Two races in and Formula One has lost none of its ability to confuse or surprise. While there’s no doubt that the number of wet races enlivened last season no end, which numpty thought running a Grand Prix in the middle of Malaysia’s rainy season, at the precise time of day when the rain was likely to be at its heaviest was a good idea?
Bernie Ecclestone is determined to shift F1’s geographical axis. That means more races in countries whose governments are prepared to stump up the colossal sums of money he requires before he’ll let them have the ‘show’.
Which in turn means races being run in either ridiculously humid conditions, or in the middle of deserts, or – because Bernie wants more TV audience-friendly start times – at an hour of the day when the sunlight is fiercest or the rain Biblically heavy.
Anyone who’s ever dealt with Bernie understands his modus operandi, but this is getting silly.
Yes, I enjoyed being able to watch yesterday’s Malaysian GP while I had my cornflakes. But I’d have sooner have been watching a race that actually finished, rather than one that dissolved into an embarrassing spectacle during which no-one appeared to have the faintest clue what was going.
Still, there were some unexpected upsides.
While Jake Humphrey, David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan gamely tried to fill 45 minutes of what broadcasters call ‘dead air’, we got to see Kimi Raikkonen in the garage, having changed into a pair of shorts, eating a chocolate ice lolly while the team’s PR reassured the viewing public that both drivers were ready to go if the race was restarted.
Ferrari’s President Luca di Montezemolo is in the habit of throwing heavy items at his TV when the Scuderia mess up or don’t win a race. I doubt his TV made it to yesterday lunchtime intact…