Tag Archives: F1 Hungary

The Schumi storm is still raging

Schumi fans seen changing their minds

You’d think that the bully-gate brouhaha would be smothered in the silly Summer season by now. (Bernie, don’t quit your day job – ed.)

But despite, or maybe because of cucumber time, the debate rages on. See here, here and here, for instance. Even his fans seem to be turning away. It’s gotten so bad, the Germans found it necessary to trot out brother Ralf to tell mankind Michael’s not a sociopath.

Simmer down, people. I’ll talk to Michael and he’ll be a good boy from Spa onwards.

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To Schumi’s defence

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 Continue reading

Schumi the Fail Whale

Apparently Americans like to follow our Grand Prix through something called Twitter. I had my lovely assistant explain what that is and it turns out I’m already on it! She tried to show me the website during the Hungaroring race but all there was to be seen was a picture of a whale. Apparently it’s called the Fail Whale, a big fish in the Twitter world. You always see it around when there’s something, well, fishy going on.

Sounds suspiciously like Michael Schumacher’s place in F1.

Mark Webber’s Schumacher Complex

Congrats Mark, I told him right after the race, you must be feeling great after this. “I sure do, Bernie,” he said, “but do you know what I liked most? Lapping Michael. All these years struggling mid-field while Schu’s winning one race after another. And here’s me, breezing past him like a back-field straggler. Boy that feels good, mate!”

I knew it. There was something vaguely familiar in that victory jump of his.

"Coming through...!"

“That’s great, Mark,” I reply. “And good to see you’re having a role model in life. But isn’t it time to change it to someone else? Ayrton Senna, perhaps? He never tried to kill his fellow drivers. Ask Rubens. He’s got some experience to share.”

HRT’s solution for Yamamoto

A customised steering wheel. Here’s a sneak preview Colin gave me. Says it’ll solve all of Sakamoto’s problems because he didn’t use those buttons anyway. Looks a bit improvised, what with all those bits of carbon fibre to cover up the holes, but Sakomoto’s only paid for one more race Colin isn’t sure when’s the next time he’ll need it.

But how about optimising settings during the race? And how’s he going to limit his pit lane speed?

Optimising is only important if you’re anywhere near optimum, Colin says. And what do you mean, limiting pit lane speed? Have you seen his lap times?

YAM’s problem

“How can Sakomoto go on about his racing abilities?” I asked Colin Kolles. “If it’s true what you told me, he should be very quiet and just go out and drive the bloody car, for Pete’s sake.”

“It’s Sakon. Sakon Yamamoto,” he says, “And the way he sees it is his racing is impeccable. It’s just the bit around it he finds hard to get used to.”

The bit around it? “Yes,” Colin says, “all the little things he has to pay attention to. All those pesky settings, wing, engine, clutch, pit lane limiter and so forth. It confuses him. He does have a point, you know. I mean, do you know how many buttons these steering wheels have nowadays? Not to mention that all the labels and indicators are not in Japanese. Other than that, he claims he does know how to drive a car.”

I see. So what are you going to do about it? “Well Bernie, we’re working on a solution. The customer is King, after all.”

Customer? “I mean, driver,” he says hastily. “Tell you the truth, a happy driver is a faster driver, I always say.”

A happy driver is a faster driver. First time I heard that in more than half a century’s F1 experience. Someone should tell Massa and Alonso.

Birthday present

Today is Alonso’s birthday. If you were wondering what Massa gave him, he just told me: it’s one of these fake road workers with a slowdown arm signal. He intends to put it out on the track, just before Alonso goes out in first practice.

Great sense of humour, Felipe has. My guess is Fernando doesn’t completely share it.