A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
Pepperidge Farm Remembers
Many moons ago, when the wild buffalo still roamed the prairie freely, I was a young and handsome Hippo. I’m no longer young today. That was a time when F1 used to cook up crazy ideas that several years later would find their way into our cars. In the late eighties Lotus’ legendary Colin Chapman came up with the idea of an active suspension and by 1992 Williams had perfected the idea.
These days Lotus is – okay let’s not talk about that – and the rules are mainly made to say that teams shan’t develop anything for it could cost money that Bernard rather shovel into his own money bunker. What of today’s development will make it into the car of tomorrow? A hideous nose? The hybrid engine? That’s already been there in Toyota’s godawful Prius for years. The reality is – nothing.
Not so with stuff developed at a time when teams weren’t yet nannied at every corner. The active suspension, once developed by Lotus and perfected by Williams can now be found in Norwegian CV90 tanks, built by BAE. It improves their speed by 30 to 40 percent. And no development token were used by BAE, just engineering excellence.
Least surprising news ever: Mallya under pressure for ‘irregularities’
Force India boss Vijay Mallya is a man who makes Monisha Kaltenborn’s business ethics look reasonable, and it is probably not too much a stretch of the imagination that some of the PR disasters, like the coward attacks on fellow strugglers Manor GP came from Mallya rather than the once well liked Bob Fernley.
In India he’s labeled a willful defaulter, which means he’s by default no longer creditworthy. Being shunned by an Indian bank is like being sacked from Waffle House due to one’s appearance or being disqualified from the Idiotarod for lack of intellect. But the embarrassment doesn’t end there.
The ‘businessman’ at the helm of Force India has sold the majority of shares in his booze empire “United Spirit” to food giant Diaego and the latter company’s board is now smelling a rat. The directors of Diaego say there were ‘substantial financial irregularities’ during the sale of shares and demand that Mallya resigns from his post on the board, but good ol’ Vijay refuses to do so.
Citing an “irreversible loss of trust” Diaego boss Anand Kripalu demands that Mallya resign or he will be sacked. Independent auditors have looked at the deal and come to the conclusion that Mallya has acted “dubiously” and “against the law” during several transactions. With possible legal action looming on the horizon, the FI boss insists that he’s innocent and claims the audit report is full of “twisted facts and half truths”.
Hand me the popcorn, will ya?
Mick Watch: Early success
Mick Schumacher, the Eldest son of seven-times world champion Michael has started his open wheel career in style, winning his first race on the first weekend out of karts.
The German qualified 19th and 20th out of 38 contenders for the first two Formula 4 races at the Motopark Oschersleben in Hippo’s old hunting grounds – Saxonia-Anhalt in eastern Germany. In both races the youngster proved that he has quite a good grasp of this overtaking malarkey and finished 9th and 12th respectively.
Since the top ten of race 1 start race 3 in reversed grid order, Schumacher got a front-row start and quickly grabbed the lead and built up a gap. He was getting under pressure from van-Ammersfoort team mate Joey Mawson in the closing stages of the race, but a late safety car secured Schumacher junior’s maiden win.
The pressure and expectations will surely not have decreased. The sixteen year old is supported by his father’s close friend Sebastian Vettel, who is also the official patron of German Formula 4. The four times world champion won F4’s predecessor series Formula-BMW in 2004 for Mücke Motorsport, winning 18 of the season’s 20 races.
Gary Anderson: How to s@!t on Peter Warr
In a Q&A with Autosport, Gary Anderson, former F1 designer and BBC pundit explains one of his funniest F1 moments:
One of the funniest moments happened in the late seventies, when I was with McLaren. Every garage had a toilet, but James Hunt and Brazilian plumbing didn’t go well together. He had an annoying tendency to clog the pipes. Don’t try the following at home.
For reasons that elude my understanding, it was my job as the chief mechanic to unclog the toilet. I taped plastic foil over the toilet and put a hose through it. Then I blasted the drain clear at 100psi. Problem solved – the bog was free and serviceable again.
Lotus – and I mean the original Lotus team – had the box next to us. The next day one of them came over laughing his butt off and we asked what was going on. He told us that the toilet had exploded in Peter Warr’s face while taking a leak the day before.