interesting to learn. This started by manually entering data and putting them in tables, which did not have to much structure or automation behind it. But it learned me the basic of what it means to write and code in mediawiki.


Semantic MediaWiki (SMW)

This basically changed everything. One of the 4 owners of the site turned out to be a information junky as well and was helping out with the wiki and suggested to get Semantic MediaWiki for the site, which would change everything we knew about wiki’s he said. So we did and indeed it changed a lot. At first it was difficult and with SMW you were not building tables and pages, but you were filling a database and using queries to display data on a page. This required to have various properties, templates and forms to get the data in the database. With ‘normal’ MediaWiki you would make a page for each object (lets say animal) and make a page to collect them all in a table to link to the animal pages. With SMW you would now get a form to add data and that data is stored in the database. On the page of each animal you would write a query that got info from the database. Something like, “Get me info about animal 1 and display its location, maximum speed, color and amount of teeth it has”. This in itself is not much more then building your own table, there is however an more interesting way to use this, for example “Show me all animals that live in location x and have a maximum speed over 10 km/h”. Being able to do that and understand how it is done is something that to me is very interesting.

We are also still discovering new ways of using data and displaying it in the wiki. What this all learned me, accept wiki skills is cooperation with a team of people and structuring data in a way that it is usable later on. It also thought me to think about naming data and files so other people, but also yourself, are able to find it again in the future and use it more easily.


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