When you’re as old as I am, you recognise a lynch mob when you see one. And I’m seeing one right before my eyes.
It’s been half a week now since Bully-gate and the crowd only seems to gather. Look, an injustice being done! And there’s a villain too! A celebrity no less! A seven-time World Champion!
Look, my friends, I’m not trying to play down what Michael tried to do to Rubens last Sunday. Indeed, I made a bit of fun of him myself because of it. But let’s not exaggerate things. Yes, he was out of line and he’s been punished for it with ten grid places which means, given the dreadful Mercedes he’s driving, that next race he’ll probably start from the back. End of story.
For those who nevertheless keep on trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill I have one word: Ayrton Senna. OK, two words, but you get my drift.
Ayrton is seen by many (including me) as the Greatest Driver That Ever Was and an enormous number of people still worship the ground that he has walked on, God bless his soul. A lot of those people conveniently forget that His Holiness was every bit as ruthless and dangerous to his fellow drivers as Michael is now. Indeed, what made the man great was his single minded dedication to only one goal as soon as got behind the wheel: Winning the Bleedin’ Race.
Ask people like Martin Brundle, who once was brundling along happily and suddenly found Ayrton’s car on top of his head. Or Alain Prost, who was ruthlessly driven off the track in the first corner of the race because that would hand Saint Senna the 1990 Championship. Even Dr Evil himself occasionally fell victim to Ayrton’s aggressive tactics.
It takes a special kind of single mindedness and determination to become the Number One in Formula One. You don’t get ordinary people in that top spot. That’s why all those countless millions buy tickets and tune in the telly. It’s called racing.
Move along, please. Nothing to see here.