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The Daly Planet


Racing in a Fairytale Kingdom
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By Carol Einarsson | 05/25/2009
Category: F1

CHEERS to my favorite F1 track for the beauty of its home, the tight turns of the streets, and of course, that fantastic tunnel!

CHEERS to Peter Windsor’s warm memories of his father bringing him to the track as a boy.

CHEERS to the tiny boats side by side with the millionaire yachts in the trackside harbor.

CHEERS to cutting back on credentials in the paddock, but seriously, they could cut out 80% of them and still be too crowded.

CHEERS to Kazuki Nakajima being kind enough to speak to Peter because he’s not so full of himself that he shuns the US media.

CHEERS to Peter Windsor, also, for his consistently good attitude. Always happy, always positive, never giving up or appearing weary of fighting the crowds and pursuing interviews.

CHEERS to setting up Lear jet sales for Rubens Barrichello.

CHEERS to Mika Hakkinen even if he had to be pulled back by the arm to talk to the TV, and CHEERS to Hugo, a man of few words.

CHEERS to happening upon Max Mosley and speaking in hushed tones. Maybe bringing up his lost son wasn’t the best opening, though.

CHEERS to referring to Jenson Button as “a British guy”.

CHEERS to “It is well known that great drivers absorb information in a way that makes time expand and the world slow down…” Fantastic piece!!

CHEERS to a clean start and nobody taking the escape road.

JEERS to not keeping at least one tire on the track because we think that’s quite a lenient policy set by the FIA.

CHEERS to how fast Button and Barrichello are, but we like that Kimi is in third and within striking distance!

JEERS to a puncture bringing in Kubica unscheduled.

CHEERS to Rosberg outwitting Massa! Felipe cuts the corner and has to let Vettel have his position back, and as Vettel reclaims his rightful position, Nico goes with him! Brilliant!

JEERS to finding Piquet and Buemi on the tire wall (oh dear!), but CHEERS to seeing the subsequent supporting video of the bull-dozing operation that put them there.

JEERS to four off for Hamilton. Do we yet know what the penalty is?

CHEERS to Kimi breathing down the back of Rubens. We’d like Rubens to win, but we miss Kimi. How ‘bout both on the podium and we’ll be happy!

JEERS to Vettel’s car up on a crane as the rest of the field flies by underneath.

CHEERS to the “fairytale kingdom of Monaco.” The world needs more fairytale kingdoms.

CHEERS to “[sigh] Steve, you got it wrong again!”

JEERS to hearing on your radio that your tires “may be fragile”. What does THAT mean, exactly?!

CHEERS to Varsha’s suggestion that we all have F1 “watch parties”.

CHEERS to Hobbs’ grandson as a race winner and a birthday boy!

CHEERS to suggesting that a 25-second penalty should be doled out NOW rather than after the race.

CHEERS , though, to finding out the FIA is apparently giving out warnings instead of penalties even though we know it’s not above the governing body to change its ruling after the race.

CHEERS to Rubens for the greatest number of laps raced, 13,910 laps (and more, presuming he doesn’t blow up now) and surpassing Michael Schumacher.

JEERS to no safety car as they hike up Kovalainen’s car, but we like how all of his debris followed the same path and seemed to clear the track.

CHEERS to “Massa has to go like a bat outta hell…” I always wondered how we know how fast bats fly out of hell.

CHEERS to what might be a good strategy, and Timo Glock’s car starting a race with a full tank, and still yet to make a stop.

CHEERS to asking how many Lear jets Hobbs had purchased with his discount, “I was talking about it the other week and then I decided I probably wouldn’t bother.”

JEERS to Lewis Hamilton lapped for the second race in a row. How could it have all gone so wrong?

CHEERS to Bob Varsha’s good sense: “Amidst all this fuss for rules for next year… it’s so refreshing to have someone who will just put his hand in the air and say, ‘Y’know what? We made a call and we blew it. It just didn’t work out.’ If people would do that more often rather than stonewalling or insisting that black is white, it would be a lot more fun.”

CHEERS to signs all around that the global economic crisis has been overblown by the media.

CHEERS to pointing out that we’ve seen the Braun chassis work well everywhere! All kinds of tracks, all kinds of weather, everywhere, every time. McLaren and Ferrari who?

CHEERS to running to the podium to meet Prince Albert. “Of course the cameraman is about to collapse from a heart attack there…”

CHEERS to Kimi on the podium, too, and did you see him smiling when he didn’t know the camera was on him? Maybe he’s just camera shy.

JEERS to mistreatment of cameras. First it was champagne, and then it was the back of a guy’s head bonking the expensive equipment.

And finally,

CHEERS to “The last three years, Jenson Button has finished 11th in Monaco! And though this may be the same Jenson Button, he is in the all-new and all-conquering Brawn GP and he wins for the first time in Monaco, the first British driver to win from pole here since sir Jackie Stewart way back in 1973!” CHEERS to the British guy!



05/25/2009 7:30 am (1)
CHEERS to an awesome race. It was quite fun to watch.
05/25/2009 3:21 pm (2)
That was the best race of the day! Please don't stop doing this column.
05/25/2009 5:48 pm (3)
So far the F1 is the only complete races I've seen besides the truck races.

Go J.B.
05/25/2009 7:37 pm (4)
CHEERS to Monaco, the Darlington of Formula One. Narrow, difficult, made for cars that were half as fast... and on the schedule because it's been there since Day One.

CHEERS to IMS and Lowe's Motor Speedway (the only time you'll see me call it by that name, by the way!) for having opened the gates up early enough to let fans in to watch the GP on the big screens! (And, presumably, watch the 500 at Lowe's, too.)

More C&J when I'm more focused tomorrow...
Greg in Dallas
05/27/2009 12:52 pm (5)
CHEERS to a decent race on one of my least-favorite F1 tracks. Nice for driving and looking at; boring for "racing."

CHEERS to a topsy-turvy season though. Two races in a row with last year's champion being lapped by this year's big dog. (Last year: Jenson Who?)

@Carol - still don't know the exact speed, but we do know a bat outta hell will be gone when morning comes... :)
05/27/2009 6:57 pm (6)
I miss the F1 boyz on Speed about one of the things I miss about not having a TV right now :(. Stupid TV dying...

See that over there? That's the money I'm saving not having to pay cable for the time being :p
05/28/2009 9:47 am (7)
CHEERS to Williams, for entering next year's championship, and explaining exactly why they broke with the rest of FOTA to do so: They have no business OTHER than F1 racing and thus can't fall back on their other business ventures for support, like the other teams can, and because they accepted a large chunk of change from Bernie to stay afloat a few years ago, they had to sign a separate contract with FIA and FOM guaranteeing their continued presence in F1 through at least 2012. The team was both financially and legally obligated to enter, so they didn't really have much choice in the matter.

Mixed CHEERS and JEERS to FOTA. The JEERS are for suspending Williams from the organization--it's understandable, but I still don't like seeing it. The CHEERS, however, are for making it clear to Williams that the suspension is not intended as punishment, but instead is because it was decided that, while the negotiations with FIA are ongoing, it would be best for all involved if Williams was not part of them, lest their entry for 2010 be used as a wedge against FOTA. According to the general manager of Williams, the team went to the FOTA meeting and informed the rest of FOTA in advance that they would be entering the 2010 championship and their reasons for doing so, stated that they both understood and would not object to any action FOTA took against them as a result, and then offered to leave the room while the other teams conferred. He said that after a while, their representative was called back into the room and very politely informed of the decision to suspend them, and that it was purely a temporary measure until the current spat with FIA was over.

Again, while I may not agree with FOTA's decision here, I have to admit that the whole situation was handled in a very polite and professional manner, and that pleases me immensely.

JEERS to Flavio Briatore, however, for publicly insulting the new entries into F1, then turning around and claiming that when he first started with Benneton, the team was running with a mere 20% of the budget of the top teams (it wasn't) and was a small new entry into the championship (it wasn't) that proceeded to compete with the top teams without demanding rule changes to accomodate it (it didn't--because FIA was in the middle of rewriting the rules anyway). Even leaving behind the hypocrisy of his comments, Flav should realize that car-count is one of the best signs of the health of a series; having 26 cars on the grid every week, with 20 having a genuine shot at winning the race, is far better than having 20 cars on the grid, with maybe 10 having a shot at winning.

JEERS to all the complaints about FIA instituting a "two-tier system" with the new technical regulations. Hey, guys, if you think the budget-capped teams will have an advantage, then don't bitch about it, just join 'em in living under the cap. Indeed, the existing teams, with their manufacturer connections, would tend to have an advantage over the new teams, since creative accounting work could easily bury a lot of F1 expenses in the road-car branch by claiming to be advanced R&D work on road-car technology. As for complaints of having two sets of regulations, Formula One ALWAYS had two sets of regulations until the early 90s, when the clause in the rules allowing 1.5L turbocharged engines was removed--remember, teams always had the option of running 3.0L naturally-aspirated engines instead; by the late 80s, only the most underfunded teams were still doing so, as the turbo engines were far more powerful (up until Honda introduced its 3.0L V-10 and changed the game again).

Besides, if you can't put two competitive cars on the grid for a hundred million dollars a year (the roughly $50 million budget cap goes *only* towards what actually goes into the car, and does not cover driver salaries, hospitality for sponsors, transportation to the track, and the other ancillary expenses that don't actually have any effect on the performance of the car), you REALLY need to consider whether your people are capable of competing at the F1 level...
05/29/2009 2:33 pm (8)

Briatore is probably right about the budget - but not about the "new entry". Benneton started as Toleman, at least 10 years before Briatore appeared. After Benneton bought Toleman, it ran as a backmarker, and presumably low-budget, team for 3 or 4 years. My guess is that after Briatore started running the show, the budget probably went up by a factor of 10.

05/29/2009 4:42 pm (9)
To quote Professor Farnsworth... "Good news, everyone!"

FOTA apparently has managed to come to an agreement with FIA regarding the budget spat; all nine remaining FOTA teams filed their entries for 2010 today, ahead of the FIA deadline. This means that, in addition to the current ten teams, we now have confirmed entries from US Grand Prix Engineering (Peter Windsor's new Charlotte-based team), Lola, and Prodrive/Aston-Martin.

In other words, for the first time in over ten years, the 2010 Championship will see a full grid of 26 cars. Based on FOTA's press release, it appears that the 2010 championship will see this year's technical regulations used for all teams, with all teams having a 100 million euro budget cap; my guess is that we'll see the 40 million euro cap and opened-up regulations put into effect for 2011.

Clearly, even though FIA hasn't made an official statement yet, some sort of agreement has been struck, as FOTA's press release also stated that all FOTA teams will sign the new Concorde Agreement within two weeks, thus committing them to F1 through the end of the 2012 season.

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