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Schrodinger's Fat

FEATURE BY MAX NOBLE
27/04/2022

The early waves of season 2022 are frothing and flowing around us, like an eager New Zealand rapids.

There is no stopping a raft of changes that, like white water adventures at Rotorua, are designed to get pulses quickening and the hairs on back of necks a-bristling with an adrenaline cocktail of fear, delight, and surprise.

Welcome fearless reader to part three of our season, ah, "preview" which has performed a professional foul, by watching the initial four races of the season, to aid in reducing the variance of predication from eventual reality. I'm sure you know what I mean. Your scribe, and the Pitpass Towers cats do, after all, still have egos dear reader.

Forward fearlessly then into the oceans of prognostic high seas. The humble realm of Pitpass, over seen by the Two Towers; one in the Northern hemisphere and the other in the antipodes, both robustly cat friendly. Indeed, little happens without feline input in this most quaint of virtual fiefdoms. The fact my own dear cat frequently claws in desperation at the door of the TV room after the first three laps in recent seasons, smartly reappearing about 70 minutes later for the final two laps, should not be read as an endorsement of the "Sprint Race" format, but rather a feline indifference to non-refuelling pit stop strategies.

To the tangential question of this article; was Erwin Schrodinger a cat lover, or more of a... I dare hardly type it... a dog person? Would Schrodinger's Dog, Ferret or Meerkat have served just as faithfully? Or was Herr Kittens sitting faithfully next to Erwin on that cool Vienna night as he penned a fine response to an article of faith in emerging Physics?

So to season 2022. Toto Wolff is no doubt wondering when the quantum possibilities of 2022 would move from superposition, whereby the cat state is unknown, being both alive and dead simultaneously, to a resolution in reality, whereby it can be only definitively in one state (alive, or the other... dead). During pre-season testing all teams have the cat hovering in the ether as alive and dead. It will be their greatest year, their step into, or above, the midfield, or the year they finally have both drivers scoring points faster than Ash Barty in any sport she chooses.

The AMG-Mercedes was nervous from lap one of testing. Was that divine bodywork with size triple-zero hips a blessing from God to be understood or a joke from Lucifer himself to avoid? Herr Kittens 2.0 (for it was he in the box...) was biting his claws with anxiety and digging for an exit tunnel long before Sir Lewis happened to say "...No. Really, we are off the pace this year." Dear me Sir Lewis. Beware the boy who cries Wolff - for when he finally speaks true, no one is listening.

The other teams have followed a paint-by-numbers approach to season 2022. Whereas last year "1" and "2" were always painted silver, now they have the colour options of "Sort of Red" (blame Marlboro for that fade...), and "Red Bull Blue", which when not used for "1", or "2", can be cheerfully used for "3", and "4". While "5", "6", "7" and "8" can be a painter's choice of papaya orange, AMG-Mercedes silver or possibly a delightfully historic red/white mix of Alfa. I believe cars race for lower positions, but my cats, at least, stop reading the results after 8th.

I dislike lists dear reader, but here we go with two for you to compare, and contrast.

List A runs thus;

Ferrari
Red Bull
Mercedes
McLaren
Alfa Romeo
Alpine
AlphaTauri
Haas
Aston Martin
Williams

While List B then runs as follows;

Mercedes
Red Bull
Ferrari
McLaren
Alpine
AlphaTauri
Aston Martin
Williams
Alfa Romeo
Haas

Compared yet? Contrasted? Good. List A is the team standings as of four races into 2022, while List B is the final standings at the end of last year. Look at those Clash of the Titans differences! Oh, hang on... top four teams the same, just Mercedes have slipped, passing the "utter domination baton" to Ferrari.

Meanwhile, the only change in the middle and bottom three teams is that Aston Martin have gracelessly slid backward, while Alfa Romeo have cheerfully kicked them while they are prone.

So was Schrodinger's cat ever at existential threat level red, or was he simply gaining a bit of weight, or losing a bit of weight... or both... in time for the new season?

During testing Herr Kittens was both heavier and lighter all in the same superposition. Then, like a cocaine-fuelled 1990's supermodel, AMG-Mercedes opened the box to reveal a waif, while all the other teams, placing their faith in Miss Physics having God's mobile number (she does) had all gone rather Vicar of Dibley over Herr Kittens. Moaning about enforced and impossible weight loss recommendations.

Result? The same fat cats are in the top four positions as last year, just one of them has slipped a touch down the scratching post. The field below this are exactly where they were last year, except poor Aston who is related to the under-sized, incorrectly-weighted Mercedes kitten, and clearly suffers the same feline malaise, thus allowing that cheeky kitten from Alfa Romeo to boost ahead in the rush for fresh kitty litter.

The Miss Physics we know here at Pitpass is not too fussed around all this superposition stuff, she is more of a Newton fan herself, so her pre-season interest in the cats within the box for each team held little of her attention. Now those boxes are open, and reality, as this universe knows it, is to be strictly applied.

Miss Physics, and those feisty kittens are becoming respectfully intimate, and in the name of reality Miss Physics whispers to each if they are under weight, over weight, or of a strange shape, and hence due an alarming visit to the vet.

Fed an incessant diet of hubris, while resting on a bed of pure fresh laurel, it is clear that the AMG-Mercedes Schrodinger's cat has been revealed as under-sized, incorrectly-weighted, and of curious proportion. The result currently most likely to be a very cold, bare cat box and a short, alarming drive to the vet.

Given Toto is believed to be more of a dog man (he described the ginger cat in the superb Halo video as a "small animal", the Philistine - Ed) , I'd be recommending that AMG-Mercedes Herr Kittens climbs back into his Schrodinger's box as fast as possible, to thus vanish into a cloud of unknowing until next season. I mean, would even a dog man do that to a cat on porpoise?

Max Noble

Learn more about Max and check out his previous features, here

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Max Noble, 05/05/2022 11:29

"@Kenji - LOL…. Indeed we could… Cannot wait to find out…"

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2. Posted by kenji, 03/05/2022 13:32

"@Max....Will we witness this coming weekend , after some minor tweaks,a Mercedes 'Dead Cat Bounce'? "

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3. Posted by Max Noble, 01/05/2022 8:27

"@Spindoctor - Feel free to grab the feline by the tail (politely…) and let slip the puns of war…! This site is nothing if not a haven for cat lovers, F1 fans, and those who have a whimsy for eye-rolling puns… Actually, to be honest, that’s more me than Esteemed Editor Balfe, but he is generous in his indulgence!

Fully agree Ferrari, and RBR have clean air between them and whom ever comes next that weekend. I believe the mid field is tighter, and the lower field closer to the mid field (just) than last year. But the same teams are at the top, with just Mercedes sliding down the old scratching post…

Your B team observation probably merits an article later in the season, depending on what information comes to light (and how much I get into the cat nip…). It is a fascinating way to gain more headroom under the “Cost Cap” when you’re sharing duties with an entire other team…

I’m also on a detox programme to eliminate “…on porpoise” jokes from my writing, but it has not been totally successful thus far… But then joyfully the Miami NFL team are called the Dolphins… so nothing fishy there, and we can let the cat out the bag on a (rising water level) raft of new puns, not least I’ll try to weave an Aldi car park quip into an article soon, given the Miami car park F1 will be racing within… Are they off their (shopping) trolleys…? "

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 28/04/2022 16:06

"Lawks a mussy!
I was hugely tempted to do a load of terrible cat-based puns (I can think of at least 4 for Mercedes alone!) but common-sense has uncharacteristically prevailed.

RBR was always likely to have the "best" car this year. Given the focus on aerodynamics any team employing Mr Newey is well set-up. The most "super" superposition undoubtedly belonged to Ferrari who've collapsed into a brilliant & (in my case at least) unexpected position....

Beyond those two I still haven't the faintest idea how things will turn out. What is highly probable is that whoever conquers the dreaded porpoising most effectively is going to be hard to beat.
The uncertainty caused by constant & somewhat unpredictable bouncing must be slowing many a driver & preventing most teams from squeezing the ultimate out of their chasses. Strapping-on some nifty Active Suspension would make it relatively easy to resolve - Merc could raid their Road car technology at low cost to do so, but that would spoil the schadenfreude, wouldn't it?

I am increasingly exercised by the sudden rise of the almost unashamed "B" Team; sharing not merely the motor & gearbox, but also Wind Tunnels & other facilities. I'm sure that as decent chaps & chapettes Teams won't be overtly sharing data, but as with the "Chinese walls" in Banking & Finance, I'm pretty sure that knowledge & Data will be subject to strange osmosis. Cooperation on-track may become somewhat of a "thing" too - amazing that Gasly in the (previously) fast Alpha Tauri couldn't put a move on the (previously) slothful Williams in front of him....

Notwithstanding all that, I'm hoping that the Ferrari will go faster on some tracks than it managed last week, and that Sainz will manage more than a couple of laps....


"

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5. Posted by Max Noble, 28/04/2022 9:32

"@Motorsport-fan - refer my previous musings on how to hide billions in plain sight within multi-national/trans-national corporations. I fully expect the “Cost Cap” to have no impact on the overall pecking order, or the amount spent in global total on end results on F1 (as opposed to “team” spending which I’m sure Mercedes will “prove” to be zero by 2030, forcing Haas to spend nothing in return… :-). )

@Superbird70 - The PitPass cats all have a “Toto Alarm” which rings if he enters the building, allowing them to go to their panic rooms… ;-)

@rtw1951 - a perfect customised plan…!"

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6. Posted by rtw1951, 27/04/2022 19:20

"@Max Noble-my caffeine intake is one large travel mug in the morning, I try to keep it to the good stuff. Not much into wine, so it's Black Bush Irish in the evening cigar hour, and the catnip I have to fight for with my little beasties."

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7. Posted by Superbird70, 27/04/2022 17:01

"The problem here is that Dr. Wolff has two cats in the experiment. One of which seems to be slightly sick but not deceased, and other seems be running out of lives everytime he ventures out. Which is the more representative result of the narrow waist experiment? Imagine if there were three cats?"

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8. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 27/04/2022 14:50

"Cannot help but think size of budget still has something to do with pecking order even with price cap."

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9. Posted by Max Noble, 27/04/2022 13:46

"@rtw1951 - quality caffeine; fine Australian red, and a quick dose of cat nip when no one is looking… :-)"

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10. Posted by rtw1951, 27/04/2022 13:21

"I want to know what drugs Mr. Noble has been taking. I'd like some of the same. They seem to make his world a more colorful place."

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