Formula 1 Insight

Spa Reflections
Thank goodness for Smokin' Rob Kubica! As the rest held station in true modern F1 style, the Pole was burning rubber in his efforts to get by anyone who dared to be ahead of him. He is no respecter of reputations, this rookie, and disposed of Button, Trulli, Coulthard, Ralfie and Kovalainen in his drive from fourteenth to sixth. The fact that the pit stops put him behind Kovalainen again did not discourage him and he spent the rest of the race badgering the Finn mercilessly. His final ninth position was less than he deserved for providing all the racing entertainment of the day.

Robert Kubica

Much is being made of the way Alonso forced Hamilton wide at the first corner but I agree with Ron Dennis on that one: it was a racing move and Lewis would have done the same if he'd been on the inside. Full credit to him for hanging in there all the way to Eau Rouge, however. I suppose it was a pity that the front four were thereafter separated into their correct positions as regards speed and the invitable procession followed. At least Kimi wasn't bored this time out, however, although his mischievous doughnut at the end was perhaps indication that even winning is not sufficient entertainment for him.

About the only other item of note was Adrian Sutil's excellent showing in the 'B' spec Spyker. Although his challenge faded with time, it was good to see an orange car snapping at the heels of David Coulthard's Red Bull and the final result, fourteenth and ahead of the Super Aguris, shows how much the Spyker is improving. If they can continue that, there might be no need to make a fuss about customer cars after all.

Otherwise, it was not about the race. Spa delivered uncharacteristically good weather but the storm cloud of the WMSC hearing and verdict hung over everything, refusing to go away. As hard as we try to forget the political madness, it must affect our view of the season, giving suspicions of tainted or undeserved titles, half-hearted celebrations of victories won in places other than the track, and a new mood of distrust where there was hard competition but respect before.

It will not go away. Whichever side we're on, we will remember this year as the one in which F1 was revealed as a battleground for warring egos and unimagineable pride, selfishness that staggers the imagination and monumental foolishness. Never again can we look on the sport as the height of human endeavor, the peak of technical excellence, for we know that there lurks within it the love of power and money, the will to win at all costs, and a disregard for fair competition that negates the concept of sport. It is a business now and follows the business pattern.

In the end, this may be a good thing. When the full extent of the damage is realized, there is just a chance that those with the true interests of F1 at heart will insist on change, perhaps a re-structuring of the organization to prevent any one man having the power to decide so much. If we believe in democracy, it must happen.


I think the really worrying thing is the speculation that Jean Todt will end up at the FIA - how can McLaren hope to get a fair hearing if that happens!
Date Added: 17/09/2007

I don't think the manufacturers will allow it, Craig. Surely they must insist that the president of the FIA be clearly and absolutely impartial and Todt has already demonstrated his complete devotion to the Ferrari cause. Mind you, it will be interesting to see how he feels if Montezemolo boots him out in favour of Brawn...
Date Added: 17/09/2007
i don't think the manufacturers have a choice! they have no vote or say in the wmsc election process... sadly.

i think todt's master plan sees his son as head of ferrari and himself as the head of the fia.

also there's less reason to dispose of jean now that ferrari have won something.
Date Added: 17/09/2007

If so, my prediction regarding Brawn comes true, Sidey - I said he would not go back to Ferrari because he wants to be the boss and Montezemolo's boys wouldn't hear of that!

But don't forget that the manufacturers own F1 now. There is no F1 without them and they will use that fact to bring the FIA to heel.
Date Added: 17/09/2007

If he could be persuaded to take the job - and I'm sure he'd rather have nothing to do with it - I reckon Peter Sauber would be an ideal man to lead the FIA and keep the warring egos in check.
Date Added: 19/09/2007

An interesting thought, Patrick. And Peter Sauber would be a much less controversial pick than Jean Todt, that's for sure. I think the manufacturers would happily go along with Sauber as president.
Date Added: 19/09/2007


First corner bullying - that's what it was. Alonzo had plenty of room on the inside to allow Hamilton to stay on the tarmack, but he likely has taken on a 'stay ahead of that *#@% Brit or crash' mentality.

I'd like to talk a bit about the whole Alonzo-the-whiner situation. He signs for Mclaren a year in advance because he's unhappy that Flavio isn't fluffing his feathers enough (or paying him enough). So there, he gets his $20m+ retainer, the fastest car on the grid, so he should be the happiest guy (aside from Kimi) - right? Just an aside here, Ron Dennis and Frank Williams (to name but two) have had LONG STANDING policies (more than 20 years they've been saying the same thing) that their drivers RACE one another -nobody gets any special treatment - no exceptions. Surely Fernando has heard about, read about that SOMETIME in his short life.

Well, along comes Lewis, bright eyed and bushy-tailed, making $300k as the Mclaren rookie, and he flies past Fernando while Fernando's still counting his money ("Huh? Wha was zat?). One race - luck. Two races, darn good luck. 7 podiums in a row, and most of them standing above Fernando - this kid is a pain in the butt! More intelligent drivers would shut up and drive - turn ON their game so to speak. Fernando does try, but he just can't keep his yap shut, and starts acting like a baby to everyone around him. Where does he turn his blame? On the guy who is paying him over a million a race. Starts making demands about race strategy, car parts, tire choices - hey, double WC right? He should get what he wants! I would have loved to see him in Franks team - Frank would have put him in his place in no uncertain terms. If I had been Ron Dennis in Hungary, I would have put Pedro in the car for a couple of races to teach Fernando a bit of respect.

It's so funny, people have gone on for ages about what an arrogant guy Mikey was, yet here we have practically a rookie, his first year out in the wild without Flavio's protective wing around him, and he's behaving in such a childish way.

Now he's going to cost Ron $100m. In a sense, Ron may deserve it because in this whole thing he's been so utterly spineless. For a guy who swears he's a 'racer', he's not fighting anyone or anything, just keeps taking it on the chin everywhere he turns. If I was a major sponsor, I'd give him my support, but have a heart to heart and tell him to start swinging. Start a media campaign against Max and the FIA, Ferrari, and since Fernando won't even speak with the guy signing those massive paychecks he keeps cashing, start yacking in the media about what an AVERAGE driver he really is (no point in praising him and increasing his worth, better to play down his talent and make it harder for Fernando to land another dream drive, at least not for that much money). Honestly, if I was Ron, regardless of what Max has threatened, I would ensure that Fernando was short fuelled in the next few races, or put on old tires. He wants to go? Well, then we'll make damn sure Lewis becomes WC so we can at least profit from it next year. If Fernando is leaving anyway, why ON EARTH is Ron going to give him ANY support on his way to a third WC????

Ok, yeah, I'm choked at Fernando if you can't tell. I was a fan once (also of Ferrari), but nothing irks me more than arrogance, and both have lost my support.

Spa - reprofiled it didn't have the scary in-car views it once way too much runoff.

Todt will never be FIA Prez - he may have even lost the support of Luca, so there is little chance in that. I don't think Sauber has the will or the interest, but Tony Purnell would be a fantastic FIA Prez, and he's already in the door and a buddy of Max and Bernie's. No question in my mind - he will step into the role, or hopefully even, he will perform a coup when all this fans out and it is so painfully obvious that the FIA can no longer survive with Max at the helm
Date Added: 24/09/2007

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