Monthly Archives: April 2010

Now I understand what this YouTube is all about

Cat videos. Somebody mentioned this to me before, said this YouTube was quite the phenomenon. Beats me, with a name like that I naturally think tyre distributor or something of that ilk. Which we happen to be in need of, but that’s another matter.

Turns out it’s a website where you can watch your pet. Or preferably other people’s pets, as far as I’m concerned.

Well, thanks to Fabiana I now too have my favourite cat video. Take that, digerati!

Who said we needed rain?

The lads are finally showing they can do some overtaking on dry. Mostly at the cost of old Schumi.

Now that’s what lap charts should look like.

Hamilton and Vettel behave like Shanghai taxi drivers…

… on their way in and out of the pit lane. Wheel to wheel, although the lads still have a lot to learn from the taxi drivers in this city.

Looking at an alternative calendar for 2010

In case the Iceland volcano keeps on spewing ash, here’s an alternative schedule for the 2010 Grand Prix:

Bahrain

Melbourne

KL

Shanghai

Shanghai

Shanghai

Shanghai

This brings us to June and then we’ll see further. I’ve just booked my suite in the Four Seasons in Pu Xi for another month.

And now let’s pray for rain…

… although I’m working hard on not having to pray any more. Since I’m in China, centre of rainmaking excellence in the world, I’ve made some calls and I think I found an interesting contact, a Mr Why You Pay. You Pay knows a high ranking Army officer, a Colonel I think, in the Weather Modification Research Centre. (They actually have one.)

You Pay’s a funny man. He says, our ancestors used to pray to the spirits for rain, but China has a modern army now and the motto of every modern army is, why pray when cannon can do the job?

Sounds like my kind of army. So when can we start sourcing these rainmaking cannon? Ah, says You Pay, this is where you need lots of patience. Not easy because supplier needs to be contacted by army first. Need to find out if state secrets are involved. Next, need to obtain export licence. Also will cost a lot of money.

Ah I say, now you’re talking. So how much do I need to pay you to get all this done quickly? Oh no, says You Pay, I don’t want money. If you give me money and Beijing finds out, they put me to death for corruption. Bad deal. But I have another solution. I’ve set up a JV company in the British Virgin Islands together with my Colonel friend and we deal through JV company.

I say, so I need to pay a lot of money to your JV company instead of directly to you? What’s the difference?

But You Pay shakes his head and smiles. Ah no, you only need to pay the supplier for cannon but we don’t need money. We want something else.

Now you lost me, I say, getting an uneasy feeling. So what do you want from me instead?

He smiles again. Only one little thing he says. Continue reading

Just had breakfast with Ross

I said, don’t you need to be in the pit garage right now? He says yes, but we still have that German caterer, you know, the Soup Nazi? Tried to get rid of him for a long time now but the problem is, he’s Mercedes approved. Had to file a request through Norbert, all the way up the line. I believe it’s about to go before the Daimler Board now.

And I tell you, Bernie, it’s not contributing to team morale. Things are so tense, you could cut slices off the atmosphere on days like this. Michael’s seconds off the pace while Nico’s doing stellar laps. Michael blames me for designing a car that’s more suited to Nico than to him and not redesigning it fast enough, and on top of that I have to deal with the car being off the general pace altogether.

Norbert’s under pressure from Zetsche, who wants results or else. And meanwhile Continue reading

Got a call from Flavio

Sounded like he was at some tennis tournament. I’m sorry but I can’t get out! He shouted into the phone.

I said, sorry Flavio but what do you mean? He says I’ve been cleared, Bernie, so naturally I was going to join you at the Grand Prix. Celebrate! Have a little fun in Xin Tian Di, no? Get some girls, go paint the town, give all these imbeciles that now run F1 the finger! But I’m in Monaco and I can’t get out! Do you know how boring it is to see Nadal crushing everything he sees at the other side of the net? It’s almost like the bad old days, watching by how many laps Schumacher would win this time.

I’m bored, Bernie. Bored! But every flight’s been cancelled and they’ve run out of private jets, too!

I’m starting to say that his ban is lifted as per 2013 so it might be wise to stay a little low until then, but decide against it for now.

Thank you, Iceland.

Don’t try this at home, laddies

At least that’s the advice we’re getting from The Sun after Sebastian Buemi’s mishap at the Shanghai circuit today. Kid me not. It’s not often you see two front wheels simultaneously jump off the car as if they’re trying to escape from impending disaster.

Although it was a wee bit funny when the camera switched immediately afterwards to the driver’s point of view and we could see Seb frantically trying to steer the car without any wheels to steer it with.

I know the feeling. You get yourself into a bit of a pickle and there’s nothing you can do any more but watch the drama unfolding. Life can be frustrating that way.

I’m not entirely sure about this Twitter thing

Call me a Luddite. Or maybe I’m just too old to adopt all these new technologies. Fortunately I have Fabiana, and she’s shown me how it all works. It’s amazing, actually. Apparently all kinds of people just ‘tweet’ (what a word) their innermost thoughts so that the rest of the world can share them.

What’s most amazing is what it does to people. Take Mike Gascoyne, for instance. Born and bred into the world of secrecy that is F1. Believe, they don’t call him the Rottweiler for nothing. If you’d asked him any intrusive question during his days at Benetton, Toyota or Force India, he’d set the dogs on you.

And now? I’ve followed his Twitter thing during the training session earlier today. Bloke doesn’t stop talking. Sorry, tweeting. He’s become a paragon of transparency. This is now the man that announced on Twitter that he was going to call in Jarno Trulli a lap earlier, during the race in Bahrain. In the good old days there were people in Ferrari that would’ve given their left hand to get that kind of information about their competitors during races. What’s next? Red Bull publishing details about their secret ride height system?

“Financier de Légion d’Honneur”

As you probably know I don’t have much time for the Sir Big Swinging Dicks, Datuk Jean Todts, Ross Brawn KBEs and whatnot of this world. I mean, if you’ve got to get your jollies from somebody pinning a little tin plate on your chest and handing you a wanky diploma for your office wall, go ahead but don’t expect me to be impressed. At all. I mean, I couldn’t care less. (Enough already! We get it – ed.)

But once more I have to hand it to Tony Fernandes. Just got presented with the Legion d’Humeur or something, some wanky affair handed out by the French president to budget airline bosses. Look at him, the lad’s proud of his achievement. But then he shows off his certificate, Continue reading