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A new haircut is usually the first thing a bloke gets when he breaks up with a girlfriend and is in the market for a new suitor. Mark appears to be suggesting that in fact it is due to a barber starting to cut it too short, “The haircut’s not part of a new look or new feel … it’s a bit of a screw-up! I went to hairdressers and he wanted to talk… so I said shave it off but he was halfway through and I thought shit that’s short”.
On his mindset following time for medicine with the waves Mark has this to say. “Yeah I am fine, I was always going to Australia after that race, so people put two and three together. The break was good for all of us. It was good to get a bit of relaxation after winter testing and the first few races”.
If anyone was in doubt as to Webber’s intentions he clearly states, “I’m definitely keen to finish the season – a lot of people were questioning that, but that wasn’t something on my mind,” said Webber during the Drivers’ Press Conference in Shanghai.
Year-by-year [contract extensions], that’s how it has always been for me, so come the summer I will talk to Dietrich and we’ll go from there. We’re only at the third race and I have never, ever made decisions about my career at this point in a season and, although it’s a topic at the moment, I don’t see why I should make any decisions about the future.”
Is there a veiled threat to sign another year’s deal with Red Bull in the reference to talking to Mateschitz? Note he did not say Horner.
On how he sees things with Sebastian Mark says, “Obviously the relationship has been strained and it’s not the first time. At the moment we will just focus on our individual performances and go from there. I think the team did not a bad job in Malaysia actually. They tried to do what they could do for the first time in a while. It was a very awkward situation for a lot of people.
That scenario may never, ever happen again this year – but it might happen again this weekend. That’s something we don’t know so let’s see what decisions in the future.”
“I got a call on the radio which I didn’t understand but which I should have understood. That’s why I have apologised – because, with that, action, I put myself above the team. That wasn’t my intention, although whether you believe me or not is up to you.
I apologised to the team because the last thing I want as a team member is to disobey a team order. My intention as a racing driver was to win the race and I don’t apologise for winning the race”.
Had I understood the message and had I thought about it, reflected on it, thought what the team wanted to do, to leave Mark in first place and me finishing second… I think I would have thought about it and I would probably have done the same thing.
There is quite a conflict, because on the one hand I am the kind of guy who respects team decisions and the other hand, probably Mark is not the one who deserved it at the time. I never had support from his side, I have a lot of support from the team, and the team has supported both of us the same way.
But in terms of the relationship to Mark, I respect him a lot as a racing driver, but I think there was more than one occasion in the past where he could have helped the team and he didn’t.”
Sebastian is in defiant mood and when asked should he have faced sanctions from the team he angrily retorted, “Maybe it is a little bit of a dreamland that you all live in, but what do you expect to happen?… make a suggestion!”.
I can so NOT wait for qualy….
More on this event later, suffice to say nobody dared ask Adrian Sutil whether he would be attending the M1NT nightclub during this year’s trip to Shanghai.
Gillete – the best an F1 team can get?
During the rains of Australian GP weekend, the talk of the paddock was the withdrawal of McLaren sponsor Vodafone from F1 and who would replace them. TJ13 article McLaren’s title sponsor: Worthy or Rich? discussed the options in detail considering the strengths of each of the current main contenders Smith Gloxo Klein, Telmex and Gillete.
Today, Martin Whitmarsh announced, “As one of the most successful teams in Formula 1, McLaren has a long history of attracting and partnering with the world’s top brands.
Indeed, the ongoing relationship we enjoy with so many of our partners is not only a testament to the incredible return on investment we are able to deliver for them, but also to the shared values and loyalties that we’ve built together over many successful years.”
For us to initiate a new partnership with a major multi-national blue-chip brand like Gillette is a terrific opportunity for global promotional activity.”
A cute move from the Woking boys. This is not the ‘big deal’ as yet, because Vodafone have that privilege for the remainder of 2013 but McLaren have manoeuvred 2 of the 3 front running future ‘title sponsor’ into an existing partnership.
We’re getting reports that Hamilton had to cancel a PR appointment yesterday afternoon and return to his hotel room and was checked out by the team doctor. More worryingly, again today Lewis had to cancel media work at the circuit due to ‘watery eyes’ and return to his room. At this stage an allergic reaction is being blamed.
Hill calls out Todt to clarify FIA position over Bahrain
Former F1 world champion Damon Hill has challenged Jean Todt, to clarify the position of the FIA on the controversial Bahrain Grand Prix in April. Hill states, “Jean Todt’s approach has been to say nothing, because otherwise you’re being critical, and I think that is a mistake. Because he’s being used, or the sport is being perceived as being used, by its engagement in the economy and the reputation of the country.
He’s not said anything that has distanced the sport from things that it would find distasteful and upsetting, which I believe everyone in the sport would like to do.
The vast majority of people in the sport would like to say we don’t want to come here to make life worse for people. We would like you to enjoy Formula One. It has lots of positive things to offer. But please don’t, on our behalf, round people up and brutalise them. I don’t see that being political. It’s more ethical than political”.
The expectations are that the planned protests this year will be better anticipated by the authorities and there are thousands of army and police personnel who will contain the protestor’s within fences erected around their villages.
Damon believes this too is wrong. “I would not want to go to Bahrain if people are going to be treated extra bad just so a race can go ahead. What we don’t want to have is F1 being responsible for making life worse for people. The question is whether F1, by going to Bahrain, is actually going to enable or further brutal repression.
It’s none of my business what goes on in Bahrain, in many ways. But it is if I’m involved in the sport and that’s my life, and the sport is going to Bahrain.
My view is the sport, and the governing body of the sport, should ensure they’re not being hijacked for the wrong reasons. And I’m not entirely sure they’ve cleared up that point, I have to say.
MP Richard Burden, who chairs parliamentary groups on motorsport and who was outspoken against last year’s race taking place, says: “The messages I’m getting from various people in the opposition – and there have been pretty regular street protest over the past three weeks – is that the F1 race will be more of a focus than it was last year. That’s what they anticipate happening.
The quotes [Ecclestone] came out with is that everything will be fine. I just do not buy that. It is not the same evidence that I am hearing. Opinion is not difficult to come by in Bahrain saying either that the race should not go ahead and, if it does, there will be trouble.
If anything happens it will be a tragedy for all concerned. I hope in the next few days that people will understand that words do have an impact.”
Most pointless sponsor?
Now that Christian Horner realises that team orders are a waste of time and the drivers will do what the hell they want to from now on, I’m not so sure this Red Bull partner is required anymore. Still, from this weekend the German company Sennheiser, which specializes in the production of headphones and microphones, will become an official supplier and partner to the Red Bull F1 team.
JB was asked whether he thought Vettel’s comments suggesting Webber didn’t deserve to win the race in Malaysia was what made him a winner. “Lots of people have won world championships without being like that. I’m surprised he’s said that, personally. He’s such a talented driver and he seems like a drive that the team love and they should; he’s very successful, he seems like an easy-going character.
It’s surprising for him to say that. Obviously he’s done it once; he knew what he was doing. We all want to win, but if you’re told to hold station and you know that’s the rule before the race then kick up about it before the race, don’t just do the opposite in the race and I think that’s the biggest issue.”
Button goes on to explain how team orders will lead to the races being front loaded. “The worrying thing is if the idea now is when you get to the last pit stop the guy leading is the guy that wins the race – which I think might have been the way that Red Bull was – then basically you hammer the first part of the race, use as much fuel as you want, you pit before your team-mate to come out in front of him and then that’s it; you just cruise home and he can’t overtake you. I’m hoping that’s not going to be the way from now on – it won’t be here.”
Lotus will win the Chinese Grand Prix
Prior to the Australian GP I heard 3 of the last 5 papal enclaves resulted in either an F1 win for the team from Enstone or Lotus. I picked Kimi in the GP Predictor and was one of only 4 in our league who did so.
Today, I’m hearing that the last four deaths of former British premiers have been followed immediately by victory on the racetrack for the team from Enstone. If we go back a little further then after the death of Clement Attlee in October 1967 guess who won the next GP…. Jim Clark in a Lotus.
Come on then TJ13er’s – who were the prime ministers, which year and who were the driver’s in what races? please 🙂 – 1 answer per person to keep it interesting for a while.