The Formula One Insider

Atlas F1

The Formula One Insider

Where navel gazing is a way of life but naval gazing's for shirt-lifters. by Mitchell McCann, U.S.A.

Realizing that I will only write a finite number of Insiders before I die this, and all subsequent issues, will be number 1

ARROWS HART-BROKEN

The synchronized swooning team achieved a rare perfect 10 from the judges on Sunday by blowing up together, executing a pass under some and parking in unison. Not since the Stewarts took each other out have we seen such an incredible display of perfect imperfection. In an attempt to top that at Monaco, Walkinshaw has promised that Brian Hart will die at the same moment as his engines - proof that smoking does kill.

THE STUPID SCHUMACHER BROTHER

Ralf has apparently been practising the technique of left-foot braking. Unfortunately, he seems to be leaving it there throughout the race. He might have been better off throwing the thing in the bushes than spending the entire race examining Takagi's rear end. Takagi said he enjoyed it.

FISICHELLA/IRVINE CONVERSATION

For once in his life, Eddie appeared to be at a loss for words. Although I could not lip-read exactly what Giancarlo was saying, I think its safe to say that, based on his limited English and every previous interview he's ever given, he was insisting that:

"I'm not very 'appy"
"I'm not very 'appy"

DEREK DALY IS MURRAY WALKER

U.S. fans will have noticed that Derek Daly is trying to usurp the great man's place. On Sunday he gave us:

"Will it be predictable? I don't know."

and

"Let's watch it unfold". Followed by commercials.

Oh well. At least he's figured out that, during qualifying, the fastest lap is the one in the middle.

FIRST 107% VICTIM THIS YEAR

Ricardo Rosset proved this weekend that money can't buy you everything. Bernie Ecclestone said it could but you'd have to add a couple of zeroes. Craig Pillock revealed that he had stopped answering his phone this weekend because some kook kept calling to say "I told you so." Ken Tyrrell was unavailable for comment except to say "I told you so." Jos Verstappen had to be physically removed from the Tyrrell pit. Rosset, with nothing to do on Sunday afternoon, offered to drive the safety car but stewards declined on the grounds that he wasn't fast enough.

Rosset did end up singing the national anthem before the race. He finished five minutes after the band.

CUT OUT AND KEEP

1. HAKKINEN
2. COULTHARD
3. SCHUMACHER

As a special service to our dedicated readers, we have provided this handy reference for all this season's results. Just cut this out, stick it next to the TV and you can sleep late, or take a nap after lunch on Sunday (depending on your time zone persuasion). You can also rest assured that Mika will continue to get more and more pissed off with the press conference questions and will continue to answer the painfully bleedin' obvious questions with the appropriate one word painfully bleedin' obvious answer.

ANYBODY REMEMBER VILLENEUVE?

And exactly what he said about world champion Hill defending his championship in an uncompetitive car? And what was that about overpowered F3s that any monkey could drive?

EDITORIAL

So the FIA rides again. Fisichella got a $7,500 fine for chopping Irvine. Based on last year's precedent, shouldn't he have been banned for the season and made to conduct a road safety campaign? Of course, in reality, this move did not deserve any sort of punishment - at worst it was a racing incident with Fisichella marginally more to blame. But the FIA hasn't done anything controversial and/or stupid for a couple of weeks now and I guess they thought they were overdue.

Has Eddie complained to anybody yet about how much money that DNF cost him? I haven't seen it anywhere yet but he always does so I must just have missed it. And was anybody else surprised at how calm and relaxed Eddie was after the incident? All he did was look at Fisi and raise a thumb no doubt suggesting that Fisi should count how many thumbs he still had because he had no doubt been sitting on one of them and following the crash it might not still be in its original, upright and locked, position.

But talking of the FIA... Interesting how they managed to ban X-wings on the grounds that they're so ugly, they're dangerous. What do you think Frentzen's chances are of lasting the season?


1998 by Mitchell McCann
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Send comments to: mccann@atlasf1.com