I have just surfaced after a bout of enforced inactivity.
First, an operation on my right hand, with subsequent physiotherapy. Then came a rather nasty ‘lurgy’ which rendered me listless and spaced out, not to mention some aches and pains from a chest infection. Ah, the joys of winter in England.
Actually, it’s not cold here, not yet anyway, but lots of people are sniffing and coughing and generally moping around, groping for tissues. Yuk.
So, back on track and firing on about 10 of 12, I see that Mr Ecclestone is suggesting that we pin medals on racing drivers instead of awarding them points towards the F1 World Championship. And Messrs Kolles and Gascoyne have departed the Force India team. And McLaren has struck up a technical partnership with Mr Vijay Mallya’s valiant outfit. And Sebastien Loeb was very quick in a Red Bull Grand Prix car in Barcelona. And Rubens Barrichello may not be staying with the Honda F1 team which would be sad because he’s a great bloke. And on it goes… it’s all happening and the birds in the trees are whispering of a lively and controversial winter in the sport.
Let’s start with medals. Mr E thinks that Grand Prix racing should adopt an Olympian style of reward; a gold for the winner and well, you know how it goes. Apparently he is serious, though you never can be sure with such a bright, and mischievous, chap. Is it a good idea? Would it have made the final race of the season in Brazil any more exciting? I am not convinced. A more interesting wheeze might be to have an Olympic Grand Prix every four years, with the winner of this being given the gold. A new track in Athens perhaps? Great city, lovely weather and plenty of efficient infrastructure thanks to the Games themselves.
What is going on at Force India? I spent many hours talking to Mike Gascoyne (above) in Valencia this past summer and I am not so shocked to hear that he has left this gutsy little team. He is a highly intelligent bloke, is Mr Gascoyne, and I got the impression that, unless things went his way, he’d be on his way. He’s probably going to sail around the world before returning to dry land to parachute into another racing team that needs urgent help with making its cars go a lot faster. I am hoping to talk to him for the magazine soon.
In a couple of weeks time I am going to Wales. Not my favourite place at this time of year but, hey, someone has to do it. I am going to talk to the amazing Monsieur Sebastien Loeb as he prepares for the oddly-titled event known as the Wales Rally GB. I was offered a chance of talking to the man in the South of France but my Editor wants me to go to Wales. He’s the boss, so that’s where I’m going, and because I can ask other rally folk what they think of the World Champion. What I think is that he is a truly impressive bloke – did you see his times in the Barcelona F1 test? Unbelievable. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Loeb and Rossi on the Grand Prix grid.
Meanwhile the A1GP teams are in Malaysia. I could have gone there too, but that’s all to do with being ‘laid up’ these past few weeks. I do like A1GP racing, and the people involved, very much, and I would have liked to have seen the pandas in China, and the elephants in Malaysia. It’s an interesting series this, combining some local cultures with the race weekends. Anyway, lots to talk about this coming winter, so I hope you will all be ‘on line’ as they say, and ready with some pithy and politically incorrect ideas.
There’s a nasty ‘lurgy’ infecting the global economy too. But, as Winston Churchill used to say, KBO.