ATLAS F1   Volume 7, Issue 12

  The Formula One Insider

where the rain stays, mainly.
by Mitchell McCann, U.S.A.


Job description: primarily responsible for scheduling all Formula One Grands Prix. May also be required to organize the occasional piss-up in a brewery and orgy in a brothel.

Job requirements: the ability to predict rain in England in April and monsoons in Malaysia during monsoon season. Would help to know the approximate date of:

a) the Indy 500
b) mating season in Monaco and
c) Max's birthday.

Qualifications: the ability to recognize the painfully obvious. Own umbrella a plus.

Actually, it's a shame that the FIA should have been so harsh on the poor benighted soul previously responsible for scheduling the greatest show on earth. The fact that it rained in Malaysia during monsoon season actually made this race a little more exciting than it would have been otherwise. For those of us who like a bit of white and blue with our red, the sight of twin Ferraris going through the gravel trap faster than a Jaguar on catnip…well, it was enough to make us suspect that we may have trouble dragging ourselves out of bed on future Sunday mornings.

Given the ominous signs of the first two races, I suggest that we give the trophies to the boys from Marinara and hold the rest of the races in the most climatically challenged places and times we can think of. How about the first GP of Antarctica in July (that's the middle of winter for those of you not currently holding a tube of Foster's). Let's see Ross get the tyre choice right there! Or how about a US GP in Chicago in March? With a decent headwind some of the cars might actually be able to undertake.

But I don't suppose that will happen. For the sake of an exciting season, let's hope that Ferrari are the only ones cheating and running traction control already. Presumably, as they've been running in front of Frentzen, they must be.


Just remember, there's always somebody worse off than you. And on Sunday, that somebody was Giancarlo Fisichella. Did you ever take a girl out on a first date and end up spending the first half of the movie trying to parallel park? Well (not that that ever happened to me of course) if you thought that was embarrassing, you should try doing it in front of 16 billion people (plus 3 peanut vendors, the President of Malaysia and a stray dog in the stands). Poor Fisi just didn't know which way to turn! Fortunately for him, he'd qualified a lowly 16th and was driving the Renault-go so the actual consequences of being sent to the back were not too dire.

And while we're talking of people who were really, really wishing that the ground would open up and swallow them, let's spare a moment's thought for the lone Ferrari mechanic who thought that Rubens was coming in to change onto another set of slicks. Kind of makes me nostalgic for the days of the Italian fire drill.


First of all, before you fire up your flamethrowers, let me say that I think Ferrari and Schumacher are the class of the field right now. Having said that, if I had half their luck I'd be far too busy with Christie Brinkley right now to even think about writing this column. Michael Schumacher leads the field in many statistical categories right now but one which has received very little mention is his amazingly low ratio of off-course excursions to car bending impacts. I mean, if Olivier Panis drove like Michael Schumacher, they'd have to name a wing after him at the Paris General Hospital.

And how many people, other than Noah, get to schedule torrential downpours at their own convenience? No mere mortal can possibly expect to completely miss a corner, go through a pitstop slower than a McDonalds drive-through and still end up 10 seconds off the lead two minutes later. It would clearly be blasphemous to claim that Michael Schumacher is God but I think it's perfectly reasonable to go with the working assumption that they are at least close enough that they share the same last name.


Fortunately, I've been writing about Jos for long enough that by now nobody in Holland reads this column any more. So I can say, without fear of yah-boo-sucks, that Jos drove a pretty g….

That Jos drove a pretty go….

Let me go and lie down for a while.

Jos Verstappen drove a pretty good race. There! I said it. Of course, everybody knows that there isn't a car out there that can rival the aero package of an Arrows together with the formidable power of a year-old Peugeot engine. And as everybody knows, wet conditions only serve to make driver skills even more insignificant than they normally are. So while there may be those of a certain persuasion who think that Malaysia was evidence that God's last name obviously starts with a V, I think I have proved beyond doubt that Jos Verstappen is simply an extremely, in fact, the most, Dutch driver there is in Formula One today.


So, those red cars, (what are they called again?) are on intermediates and we're on full wets. Sounds good. Half the track is bone dry? Perfect! Schumacher is going 5 seconds a lap quicker than us? They've fallen into our trap! We'll wait until he's a couple of minutes ahead of us and then….. We'll switch to southpaw! He'll never know what hit him! Could somebody please crank up Eye of the Tiger?

Mitch McCann© 2007
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