EFF ONE

Cor! It's a bit posh here isn't it. "Supplier of the motorsport database to the FIA" it says on the masthead, and all in fetching Bernie bus/McLaren grey. It doesn't make it the best of places to poke fun at the sport, but we'll give it a go…

For those of you who have not heard of Eff One (spit, spit) this column has, in one form or another, graced (or more likely grazed) the nether regions of the now defunct F1 News magazine for the past 12 years. Reduced to begging for work outside what in Indiana they call "The Meeja Senna", I somehow persuaded grandprix.com to give me a whirl.

Even allowing for the fact that Americans speak a different version of English to that what I do, I never understood why the natives of Indianapolis (which they call Inn-apolis) always bang on about living in "The Land of the Furry." Admittedly some have strange hair formations on their faces (and that is just the girls) but I think it is more to do with eating steaks the size of a small calf and salads as big as compost heaps every night for dinner. My morning ablutions (I am sure you will be delighted to hear) had to include shaving fur off my tongue with a cut-throat razor.

Speaking of close shaves, what a hilarious finish we had to the Gran Pree. Some of my colleagues in The Media Senna took the high and mighty attitude that one shouldn't tamper with the sport in this way, but I thought it was great fun, particularly as it showed that His Royal Highness King Michael of Kerpen was capable of operating in pea-brain mode. First off he was daft enough to think he could stage manage a dead heat, without first telling Rubens and then he put his foot in it by admitting to the world's media that the team told him not to do it.

Wunnerful stuff. Actually I can reveal that it was not an entirely original idea last Sunday in Inn-apolis because Michael had obviously been watching the Ferrari Challenge race earlier in the day. A trio of Irishmen who compete in the European Ferrari Challenge had shipped themselves across from the Emerald Isle to join in the fun. They were in a different league and to use the local terminology, the Irish whupped the local drivers' asses. Michael Cullen was in the lead but he decided to let his mate Paddy Shovlin (He's a builder - No, really, I kid you not) take the victory. The only problem was that when Cullen slowed to let Shovlin through, he was unaware he had taken the checkered flag a lap earlier.

I watched this great event unfold while having a spot of lunch in the company of an Irish TV reporter. He was all kitted up with headset with its microphone attachment and got so excited at the sight of his fellow countrymen winning that he forgot to move his mike out of the way before shovelling (or should that be shovlin?) a piece of food into his mouth. If any Irish TV viewers felt his GP comments were particularly meaty this weekend, it's because he was talking through a mike that was now half cable, half cow.

After Schumacher's orchestration of the race result, Germans were not the most popular race with our American hosts and perhaps this explains why a female German radio journalist spent race night in jail, sharing a cell with a load of low lifes. This I should hasten to add would have been a familiar situation to her, as she has worked in F1 for some years now.

The reason for her arrest was that she assaulted an Indiana State Trooper in the course of the post-race Red Bull party, which was held in the glamorous location of an out-of-town aircraft hangar. Copious amounts of alcohol were available, (not that I'm implying anything) and Mr. Trooper was there presumably to see that everyone kept their clothes on. At one point Mr. Trooper pointed out that an area was out of bounds to which the radio lady replied that as it was a private party he had no jurisdiction and pushed him gently out of her path.

Light the blue touch paper and retire! Short of attempting to assassinate the President, showing anything less than total compliance with a request from an Indiana State Trooper is the quickest way for one to get into deep, deep, deep trouble. The next thing you know she's in handcuffs (apparently for the first time in her life) and being bundled into a patrol car. Probably being carted off to jail was not what she had in mind as the perfect end to a perfect day.

Given that punk chanteur and anarchist Johnny Rotten was at the same party and managed to avoid the manacles of the law, she deserves a place in the annals of motorsport. This will be some consolation to her when she is finally released from 10 years of rock-breaking, chained to a woman (with facial hair) who used to be the editor of "Dyke Bikers on Acid."

There was plenty of other madness and mayhem at the bash but there were no further arrests although I did notice one of Jaguar's Paddock Club staff, known as "The Merciless" to her friends, tip a very full glass of Margherita over the team's press officer Nav Sidhu.

I wouldn't say Sidhu likes to maintain a high profile, but when we were told to be in the Jag Paddock Club at 0-Dark Hundred Hours on Friday morning for an important announcement, I thought we would at least learn that for the last two races of the season, Sidhu would be switching sunglass brands and wearing his jacket collar in the down position.

Of course, a quick glance at team boss Niki Lauda is all it takes to see that sartorial eccentricity is evidently a Jaguar theme, what with the Austrian's tatty red hat and the well worn jeans, complete with jauntily undone fly buttons.

Good for you Niki! I say. It's a refreshing change from all the F1 corporate posing.

Sidhu had an exciting weekend which also involved being lifted from his feet by an irate person wearing yellow. No-one at Jordan, however, was able to explain why one of their men would have been involved in such an incident so it is being assumed that the German radio journalist was wearing yellow that day and was also responsible for this outrage.

Getting a soaking seemed to be the theme of the Jaguar weekend - which is no surprise for a team that has been at sea in recent months. Shortly after his retirement from the race Pedro de la Rosa managed to get himself doused from head to foot in water in an incident which runs the race finish pretty close for the most side-splitting moment of the weekend. Although the image of Williams's Patrick Head with his eyes on stalks, pulling his hair out as he watched his two drivers collide was worthy of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Instructed to climb over the barrier at the side of the track, Pedro did as he was told, only to disappear from view in rather a hurry as he plunged into a stream. Of course, he will now and forever be known as Pedro De La River.

Finally, can anyone explain why next to my hotel there was a billboard advertising an insurance company which featured the legend: "A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion."

I can only conclude that the joke does not translate very well although I guess the chicken might have been escaping the Red Bull party having been frightened by a rampant German lady radio reporter…

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