With the drivers and team personnel heading for the beach in August, there is a big vacuum of F1 news
Already Jenson Button has been rumoured to be talking to Ferrari, while Sergio Perez is rumoured to be heading there too. Lewis Hamilton is obviously staying at McLaren but is rumoured to have had talks with Lotus, while it’s rumoured there won’t be enough new engines to go round in 2014.
So to keep the pages stocked with ‘news’ items for the summer, Off on F1 has been talking to a host of “pitlane insiders” to get some more news for the front pages.
10. Danny Boyle, the film director in charge of the mega successful opening ceremony at the London 2012 Olympics, has been commissioned by Bernie Ecclestone to work out a new opening sequence to grand prix races. The politically correct Boyle has decided to banish the grid girls forever. Instead we’ll get a series of lumpy ginger kids in ancient Greek clothing, walking round the track holding bits of each car that they’ll symbolically bolt together to form the Safety Car.*
9. Bernie Ecclestone has banned his personal jet from ever entering German airspace just in case they encounter a mechanical problem and have to make an unscheduled landing. After a nasty experience with a Frankfurter, Bernie has decided to give the country a miss at all costs… or about $30m costs.
8. Mercedes engineer Jock Clear has admitted that he is a shareholder in the family firm Clear Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, currently sponsoring the Lotus team. Clear said it was slightly embarrassing having his name on a rival car…but not as embarrassing as selling hair products while having absolutely no hair.
7. Britain is to lobby the International Olympic Committee to have F1 included in the 2020 games. At present golf and rugby are due to join the sports featured in Rio in 2016, but because Britain only excels at sitting-down sports - rowing, cycling, sailing and equestrian - they’re keen to have F1 included.
6. Mr. Pussycat Doll, Lewis Hamilton is to record an album in November. He’s going to record a host of Country and Western Classics with uncle George Hamilton IV.
5. Following his outburst in Hungary, Red Bull have hired Supernanny Jo Frost to administer a bit of discipline on Sebastian Vettel’s side of the garage for the remainder of the season. Sebastian will learn to say please and thank-you and crayon his own helmet designs.
4. Jeremy Clarkson is set to join the BBC F1 punditry team for the rest of the season. Clarkson has admitted that he knows very little about F1, which will still put him at an advantage with Eddie Jordan.
3. In a tribute to Jamaican sprint start Usain Bolt, Caterham will alter the colour balance of their car for the next trace in Spa to represent the Jamaican flag. The yellow and green has been flying around the track in London and it’s hoped that this latest move will be a spur to the team. They’ve tried everything else.
2. In a bid to break the ‘sameyness’ of F1 qualifying the FIA are to trial a new qualifying format in Abu Dhabi. Instead of the drivers qualifying the cars themselves, they will hand over to their wives and girlfriends to settle the grid places. Corrinna Schumacher has already told Michael that he’ll be starting from P.24 whether he likes it or not.
1. Pastor Maldonado has said he is keen to be the ambassador for the new Venezuelan Grand Prix. Pastor, whose motorsport inspiration was based on playing with a Scalextric set as a child, says the Venezuelan track will be unique. It will contain a cross-over, a chicane, a bit that’s so narrow only onecarcan fit down it, a jump and a loop-the-loop. Hermann Tilke believes it will suit Pastor’s style of driving.
*or Safety Go-Kart