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F1

Goodbye Silverstone; Goodbye Formula One
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By Carol Einarsson | 06/22/2009
Category: F1
 

CHEERS to The Stig at the last race at Silverstone! What a surprising treat that was!

CHEERS to the wheels of change, and “Their ace, Jenson Button has all but replaced Lewis Hamilton in British hearts…” As happy as I am for Jenson, part of me feels kinda bad for ol’ Lewis, a victim of his team’s inability to think outside the box.

CHEERS to Silverstone, but why they’re abandoning it when it is packed even on Saturday is a mystery to anyone with a clue about good business practice.

JEERS to an F1 split, and Ecclestone running his multi-billion dollar business into the ground. Say goodnight, Bernie.

CHEERS to “Eggs get broken when omelets get made.”

JEERS to chatting it up through the British National Anthem. C’mon, now, that’s just not right. And he’s even British!

CHEERS to “We were told there would not be rain today. Then again, we were also told it would be bright sunny skies.”

JEERS to continued trouble for Sutil, but CHEERS that he walked away from that nasty wreck even if he does have to start at the back.

CHEERS to the aggressive driving by teams that appeared to have given up on the season. It’s nice to see some fire in Hamilton as he looks like he’s trying to get to the front to win. Maybe the FOTA announcement gave them all new hope.

CHEERS to Silverstone where most of the turns don’t have numbers, but names. But do they have a Gambon? I bet not.

CHEERS to Sebastian Vettel, aiming for a grand slam! Could he still be angry about the team orders from two weeks ago? I wonder if they’ll tell Mark Webber to save his car. Probably not; they don’t need to. Vettel is dominant without any gifts from his team.

CHEERS to a Brazilian driver in an Italian car, coached by a British mechanic. And it all happens naturally without forced “diversity” programs by the FIA. How ‘bout that?

CHEERS to Jenson’s helmet that from certain angles makes his head look like a big watermelon.

CHEERS to Poland leaving it up to the fans to decide where to put the new race track. Imagine such a thing!

CHEERS to the crowd on their feet and cheering for Hamilton. Maybe Jenson hasn’t exactly replaced him in their hearts.

JEERS to bit o’ car all over the place and Bourdais and Kovalainen together and wrecked as Sebastien appeared to just run into Heikki. Maybe nothing a little F1 rhinoplasty can’t fix.

JEERS to what turned out to be irreparable damage for Heikki Kovalainen. Driving around minding his own business and how he’s done.

CHEERS to the people hanging around with wine glasses in their hands. And they didn’t look like they were plastic. I wonder who does the dishes at Silverstone after the race is over.

JEERS to seeing Lewis “doing a bit of grass cutting”, but we’re amused by the irony of the tale we just heard that Kimi was behind Hamilton by 26 points in 2007 and still came back to win the title. I wonder how much grass cutting Lewis did in the late races of that year.

JEERS to more victims of Bourdais’ bone-headed move earlier, and the evidence that Lewis’ lawn-escapades are thanks to the debris field.

CHEERS to the speed they carry through turn one, or the Copse turn, when compared to a car coming off pit road.

CHEERS to hearing about the “bright sunshine”, but yet a discerning eye has to wonder, then, why there aren’t any shadows on the pavement if there is, in fact, bright sunshine. Now shadows of cars, no shadows of crewmen…

CHEERS to a 1-2 finish for Red Bull, and Sebastien Vettel now with three grand prix wins before his 22nd birthday.

CHEERS to Rubens beating HIS teammate, too! It’s the day of the good guys and no team orders to ruin it for them!

And finally,

CHEERS to FOTA and their efforts to keep the series together, though breaking from F1. Unlike the split with IRL and CART, this is less like a “split”, and more like a mutiny where the participants of the game have successfully overthrown the corrupt government. What the Formula One Teams Association is doing is acting in the best interest of the sport despite the governing body’s inability to act responsibly (or at least to act anything less than selfishly). FOTA’s efforts are likely to, in the long run, save the racing that is in danger of being killed by the FIA. Eight of ten teams are leaving, with Williams (Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima) and Force India (Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil) being the only two teams clinging to hope that the FIA will manage to bail out this sinking ship. Formula One will be left with no past champions (and will even be forced to have a series without a reigning champion), as every champion in the sport is leaving. With the exception of Fisichella, a three-time winner, every other race winner is leaving.  The FIA has allowed this to happen and in their greed will likely be left with nothing but memories of what used to be.

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Comments:
eddo
06/22/2009 9:25 am (1)
I don't pretend to understand the whole FOTA/FIA thing, but if it leads to better racing, I am all for whatever they can do.
budblade
06/22/2009 4:21 pm (2)
To put it in NASCAR terms.... what if every team except Robby Gordon and Red Bull went to Nascar and said.... These rule changes for next year are so out of line from what we are doing this year, (and there are HUGE changes for this year) that we don't think we can make all those changes anyway, much less figure out how to pay for it, that we're not going to race if you don't amend those changes somewhat. We'll start our own series if we have to.
and NASCAR says... Tough $%^# if you don't like it then don't race. And if you do try to start your own series, were going to sue you, your team, your sponsors,your suppliers, any track that lets you PRACTICE, not to mention race, and their sponsors if you do.

Thats what's going on in formula one.

Worked real well for CART too. Lets see. Lets make fewer teams, fewer suppliers, fewer viewers/fans less money, and real animosity for everyone involved. And still tell everyone how great the sport is.
budblade
06/22/2009 4:27 pm (3)
BTW, i think Lewis Hamilton is the Kyle Busch of F1. yes he can drive, but he's way to arrogant for my tastes. I don't mind seeing him have a bad season at all. I feel bad for Jensen Button though. I bet he'd give up several of those other race wins to win at Silverstone. looks like team brawn has really got some competition though. I'm interested to see if they can respond in the next couple of races.
rdfox
06/22/2009 5:25 pm (4)
I'm reserving my thoughts on the FIA/FOTA issue for my next column, but speaking of the Stig... have you seen this bit posted by the BBC on YouTube from the premier of the next season of Top Gear yet, Carol? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifrtlC4NTys
rdfox
06/22/2009 5:28 pm (5)
And Lewis did quite a bit of lawnmowing in the last few races of 2007, Carol--including, notoriously, getting stuck in the gravel trap at the entrance to pit road in China.
possum
06/22/2009 8:09 pm (6)
Hi Carol,

You wrote: "CHEERS to Silverstone, but why they’re abandoning it when it is packed even on Saturday is a mystery to anyone with a clue about good business practice."

I beleive the official reason is that Donnington Park is more accessible - Silverstone being on minor roads which don't easily handle the traffic the race generates. But I'm sure a chunk of money passing between whoever owns Donnington and Mr Bernie had a lot to do with it.

And you wrote: "JEERS to chatting it up through the British National Anthem. C’mon, now, that’s just not right. And he’s even British!"

US attitudes towards anthems are considered very strange by the rest of the world. (I'm not sure why they'd even be playing the anthem before the race...was HM in attendance?)

Also you wrote: "CHEERS to the people hanging around with wine glasses in their hands. And they didn’t look like they were plastic. I wonder who does the dishes at Silverstone after the race is over."

They're not terribly big on plastic in the UK...it's far more common to be served in glass (or tea in china, etc) than in plastic. Fortunately, the British are also much better at returning the glassware to whereever it's susposed to go, rather than leaving all over the place.

Plus you wrote: "Eight of ten teams are leaving, with Williams (Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima) and Force India (Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil) being the only two teams clinging to hope that the FIA will manage to bail out this sinking ship"

Actually, Williams wants to leave. But they owe the FIA money (or maybe they owe Bernie money, I disrecall), so they are pretty much stuck. None the less, I expect they'll find some way to patch it up at the last minute - Mosley will probably be thrown out, whoever replaces him will bow & scrape to the teams until they're happy, and Bernie will magically reappear from the woodwork to resume calling the shots.

John
Carol
06/23/2009 9:06 am (7)
rdfox,

I know they're saying that NOW, but I don't buy it. I think at some point it will be shown that it was just a joke. Schumacher, while he would have been a fantastic Stig, is not the mysterious tame racing driver. The Stig (white Stig, that is) is Ben Collins.

After that was outed, they began showing vids (youtube and elsewhere, too, I presume) of Black Stig emerging from the sea with just one glove (the other, you might recall, was last seen floating adrift after the terrible aircraft carrier "accident").

It was thought that after Ben Collins basically outed himself as The Stig that he was fired and that a new Black Stig would return.

I like Schumacher and respect his accomplishments, but he is NOT The Stig.

C
rdfox
06/23/2009 4:56 pm (8)
Oh, I know it was just a joke--in fact, Jezza apparently all but stated he wasn't Stig in the closing--but it was still a great moment.

Actually, Collins didn't out himself so much as the British government did, if memory serves, since he was on the list of witnesses to Hammond's jet-car crash, and the only one whose identity couldn't be accounted for as a member of the car's team, or of the credited production staff.

Of course, it's now acknowledged that there are multiple Stigs--Collins is the primary one, but in addition to Rig Stig the Lorry Driver, African Stig from the Botswana Special, a Red Stig briefly witnessed in the preview for Series 12 but not seen in the actual series, and Big Stig from the first US special (who a friend of mine is convinced was actually AJ Foyt!), it's freely acknowledged that the Stig who jumped the snowmobile in the Winter Olympics special isn't the normal Stig, and it's an open secret that, when they had the 2006 Renault F1 car on the track, the Stig who drove it was Heikki Kovalainen.

As background, they were testing the Ferrari FXX... and as soon as people saw the all-black one they were putting on the track, they knew Michael would be there, since he owns the only all-black one. Apparently, he and Ferrari asked that he be the only person to drive it on the Power Lap. (He also did a lap in the Suzuki Liana that I haven't found on YouTube yet, but which is reported to be hilarious because he pretty much deliberately completely and utterly screwed it up to further drive home the joke...)

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