MAURICE HAMILTON

Waxing lyrical


Fernando Alonso, Abu Dhabi GP 2010

Fernando Alonso, Abu Dhabi GP 2010 

 © The Cahier Archive

'Formula One drivers are well-versed in the use of extreme measures in the pursuit of speed but Fernando Alonso, the 2010 championship leader, has taken things a stride further by having his legs waxed.' The Guardian 11 November 2010.

Never before having had to deal with matters of such a personal nature and, as a result, there being no regulatory precedent, the F1 Sporting Code and Technical Regulations have provided the only possible framework for dealing with this sensitive issue. With that in mind and in the interests of fairness, here follows a working guideline issued by the recently formed F1 Waxing Group.

Drivers are restricted to eight leg waxings per season. In the interest of clarity, 'leg waxings' refers to both legs at once, meaning 16 individual legs, but belonging to the same driver.

However, if a driver wishes to wax only his more active right leg, then that may be done 16 times with the proviso that, at season end, he avoids bringing the sport into disrepute by having pictures of the wildly divergent hirsute limbs published by the more salacious sections of the media.

Prior to each Grand Prix, officials may, without warning, carry out a Smoothness Check on drivers' legs. Teams are asked to provide a suitable screened-off area for this scrutineering process in order to avoid the uninformed and vulgar comments that would doubtless arise from HD television images of the scene. (This applies particularly at Monza where we have it on good authority that Prime Minister Berlusconi, should he catch sight of this process, might decide to make such an impromptu check mandatory for all Italian women below the age of 30.)

Drivers must ensure that any waxing is carried out from the ankle upwards. In keeping with race track etiquette, it is strictly forbidden - not to say pointless - to suddenly shave in the opposite direction.

In order to assist teams with reduced budgets, half-leg waxes will be allowed. Which half is entirely at the discretion of the driver.

Should the upper leg be chosen, in keeping with F1 terminology and in order to save embarrassment through the use of highly inappropriate terms, a driver's Bikini Line will henceforth be known as his Reference Plain, below which, of course, adjustments and additions of any kind are closely regulated. We refer specifically to the 2011 F1 Technical Regulations, Article 3.14 'Overhangs' and Article 3.18 'Driver adjustable bodywork' and feel no further comment is necessary at this point.

On the other hand, in order to keep costs to a minimum, well-heeled teams are forbidden to either direct their electronics departments to investigate advanced electrolysis or place their drivers naked in the wind tunnel. CFD may be used provided images and print-outs are not considered pornographic.

In the event of an accident from which a driver steps unhurt, but with his lower limbs exposed, it is essential that TV commentators avoid using expressions such as: "Phew! He's had a close shave and no mistake."

Drivers must declare whether shaving is to be done using cream or wax: in racing parlance, 'wet' or 'dry'. Should a driver wish to change his chosen method during a race weekend, officials must be advised so that, in the interests of fairness, they may post a computer message: 'Change in Cosmetic Conditions', followed by the driver's race number. If the driver has chosen the One-Leg option, this is considered as Race Strategy and does not need to be revealed at this stage.

In the event of a Dead Heat in the World Championship, the drivers concerned will take part in a leg shaving contest in the Interlagos paddock, the winner to be decided by a technical representative from Gillette. To further avoid unfortunate headlines in the tabloid press, under no circumstances should this shaving process be referred to as the drivers 'going off to have a Brazilian before we see them in their moment of glory on the podium'.

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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