|The Formula One Insider|
|All the poop that's fit to scoop||by Mitchell McCann, U.S.A.|
Number 666. Aren't I a little devil?
DATELINE: I don't kiss on a first date but I don't want you to think I'm a prune.
At the time of going to press, the results of the Schumacher hearing have not been made public. That is not to say the decision has not been made. Obviously, that was done last week when Mosley, Ecclestone and Todt had dinner together. As Michael has since said that he expects to be punished, I think we can pretty much take it as read that he was (will be), in fact, punished. Now I haven't looked up 'draconian' recently, but I think we can be pretty certain that Michael's bank manager is not going to be awaiting the announcement on the window ledge outside his office and, as far as I know, Fiat pretty much expects to still be in business at the end of this week. As the FIA's reputation has sunk about as low as it can get, and the 97 Championship is already decided, I think we're likely to see Michael docked a couple of points from the 97 season. That'll teach him! I bet he won't do that again. Not unless he really, really, really wants to.
WILLIAMS AND MCLAREN CONSPIRACY
The big news this week, courtesy of the tattle-tales at Ferrari, is that Frankie and Ronnie weren't playing fair and were mean to little Mikey. Actually, I shouldn't make light of this. If they planned their little game before the race, that's pretty serious stuff. I tend to think they actually worked it out later in the race with the only purpose of their cheating being to prevent the Irvinator getting in a position to really cheat. And there's an interesting question. Would Eddie, the good company man that he is, have done the ultimate dirty deed to give Mikey his championship? Actually, given how mistake-prone those Ferrari drivers are, I expect he would have collided with Villeneuve accidentally.
Stop the presses, I want to get off. Hot off the wire, we now know the Draconian penalties that will be applied. Michael Schumacher, who lost the world championship two weeks ago, has now officially really lost the world championship today. That'll learn him.
I have just checked one fact and looked up the meaning of Draconian. Apparently, it comes from an Athenian lawgiver named Draco and I have to admit, this whole FIA decision is Greek to me. They're going to claim, presumably with straight faces, that the penalty will set a precedent that will alert drivers to the possibility of being stripped of a championship if they win it by nefarious means. They are obviously hoping that the drivers are too stupid to realize that the actual precedent they are setting is of ineffective, lame-brained penalties applied by lame-brained, ineffective administrators on drivers who are in a position to enhance the future wealth of said administrators. (Jos Verstappen need not apply).
Too little, too late, too stupid for words, too predictable to be laughable. Bernie. Max. You two are too much!
ITS A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD
In a 24 hour span, Schumacher and Woodward both get time served and Bernie gets money back from the government. Just another day in Mudville.
I seem to have spent most of the last two issues editorializing about something or other so you'll be pleased to hear that this week's editorial has been replaced by the 1997 Insider Awards.
The Toothless Budgie Award (most likely to suck seed).
The winner for the 15th straight year is Bernie Ecclestone. Once the again, the money-magnet himself proves that its not whether you win or lose but how you count the proceeds. The award this year is accompanied by a lifetime achievement award for dictating policy to the governments of Britain and France!
The Slymie (worst acting performance by a supporting actor)
David Coulthard explaining Hakkinen's win at Jerez. Following this terrible performance, David is expected to star opposite Sly himself in the upcoming F1 movie although it is still considered unlikely that either of them would be able to act their way out of a pantomime horse. (Oh yes they could).
The Slim Jim Award (for getting into a car that's not yours)
Alexander Wurz not only took Berger's car when he wasn't looking but he made it look like it was his own.
The Earth Revolves Around Me Award
Jos Verstappen... for the obvious reason. (Ken, please sign this guy up for 98 or I'll have nothing to write about).
The Cambridge Award (for best punt of the season)
Clearly, for style, panache, audacity and a dissembling display of innocence and disregard of the evidence after the fact... Michael Schumacher. This was of course a fiercely contested award. Ralf taking out his brother and his team-mate in one go was long considered the unassailable favorite especially when coupled with a slew of other fender-benders of which he is, I'm sure, rightfully proud.
The Madonna Award (for drawing attention to yourself whilst complaining about all the attention)
Jacques Villeneuve. Who incidentally was also nominated for: The Vidal Sassoon Award (for not having his hair done by Vidal Sasson); GQ's 10 Worst Dressed Men Award (disqualified for being over-qualified); Beachcomber's Monthly Man of the Year (also known as the Foreshore Award) and the Birds Eye Lets Make A Meal Of It Award for a making a real meal out of winning the championship in a Williams.
First of the Losers
Sorry Michael. We've gotta take this one away.