Atlas F1

The Formula One Insider

New and improved, The Insider now comes with a health warning by Mitchell McCann, U.S.A.


DATELINE: If I'm not in bed by 11, I normally go home.


As you can see, The Insider has a new home. The digs here at Atlas are so much roomier than my old quarters in the rasf1 dormitory. Not to mention, I was getting really fed up of people walking in on me in the shower.

Now I can see that some of you are shaking your heads in bewilderment, checking the URL in your bookmarks, and generally thinking: "What does this have to do with F1, why is this person talking to me like this and what's happened to the price of broccoli in Outer Mongolia since the Spice Girls hit puberty?" Well, to answer that question fully we have to conduct a thorough study of the history of Usenet and recount the story of my encounter with certain experimental medical techniques in the mid 80s. But for those of you who don't have time for that sort of nonsense, you may want to check out the previous versions of The Insider which have been generously made available at considerable expense and personal embarrassment by, well... me. You can send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a huge wad of cash to cover postage and packing or you can go to I know what I'd do!

For those of you with dodgy mouse fingers and a serious lack of huge wads of cash, here is a brief explanation of what the Insider is, what it means to you and how I can get a Pulitzer Prize. The Insider was established in an attempt to provide the internet community with a timely, accurate source of news regarding Formula One. Of course, it turned out that this was a very difficult thing to do so I've pretty much resorted to making stuff up as I go along. We do however have a motto that clearly establishes our journalistic integrity:

"We check at least one fact"

Each and every issue, without fail, you can rest assured that we have checked at least one fact. We won't tell you which one it is, and its probably not one of the important ones, but we feel that this is an important covenant between us, the journalistic genius', and you, the common reader.


Along with our motto: "We check at least one fact" we make one other commitment to our dedicated readers, namely, that we will attend at least one Grand Prix a year and attempt to write it off as a business expense. And, I can make you this 100% money back guarantee - this years observations are not as old as last years. Here we go:

Why do commentators at the track make comments like: "The crowd is on its feet all the way round the circuit"?

WE are the crowd! Why are you telling us what we're doing? We already know! We're doing it! It would be more informative, although no more interesting, if you told us what you were doing...
"I'm sitting here in the commentary box with a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels wondering what the hell I can talk about for the next four and a half hours."
The most revealing insight into Canadians was the female flasher in front of Grandstand 11 on race day.
Turns out, despite all the excitement, she was flashing nothing more than her underwear. I haven't yet figured out whether this says more about Canadian men or Canadian women.

I really hope Villeneuve goes back to CART next year!

His success in F1 is directly proportional to the amount of time it takes me to get a lousy, overpriced burger. Of course, if you don't mind having lunch at about 7:30 AM, you can actually get a hot dog in under an hour. Its not guaranteed to be hot, but I'm pretty sure it contains real dog.

Note to all race-goers: if you have a grandstand ticket, your assigned seating space is approximately 18 inches by 24 inches.

A 64-gallon cooler, patio umbrella, lawn chair, TV, satellite dish, Buick station wagon and double-wide trailer will probably not fit into that space without aggravating your neighbour to some extent.

One last note... guys, if you have more to flash than the young lady in front of Grandstand 11, why not consider keeping your shirts on.


Stating that Panis' broken legs were no big deal and that his fellow drivers who expressed concern were being insincere, Villeneuve has once again confused the concepts of "free speech" and "knowing when to keep your mouth shut."

It's not that difficult, Jacques. You know, every day, many ordinary people have unspoken thoughts. In fact, I'm having one right now and it's actually about you.


Using a recording of the Lion Sleeps Tonight by Tight Fit, the Formula One fraternity has been playing musical chairs this week. Taking part were drivers Berger, Wurz, Panis, Trulli, Marques and Fontana. Bernie Ecclestone did not take part but declared himself the winner anyway. Nobody questioned the decision except Villeneuve who said it was a joke. Villeneuve will now have to spend the summer cleaning Bernie's vacation home, the former Buckingham Palace which has now been renamed, Make a Buck House.


My breath to be held right here. Domesticated porcine quadrupeds have been issued super-savers. Note to OJ: when you go, don't forget your ice skates - apparently its frozen over. I looked up skeptical but I don't believe everything I read. (I also looked up plagiarism but I can't tell you what it means because that would be, well, plagiarism).


So, Schumacher's leading the Driver's Championship and Ferrari the Constructor's Championship. I think we can rest assured that Frank Williams' pained grimace is no longer strictly for the benefit of the cameras. As a Hill fan, I am finding it very difficult to not take great pleasure from the decline of the Williams team. Oh sure, they'll probably end up winning everything anyway but its nice to see them suffer a little. And as much as I like Frentzen, he's not actually doing much of a job as Frank's designated Schu-beater, is he? In fact, at this point, he's only just an Irvine-beater although he does now have Panis pretty well covered.

So the big question of the day is, what did the question marks on the Williams cars in France represent? It could be a hint to his drivers that when he mentioned 'total domination' this did not, in fact, mean 2nd and 3rd place. It could be that Frank is questioning the technical superiority of his machines. Yeah, right! And the Pope is re-considering this whole sex before marriage thing.

No, I think the most likely explanation is that Frank is a big Dr. Who fan. Apart from anything else, aren't Frank and Stavros candidates for 'Separated At Birth?' And his life's work is to design the ultimate machine which has a tiny, insignificant organic piece hidden deep inside. And his ultimate goal is to rule the universe through a reign of terror, torture and comfy pillows.

OK, so two out of three isn't bad. My theory still holds up. Look for John Pertwee to be hired as a technical consultant, The Master will be put in charge of driver motivation and Tom Baker will be hired to give the other teams' drivers the evil eye.

My apologies to Continental Europeans who have never heard of Dr. Who and who's conversation has probably gone something like:

Dr. What?
No, Who?
What's who
No, Who's on first, then Watts is on second.
Who's Watt
No, Who!

My further apologies to all Europeans who have never heard of Abbot and Costello's "Who's On First" sketch and think that the only thing they ever did was the joke about 'my half being on the bottom.'

If this type appears to be upside down, you may be standing on your head. Remove hat and begin again from step 4.

1997 by Mitchell McCann
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