Lotus had a brake issue…don’t blame Jar Jar!

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If a Pastor crashes in a forest but no one is around to see it, does it make sound? It does if it is Pastor Maldonado and you’re following a social media stream of your choice. Yes, Lotus F1’s Pastor Maldonado had an off in testing today and instantly the Pastor tropes were flying on social media.

I never set out to be the grand apologist for Pastor but I find myself increasingly in the spot light of defending the Venezuelan while the world has its way with him like Samuel L. Jackson in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Say what again Mother*$&%er!

You’ll be happy, surprised or unmoved to discover that the crash was due to a brake failure as revealed by Lotus technical director Nick Chester:

“Pastor was unfortunate to have a braking-related issue which meant he wasn’t able to slow sufficiently into Turn 4 and the car was damaged,” Chester said.

“There was nothing Pastor or any driver could have done to avoid this accident, which was systems related, and we’re investigating thoroughly to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“It was a pity we weren’t able to run any low fuel laps later in the day.”

I love a good trope as much as the next guy…maybe even more than the next guy…in fact, I’ve created my fair share of them…but the Pastor-bashing is growing old for me. Sure, Pastor may be your F1 version of Jar Jar Binks but like Jar Jar, he’s in Star Wars episode 1 and there’s nothing you can do about it—I may have just created a trope there didn’t I? Pastor is a part of the Star Wars unive…I mean F1 universe so you’d better get used to the idea.

When Star Wars seemed to always search for the kid-hook to get little ones engaged, they invented the goofy teddy bear-like Ewoks because the Jawas were just a little too scary. The Wookies were ruined via the late 70’s Star Wars Christmas special so they were no help, despite the best efforts of Bea Arthur, and this left us with Jar Jar. Sure, you may think the PDVSA money is F1’s version of a kid hook.

So F1 has its own Jar Jar Binks and you don’t care much for his Gungan ways and I can’t blame you there. Pastor is a GP2 champion, however, so there is a reason he is at the wheel of an F1 car and that’s more than I can say for some others who darken the doorstep of the F1 paddock.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do understand the Pastorization of F1 and I’d like to think that Lotus F1 takes its competitive position seriously. In fact, I know they do because they have Romain Grosjean who, himself, made a miraculous turnaround from “first lap nutter” to accomplished racer. Lotus F1 has the brains to be a real competitor and in the right hands, a seriously awesome competitor.

Perhaps in that single sentence about Grosjean lies the real crux of the Jar Jar Maldonado argument…improvement. I’ll go to the wall here and say that we can afford Pastor a chance to redeem his Spanish Grand Prix victory but let’s be honest, if he doesn’t improve, perhaps Lotus might take a page from George Lucas and start writing fewer and fewer scenes for the Gungan. Actually, they may have already done a Lucas move.

George reckoned that while reducing the Jar Jar scenes, he’d add more riveting method acting scenes from Natalie Portman and like Lucas, Lotus just announced the signing of Carmen Jorda as a development driver which is odd because they have an accomplished Jedi Knight in Esteban Ocon. I guess having Queen Amidala on your team is a better move than waiting around to see if the young Qui-Gon Jinn will actually be instrumental in the teams development.

The force is strong with this team, I just wish it would start hiring more Wedge Antilles and less Jek Tono Porkins but then what do I know, I’m like Uncle Owen over here rambling on about those units in the South Ridge being repaired by midday, or there’ll be hell to pay. I do speak Bocce though…does that help?

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