My rant about colorless F1 drivers of the 21st century may have been honored more in the breach than the observance this past weekend; while Lewis Hamilton was doing the interview with David Coulthard at the end of the race, champagne drinker Raikkonen was having a convo with race winner Alonso. When Coulthard asked the two men to share their conversation with the crowd, both of them declined, Kimi snarking a bit a bout “tires”, but the local camera director for the race coverage made sure you could see that Alonso’s stunning girlfriend had a friend with her. Or a sister. Or who the hell knows.
Anybody who watched it happen and still thinks the winner of China had a lot of extra room in his king-size bed last night is being willfully naive. To the winners go the spoils, and our trio of podium finishers each demonstrated why their teammates weren’t standing next to them when it was time to hand out the trophies.
Rubens Barrichello’s daughter once asked him why he looked so sad on the podium; to make his children as well as the tifosi feel better about Ferrari’s relentless approach to team orders, he decided to make sure he always smiled from then on. The contrast between the crinkled mouth and unsmiling eyes he displayed in the podiums after that makes for an interesting study in human dynamics. How can a man feel so conflicted about standing on the most important podium in the racing world, week in and week out?
At the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix yesterday, however, there were no smiling faces at all.
The MP4-12C has a wonderful backstory for those who love and admire the McLaren brand. The McLaren F1’s instant Zeus-like status is a large part of the mystique, but not necessarily all of it. That said, for everyone outside of this world (and price point) you are forgiven if you wouldn’t even consider this over the similarly priced Ferrari 458 Italia….as I probably fit into that category.
This weekend sees the first ever South Korean Formula 1 Grand Prix. This is a push into new markets for Formula 1. This is why they are trying to push into North America and the Middle East. But it seems that it’s receiving a cool reception from the very people whom they are trying to woo. Namely, the car business. (Read More…)
Yesterday Daimler announced that McLaren would be buying out Daimler’s interest in their joint venture Formula 1 team. Many, including board member Erich Klemm, thought this made all kinds of sense. “In the (car) factories, every cent is being turned over three times. The employees are feeling the financial crisis with shorter working hours and loss of income,” he continued. “In these economically difficult times, the company should invest in better marketing of its real cars.” My, what a novel idea!