I know, I know. Adelaide is far away from Canberra. Maybe even as far as John O’Groats is from Silverstone. Still, if you consider that none of the 33 comments even mentioned the misspelling, methinks F1 has a long way to go in Adelaide.
Say what you want, but Mark Webber is not a wimp. This is a man whose Twitter name is Aussiegrit. I don’t know what Twitter is, let alone why anyone would have such a name on it, but Fabiana assures me it’s quite meaningful. So there.
Anyway, after Sunday’s crash I’m getting these calls from Mark, asking me “Bernie, you’ve been around for so long, Do you remember Peter Dumbreck at Le Mans, ten-odd years ago?
I tell him, of course I do, why d’you want to know? He says, I can’t help but wonder if I was airborne longer than Peter in that accident.
I say, listen Mark, nobody’s wondering whether you were airborne longer or shorter than Peter Dumbreck or the Wright brothers or whoever else. What does matter is, your hitting the tyre wall with 240 km/h is no picknick so the only thing everybody wants to know is if you’re all right. Airborne, for goodness’ sake! Are you sure your head’s not damaged?
He does have a point though. Continue reading
Friends and fellow F1 fans, meet Stirling Moss, or Sir Stirling as we know him these days. Stirling is one of the unblemished heroes of our sport, and the greatest champion that never was. A true gentleman, even to the point of defending his greatest rival Mike Hawthorn against an unfair penalty, effectively handing him the title.
But that is not the point I want to make today. For Sir Stirling was renowned for another quality: true grit. No pampered life for Stirling, no private jets and multimillion dollar motorhomes. Stirling drove himself to the races. And in between winning one Grand Prix after another he had no qualms with doing the odd endurance race, winning 10 hour Mille Miglias or 7 hour 1000km Nuerburgrings singlehandedly, the latter three years in a row.
And he was not the only one. Juan Manuel Fangio, another true gentleman, and the aforementioned Mike Hawthorn, to name but a few, were of the same ilk. These were real men. Some say that the outlines of their left nipples were the shape of Nuerburgring, that when they slowed down, brake lights came on in their buttocks, and went they went for a wee they pissed pure motor oil, to paraphrase a popular TV programme. Wimps they were not.
Toronto Montreal was a great race because of tyre degradation, and many hoped that the Bridgestone lads would repeat the performance in Valencia. So much even that Bridgestone found it necessary to apologise in advance for an uneventful, Bahrain type race.
But thanks to Mark Webber the public got once again what it came for: great racing, and great spectacle. Although Heikki might disagree somewhat. (Thanks reader David, for the aptly chosen photo.)