Life in the fast lane

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 12:00am

Des Jones, a TV and radio sports commentator from Britain, is visiting Hong Kong. He's a friend of Miss Lee, one of your PE teachers who has invited him to the school to give a talk.

Miss Lee asks him which sport he finds the most exciting to commentate on. His answer is a bit of a surprise.

Des: I love commentating on all sports but there is one that really gets my adrenaline going more than the others.

Miss Lee: Let me guess. I'm sure it's either soccer or tennis.

Des: Ah, got you! No, it's neither of those. I love commentating on Formula 1. That's the most exciting spectator sport of the lot.

Miss Lee: Formula 1? I'm not even sure what that is! Something to do with cars, isn't it?

Des: I'd better explain. There seems to be a few puzzled faces! Let me tell you about Formula 1 or F1, as most fans call it. It's an annual single-seater car racing competition. The 'formula' bit refers to the rules the drivers have to follow.

Miss Lee: Is there just one race each year?

Des: No... no. The F1 competition is a series of races known as 'grands prix'.

Miss Lee: That's French.

Des: Yes. It means 'big prizes'. Each grand prix is fought out on a purpose-built race track or on the streets of a city that have been closed to traffic. The results of each race are combined to decide two World Championships, one for the drivers and the other for the companies that have constructed the car.

Miss Lee: Are the races just held in Europe?

Des: Oh, no. Grands prix are held all over the world, in America, Asia, and Europe. Of the 18 races last year, half were held outside Europe. The Shanghai Grand Prix in April this year was one of the most exciting I've commentated on for ages.

Miss Lee: Thanks for that quick introduction to Formula 1, Des. I think I'm going to find out more. It all sounds fascinating.

now do this

A. Key phrases

What are the meanings of these phrases from Des' interview?

1 It gets my adrenaline going.

a. it makes me depressed

b. it makes me excited

2 Got you!

a. that's surprised you!

b. that's upset you!

3 a spectator sport

a. a sport that is only seen on television

b. a sport that many people find entertaining to watch

4 a few puzzled faces

a. a few surprised people

b. a few injured people

5 to fight something out

a. to hit someone violently

b. to contest for something, usually a title or championship

6 purpose-built

a. constructed for one particular use

b. built by a craftsman

B. True or false?

Do you think these facts about F1 are true or false?

1 F1 cars race at under 320km/ph.

2 Formula 1 races on television sometimes get more than 50 million viewers.

3 A German driver, Sebastian Vettel, won the 2009 Shanghai Grand Prix.

4 Formula 1 is the world's most expensive sport.

5. The first Formula 1 competition was held in 1990.

6 Jensen Button, Lewis Hamilton and Rubens Barricello are among today's top F1 drivers.

7 The first-ever F1 race was held in Shanghai.

8 The F1 logo is the word globe with a racing car on top.


June 23:

Boy band research: 1. American, 2. Japanese, 3. British, 4. Korean, 5. Japanese, 6. British, 7. Taiwanese, 8. Japanese

Key words: 1. b, 2. a, 3. a, 4. b, 5. a, 6. b