The Winning Pharmoola
Its time for Albert Park again. And Melbourne is all set with the pit babes, The Who live in concert and the safety car. And like clockwork, the entire F1 machinery is out there to make sure the last thing on fans’ minds will the race.
For one, we’ll not be sure of who is the winner of the race even after the chequered flag is waved. Toyota, Williams and Brawn GP cars being under appeal in the FIA’ s International Court of Appeal due to a complaint from Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull Racing, the decision once again will not be made on the race track. It will be made in a courtroom. Probably, the only sport which likes to do it at almost every chance it gets.
Even the stewards who are responsible to make sure things are controlled and decisions and norms made quickly decided to mull this one over at length over their evening cups of tea rather than sitting and racking their brains. What do you get then? Constructors who do not know if their cars will be allowed to race. Or worse still, if their cars will win if they cross the chequered flag first.
Then there is the question of KERS. That lump of a machine has made F1 a race of size. A heavy body Kubica is at a disadvantage against the lighter and smaller Heidfeld. No one really knows how this will affect racing. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t.
Last season’s spying row between Ferrari and McLaren and the extraordinary trial resulting in the extraordinary USD100mn fine on McLaren threatened to split the sport through the middle. It was perhaps the reluctance of the admistrators that got us all there and it was perhaps their helplessness in hiding it anymore that got us out.
But the biggest and most problematic element of Formula 1 today is not the race but the organizers. Two people on the helm of affairs, two people who are largely responsible for the massive popularity of the sport, two people without whom the sport will be almost inconceivable are today its largest threats.
Max Mosley, the President of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Administration (the body with ownership of the Formula) are two people whose contribution to the game cannot be overestimated. But over the last few years, everything they have touched has become a pain in the butt for every F1 fan across the world.
Max’s Nazi-style masochistic romp with five prostitutes. His unwavering support of everything Bernie. Bernie’s constant fight to make every circuit a Monaco. His thinly veiled threats to every circuit to do night races or risk losing the race. His constant scuffles with F1 teams. His interpretation of the Concorde Agreement. Everything has made the sport a place for petty politics rather than a place for high-tech cars vrooming on super circuits.
I was actually looking forward to his proposal of winner-takes-all style of points. The problem is I realize what problems will be created even though I like the idea. The tail-enders, including our very own Force India, will not even enter stats tables and commentary lines because the only battles which will be fought is for the top 3 positions. It will become more interesting and more boring at the same time.
I watch all races. Ok let me rephrase that. I sleep through all races. But I’m there, nevertheless. There still are moments when one is reminded that F1 hasn’t lost it completely to idiots, cheats and perverts. Hammy’s overtaking of Kimi on the inside line. Hammy and Kimi colliding on the pitlane exit. Alonso fighting (sometimes ridiculously) the new kid on the block. The Beemers flying laps in the rain when everyone was saddled down. Hammy’s win on the last corner of the last race by a single point. Massa’s tears.
|From Blogger Pictures|
I’ll miss quite a few things this year.
Steve Slater’s ridiculously exhilarating commentary. For anyone who has watched F1 in India, it will never be the same again without Steve. Hats off to you, old guy.
David Coulthard crashing into some random tail-ender. The guy never ceases to amaze me. To me he was like Launchpad (of Duck Tales fame) personified. Hell, now he will be crashing microphones in the commentary area. Is that why the old guy Steve left? Was he too afraid of crashing with DC on every comment he made?
The ability of the red and silver cars to lap the ones with India’s flags on them. Or is it?
And there is but one thing I am looking forward to. Kimi taking on Hammy, Massa, Fernando and their ilk. And screwing their happiness.