I must admit that for the first time since Nick Heidfeld made his debut in 2000, I was half-heartedly hoping he would win the race – the Hungarian GP to be precise. Mind you, half-hearted only because of his peculiar affliction of facial fungus, a cleaner version of Heidfeld would have had my full, unflinching support. Really, who else would you rather support? I think we can rule out the “McLaren kindergarten” pair immediately, on the basis that no driver with a mental maturity less than that of a 10 year old deserves a fan base. And that includes Lewis “Nandando is not talking to me anymore” Hamilton as well as Fernando “The team likes him more, I feel all alone” Alonso. I would be urging Ron Dennis to ground the twosome with no TV for a week, but considering Ron’s behavior on the Nurburgring podium…that would be a bit rich coming from him. And we already know Hamilton can get a bit carried away with the vocabulary when issued orders contrary to his wishes.
You have to admit that the weekend was rich in irony though. Considering Ron Dennis has spent a sizeable portion of his time waxing on and on about Ferrari and team orders irrespective of whether anyone’s listening, it must have come as a rude shock to him when his team was docked constructor points for behavior “prejudicial to the interests of the competition”. Moral of the story? What goes around, comes around (to bite you in the bottom when you are not looking). At least in Ferrari’s case they had Schumi, and when you have Michael Schumacher racing for you, you don’t hedge your bets. It is plain common sense to just put all your money on the man and wait for the silver pots to come home. McLaren’s situation is hardly similar. As for Alonso extending his pitstop by an additional 10 seconds just so he could enquire as to “whether the correct set of tyres had been fitted to his car”, perhaps we should not consider F1 to be a sport anymore. Double standards, anyone?
But at least Nando and Hamilton know how to drive a racing car. Which apparently is more than what could be said for young Felipe Massa. After his stupendous performance to start from 14th to finish …erm…13th, being stuck behind Takumo Sato for most of the race while driving a Ferrari, I think it is fair to say the tifosi will not be feeling too kindly towards him right now. No doubt this is a fleeting feeling and we will all be rooting for Felipe (and Kimi) shortly before the next grandprix, but one can’t help but feel the team lacks direction from its drivers. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that our other driver spends weekends racing snowmobiles, boats and what not dressed in a gorilla suit…which is all very well if you are a primate of course, but is otherwise rather puzzling. Sending poor Felipe out to qualify with no fuel in his car turned out to be not quite the best strategy from the team…and let’s just say if Ferrari continues to have one car customarily finishing out of points every race, our WCC prospects don’t see very bright. Unless Hamilton and Alonso can pitch in and do their bit in getting McLaren disqualified.
And then there’s the whole ruddy espionage affair hanging like the sword of Damocles over the championship. It will be end of August by the time we know if we ought to wake up at an unearthly hour every other weekend to watch the race, or if there is no championship really – in which case we might as well call it a night and get our eight hours. Whatever happened to good old, pure racing?