Well, hello readers!
First off, let me welcome you to the first of a new column by me: â€œFranticâ€™s Epic Failsâ€. A look at the things in motor sport that annoy us and should be named and shamed and what better way to do it than use the internet craze known as the â€œFailâ€? Now seems the perfect time to use this as already the â€œFailâ€ has become a bit tired and over used so with no shame I shall now jump on this franchise – that and Grace has â€œJerkâ€ copyrighted so I cant steal it – but thatâ€™s fine, as whilst there will be many fails only one will claim the monthly prize of â€œEpic Failâ€. Whilst you may not agree with my picks each, time that is fine. We here at F1B are happy to hear your opinion, so share it below if you want to correct me in any way feel free to say so… But, I’ll just point out now, you’re wrong.
And on that note, let’s begin.
Usually it adds a bit of speculation over the summer, a good bit of gossip, some daft ideas of possible line-ups, and mad rumours. Then, it’s all sorted out, and we move on. I am on about the silly season of course. This year, however, it seems the season has become more of an all year thing. All this was supposed to be sorted once the shock Alonso to Ferrari story was confirmed (the deal having been done about 20 seconds after Alonso was born, the story went on so long) but after the final race this year just 6 – yes, 6 – drivers were confirmed for next year. This became 8 after Williams named theirs but still we are waiting for the main line-ups to be fully completed. What ever happened to the good old days where it was just a few pay drivers that had to be sorted out at the back of the grid coming into March? The silly season has stopped being a bit of gossip and more a case of â€œoh for crying out loud just get on with itâ€ everything is now waiting on Raikkonen apparently and that looks more and more like he wont drive at all. What a waste of time that was.
Silly Season = FAIL.
Keeping on the theme of driver signings, the next section and two fails must involve Brawn. Firstly, can you just sign Button? We all know you want to keep him and having two new drivers in 2010 is not ideal for continuity, as we know you need at least one driver continuing, and now we know that in money terms you’re all good – being the Mercedes team now you’re pretty loaded. Loaded enough to pay the poxy 3-4 million that is the sticking point here on what would total just 7-8 million (compare that to some of the other mega bucks deals out there and it really is nothing). I havenâ€™t seen a current world champion more unwanted since Damon Hill at the end of 1996. So that moves me on to the Mercedes deal: Whilst we argue whether it’s good or bad that a manufacturer is taking over the privateer, lets put one thing forward here. Anyone that brought Brawn Merchandise has every right to be pretty annoyed. Most of the stuff wasnâ€™t available until well into the season due to the late conception of the team, meaning that most fans didnâ€™t even get a full season’s use of them. Let’s not neglect the fact that whilst this was a small privateer team surviving on a small budget they were not keeping the theme in the merchandise stakes — Â£250 for a jacket that is now out of date, followed by Â£30 T shirts, and Â£25 caps means thatâ€™s Â£305 for 6-7 months before the team now is called Mercedes? And shame on Mercedes, even BMW kept the Sauber name on board, so really Merc can’t you just have it called Mercedes-Brawn? So to cap it all thatâ€™s a pointless driver signing saga added to a renamed team that has just sold a ton of merchandise at a non friendly price to the little guy to be renamed by a manufacture creating a another name change for the former Tyrell, BAR, Honda, Brawn team. Geesh when did they hire P Diddy as the marketing guy?
HENRY LLOYD (Brawn clothing supplier)= FAIL
Now like my lungs the next subject is close to my heart. Donington. Yes, itâ€™s the end and whilst the F1 race has now been dropped off the â€œeventsâ€ section of the Donington website they have still kept the Formula 1 tab on the website which states: â€œShare our vision- the countdown for the 2010 British Grand Prix has begun.â€ Sadly it seems the budget did not even cover paying the I.T guy enough to delete both the link and tab. Now the endless bad news stories lasted all year, from budget problems down to the workers apparently walking out due to lack of payment, the rent not even being paid, the work itself causing the circuit’s failure to get the proper race licences due to circuit safety problems — rightly so due to the tunnel works that saw two barriers randomly sticking right out in the middle of a straight, creating no run off area in the middle of Coppice and Macleanâ€™s. The MSA only granted a licence at the very last moment so that the BTCC was not called off but several club meetings had to be cancelled (one ran but with the absurd no over taking rule all the way between Coppice and MacLeanâ€™s for the entire event). The track flooded from rain, pipes burst, and the list went on and on. But the simple fact was this: From the moment the deal was signed the money was not there. Now, if you are going to host an event like F1 at a track like Donington that needs a lot of work you really need to have the money in the first place. Not hope to get it at some point later on thanks to some mad scheme. Let me put it another way: As you all know I like Danica Patrick. Now, let’s say I really badly wanted to go on a date the same way Donington really badly wanted the F1 race. What I would do is make contact with her (if I was lucky enough to) and make sure all plans were in place for a date when I flew over from England to the USA. What I would not do is just say I have got a date, trash her husband by telling him I would be with her for the next 17 years, then randomly just fly out there knowing it’s not going to happen, hang outside her house hoping that she may just see me and go on a date whist at the same time of my stupid plan not happening my current girlfriend (read Moto Gp) decides to hell with me, and shacks up with my worst enemy (read Silverstone) who happens to be Danicaâ€™s husband and may now get both My girlfriend as well as keeping Danica in the first place providing he gets the blessing of her old senile, sexist, and slightly racist god father (read Bernie Ecclestone). Leaving me stuck in the middle of nowhere, no cash, a big mess, and the whole world looking down at me because it was pretty obvious from the start that I lacked the fundamentally basic things to pull a prize as big as Danica Patrick. To have a dream is nice much as Simon Gillett (not the best Donington could get.) went all or nothing it seems and right now Donington is Left with nothing.
Simon Gillett= FAIL
Moving on and we have the art of decision making or shall we say lack of with Renault. For the actual team members who work in the factory you have to feel bad for them. After spygate they worried their jobs were on the line, to be told its ok, Renault are sticking with F1… Only then to be told, hmmmm maybe not after all because Toyota pull out? Then they have this meeting only to drag the whole saga out until the end of the year? Come on, Renault, if you want to start winning again then surely constantly knocking the confidence of your work force, leaving them worrying about if they still have a job is not the way forward.
The art of decision making = DECISIVE FAIL.
But then at least Renault is in it so far. Toyota, as we know, are going. But really, come on guys, you spent the final few races trying to get Kubica then Raikkonen with big money deals — maybe not as much as you paid Ralf Schumacher, but still big enough to show your stated reasons for pulling out, due to the whole credit crunch, is a load of crap, lets face it. What it really boils down to is the fact the team realised that due to its average performances, it could not attract a big driver name, and would have had to have another year with Jarno Trull. And his train really was too much to bear. Even funnier is the fact that they could have just got the next driver Japanese sensation in the form of Kamui Kobayashi, a Japanese driver that could deliver? Something Honda spent millions and entire teams failing to achieve. Well done guys you could have finally achieved some of that real support you had been after for yearsâ€¦
Toyota = STOCK EXCUSE FAIL.
But there can only be one winner and this week step forward Ferrari, with the pettiest of attacks on a site called batracer.com. Now, this little webstie ran a championship simulator where you could join a team, set the car up, and choose race tactics – F1 manager style. It featured many different types of championships from Tin tops, to Le Mans, along with many different years of F1. Now Ferrari decided they didnâ€™t like this and woke their lawyers up who had been doing very little since they failed to get the double diffuser banned. They went after the little site making them take down all Ferrari content, in the biggest act against free advertising since Bernie Ecclestone found out what You Tube was. Whilst the site charged Â£10 for â€œkool toolsâ€ that allowed a user to do things such as creating his/her own liveries, and that helped when working with team mates, it was a one-off payment that helped the site stay afloat. Rather than seemingly sorting some kind of deal with Batracer.com, Ferrari went for the kill, pulling down all the F1 series and making the entire site have renames like â€œBritish Tourersâ€ instead of â€œBTCCâ€ and other renames. Ferrari argue that: â€œThe inclusion of Ferrari material into BATracer was not authorised by Ferrari, and the activity of BATracer and it’s user’s contributions was not in any way related to Ferrari.â€ Yet you can’t help but feel this was Ferrari being the big bully, ruining a game for a lot of fans, and pointlessly creating a lot of enemies. It failed to seize a chance to link up and make the whole thing a win win for both sides. Instead it just went in for the kill. Ferrari can claim a victory in this maybe, but itâ€™s a lonely victory, to go with the only one they had in F1 this season with their poor on track performance. Concentrate on the car a bit more guys, eh? So with that, well done Ferrari! You have won something else, the firstâ€¦
Ferrari = EPIC FAIL
Well done! Now, are you going to sue me for mentioning the Ferrari name?