Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Noise from F1 race will be like no other

Formula One 2011Image by Whiz Kris via Flickr
Red Bull sponsored two Formula One race teams this year and came out
 on top, beating such well-established factory teams as Ferrari and Renault.

If Hudson County residents rely on The Record to learn what it will be like to host a Formula One race, they are in for the biggest shock of their lives.

The powerful, single-seat cars are incredibly loud. In fact, they are so noisy and potentially damaging that fans are urged to use the earplugs that come with each ticket.

This and other information is missing in today's Page 1 story by Staff Writer John Brennan, a former sports reporter who wouldn't know a Formula One car from an NJ Transit bus.

Blood suckers

The Record's Sports section ignores Formula One and most other automobile racing -- until a driver is killed. So, it's no surprise the paper sent a clueless reporter to cover Governor Christie's news conference on Tuesday.

Brennan doesn't tell you the title of the New Jersey race -- the Formula One Grand Prix of America -- won't use the state's name, unlike every other F1 race, which uses the name of a country or city where it takes place.

And it's likely Verizon or another advertiser willing to fork over millions of dollars will get its name in the race title, as in: "Verizon Formula One Grand Prix of America."

F1 drivers can make more than $10 million a year, but in some cases, drivers have paid that much and more to drive for a season.

Brennan reports fans will pay $360 for a "three-day pass," but doesn't say a grandstand seat is included. General admission tickets are $75, and allow you to fight other fans who watch the race from behind the fence around the circuit.

The cars are loud enough to be heard in Manhattan during practice and qualifying sessions Friday and Saturday, and during the 2-hour race on Sunday. The reaction of people who live near the circuit remains to be seen.

Millions upon millions

The New Jersey race will be held in June 2013, the same month of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, and race teams will fly transporters, cars and hundreds of tons of equipment to North America for the two races.

The race will be a good fit for North Jersey, where Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz have their U.S. headquarters. Both automakers sponsor two-car teams, spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year in pursuit of manufacturer's and driver's championships. 

But would you look at the crappy A-1 map purportedly showing the F1 circuit in West New York and Weehawken. What a joke. No streets are labeled. 

Do readers really need a map showing that those communities are on the Hudson River, with Manhattan across the way? Maybe, if you just moved here from Kansas. Otherwise, it's another waste of space.

Front-page follies

Editor Francis Scandale couldn't find any real New Jersey or North Jersey news to fill up the rest of the front page today.

He produced a grab bag of crime news, earthquake-miracle news and a speculative "coulda, woulda, shoulda" story about federal dollars the state might lose in January if .... Boring, boring, boring.

Readers might wonder why The Record is not covering the paralysis in Congress. 

In an editorial on A-12 today, Editor Alfred P. Doblin refers to "recalcitrant Republicans," then, like the Mouse That Squeaks, adds weakly that "people need help now."

More road kill

In head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section, you can count on an uninspiring Road Warrior column three times a week, including today (L-1).

Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood news? Take a raincheck. Three Teaneck stories appeared on Oct. 11 and 14, but none in the previous 25 days. What are the assignment editors doing to earn their pay?

The major element on L-1 today reminds readers The Record never reported the cause of death in Teaneck Police Officer John Abraham's crash a year ago or discussed well-known Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor safety problems.

Heartless editor

In Better Living, Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill's weekly recipe serves as an alert to cardiac surgeons across North Jersey.

Besides mystery meat -- an enormous pork loin and breakfast sausage -- the recipe calls for two-thirds cup of heavy cream. It's good to see how in touch she is with healthy eating.

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