I re-watched Lord of the Rings the other day. Why is this relevant? Because it very much resembles what’s happening around F1 right now.
You’ve got this Evil Eye sitting on some bloody mountain. It wants to take over the world and has found a lackey in the person of the evil wizard Rupert Murdoch, seen here staring at his management reporting screen. The Evil Eye in the distance might be John ‘Sauron’ Elkann but I’m not sure yet. I will be if it indeed turns out to be true that his transsexual cocaine laced brother Lapo gets the keys to Ferrari. God help us all when that happens.
Welcome to my world. Really, you don’t make these things up.
Anyway, I had a quick talk with my old friend Luca ‘Da Godfather’ Montezemelemololo, not so long ago. Asked him if it was true. No Bernie, he said, it’s not. ‘Not at all, or not yet?’ I asked. Continue reading
A little while ago I was worried that Luca de Montezemelemololo started behaving suspiciously like Il Commendatore. I was wrong. He hasn’t become the Commendatore; he’s become the Godfather of the Scuderia.
Poor Felipe found out the hard way. He was picked up immediately after Suzuka by a bloke in a bad suit and brought to Don Luca, who told his second number one driver in no uncertain terms: “I’m sorry Felipe, you were certainly not lucky this weekend: I’m sure that you will be the surprise of the last three races of the season. After this bad day you will be desperately keen to react and we will do everything to give you the possibility to win. Capisce?
I’m certain Felipe understood this message. He will be a strongly motivated number one driver indeed.
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.
The verdict is out, the hysterics are over. The journos and, worse, the pundits had their day. Ferrari are guilty, and the $100,000 fine just happened to be the correct punishment. Kudos to the Hockenheim race stewards. Oh and team orders will be reviewed.
Moving on, people. Nothing to see here.
… One of those two grumpy old guys on the balcony, to be precise. Statler or Waldorf, I never know which is which.
It’s been at the back of my mind for a while now and EJ himself finally alerted me to it. Called me up today, during a break in the World Motorsport Council Meeting, and started ranting about how Ferrari had treated us all like muppets and should be punished severely, Max Mosley-style.
I said, you mean with a whip? Convict Luca de Montezemelemololo to seven strokes of the cane, like they do in Singapore?
No Bernie, you know what I mean. They should be told who’s boss and it’s not them. If we let them get away with this, who knows where it’s going to end? Ferrari telling FIA to stick their rules where the sun doesn’t shine? Alonso telling the track marshals to blue flag everyone ahead of him so he has right of way all the way to the finish? Domenicali commandeering the pit lane when a Ferrari car’s about to pit? Bernie, you have to stop this here and now!
I said sorry Eddie, meeting’s about to start again. Talk to you later. Calm down and take one of those little pills, be a good boy.
Hardly have I cleared up matters with Danica Patrick, or Ferrari back me up with a purpose built hair dryer engine. Most powerful beastie on the market. Especially handy when you’ve just celebrated a podium finish with a champagne shower and need to look spiffy again for the post-race conference.
Top Gear have already road-tested it. Turns out, it beats an Audi R8 Convertible hands down.
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.
I’ve been reading all these blog comments on the Ferrari team order brouhaha, and it’s amazing how quickly people seem to end up with blaming me.
Just to avoid any misunderstanding: I’m the Formula One Supremo. I’m not the boss of everything in F1. There’s a difference. Let me explain.
To begin with, I don’t call the shots in the teams. That’s the job of the team bosses. So if Ferrari issues team orders, it’s types like Luca di Montezemelemololo or Stefano Domenicali who are responsible for that. Not me. I may have an opinion about it (more about that later), but that’s another matter.
If you are now wondering who’s the real boss in Formula One if it isn’t me, just look at my simple F1 organisation chart. It’s you.
You, my beloved legion of fans, my loyal audience, are the real boss. So everything that happens in F1 is ultimately your responsibility. I’m merely the humble Supremo who does your bidding and makes sure, one way or another, that the rest falls in line.
But Bernie, I hear you ask, you have never had a real education. How did you arrive at this bold conclusion? What kind of management theory underpins your statement? Well, my friends, I have a simple answer for that too. For I am above all a practical person. It is strict adherence to management practice that has brought me to where I am now. And management practice can be described in two words: Continue reading
“Bernie,” he says. “Ferrari is innocent. Can you confirm you understand that message?”
Perhaps, I say, but do you understand that there are about 25 others on the World Motor Sport Council?
“Many of them have already been taken care of, Bernie,” he says. “It’s not been cheap, but they understand. Ferrari is acting in a long tradition that started in the old days, with Il Commendatore sending drivers to their deaths from his command post in Maranello. Theirs is not to reason why, theirs is but to do and die. Nowadays we don’t send them to die anymore, but they’re still supposed to do as we say. For sure everybody understands.”
Suddenly things start to fall into place. The sunglasses, the fact that he hardly attends races any more, the oath of undying loyalty he’s had everybody in the scuderia, from the lowliest garage floor sweeper to Stefano Domenicali, swear on an autographed portrait of the old man.
We have a new Enzo in our midst.