We are now getting our first broadcast pictures from Thursday preparations and Friday practice and the Uttar Pradesh state is present the type of air quality that I would expect. From my first visit to Delhi and Noida onwards the air has always been in the range of chunky to extra chunky. My coworkers would tell me that their children draw the sky as grey, but it seems so much more brown to me. They’d also like to point out with pride that their air is clearer than Beijing. I’m not sure if that’s true or if that is much of an improvement.
This chunky air is euphemistically referred to as fog. It does get that thick, but it’s really a huge amount of particulate matter from dust, burning trash, and the auto-rickshaws. In some of the shots from Friday practice you could not see the end of the straight. There certainly are days when you can’t see further than a block down a street. Hopefully the race will shed a spotlight on how horrid the environment is in that area.
Practice 1 was red flagged for the fellow above who wanted to mark the track as his own. During that session Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez both earned themselves 3 grid position penalties in the race for speeding during a double-yellow flag. It’s Hamilton’s sixth penalty this year, which he whined, “Is that all? It feels like a lot more than that.”
One last thing about the auto-rickshaws and pollution. The Indian government at least tries to clean things up. In 2000 and 2001 they had all the buses and auto-rickshaws converted from diesel and gas to CNG. CNG is great on the diesel conversion front and the buses are way way cleaner. Sadly, the results are not the same for the auto-rickshaws. The vehicles are still two-stroke and still require mixing oil with the burned fuel in order to lubricate the moving parts. Sadly, it was realized in 2010 that this combination of lubricating oil and CNG actually produces are far more polluting engine than oil+gas. And to make matters worse, the greatest increase is in particulate released in running the engine.
Alcohol content: It’s Friday! (Devil’s Canyon Full Boar Scotch Ale)