Ran into Colin Kolles th’other day. “How’s Sakamoto? Still on the trots?”
No, Colin said, he never had them. And it’s Yamamoto. Sakon Yamamoto. Not Sakamoto. Can’t you get that right for once? And about those trots, tell you the truth, he just hadn’t paid the bill for the Singapore race seat, so I had a perfect excuse for putting a real driver out on the track. You have no idea how quickly I phoned Christian Klien after checking the bank account. The food poisoning was just an excuse to save his face. Which he also screwed up, by the way, by appearing in the paddock to watch the race.
So of course I’m trying to act surprised. “Blimey, so Montezuma’s revenge was really Mastercard’s revenge? I’m shocked. And stunned. Matter of fact, shocked and stunned. What’s the world coming to, these days?”
Stop kidding around, Bernie, he says. You knew this all along. I really wish you’d stop making jokes in public about it, by the way. Doesn’t do our reputation as a serious Formula One team a whole lot of good. And besides, we’ve taken care of the issue, so it won’t happen again. He’ll be back in the car in Japan.
Taken care of it? How?
Dear Singaporeans, I was trying to praise you when I said I’d love to see a Grand Prix here for another twenty years.
But what do I get? The cold shoulder. A grumpy “we’ll-see-if we’ll-do-more-than-five-after-we’ve-done-all-the-calculations.”
This is not how it’s supposed to go. Race organisers are supposed to grovel and prostrate themselves, after which I extract extraordinary sums from them in return for the honour to host the ultimate event for a number of years determined by me. If they behave.
Is this a prelude to using the very negotiating tactics on me that I’ve come to know and love? That I’ve honed to perfection in the course of more than half a century? Next thing you know the Singaporean Government’ll be at my door, saying all right Mr E, we’ve thought about it and you can tentatively have a Singapore Grand Prix for another precious five years and here’re our conditions, now be a good boy?
Not a shadow of a chance, Singapore Inc. There’s no way on Earth that’s ever going to happen, or my name would not be Bernie Ecclestone. I have to think of my reputation as the indisputable Supremo of Formula One.
Note to self: sound out my old friend Donald Tsang. Plant the idea that Hong Kong would benefit from a harbourside Grand Prix in, let’s see, two years time. Hmm, let me think – a night race. Yes, that’d be great. Can you imagine the backdrop, with the greatest skyline in the world?
That’ll teach ’em.
Quick thinking by Heikki Kovalainen, parking his burning Lotus on the final straight instead of blocking the entry to the pit lane. Kept a cool head, too, playing the one-man fire brigade with an extinguisher borrowed from the Williams crew.
I even felt a little pang of jealousy, being a bit of a fire fighter meself.
Good lad, salt o’the Earth. Never enough of those around.
Worthy winners of the Singapore Grand Prix.
And what a great race it was. Our three Ws were not the only winners. Congratulations, Singapore, for hosting an impeccable event. Congratulations, fans, for witnessing one of the most spectacular races ever. And congratulations, me, for reaping yet another tidy profit of course. But that’s the least important bit.
Well done, Singapore. You may continue for another twenty years as far as I’m concerned.
Starting from the back, on a narrow street circuit, with a car that’s markedly faster than at least half the field before you: what’s a second driver to do?
Domenicali was very clear: Felipe, you have to get to the front as quickly as possible because Alonso needs all the help he can get. So there was only one answer, really. The engineers worked through the night, and here it is.
Brilliant. Also takes care of the Singapore Sling, so kills two birds with one stone. Not sure it’s legal, though.
But hey, it’s Ferrari.