DISREGUARDIAN: Formula One Announces Triton Grand Prix at UCSD

Editor’s Note: The following is a satirical article for The DisreGuardian, a series of articles published annually for The Guardian’s April Fool’s issue. Sports will resume publishing normal content next week.

As Formula One explodes in popularity in the United States, the international racing series is looking to expand the number of races it holds stateside. With the U.S. Grand Prix already being held in Austin, F1 seeks to expand to some of the United States’ premier stadium parking lots, such as in Miami or Las Vegas.

However, in a shocking move, Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali announced that the next Formula One Grand Prix to take place in the United States will actually be the Triton Grand Prix, which will encircle the campus of the University of California, San Diego in scenic La Jolla.

“We’ve been trying to squeeze as much money out of those American bast— I mean, expand into the North American market for a while now, and I’ve always thought San Diego was a great place to do that,” said Domenicali, although sources close to the racing executive told The UCSD Guardian that Domenicali actually had the idea in a dream after falling asleep while eating cheese and watching “Anchorman” on TV.

“I am proud to welcome Formula One to the UC San Diego campus, and I think it’s really cool that they made the races from that Netflix show into a real thing,” said Chancellor Pradeep Khosla after the announcement. “I am hoping the Grand Prix will be our campus’ newest tradition, along with the watermelon drop, the underwear run, and avoiding eye contact with church groups on Library Walk.”

The Triton Grand Prix course will have its main straight along North Torrey Pines Road, driving past the famously noise-tolerant, wealthy neighborhood of La Jolla Farms, before turning east onto campus for a Monaco-esque hairpin turn in front of the Rady School of Management. Then, it will proceed down Hopkins Drive past the Triton Soccer Stadium and RIMAC Arena, before turning left onto Voigt Drive and going down a steep grade behind the iconic Geisel Library.

Asked whether the sharp drop will be unsafe for the delicate underbodies of Formula One cars, Chancellor Khosla laughed the idea off. “Pff, I’ve seen two dudes on one Bird scooter go down that thing at 35 miles an hour without helmets and holding Goody’s burritos. I think Max Verstappen will be just fine.”

After going down Voigt Drive, the racers will go south, then west on Gilman Drive, past Library Walk. The track then takes a sharp right turn into a tricky section of kinks and chicanes past Revelle College. The Formula One stewards, however, have expressed concern that a crash could send cars into the massive construction pit that will eventually be Eighth College. Finally, the track will return to the straight on North Torrey Pines Road.

The 7.24-kilometer track in its current configuration exceeds the maximum length standards for F1 tracks, but Chancellor Khosla told The Guardian that if it came to be an issue, “We’d probably just eliminate another parking lot and go straight over that to save distance.”

The location of the Grand Prix at UCSD also means that a hospital is available in case drivers are injured during the race; in fact, sophomore pre-med students are already being hired as medical staff for the race, for which they will receive four elective credits.

The announcement was met with mixed reactions on the UCSD campus. When The Guardian polled students on Library Walk on what they thought of the decision, 0.8% said they approved of the race, 0.6% were against it, 8.3% told our reporter that they didn’t want to join whatever church group he was in, and 90.3% said, “I’m sorry, I don’t follow sports. Where do you think we are, San Diego State?”

Some students were also concerned about the noise the race could generate, especially as it was announced that the race weekend would take place right before finals week. In response,  Chancellor Khosla said, “We were planning on giving every UCSD student the same noise-canceling headphones we gave to Revelle students because of construction, but when we realized how much that’d cost, we just decided to leave out bowls of foam earplugs like we do in Geisel.”

Another student concern was how to get off campus during race weekend, as attempts by the university to either retain the four-way stop on Gilman Drive during the race, or have the Route 41 bus run during the race with drivers weaving through traffic like they’re playing Shroom Ridge on “Mario Kart DS,” were rejected by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile.

For their part, Formula One drivers seemed excited to have a race weekend in San Diego. “You know, I feel right at home in La Jolla,” said Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. “It’s just like Monaco, but with more seals.”

“After having all these races in places like Russia, Qatar, China, and Saudi Arabia, it’ll be nice to race somewhere a bit more tolerant, although I don’t love that there’s an ‘Antisemitism’ subsection on the Wikipedia page for La Jolla,” said Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Hopefully, the inaugural Triton Grand Prix will proceed without a hitch, as it will present a great opportunity for UCSD to promote its global brand. “We think that with the world’s most popular racing series coming to UC San Diego, we have a tremendous opportunity,” said Chancellor Khosla. “Plus, we want to get students prepared for when we tell them that Ninth College is just going to be a fleet of double-decker buses that circle the campus 24/7.”