KING HILL A midsummer night’s dream

F1 Racing - - KING OF THE HILL -

some time to scoff at the fee­ble con­jec­tures of so called ‘ex­perts’ in their favoured sporten­ter­tain­ment-busi­ness on their char­ter ight to Tur­key. So, my ad­vice is: re­lax. Give your crit­i­cal mind a rest, be­cause this col­umn is noth­ing but a midsummer night’s guess about fan­tas­ti­cal things that do not re­ally ex­ist.

Like, for in­stance, the Ger­man Grand Prix. Have you no­ticed? It’s gone. We sent out a search party but they found noth­ing. Just a void where there should be a mas­sive army of sunkissed Ger­man­ics aching to see their beloved Mercedes win another cham­pi­onship, and very con­ceiv­ably with one of their very own driv­ing. ‘But what about yet another great Ger­man driver in a Fer­rari?’, I hear you cry. Surely Seb would put enough bums on mud/grass bank­ing? With Fer­rari’s rate of de­vel­op­ment he’s a pos­si­ble win­ner, too. But even that seems not to have been enough to tempt them into pay­ing Bernie’s jolly rea­son­able (I’m sure) fee. Jeez! How much was the gap? He al­ready gave them $100m out of the good­ness of his heart. Some peo­ple have no grat­i­tude.

But don’t let my re­mind­ing you of this nonex­is­tent event dis­turb you, be­cause we still have Hungary. And that denitely ex­ists. Hungary! The grand prix where they gave Nigel Mansell a horse as a tro­phy. The place I won my rst ever grand prix and very nearly won in the Ar­rows-Yamaha. See. I told you this was about things that never ex­isted. Never mind. Hungary has been good to me, and to Jen­son But­ton, who also won his rst grand prix there. We each have two wins, but Lewis has four and McLaren, eleven! Be­fore the war, the Hun­gar­ian GP was held only once, in 1936. But guess who won? Nu­volari! Not only did Tazio Nu­volari have the best name of any rac­ing driver (an A-list that in­cludes Al­berto As­cari, Giuseppe Fa­rina, Juan-Manuel Fan­gio, José Froilan Gon­za­lez and the un­for­get­table, but sadly for­got­ten, Karl Kling), but he also raced mo­tor­cy­cles wear­ing a jumper with the word ‘Nor­ton’ knit­ted into it. He was cool when the word ‘cool’ meant ‘You’ll need a jumper if you’re go­ing on a mo­tor­bike.’ Be­cause of the war, Hungary ended up be­hind an Iron Cur­tain, which had to be lifted up by an Iron Lady, called Mar­garet. But not be­fore our very own ‘Man in Bu­dapest’, Bernie Ec­cle­stone, had inltrated the en­emy to sign a deal to in­au­gu­rate the rst ever grand prix be­hind any kind of cur­tain. In­cred­i­bly, this will be its 29th year. That’s nearly as long as the Thirty Years War, but a damn sight bet­ter for the econ­omy. And to think, we now race in Rus­sia and China, and the USA! The world has changed so mas­sively since 1986, but the Hun­gar­ian GP keeps rolling along.

There is an end-of-term feel­ing in Hungary. It’s F1 cur­few time, when noth­ing is al­lowed to hap­pen for three weeks. We turn out the lights and go into hi­ber­na­tion be­fore emerg­ing, like a sun­tanned but­tery in the Ar­dennes For­est at the end of Au­gust. We could have a change in lead of the driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship be­fore then. But, as I ex­plained, Sil­ver­stone doesn’t ex­ist yet. My guess? It was Lewis. With four wins al­ready in Hungary, he must be odds-on for that, too. If they gave Nige a horse for win­ning once, Lord knows what they’ll have to give Lewis for ve wins – his own per­sonal cav­alry? But let’s not get too far ahead of our­selves. See what I did? Have a great hol­i­day.

Cock­pit savvy from the 1996 world champ, ex­clu­sively in F1R

Tazio Nu­volari: proud wearer of mono­grammed jumpers and win­ner of the first ever Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix in 1936

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.