Monthly Archives: May 2010

“Accuse me of imperfection at your peril”

He hasn’t really changed, has he?

Which begs the question, what’s he doing down there then? If it’s not the Grand Master himself, that leaves either the car or the points system. But don’t quote me.

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Jenson has finally come out of the closet

It was about time. You may have noticed that you rarely see anyone slipstream behind Jenson in training laps. In the paddock we call him the White Hurricane, and if you’re right behind him on the track you can’t see a thing. We used to joke that of all the drivers Jenson had the least to fear about the obligatory weighing after the race, with all the stuff he would’ve shed during the previous two hours.

So it’s a brilliant move of McLaren to nudge him towards a brand ambassadorship for Head&Shoulders of all brands.

Money quote: “Like the millions of British men who use it every day, it’s one of my grooming essentials. Whether I’m track side or in a tux, Head&Shoulders is an easy way to keep my hair flake-free, helping me to look and feel good every day.”

Well written by Procter&Gamble’s PR flacks, and it couldn’t be more true. I hope they don’t only pay him well but also keep him amply supplied with product.

It’s been sixty years now

… And what a ride it was. Sorry my friends for not having posted this weekend but I’ve been on what the Americans call a sentimental journey.

Last Saturday marked two significant events in F1 history: it was 60 years ago that the Monaco Grand Prix was included in the F1 Championship; and that very race was Ferrari’s entry into F1. There were no fewer than four 125F1s in that race, two run by Enzo’s Scuderia, and two by private drivers. Alfa Romeo won, but Alberto Ascari’s Scuderia car grabbed a podium with second place.

Of the three legends in F1 (Monaco, Ferrari and me) two were born that day. I was still practicing at Brands Hatch at the time, racing Cooper F3 cars with 500cc motorcycle engines. Those were the days, my friend. You just bought an engine and some tyres, stuck ’em on a Cooper chassis and Bob’s your uncle – you’re in the racing business. No wind tunnels or specially milled parts, no carbon fiber and no expensive engineers. Couple of hundred quid was enough to get you going.

Anyway, thank God those days are over. F1 is big business and there are more billions to be made. Don’t just sit there, be good boys and girls and swiftly go buy a ticket or wash your hair with Head&Shoulders.

Who bothers with small fry? It’s The Neck we want!

If you wanted proof that hunting season on Michael Schumacher is officially open for not only journos but everybody else as well, Monaco was the place for you last weekend. Let’s leave the discussion aside about how stiff the penalty should’ve been for overtaking Alonso. I mean let’s face it, the rule wasn’t exactly a monument of clarity and they could’ve exercised a tiny bit more restraint in punishing Michael.

But the really telling bit is the speed and eagerness with which the stewards dropped everything when they spotted Michael’s manoeuvre. At least according to one of them, Paul Gutjahr, that’s the reason Barrichello got away with tossing his steering wheel under an HRT after getting stuck in the middle of the track.

According to Gutjahr, Barrichello’s little lapse was definitely on the radar but, and I quote, ‘it simply fell off the agenda in the “hectic rush” to sort out Michael.’

I really don’t want to be the one who’s rushing to Michael’s defence all the time, but seriously, let’s give the lad a break, won’t we?

Sad, very sad.

The Sun kicks Butt

Or is it Butt kicks McLaren? Perhaps The Sun should follow the Guardian’s example and stick to writing about people having lunch.

Morons.

I had lunch with Flavio. So what?

The greatest race in the world. Twenty-four drivers, each and every one a celebrity. The most powerful race cars known to man. Half the planet’s jet setters, all gathered on a couple of hundred square meters. Royalty, movie stars, what have you. Speed. Danger. Victory. Drama.

And what do the bloody journos think they need to write about? Me having lunch with Flavio. Which is then conveniently branded as ‘making his return to the Formula One circuit.’ Well done, Guardian. What’s next? When the new Government announce their next budget, you’ll ignore it and just report on what Cameron had for breakfast that day? When BP’s oil wells need plugging, write about the company’s bosses having constipation?

Listen, journos. Flavio’s lifetime ban has been lifted. And in case you hadn’t noticed, he’s not exactly your proverbial shrinking violet. (Seen here showering in public. OK, so maybe he is having too many lunches.) So he’s coming back, and I’m the last person to stop him.

As Flavio would say: capisce?

I just love tall women

Everybody has his weakness, you know. Mine’s anything female over five foot six. So J Lo’s appearance in the paddock at Monaco was a Godsend. Wish she hadn’t brought that nincompoop with her, but you can’t have everything, can you? I did manage to pop the question though. “Will you wave the Checkered Flag for me?” She said she would think about it.

Made my day.