Frantic’s Epic Fails #2

Well here we are for another round of epic fails. Before we start, I have to say I have a man’s case of the flu and its dark/wet/cold and miserable – all day – here in the UK. And that’s put me in an understanding, caring, happy and above all patient mood.

Frantic Epic Fails

In an alternative reality, maybe. Let’s go and look at theses sad excuses of motor sport news.

First off, Jenson Button. No, not for signing for Lewis Hamilton motor sport inc. (aka Mclaren). You can debate what this will do for his career, but in this case this really is personal. The fact is he made the choice on the day Epic Fail #1 went up where I said, “Will Brawn just sign him and stop messing around.” Yeah, cheers Jenson. I know this is how media can work but hey still doesn’t stop me having a go.

Button= Fail

You know it’s a bad day for friendships when a team that wins both titles doesn’t keep ether driver. We all know Barrichello talked himself out of a drive after his “bla bla bla going home on my plane” comments earlier in the season, but really not since Bennetton 1995 when Schumacher went to Ferrari (good career move) and Johnny Herbert left for Sauber (not so good career move) have we seen such switches. But while those moves were completed with no real surprises the seemingly rapid fall out between Button and Brawn is a surprise. The ongoing contract negotiations, Button’s cheeky (but seemingly important) visit to McLaren HQ, followed by Brawn (possibly knowing the game was up) saying in the press it would be a bad idea to leave Brawn, then claiming he breeched his contract by the McLaren visit and then saying he is not being released out of his contract a month early all show the signs of a biter break-up. Seems just a month ago they were singing “We are the Champions” and partying like the greatest team in the world. Oh wait, it was…

Best Friends= Fail

Moving on … seriously what is with that stupid last chicane at Circuit de Catalunya? Now I know you’re thinking, “Frantic it’s been around since 2007, why drag it up now?” Well that’s because I’m never awake by the time F1 cars reach that part of the circuit as I had already seen the race result at the Spanish track after qualifying. And I have just started playing Forza Motor Sport 3, and it’s the first game I have played with the track in it (before that it was all Mario kart and Smash bros on the Wii OK?). Well, holy Batman riding a pogo stick whilst singing “always look on the bright side of life” in Polish, is it bad. I have managed to overtake other cars going into it — by using the car in front as a brake. That’s not going to work in the real world (fun to watch yes but not going to work in a 50+ lap race). Honestly who thought that up? It’s horrible! At least the corner as it was was a fun fast blast through. This is thin, fiddly awkward. Who ever thought it would help overtaking in F1 should be shot. Instead it seems they let them design the F1 track in Valencia…

Barcelona chicane = FAIL

Moving on and it’s just a bad time to be a dodgy investor group, it seems. Yes ladies and gentlemen it seems BMW realised that Qadbak hadn’t really told them anything, including that there were no mysterious Middle East investors but more a British-based guy called Russell King, a British national based in Dubai with previous fraud convictions. Oh, and finding 1.9 million – in dollars, pounds or euros, it doesn’t matter – of his assets frozen in another bank abroad surely wasn’t good. In fact the theory goes that all he wanted to do was to cash in on the prize money that is shared out. So then BMW just sells to Peter Sauber at the price of, well… nothing has been announced. But considering they turned down Peter’s first offer when they announced they were going to pull out, I wish I could have seen his face as BMW crawled back. Peter was cool about it all along anyway, saying at the time of the pull-out, “I must add that in my 17 years in F1 I have solved bigger problems.” What a guy! So Peter Sauber has been the guy looking good whilst BMW looks even more stupid investing in an apparent con artist. But then who really would be stupid enough to take on board a British national working in some other country? It’s just asking for trouble isn’t it? (It’s OK, I don’t think Mark H reads this)

BMW = Fail
Qadbak= FAIL with the assets frozen
Peter Sauber = ummmmm WIN!

Whilst I’m happy to name and shame anyone in the motor sport world, the next mention goes to me. Or the passage of time or not being born in the 70’s. Now both Autosport and F1 racing ran articles on Rob Smedley and his relationship with Massa. (What hurt was he was nice about Badoer and Fisi’s “performances”, saying the F60 was a difficult car. When will someone from Ferrari just say they sucked.) But what was the kick in the teeth for me was his C.V. Let me explain. From 2001 to now its F1 work; 2000 was F3000; 1997-98 he was designer for the BTCC Peugeot team, and in 1999 worked for the Williams Renault 97 BTCC team. BTCC? I was there and how many times did I walk past the guy whilst I hung around for Matt Neal, John Cleland, Alain Menu’s autographs, to name a few. Really even in the Super Tourer era of touring cars the drivers interacted with fans and the mechanics were just walking around. Why oh why wasn’t F1B set up then? I could have got a great scoop and interviewed Rob Smedley and that would have made a great episode of Formula1blog.com Downshift. But I had to be 13/14 years old in ‘97 and still 10 years away from hearing my first F1B podcast, but still. What a chance missed. Though not all bad I guess. The 1998 Peugeot he was involved in designing was a bag of crap anyway so maybe it was for the best its worked out like it has.

The passage of time = FAIL.

This past week in F1 hasn’t been mega full of news, but no way can I accept the story “Piquet Jr says “close” to Force India deal”. Now, forget the fact that Jr is in the news almost everyday and they have to make a story on any event he might do, be it NASCAR tests or a karting event. But this is taking it to a whole new level. Why? Well I will give you the end of the first paragraph from The Times of India article: “Renault discard could be seen behind the wheels of a Force India next season, according to media reports.” OK. According to “media reports”? Right, yeah, well this was the media reporting to this, so that’s the media reporting … so the basis for evidence in this story is The Times of India itself? No, of course not. Why it was Jr himself who said he was “close” to a Force India deal. No, you weren’t Nelson. What he actually said was: “I am close to Force India at the moment”. Oh Nelson Nelson Nelson. Hanging outside the factory like some kind of homeless goblin does not mean you are close to a drive. Actually Eddie Jordan was probably closer when he blocked the Force India access routes with concrete blocks 2 years ago over a dispute on land Eddie felt he hadn’t been paid for (which always left me with the image old Eee jay chaining himself to the factory doors — still closer than Jr.) So then do I stand corrected? Well, how did this pan out? Force India announced they are keeping Liuzzi and Sutil. Well done Jr. Which team will you be “close” to next week? Campos? Really you’re now saying that the team would “suit” you both. The only thing that would suit you perfectly would be a Piquet Jr pinball machine as not only would it be pretty accurate seeing the ball bounce off the walls but the way you’re pinging between teams would be fitting, too.

Nelson Piquet Jr. = An ever-continuing TILT, no that’s more pinball, I mean FAIL.

You know when you know that you know? Everyone knows so you just switch off and forget about it? You know what I mean? N Technology court bid well ummmmm “fails” but we were told this a month ago so who cares? The verdict read: “The FIA’s selection procedure involved a thorough due diligence process on all applications with the assistance of financial auditors Deloitte & Touche and other technical experts.” Of course it did, the FIA thoroughly checked that the signature on the Cosworth engine contract was genuine. Come on we know the FIA is thorough; you have to be able to spend £2500 for 4 hours of fun in a Chelsea basement.

Selection process FAIL.

Well hasn’t it been fun now? Just before we get to the winner let’s just cover some exciting one sentence fails! Ready? No? Same here. Let’s go.

Norbert Haug and Willi Weber not ruling out Schumi comeback!

Well the rest of us are so “just sign Heidfeld and stop dragging a dead donkey of a story”. 200% FAIL

Simon Gillett says Donington can still hold Brit GP!

Simon my little cupcake you just had Donington Ventures go into administration. Need I say more? FAIL.

De La Rosa pushing for race drive.

Pedro my friend, haven’t you been doing this for years? Join the queue just in front of Jr. Long-time FAIL.

Flavio Briatore verdict in January?

What, how long? Is this because it’s a long lengthy serious legal process or because they will have to spend December decoding what Flavio was saying? FAIL.

It’s time to finish up now as we can only kick the motor sport community so much in one week. So it’s time for the winner. He spent the season fighting for the title, it was between him and his older team mate and… he lost. We are not talking about Brawn, no. More the WTCC and Yvan Muller. It was pretty much a crash fest as James Thomson, Tarquini, Muller and many others destroyed their cars during the weekend. In the Macau barriers, the three mentioned drivers ended up being hospitalised, Thomson unable to race due to an injured foot and a destroyed Lada. But whilst a big knock fired up Tarquni, Muller just could not switch it on, announcing a few hours after the race he is leaving SEAT for Chevrolet, But not with the No. 1 That goes to Tarquini, who has become the oldest man to win an FIA title taking the record from non other than Juan Manuel Fangio, so good for him! Bad for Muller.

Gabriele Tarquin = WIN WIN
Yvan Muller =EPIC FAIL

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