Brought to you by TJ13 contributor: The Grumpy Jackal
I drive regularly through central London and I have an App on my phone which can measure my heart rate. I have found that I am calmer inching my way round London than sitting in my lounge at home. Yet this morning, I was terrified to use the technology just to prove that I was truly listening to possibly the most undeserving prize winners in history.
Back in the late 90’s ITV would run a competition before every race weekend where the prizes offered were staggering – for an F1 fan.
“All you have to do, to win a fabulous two week break to Monaco including £10,000 spending money and five star accommodation plus Paddock Pass tickets to the Grand Prix weekend is answer this question: Britain’s last World Champion was called Damon Hill, Liam Gallagher or Stephanie Vanderbilt. Just text A,B or C…”
The problem for me was that you knew the winners were non F1 fans and therefore would be in the bar throughout the event; and all for the price of a text or call. It was nauseating just imagining the idiots who could have won these dream holidays.
Anyway, I actually thought these ridiculous ‘lack of knowledge’ competitions were a thing of the past seeing as other sports competitions are now aimed at the relevant audience. A week at the Masters in Augusta? If you don’t know the yardage of the 6th hole, your opponent will. Or an all-expenses trip to Brisbane to watch the Cricket Test? You better remember the county that Viv Richards played for when he arrived in England.
Yet at the time of writing TalkSport are hosting a competition all week to find that day’s F1 guru. The prize being a state of the art UltraHD 4K star-spangled Samsung TV with a year’s subscription to Sky Q with the F1 package.
Not a bad prize for the F1 fans who would surely call in… at least that’s what you’d think!
So the two contestants line up. A coin is tossed and the age-old ‘heads or tails’ called. We are then consigned to listening two village idiots pretending to be fans of wheeled motorsports.
Yesterday’s stand out questions were: “For which team will Sergei Sirotkin and Lance Stroll be driving for this season?” Er…. Mclaren?
And “Which Finnish driver won Ferrari’s last World Title in 2007 and is Sebastian Vettel’s team-mate this year?” Ermmm, followed by a 5 second pause, ermm, followed by another pause before guessing at Raik..Raikko… Raikkonen.
It’s an absolute travesty. Yet today’s were no better!
“Which team will be sporting a Papaya Orange livery this year?” Village idiot A answered Jordan? OMG!!
“In 1988, Mclaren won 15 out of 16 races. One driver was Ayrton Senna, who was the other?” Idiot B asked for a clue. “He was a French four time World Champion. Three times with Mclaren and once with Williams in 1993.”
Nelson Piquet – he offered – as I pulled over to bury my head in despair! I know the French have to self- advertise their lovability to the world but really? Nelson? In what universe is Nelson a French name.
As a final question, the host asked “What nationality was the 5 time champion, Juan Manuel Fangio?” Spanish.
Then, almost to completely ruin my day, they ran the latest promotion from Sky with a Martin Brundle voice-over extolling the virtues of a Sky subscription and being able to see all practice sessions, qualifying and races throughout the season. In itself the information was fine but what was annoying was the background engine sounds.
Has anyone noticed that – whenever they promote something linked to F1 – they always use the V8 soundtracks from before the hybrid era. But that’s a whole other article.