MAURICE HAMILTON

Old Mo's Almanac


 

JANUARY

Sarah Palin says: "We should take a lead from our wonderful allies in North Korea with their recent Grand Prix and bring F1 back to Madison Square Gardens which, as we all know, is the home of American auto racing."

Surprise continues over Mark Webber's revelation about his broken shoulder. Nigel Mansell issues statement to say he might have had several fractured limbs in 1992 but can't remember because he was concussed all the way through his championship season.

Ralf Schumacher announces his intention to make a F1 comeback, but no one notices. Michael advises his brother it's probably best to quit while behind.

Bernie Ecclestone says there will be no more than 16, but probably 25 Grands Prix in 2012.

 

FEBRUARY

WikiLeaks publishes a secret cable in which Bernie Ecclestone advised Max Mosley the Americans are rubbish at running races on circuits that turn right.

Sarah Palin says Mr. Ecclestone clearly doesn't know anything about American ovals because surely he meant they're rubbish at running races on circuits that turn left.

Sebastian Vettel has a road traffic accident in Heppenheim High Street. Dr. Helmut Marko says it was probably the fault of Mark Webber.

Team Lotus becomes Not Lotus Racing. Group Lotus object on the grounds that the title suggests Lotus are not racing, which they are, but can't be sure because they haven't made up their minds who they are.

Auto Union express interest in making a comeback with Ralf Schumacher. Michael warns Ralf the narrow front tyres and wire wheels will be a nightmare.

 

MARCH

Protests against Red Bull before the first race in Bahrain because rivals say the car looks fast and must surely be illegal.

Virgin withdraw to redesign car after forgetting to allow for having a driver on board.

Renault split with Group Lotus after Malaysian government minister refuses to be seen in a Twingo in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian PM and Chapman family back Team Lotus.

Ferrari fined $100,000 after making Massa stand behind Alonso in the lunchtime queue. The giveaway is a text message to Felipe: "Fernando More Pasta Than You. Sorry."

British media ask Alonso how he can feel good about this. Fernando replies: "No problem. With parmesan on top, is very nice."

BBC TV interview Stefano Domenicali.

 

APRIL

FIA scrutineers forced to check Red Bull pit trolley ride height after objection because Red Bull mechanics are standing around it in an allegedly deliberate fashion.

Australian traffic police issue warrant for the arrest of Lewis Hamilton for driving at speed on the Melbourne track. "Strewth, mate," says Bruce, a spokesperson, "this is a public park, people are watching and apparently enjoying it."

Group Lotus discussions with Red Bull stall because Dietrich Mateschitz hears Norfolk people think men with jackets draped over their shoulders are poofs.

Ecclestone says there will be 34 Grands Prix in 2012, including two in Italy.

BBC TV interview Stefano Domenicali.

 

MAY

As Vettel wins in Turkey, HRT complete first chassis in Bahrain.

Vettel asked to refrain from waving an erect index finger as it's been worrying ageing FIA officials with prostate trouble.

During negotiations with a government official for a Rome Grand Prix, WikiLeaks publishes cable from Bernie Ecclestone to Max Mosley claiming Rome is full of nothing but loose women and footballers. GP official says his wife is from Rome. "Super!" says Bernie. "Which team did she play for?"

Team Lotus renamed Lotus Revived but Group Lotus object because revival suggests Team Lotus had died, which it hadn't because it should never have been alive in the first place. Malaysian government change mind - not sure to what.

WikiLeaks claims the US believes donors from Saudi Arabia are "the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide". Secret cable from FIA source asks why does this remind him of Max Mosley and the 100-year rights issue to Bernie Ecclestone?

 

JUNE

Having taken pole and won the first five races, Vettel has to miss the next three for an operation to free index finger stuck in the vertical position. Dr. Marko blames Webber for finishing second and deliberately not winning to avoid giving Seb relief from single digit duty.

One HRT driver gets the first 2011 rear wing in time for Valencia.

Ecclestone denies he is planning 42 Grands Prix in 2012. "It's 45. But no more. Absolutely."

Nigel Mansell bumps into toilet door "at 190 mph" while going for a pre-race pee at Le Mans.

Group Lotus negotiations with Ferrari stall as Maranello refuses to paint its cars black, gold with a bit of red.

BBC TV interview Stefano Domenicali.

 

JULY

 

Webber falls off his bike cycling to Silverstone and requires extensive surgery to his nose. Dr. Marko, hearing half the story, insists the new nose be given to Vettel.

Sir Richard Branson unveils Project 1911, an e-book designed by the Virgin team. It has a hard back with printed pages inbetween.

WikiLeaks shows memo from Fifa thanking Bernie Ecclestone for suggesting they would benefit financially from having the football World Cup in countries with plenty of money and no particular interest in their sport.

Dr. Marko blames Mark Webber because he likes cricket.

Group Lotus negotiations with McLaren fail because Vodafone has no signal in Norfolk.

 

AUGUST

 

Both HRT drivers finally get first front wings in time for Hungary.

Hungaroring installs a 'Schumacher Only' lane on the extreme right-hand side of the pit straight.

When asked if rumours about 52 Grands Prix in 2012 are true, Ecclestone says: "No. There'll be 52."

Group Lotus talks with Mercedes fail because Michael Schumacher discovers Swiss senior citizen bus passes not accepted in Norwich.

Planned Irish Grand Prix under threat due to country's dire financial crisis.

Bernie Ecclestone buys Ireland.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

Webber wins Italian Grand Prix. Gerhard Berger goes on Red Bull TV to say Webber did it deliberately and should have braked more often.

Group Lotus talks with Force India fail because the Lotus Elise does not have enough room inside for two passengers, a Half Tandoori Chicken and a King Prawn Biriani takeaway.

HRT stop both cars and start new drivers halfway through Singapore Grand Prix.

FIA reveal 2012 F1 calendar with 54 races.

Bernie Ecclestone offers the National Geographic Society 1 billion Euros to investigate whether it's possible to add another month - suggested name, Moneyuary - between January and February.

Eddie Jordan finishes answer to question asked by BBC's Jake Humphrey in Monaco.

 

OCTOBER

Group Lotus talks with Williams fail because Lotus not from Venezuela and don't have loads of money.

Sarah Palin says Williams are fudging the issue. "You couldn't possibly drive a car in Venezuela, that nice Italian city that has those flooded streets because of global warming."

Dr. Marko says global warming is Webber's fault because there's too many barbecues in Australia.

India smashes all records with topping out of pit building, turning on water and power, laying of Tarmac, removal of stray elephants, opening of trackside Indian take-away concessions, track inspection, free practice, qualifying and race all taking place on 30 October.

Alonso wins in India. British media claim it's a scandal and he only won because no one else was faster.

BBC TV interview Stefano Domenicali.

 

NOVEMBER

 

Group Lotus talks with Sauber fail because there are no mountains or cuckoo clocks in Norfolk.

Under the Abu Dhabi floodlights, Ferrari mistake silver HRT for a McLaren and have Massa stay in front of it throughout the race to finish next to last.

British media claim Alonso deliberately turned the lights down.

BBC TV interview Stefano Domenicali.

Armed gang stop HRT team minibus outside Interlagos. Robbers end up emptying their pockets and giving everything they possess to their victims.

Bernie Ecclestone held up not long after and hands over keys to Ireland. Gang throws them back.

 

DECEMBER

 

A HRT finally finishes the Japanese Grand Prix.

Bernie Ecclestone sells Ireland back to Ireland at a profit. Ireland agree to alleviate unemployment by deporting spectators to the Chinese and Turkish Grands Prix.

Group Lotus talks with HRT succeed on basis HRT will have access to Lotus 49 and 72 chassis. Malaysian government changes its mind and makes Spanish compulsory in Norfolk.

WikiLeaks says, according to White House secret cables, US state governors were instructed to update a list of key cities which would "critically impact the public health and economic security of the United States if they were to stage a F1 Grand Prix."

Sarah Palin "refudiates" this as a "misunderestimation" because Brazil's Interlagos track is a well-known public health hazard, unlike Madison Square Gardens, "that histrioricle shrine to American auto racing hermitage".

Dr. Marko blames Mark Webber.

Maurice Hamilton , a freelance motor sport writer and broadcaster since 1977, is the author of more than twenty books and contributes to websites and magazines worldwide.

His weekly column for Grandprix.com was Highly Commended in the 2011 Newspress New Media Awards.

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