Vendetta at the FIA…

That McLaren have been summoned to the FIA world motor sport council over the Australian GP lying affair, charging them, under article 151C with “fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally,” should, perhaps, surprise nobody. That the FIA will go to any lengths to fuck with McLaren has been obvious for quite a while. I mean, does anyone really think those dodgy diffusers would have got the nod if McLaren had had them?

The instigator of this whole sorry affair, Dave Ryan, has been fired by McLaren, Hamilton has made a grovelling apology – and needs a kick up the ass for going along with Ryan – and both he and the team lost all their points from Oz. And that should have been the end of it.What more does the FIA want?

This is not a quest for justice, it is a blatant with-hunt – a continuation of the vendetta against McLaren that seems to be hard-wired into the FIA in general and Max Mosley in particular. After the Ferrari affair he continued  bad-mouthing McLaren at every opportunity, long past the point where it was relevant or reasonable. As far as I’m concerned, this is simply more of the same.

There is, at rhe FIA, an institutionally-vindictive, antiMcLaren stance that is obvious to all but the most wilfully blind, and they will not be happy until they have driven McLaren from the sport. Whether that will change when Mosley everntually retires – and FFS, go soon, for the good of the sport, you tedious old fuck – remains to be seen. Whatever happens, the FIA cannot continue to operate in the way it does currently – they are, effectively, a law unto themselves, and that is fundamentally wrong. Change has to come, but that won’t happen until Mosley leaves or is tossed out. Like that’s gonna happen…

Update:- April 29 – Well, as we now know, McL has been hit with a 3-race ban, suspended for 12 months.

For once a sensible decision from the FIA. Let’s hope this signals an end to their anti-McLaren culture. Or was it anti Ron Dennis? However, they really should have drawn a line under the Oz affair, and not left it hanging like that. Make the ban dependent on future behaviour, not the past.

Sadly, though, I think,  if it comes down to a shoot-out between McLaren and Ferrari at the end of the season, “new” Oz information may well come to light. Cynical? Fuck, yeah!

Lewis Hamilton – F1 World Champion…

What a bunch of vindictive, libellous, probably racist, assholes hang around the fringes of F1 and pervade the blogosphere. It appears that the prevailing – and utterly wrong – opinion is that Glock gifted Hamilton that vital fifth place in Brazil. Google Timo Glock and you’ll be swamped in a torrent of toxic anti-Glock, anti-Hamilton bile.

Consider, though, that Toyota have no links whatsoever to McLaren or Hamilton, and Glock, himself, apparently detests Hamilton, so where was either Toyota’s or Glock’s motivation to back off and let Hamilton through? There simply wasn’t any.

Consider, too, the stewards. Given the way Hamilton has been persecuted this season, to the benefit of Ferrari, you can bank on it that the stewards were alert for even the slightest transgression that could be cynically ramped up into a way to penalise Hamilton. Didn’t happen, did it?

And you can put money on Ferrari and the FIA scrutinising every millimetre of video tape of the race to find a way to fuck with Hamilton and McLaren. Nothing there, either.

So all three groups who have it in for Hamilton – stewards, FIA and Ferrari have found no fault with the race result. Does that bother the mass of toxic blogging morons? Nope, not one iota – why should they bother with the truth when they can vent their deranged, racist, pro-Ferrari spleen unhindered?

I really don’t understand these people at all. True, Hamilton is a hard person to like – he’s just so bloody sanctimonious most of the time – but why does that generate such venomous, unreasoning, even rabid, hatred? It has, at heart, got to be racist.

The Spanish are topping the racist abuse league, as this page demonstrates, no doubt fuelled, at least in part, by Hamilton’s last-season feud with Alonzo. But even Brazil, that most multi-racial of countries, has seen Hamilton attract racist abuse, not least from a pair of Brazilian comedians at, of all places, a sponsor’s event. How the hell was that allowed to happen? Then there was the handing out of toy black cats, a symbol of bad luck in Brazil, to several members of Hamilton’s family. It must have been very disappointing for those superstitious tossers – assuming they can read – to subsequently learn that the Hamiltons have a black pet cat at home.

The racism, sadly, is unlikely to go away (though, online, blog hosting companies need to take some responsibility for what’s posted in the blogs they host, and shut down the racists), but there are things that Hamilton could do to improve his public image.

Leaving his father, and other members of his family at home, at least occasionally, would be a good start. He’s 23, for pity’s sake – he doesn’t need his father in tow all the time. I don’t think any other drivers have parents and/or assorted family members tagging along, but if they do they’re firmly in the background, unlike Hamilton’s old man, who is everywhere and, last season, interfering where he really shouldn’t have.

Hamilton could usefully tone down his sanctimony, too, especially in-car, and have the balls to claim his wins for himself – he can always put in a few words of support for the team behind him at the post-race press conference. In the car he needs to celebrate, just like everyone else does – not launch into a bloody, pre-prepared speech. We know he’s the sharp end of a large team – just as he is when the team fucks up his race, as they have done several times – but he’s the one putting his safety, even his life, on the line; he should have the gumption to take the kudos when he’s earned it. And, just occasionally, he needs to stop being an all-round nice guy and be a a bit of a prick – if only to show he’s human, not a sodding android.

It would also help, I believe, if he moved back to the UK, even if only for part of the year for tax purposes. Buggering off to Switzerland left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people.

Lewis Hamilton is the 2008 Formula 1 World Champion, with not the slightest hint of malpractice to mar his victory, and those who seek to detract from that by libelling him, Glock, Toyota, McLaren or anyone else, need to grow up and just deal with it.

Standard engines for F1?

Oh bugger! I have a serious ethical problem – reading today’s paper I found myself in agreement with Max Mosley.

To cut costs, Mosley wants to introduce a standard homologated engine to F1. Ferrari, who have a wholly unacceptable level of influence over the FIA, have threatened to withdraw from F1 unless Mosley backs down. To which I can only say, bring it on!

F1 teams employ supremely skilled engineers, with the technical resources to match, and it’s at least theoretically possible to remove the FIA seals from an engine, fettle it, and seal it up again as if it had never been opened. I’m not, of course, saying that anyone does, just that it’s probably possible, and with a standard engine illegal tinkering would be immediately apparent.

I’ve lost interest in F1 due to the antics of Ferrari (and Mosley), and one of the things that has pissed me off and baffled me, in equal measure, is how Ferrari, at a time when engine development is banned, keep turning up with unfeasibly fast cars (watch this happen in Brazil – and watch for who does a Schumacher on Hamilton!). On one occasion, when a lot more eyebrows than mine  were raised, they offered the reason of having improved the engine’s breathing. I’m sorry, but isn’t this F1, the cutting-edge of motor sport? And Ferrari expect us to believe that their engineers had fielded a car with less than optimum aspiration? I don’t think so.

Consider, too, traction control, which was introduced because a team was known to have introduced this to their cars illegally, and hidden it in the engine management software, where it couldn’t be found during scrutineering. I don’t think that there’s anyone who didn’t believe that this was Ferrari. Indeed, I have a memory of a commentator letting it slip that he thought that, though I can’t remember who it was.

Some years ago, when Mosley wanted to introduce V12 engines, Ferrari forced him to back down and go with V10s instead, just one of a number of instances that have made those close to F1 – and a great many fans – question the reason for this apparently excessive influence, not to mention Mosley’s anti-McLaren stance.

Personally, I see little objection to the introduction of a standard engine (with the teams allowed, perhaps, a limited level of personalisation and tinkering), since it makes economic sense for the smaller teams; as things stand, without having obscene amounts of money, it’s impossible for a team to break into F1 and be competitive. It wouldn’t completely eliminate illegal tinkering by anyone, but it should make it much harder, and easier to spot, especially if standard ECUs were also supplied.

Ferrari’s claim that this would ruin F1, as F1 is all about technological development is a tad simplistic – what F1 is primarily about is racing, and a standard engine would go a long way towards keeping all the teams honest and, of course, it would bring the skills of the drivers to the fore, which is surely no bad thing. If I were Mosley, I’d go even further, and revert to having one set of tyres throughout the race (a system with which Ferrari just couldn’t cope so, of course, it was binned), and also give the teams a year to come up with the ability to fuel the cars for the entire race (which, I believe, would require somewhat more powerful engines to avoid painfully slow early stages of the race), which would prevent the teams from dominating the race from the pit lane and return the racing to the track, where it belongs – too many races are won or lost in the pit lane. An alternative would be to allow just one pit stop for fuel, thus obviating the need for the cars to be excessively heavy at the start. As some teams do this already at some circuits, it’s perfectly feasible.

However, as Mercedes, Honda, Renault and BMW are all said to feel the same way as Ferrari – though no-one else is threatening to take their ball and go home just yet – it probably means that the engine idea is doomed and, as it has always been in F1, money rules. Oh, and Ferrari, of course. . .

One last comment, the ban on team orders must be enforced, not least for Ferrari – the way Massa and Raikkonen swapped positions in the last race was mind-bogglingly blatant, and I have no doubt whatsoever that if McLaren had done this Hamilton would have been severely penalised. The fact that Massa was not surely demonstrates the pro-Ferrari stance not only of the FIA, but of the supposedly independent race stewards as well. By the way, if McLaren have to do the same thing in Brazil you can look forward to Hamilton being screwed by the stewards and, probably, McLaren being fined by the FIA as well – there is, I believe, no doubt about that at all.

F1 shock-horror…

This disgraceful state of affairs just can’t be allowed to continue.

Lewis Hamilton places third in the Singapore Grand Prix. Ferrari, however, were nowhere, having screwed up Massa’s pit-stop, and seen Raikkonen crash out and, you know, nobody at Ferrari/FIA Inc., has found any way at all to penalise McLaren and/or Hamilton for those events.

That’s absolutely deplorable, and it really can’t be allowed to happen again.