We’ve all been amused by the intermittent Twitterings of F1Scoop, an F1 journalist whose scurrilous alter ago has four times as many followers as his real self. But for genuine sauce one has to turn to ‘The Horse Whisperer’, an unnamed writer (believed by some to be Luca Cordero di Montezemolo himself) who appears on the Ferrari homepage. This morning he brought his scathing but elegant turn of phrase to bear once again on F1’s new teams in a piece entitled For whom the bell tolls.
I loved this bit:
As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal.
It’s no secret that Bernie Ecclestone is the man behind the cash injection in question, although how much was injected and into which vessel remains a mystery. What is interesting, though, is that Colin Kolles comes as part of the package. When Bernie puts money into an enterprise he likes to have eyes and ears on the factory floor. It looks like Colin has taken on the mantle of John Macdonald.
Next, we have the Serbian vultures. Firstly, they launched themselves into a quixotic legal battle with the FIA, then they picked the bones of Toyota on its death bed. Having got some people on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, they are now hovering around waiting to replace whoever is first to drop out of the game, possibly with backing from that very same knight in shining armour whom we mentioned earlier.
Could he mean Mike Coughlan?
This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president. The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula 1. This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand – you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith – and, as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it.
All very amusing stuff, and executed beautifully. Still, this is the sort of thing that would cause an employee to get into a lot of trouble, residing as it does in a prominent spot on the website of the oldest team in F1. If I were working in the comms department, I’d be asking IT if there was a way of blocking Mr Montezemolo’s access to the content management system, at least until the first espresso of the day had kicked in.
In any case, given the fragile state of F1’s economic health at the moment, perhaps the Horse Whisperer ought to pay closer attention to the sentiments of the John Donne poem he alludes to in the title of his piece:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls.
It tolls for thee.