Formula 1 is supposedly the high-tech pinnacle of motorsport, so naturally the engineers and technical bods involved are always coming up with weird gadgets and gizmo’s, strange crazes that last five minutes before the FIA ban them, and basically pretending they are rocket scientists from NASA…albeit without the Buzz Lightyear costume.
So it comes as no surprise really that these folk who like to think outside the box, like to do things in slightly unconventional ways.
Spyker-Ferrari this week have decided they are not going to go about securing financial sponsors in the time-honoured old fashioned way (wining, dining and talking gibberish until some rich dude can stand no more so he gets his cheque book out) oh no. They are going to go all internet-agey and sell themselves on Ebay instead. There is bound to be some nutcase out there in cyberspace with plenty of dollars to chuck around and nothing to spend it on.
The Dutch Formula 1 team are apparently selling 4 advertising spots on their car via the internet sensation that is Ebay, with prices ranging from 500,000 to 3 Million Euros.
Unsurprisingly even though their advert went live last friday, they have yet to attract any bids. One can’t help but wonder if this is because the general public have already been put off by Honda’s ‘My Earth Dream’ where you can buy the rights to have your name stuck on a pixel of a really rubbish car, that basically is outclassed by the average sainsbury’s supermarket trolley even with Felipe Massa behind it. Either that or we are all buying invisible ghosts in jars, stuffed foxes found in mini-skips and each others used undergarments.
However the CEO of the media company that came up with the wise idea, Bas Verhart of Media Republic, is adamant that some poor fool wants to fritter away their hard earned cash on what he terms a ‘long-haul success story’. I think what he is failing to appreciate is that generally people like to see some sort of benefit from their investments before they are dead and buried….but you know I could be wrong.
Meanwhile Ferrari are most miffed, and decided that instead of running away from the press, sticking their heads in the sand and doing the old cloak and dagger code of secrecy routine…they might actually utilise the media for a change to issue a message to one of their former employees.
It seems the Maranello based team are a little bit narked that Honda’s Nick Fry is attempting to woo their former Technical Director Ross Brawn away from them with promises of unlimited cans of sardines and anchovies, and have gone to the effort of sending him a message via the Guardian Newspaper. It could be a risky strategy….especially if it turns out that Ross actually prefers ‘reading’ tabloids such as ‘The Sun’ or the ‘Daily Star’…or is in fact in the back of beyond, miles away from a newsagents and up to his knee-caps in fishy friends.
However Ferrari Spokesman Luca Colajanni was quoted in the Guardian as saying “Ross is obviously a free agent, but we would like to think there is a gentlemen’s agreement that he will talk to us before deciding on his future plans,” which we here at FFN think translates into “He better consider our offers first, otherwise he won’t be fishing…..he’ll be sleeping with them in Lake Garda, concrete boots and all”.
Ferrari CEO Jean Todt has felt the need to step in and speak up on the subject announcing that the Maranello based squad does indeed have a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ in place with Brawn, and adding that if Ross was actually in talks with Honda he would be breaching that promise.
“The truth is Ross decided to leave his position to gain some time for himself” Todt added “We agreed with him that should he decide to come back and remain in the business, he would come to me first to discuss it together”.
Meanwhile the rest of us are scratching our heads, pondering why Ferrari seem to be getting all excitable over the subject…because who in their right mind would want to leave the glamour and prestige of the famous Ferrari Marque for Honda? ….a team that doesn’t seem to know it’s bottom from its elbow. We can’t help but feel that’s not a career challenge, more like a migraine waiting to happen and probably even more traumatic than getting stuck in a lift with Ron Dennis (which says alot).
Jean Todt might be only three foot tall, but if you were Ross would you want to get on the wrong side of that nail-biting little Jedi Master?
The tug of love continues….