Monday, 3 August 2009

Formula One exhibition

After the New Zealand Affordable Art Show on Saturday, we went to the Formula One exhibition at Te Papa. This is a paid exhibition charting the history of Formula One racing from the 1950s to today and runs until 1 November 2009.

Even for someone who does not know much (anything!) about cars or motorsport, I still managed to learn quite a bit from the exhibition. While many (most!) of the technical terms went straight over my head, I was interested to learn about developments in Formula One technology, and updates to rules.

The exhibition is made up of a giant time line which is posted all around the walls. Along the time line is information about the companies involved in Formula One design, innovations and development, and drivers from the day. It makes for a lot of reading; I had thought there would have been more video footage, excerpts from interviews, and generally more interactivity.

It seems that Formula One is all about pushing limits: in speed, in distance, but mostly in design. The tiniest changes can have an incredibly profound impact. Over the years, as soon as a company and/or driver developed a new innovation, it was almost as quickly banned and the playing field levelled once more. Also, the chronology of deaths while racing ... and still my sweetie assures me that motorsport is safe!

It was a bonus to be allowed to take non-flash photographs of the cars (this is unusual for Te Papa - cameras are usually banned completely). There were several cars from the 1950s to about 2004; I shudder to think of their individual or collective worth.

Brabham BT20, 1966
McLaren M7A, 1968
Cooper T51, 1969
Williams F14B, 1982
McLaren-Honda MP4/4, 1988
Ferrari F2004


Kelly said...

My boyfriend is a mad keen F1 fan and can't wait to see this. We are making the trek from the Waikato to Wellington in September for his sister's baby shower and will of course be checking out this exhibition.

I can't wait to see if Michael Schumacher passes his fitness test and comes back to F1 to replace Massa

Cafe Christchurch said...

Too bad I can't watch the exhibition. I hope I can find time.

Sab said...

Those are some sweet cars! I've never watched a Formula race, but I think I'd enjoy it... moreso in real life though than on tv...