Atlas F1 The Formula One Insider

by Mitchell McCann, U.S.A.


Despite the fact that I called for Jenson Button to be called up to F1 way back in September last year and, therefore, have an awful lot of gloating to do before he gets the chance to stuff it all up, he's been knocked out of my lead story by none other than "the best Dutch driver ever," Jos Verschleppin. (Also known as "the best Dutch driver never to win a race," "the best Dutch driver never to win the world championship," and "the best Dutch driver in Holland.")

As long time readers will know, I have been a devoted follower of The Boss' career and have long appreciated his ability to make my column so much easier to write. Unfortunately, my dedication to his cause has been largely unappreciated by Jos' fan-club and the folks over at - the official website of the "best Dutch driver ever." (It should be noted that this site was second in a survey of all Dutch websites only being beaten by - "the best Dutch cheese ever.")

Unfortunately for me, most Dutchies can read and write English and even those who can't will be writing to me over the next few weeks and months. Fortunately for those attempting to pass Double Dutch off as English, Jos has once again joined a team which is unlikely to trouble the scrutineers after too many races. They will be able to cut and paste their two year old comments about "the best Dutch driver ever" only spinning out so much because that's the best way to prove that, as a Formula One driver, he's faster than walking.

Indeed, The Bossman himself, cut and pasted his comments when presented as Arrows' new signing:

"I am happy [I just can't help that my face always looks this way] that the Arrows F1 team has chosen me [yes, ME, Jos Verstappen, when they could've had their choice of anybody in the whole wide world] to drive [perchance to spin] for them on account [with a 50% down-payment] of my speed [zero to backwards in 3 seconds flat] and driving ability [the one on the right makes it go faster, right?] and I am looking forward to [desperately hoping for] a full Formula One season [how many laps is that? Are you sure?]

"I have been visiting Arrows on a regular basis [and I hardly ever have to ask for directions now] over the past few weeks and I think the new car has [the right number of wheels and] a lot of [problems] promise [I meant promise!]. I am sure that the expertise I have acquired [25p at a Jumble Sale] in recent years [3 teams that don't exist anymore, a fourth that never started and another that set me on fire] will help me, together with Pedro, improve the team. [We will win the championship next year]."

Ferrari material indeed. I welcome Jos' return with open arms and look forward to an exciting season no matter how few laps he completes.


Now I'm not one to brag... OK, that's not strictly true. When you're right, you're right but when I'm right I get to tell the world about it. Go check the archives, you doubting Thomases (or just look here, if you are too lazy to type). I was calling for Button when most were telling me to zip it. OK, my motives were not entirely pure but I've been blamed for costing Verstappen his job so I'll be damned if I'm not going to claim credit for getting Button hired. (I think I can get him a gig in panto at the end of the season too).

As you all know by now, Williams ousted Zanardi (there's a shock) and after a head to head shootout, pushed Jenson's button and left Junqueira on the scrap heap. It remains to be seen whether young Button can handle the pressure of F1 but at least if he can't keep it on the track we'll know that it's only because "that's the only way to prove how good he is in a below average car." (Did I get that right?)

Actually, I'm extremely excited and, I must say, very biased towards the entire British contingent none of whom has a real chance of winning, so if you notice a lack of objectivity in the coming months and you feel that the commentary has verged from the incisive to the insipid, I'd welcome your comments by e-mail or whatever other means is convenient, so that I can tell you personally to get your own damn column. (Jaguar will win the championship next year).


David Coulthard revealed through a spokesman that he and his girlfriend have got engaged and that they are "trying to keep things quiet." It seems to me that announcing it to the media may not have been the best way to achieve that end. Rumours that he and Jacques Villeneuve will celebrate their nuptials together have been denied by both parties because, "David doesn't really fancy Jacques." And who can blame him?


  • BAR launched their new car last month with the theme "Evolution, not revolution." Given their performance last year this may prove to be a very apt slogan.

  • Herbert, Panis, Hakkinen and Diniz have all topped the time sheets at various test sessions in the last couple of weeks meaning that either:

    (a) this will be the closest F1 championship for years, or
    (b) Jaguar and Sauber are still trying to sign the last couple of sponsors, or
    (c) David Coulthard should ask Jos which pedal makes it go faster.

  • Ferrari have signed a deal with the French meteorological center which should be a great help because not quite every single one of the races isn't in France.

  • BAR's Jock Clear was asked how many Honda people are working in the factory. He replied, "About half of them." (OK, it's not true, it's not based on fact but it's one of my favorite jokes - they don't write 'em like that anymore.) Asked about the car's problems with vibration last year, Jock said they could've fixed the problem but Jacques kind of liked it that way.

  • Ferrari have been strangely quiet in the last couple of weeks with very few announcements revising the launch date of the F320. The latest tentative date was reported to be when the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.


    I didn't use the word 'gravel' once!      Oh, bugger it!

  • Mitch McCann© 2000 Kaizar.Com, Incorporated.
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