Yes, Frantic F1, or as we like to call him Sir Andrew Middlemore of the Shire, has sounded off. Here is Andy’s latest rant uncut and unedited. You get the nuance and charisma of Andy that is so lacking in today’s F1 drivers. Enjoy and please send all bloviating emails care of Andy…I’m just the messenger man.
Havenâ€™t written in a while and to be honest you make a great pen pal, I write and you…ummm…reply slowly through the media.
Iâ€™m guessing that itâ€™s your shift this week. By that I mean Max has been quiet and you are having you moment in the sun. Not just the paper (I hear max isnâ€™t a big fan of that papers owner anyway) I mean who is talking the most verbal rubbish this week.
But at least you have tried to help this week. Good old Mox (little plug there you should go look for it I hear you like a laugh) sorry Max has spent this month asking for more money off those over paid high school leavers or robots us fans call drivers or optionally telling them where to go if they cant cough up the extra dollar. Who wants to see an Alonso or Hamilton eh? Thereâ€™s a million unknowns in lower series you could replace them with and Iâ€™m sure they would have the same audience pulling effect right? To be honest with you though Bernie I am very surprised that you have not really stuck up for the drivers more. I mean come on! If anyone in F1 hates parting with more money than they need to itâ€™s you! Lets face it the amount you make off those cars buzzing round you would have thought youâ€™d have no problem giving them a bit more to pay the rent so they can carry on zipping up and down like a child thatâ€™s had too much sugar.
But itâ€™s not as simple as that is it? F1 isnâ€™t yours the way it was in the good old 90â€™s. Sadly some banks have a say now after you sold it to a TV guy that wasnâ€™t as rich as he thought he was. Now youâ€™re paying off some debt or something (banks in debt are you mad I hear you say I know I canâ€™t believe it ether not as if they cause any big problems is it?) I guess that all this means that you need to give any extra pennies you make to the powers above or something. I guess its ok the teams paying the landlord with what youâ€™ve got but give them more than that and next thing you know they will stick a hot tub on the roof and have all the girls round (if Max lets a few go that is.)
But I digress I think it is great you tried to help Honda out, How many people know it was you who introduced that Eddie Jordan chap to the Midland boss and put the deal together to sell the team? Now I know that it wasnâ€™t the greatest success it seems that putting a former dentist in charge of a team showed that just because youâ€™re a gazillionaire means nothing when it comes to running a top notch F1 team. But of course that totally overlooks the point of what a helpful chap you were. After all at least EJ sold his team. Jordan was not the force it once was and fighting back with the Minardiâ€™s is not the future we had hoped for with Jordan. EJ went yes but at least he did not fall flat on his face like Arrows or that 4-time champ Prost. At least he kept his workers in jobs, which is the main thing. But what fate for the lads and ladies of Honda? Whilst of course Honda car workers are out of a job whilst a sports team are kept in might wind some people up they claim that it is not as important as saving Honda UK jobs rather than Honda F1 jobs. But I argue this. We are in a recession not a world war. Sport is what we use as an escape for a few hours from the real world that we should just all shut down and hide away in our holes and wait for the money tree to grow again? It does not work like that. We continue because we must. We must cut back yes. But not strangle and pull apart what has been built. Itâ€™s more of a time for self-reflection and more awareness and control. But do not get me wrong whilst yes I do not want to see anyone out of work and yes im not shedding a tear for Button as he sits there thinking how much he will have to put aside of his millions â€œjust in caseâ€. The big earners are sorted. What I argue is that not everyone at is a mega earner. Ask the cleaners. Also who exactly had the power put on them to say whose category of job is more important? Which one of us has the right to say that the engineer of a Civic deserves a job more than an engineer on a F1 car?
One thing that does bother me is what was your plan with Honda? Seems to me that this wasnâ€™t like how you helped EJ, you wanted a part of this. FOTA really that big a threat? Come on Bernie you can divide and conquer still cant you? Surely you can offer Ferrari a bigger carrot and theyâ€™re yours? I bet youâ€™re so excited of the FOTAâ€™s vision of the future eh? I bet that these proposals with have your interests at heart! But letâ€™s cut to the chase. How long can you play hardball now? As long as Banks tell you to? Donâ€™t get me wrong I know youâ€™re a smart man and Honda turning down your help in any form is incredibly stupid. How much do people know that you have been a mover and shaker behind the scenes at some point. Every team has had to come to you for a â€œfavourâ€ at some point whether they would admit it or not. How many people know how big a roll you played getting Schumi snr from a Jordan to a Benetton after one race (you give and you take right?) But what now? I personally think that you play a big part in getting F1 through the next few years .
One final thing though is a quote from you that was said in mid 2007 about if Hamilton did not win the title.
“In fact my main fear would be if he didn’t win it. Kimi Raikkonen barely talks to anyone and as such has done little for the sport, and as for Fernando Alonso, in his two years as World Champion he has done nothing.”
Well then. What happened? It seems to me Lewis has done no more than Kimi or Alonso. In fact I was at the Autosport show this year but he wasnâ€™t there much to my disappointment. Ron Dennis was. Mcnish and Dc. But our first British champ of the new Millennium? Nowhere. In fact ive seen more of his girlfriend (much to my pain) than him. Sticking him on the odd advert does not count. Kimi did Tag Heuer ads too you know.
I guess the main problem is that we have no set guidelines of what we want them to do. In fact the only thing we do know is that he will pay more money for his license than anyone else which brings me back to the start. Does Max expect the rest of the driver to foot the bill of the two missing drivers we will now have on the grid? Come on Bernie its time for you to sort this out because as much as we make fun I know you can. The teams need you because they know talking to a bunch of bankers instead would mean we defiantly will end up with a break away series. Lets not forget the bans took you to the court and won the control of the sport off you. Yet they kept you because they know they need you too. Sort it out please Bernie other wise your medal idea might as well be in place simply because only 4th place will miss out on anything due to it will be the final car on the grid.
Yours in hope
Ps- Email a reply if you are reading this Bernie tell me what you think Frantic@formua1blog.com you know you want to.