Monthly Archives: February 2010

At least someone is doing his job

At least one of the new teams is a shining light of hope in this sorry pre-season mess. To be honest I’d gotten a little bit worried because I heard nothing from Tony Fernandes for a while, so I gave him a call. One never knows, better to be safe than sorry.

Turns out, Tony’s been busy playing host to officialdom. Apparently they’ve renamed their Norfolk facility as the new Lotus Racing factory and that’s as good an opportunity it gets to do some old-fashioned wanking.

Here’s the notorious Dr Mahathir on the cutting edge in Norfolk. Tony was particularly pleased with his appearance, because apparently the good Doctor, who still wields quite a bit of influence in the ex-colonies, had cast some doubt on his achievements. ‘Almost got into some serious trouble there,’ he told me. Continue reading

My new assistant

So far I have been sending my thoughts out by email to a very select few. Bear in mind that I predate computers and it’s nothing short of a miracle that I can get anything done on these things at all. But the times are changing and my readers require more from me – and Bernie wouldn’t be Bernie if I wouldn’t see to that.

So I can happily announce that I have hired a new assistant, Fabiana, who will sort out these matters for me. I’ve been told it is much easier to posts these little messages of mine in a thing called blog, a place on the internets where everyone and his mate can go read the texts and revel in the pictures to his heart’s desire.

Fabiana comes highly recommended. My friends tell me her knowledge of IT is unsurpassed. I have of course no way to check that but one look at her resume (shown here) was enough to convince me.

Rest assured, dear readers and all other Fake Bernie fans, Fabiana will solve all your technical problems.

Sorting out the Campos and US F1 mess

Sometimes I think I’m just too nice for people. Max goes on his big budget cutting drive and wants new teams in, and I help out with a bit of co-investment and sorting out bits and bobs. So we end up with four new teams, which is good. Apart from a bit of a kerfuffle with Stefan GP who had the nerve to hire the traitor Coughlan and then sue Max for not admitting them (I told Stefan not to, but would he listen? No he wouldn’t), everything went smoothly and we had a perfect grid for 2010.

Except of course for the fact that the idjuts at Campos F1 never got their act together, not to mention the US F1 bunglers who never even had an act. Meanwhile there’s still Stefan, rearing at the leash, buying up everything Toyota left behind, setting up camp in Bahrain, and being a general nuisance to just about everybody in F1, thinking that would bully FIA putting them on the grid.

And where does everybody look for someone to clean up the barney? Continue reading

A tribute to our fans

People sometimes ask me what I love most about F1. There’s only one possible answer to that: fans.

When I go to races I just love the sight of those thousands of enthousiastic paying ticket holders fans who adore their idols (i.e. not me but the idiots behind the wheel of those splendid specimens of automative technology), paint their faces and wear their team colours.

Fans come in all sorts and shapes, as the photo shows. They are the wonderful people who organise pitlane picnics, race each other on slotcar copies of all the circuits and, most of all, switch on their tellies when the race is on. Especially the latter is extremely important because it contributes to viewing rates. And these, my friends, are the lifeblood of my personal finances the entire sports. Continue reading

Alonso says Ferrari F10 better than 2009 Renault

In related news, the Pope is still a Catholic. Just to avoid any misunderstanding: photo shows the new team in last year’s Ferraris.

Zetsche to Schumacher: It’s your neck

This is why I’ll never have a German boss. Look at Dieter Zetsche here, all smiles over his minion Schumacher. Meanwhile, he’s very clear in his statements to the press: “Wit Daimler it’s all about winning, you know. If zere are clear signs zet our money could be better spent outside Formula Eins, ve’ll hav to make a new decizion.”

If you weren’t aware that the guy is stingier than a Dutchman on a budget, Herr Zetsche will take away all doubts for you: “[The fact that we went into this together with some Abu Dhabi investors] shows zet ve are distributing our risk, and it is also a zignal zet ze Formula Eins team must pay for itself.”

So is he Dutch, then? No, he’s most definitely a bloody Kraut: “Ve take our guidance from Gottlieb Daimler, who said ‘Ze best, or nozzing at all.'”

Just so you know.

To Be Or Not To Be (on the grid)

Bahrain is weeks away now, and rumours around the new teams and their chances of making the grid are reaching fever pitch. So let me clarify a couple of things now, before speculations get out of hand.

First of all, no it’s still a question if the whiny Spaniards at Campos are going to make it, although their wooden model looks good, especially with young Senna in it. And no, I haven’t sabotaged their deal with my old friend Gian Paolo Dallara although I must say it was tempting and it certainly wasn’t easy for Goran to keep Stefan’s Vlad the Impaler from going out there on his own. I believe he finally convinced Vlad to just send them a dead fish. These blokes love old mafia movies, for some reason. Boys will be boys, I guess.

As to all the speculations about who’s going to save their thin Spanish skins, Continue reading

Branson: we didn’t screw up (finally)

Funny that. After screwing up both their ‘virtual launch’ (which means launching a website but) and their first test, which was an improvement in that this time they didn’t lose the whole car but just a wing, Virgin have actually completed 63 test laps without losing any part. Which is good, considering they’ve shown a habit of coming to the track without spare parts.

Good news? Depends where you stand. Where I’m standing is at the receiving end of triumphant phone calls from Big Swinging Dick Branson. Continue reading

Please be seated

With all that fringe stuff going on with circuit layouts and teams with or without cars and such you’d almost forget what this is all about.

Did I hear someone say racing? Very funny. What I mean of course are TV rights. That’s what keeps our sports running and people like me in clover. And don’t you forget it one moment.

Kudos to Hungarian designer Alexander Christoff, who seems to understand this better than anyone else. So here’s the F1 Lounge Chair, the ultimate viewing experience for the true F1 fan.

Speakers built into the headrest, and room for a crate of beer under the seat. Not the little rear spoiler to prevent you looking like a total dork. Industry grade fiber glass and the upholstery is made from the same stuff as actual racing seats. No cup holders, because F1 cars don’t have them either. Except possibly the US F1 car of course, but as far as I know that’s still imaginary.

This bloke makes me think of Campos

Who, by the way, still haven’t paid for the chassis they ordered with Dallara. Goran, my bodyguard, offered to have his pal Vlad the Impaler who does security at Stefan GP pay a little visit to the blokes in Parma with the aid of a drop or two of kerosene, but old Gian Paolo Dallara and I go way back so that was sorta out of the question.

Had a little chat with Gian Paolo instead, it seems he’s getting fed up with them but still wants to give them a last chance. A true gentleman. Not that it’ll come to anything, though. These Campos morons are toast. Not to mention the dead ducks of US F1. At least, that’s what I keep telling Stefan.

Many, many thanks to dear reader David for bringing this little bit of history to my attention.