not a book

Not a Book: Drive to Survive redux

It’s that time of year again – the new series of Drive to Survive has dropped on Netflix. Almost a year ago, on last season’s release weekend, I wrote about the “documentary” about Formula One and the accusations of Netflixification of my favourite sport. Well, I didn’t watch the end of last year’s season – because I couldn’t bear to watch the controversial ending to the season again, but I’m back watching the new season, once again to see what storylines they’ve picked – and which they haven’t and to see who it deals with the various controversies that hit the sport last year, including but not limited to all the headlines that FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem caused with his various decisions and statements before he decided to take a step back from being directly involved in the sport.

We’re two episodes in as I write this, and not going to lie, it’s tough to watch Lewis Hamilton in the aftermath of losing the 2021 championship and the struggle of the Mercedes team with their new car. However, Haas boss Guenther Steiner remains a delight – and his double act with Ferrari’s Mattea Binotto that opens the series is lovely, although a little bittersweet if you know how the season plays out. The release of the new series has coincided with the testing for the new season which starts next weekend in Bahrain so after a couple of weeks of motorsport deprivation, it’s all roaring back with a vengeance. Great news for petrolheads – but what does it mean for my reading list?! Stay tuned…

not a book

Not a Book: Commonwealth games!

As you will have spotted yesterday, I was in Birmingham on Friday – and why was I there? Well, this is why!

Yes! I was at the first day of action at the Commonwealth Games to watch the Men’s Team Competition in the gymnastics. Side note for those of you of a certain age, the competition was held at Arena Birmingham, formerly known as the National Indoor Arena, host of the Eurovision Song Contest last time it was held in the UK but more importantly the venue for iconic 1990s TV series Gladiators, teatime viewing for me and my sister for years. Did have a conversation about where the travellator would have been, and how tall the Wall must have been? Absolutely. Anyway, we’ve never been to see live gymnastics before and it was absolutely epic. Excuse my terrible photos, taken on max zoom on my iPhone, but here is defending rings champion Courtney Tulloch doing an Iron Cross in his top-scoring routine (right in front of us!):

And here is home town boy Joe Fraser during his Horizontal Bar routine that clinched team England the gold medal. Honestly, Fraser was so impressive all day – we heard some people around us say that he had a foot injury and that was why he was only working four pieces and would miss the all around final, but we found out when we got home that it’s only five weeks since he had his appendix removed. Insane.

As I said, England won the gold – but Cyprus won the bronze after missing out four years ago and were totally delighted about it – including their top scorer (and second highest in the all around qualification) Marios Georgiou who appeared to hurt his hand (dislocated a finger or thumb we thought) in his dismount from his final apparatus the pommel horse. Team Cyprus’s celebrations were epic – and fingers crossed Mario is ok for the final.