Brought to you by TJ13 contributor – The Grumpy Jackal
If you live in the UK, there are currently two avenues to viewing F1 on British TV. Option 1 is to pay the Rupert Murdoch organisation a princely sum to watch, what I deem to be, a questionable motor-racing product that has lost sight of what it is – essentially the fastest, brashest cars on earth, piloted by supermen. Option 2, unfortunately, is to watch the Free-to-air coverage presented by Channel 4.
Many of the presenters I find tedious, and the understandable bias towards British drivers is overwhelmed by the clear favouritism towards Red Bull who coincidentally still have contracts with the principle experts on the show. During one of the post-race conversations last year, Steve Jones was flanked by both Mark Webber and David Coulthard. When asked, Webber suggested that Ferrari had imploded because ‘the Italians didn’t know how to win’ or words to that effect.
I was outraged by the cursed Aussie and his unprofessional and jingoistic comments. If he had brought a person’s skin colour into his argument, he would of course have been suspended from duties. But it seems that nationalistic rhetoric is perfectly acceptable as long as it’s not against the Brits, Hey Mark??
Were his comments a reflection of his links with Red Bull? Or maybe because the German giant, Porsche, employed him in the WEC? I’m not sure the reasons and nor do I care. To my mind, he is a middling journeyman who has a close friendship with Fernando Alonso… Ahhh, lightbulb moment – maybe he had heard from the famed Spanish Samurai that Italians cannot win…
Either way, these ignorant men have revealed more about themselves than any insidious comments would. I would imagine, to listen to Alonso now, the Japanese don’t know how to win either.
Yet I say hang on a moment. Alonso has a history of demotivating teams. He used the media, back in 2005, to suggest that he ‘ felt lonely’ in the team. I would add, he probably would have said unloved too but hadn’t mastered the puppy-dog look. By Christmas 2005, the Renault team knew he had already signed to join Mclaren for 2007.
Now at Mclaren, he was quite happy breaking countless international laws to use stolen data from Ferrari but when a young upstart called Lewis threatened his position, ably assisted by the evil Ron Dennis, he cried foul!! His return to Renault wasn’t the success it had been previously and at the first opportunity had ensconced himself at Maranello.
I’ll be honest here. I sincerely believe he is the best driver since Ayrton Senna and I truly wanted the Alonso/Ferrari partnership to bear World Titles. Circumstances proved otherwise and maybe the end of the reign of Luca di Montezemolo coincided with Ferrari taking their eyes off the ball.
Either way, Fred wasn’t shy about using any means to portray Ferrari as at fault. The Old Man wouldn’t have allowed the situation to fester and thankfully nor did Sergio Marchionne and the Spaniard was forced into a Mclaren seat he never wanted.
So, do Italians know how to win? Well, other than the fact that a Ferrari driver has won a F1 title more recently than either Webber or Alonso, thereby making their comments of success somewhat irrelevant – you only have to look at the lower rung championships associated with F1 to see Italians thrive in motor-sport. Prema Racing won the GP2 title with Pierre Gasly in 2016 and the Formula 2 title with Charles Leclerc last year.
I’ll punch a little more under the belt and point to the astonishing success of Dallara. Of course it’s simple winning a one make championship but, not many years ago, manufacturers with the names of Lola, Reynard, and Ralt, amongst others, dominated the ladder to F1. If Dallara haven’t fitted a plaque above their factory door stating “Veni, Vidi, Vici” by now, they have missed a beat because they have truly conquered…
Of course, my belief system is such that I look at a set of circumstances. If the pattern is repeated then the only conclusion is the common denominator. Irrespective of his talent, Alonso brings a toxic environment wherever he has saddled up.
What international laws did Alonso break at Mclaren?
Well Cav, in my humble opinion, if you are using stolen IP from another corporation, isn’t that protected by International laws?
Alonso is quoted in emails between himself and De La Rosa asking specifics about the Ferrari data.
The FIA courts found McLaren guilty and to all intents and purposes gave Alonso a ‘by’. Isn’t that the same procedure as ‘supergrasses’ in criminal court?
Bear in mind, this is my ramblings, it’s not a historical piece, it’s an opinion piece.
I think that Mark Webber is the last man that you can accuse of being biased. He is a proud & honest Aussie who has always spoken his mind no matter who he upsets.
Don’t you remember Silverstone 2012 when he had a very public ‘pop’ at his own employers.
He also cut his teeth at Minardi, therefore I don’t think he has any axe to grind with the Italians per se.
“He is a proud & honest Aussie who has always spoken his mind no matter who he upsets.” – Including Italians ? ? 😉
Can you not use an Android TV box via the Internet?
The app Mobdro shows Sky F1 as a channel.
I just installed the box, so I don’t know if it will be live this weekend, but here is hoping.
By the way, in Switzerland, I watch via the Swiss Italian station with second audio channel.
No commentary, just track audio, granted I do miss some insight, but the trade off is well worth it.
Probably. I haven’t looked into it to be honest. I’m grumpy for no good reason and an old git to boot 🤣
Let’s hope the Italians win this season.
I know for a fact that Italians hate to loose.
Ferrari last championship before Michael was in 1979. That is 21 years expending more money than any team. The Schumacher team was composed from ex Benetton team (British and South African) and a J Toad. They won in 2007 with Kimi due to McLaren was punished for stolen IP from Ferrari. For 21 years they lost to McLaren, Williams and Benetton Ford/Renault. It has to be something in the pasta or the tomatoes. Do not get me wrong I love Italy and spend every year vacation time in Italy. But the British have a much bigger racing history and educational programs. It is their industry. Even the Germans (MB) have their team in England and the engines are designed and built in England. This applies to Red Bull Racing (Austrian).
Can they win this year, I hope so but will not put money on Ferrari winning the 2018 championship. We lost NBC TV in the US and now I will have to see Sky on ESPN.
All true. Although I wouldn’t call Ferrari during their absolutely dominant reign at the beginning of this century, a completely un-Italian team.
Ferrari was highly successful from the start of Formula 1 until their title in 1979. During the first of those decades Ferrari’s professionalisme couldn’t be met by any of the British teams. Enzo called those Garagisti. There was some success when mr. Vandervell dumped his family fortune into the Vanwall project. Mercedes bringing their own professionalisme and money did have an impact, but BRM’s attempts to do something professional under British flag, didn’t lead to much.
Clever racecar design by Cooper and Lotus eventually led to success. Especially when Lotus introduced sponsoring. From that moment the British motorsport industry has been growing and growing.
Success doesn’t only come through clever design. Money is what it’s all about. Detroit money led to the first really good English race engine, the Cosworth DFV. State funding led to Matra’s succes in F1 and at Le Mans and later in the 70’s early 80’s French money made Renault successful.
The dollars the American fag industry brought, combined with German Porsche engines at first and later Japanese Honda engines, led to a period where Ferrari at best could only be 2nd best (which, I must admit, isn’t winning…). The success of British teams has been leaning heavily on foreign engines and foreign money.
But there are more cracks in the varnish. Not only have Dallara pushed Lola and Reynard out of the marketplace, You do not necessarily go to Englands Hewland or Xtrac to buy a good racing ‘box. France, Italy, Austria, Australia or even the Netherlands offer quality ‘boxes. Mecachrome can develop you a great powerplant, Oreca can build you a complete racing car for any series, JAS is a highly successful Italian motorsport firm.
I very much respect and appreciate the British motorsport industry, but I don’t believe there is something special in the soil, let alone in British genes.
To end; it where members of that Great British motorsport industry that where the first starting to worry after the Brits voted for Brexit. “can we still get enough talented people from abroad ? …” was their first question. To do what. Cheer up the Brits ?