The Drood Report

Nick Fry is a jerk.

A Drood Report Primer: Who We Dislike

Everyone has allegiances. Everyone has likes and dislikes. Having spent over two decades following this sport, I have some fairly strong opinions. To give folk an idea where I stand, I plan to write two lists. One of those I dislike in the sport. The “bad guys” if you will. Then I’ll post about those I like. Those are the “good guys”.

So what does it take to make it onto the bad guy list? Well I’m old fashioned. I believe in fighting fair, gentlemanly conduct, sportsmanship etc… For example were it two years ago, top of the list of bad guys would be Michael Schumacher. He was a cheat. The man was a weasel who lacked any redeeming qualities as a sportsman. This is not open to debate. What other driver has had his points for an entire season thrown out due to his behaviour on track? (1997) Or been universally condemned for deliberately blocking the track during qualifying? (Monaco). Or when punted on the first lap deliberately parked on the track to try and force a red flag so he could rejoin. (One of many incidents reported in F1 Magazine in the wake of the Monaco farce.)

However, the weasel is gone, so let’s move on to the 2007 rogues gallery.

1) Lewis Hamilton, the Gap-Toothed little Muppet. It’s so sad what difference a year can make. I follow a lot of racing. I follow GP2. I was thrilled watching Lewis race GP2 in 2006. He was a joy to watch. I was excited as hell to see him coming to F1. The boy clearly had talent. However, GP2 coverage is lacking one thing F1 coverage has. Driver interviews etc… You see in GP2, you get to see how the driver is behind the wheel. You get no indication of their personality out of the car. And Lewis has all the charm and charisma of a road accident.

First, there’s the media obsession with the guy. And his bloody father. His father got more face time than Anthony Davidson. I hate it when folk that have literally nothing to do with the actual sport get on TV. It never used to happen. Then Mika Hakkinen married a vaguely hot woman. Then she started appearing on TV regularly and it was all down hill from there. Now sundry personalities not directly involved get more TV coverage than guys low down the field. I think that’s wrong. They even started interviewing the bastard on the grid. Yeah, sod Davidson. Sod Sato. Sod everyone actually, you know, INVOLVED in the race. Let’s interview this guys Dad and ask him about his vapid offspring.

Secondly, there’s his attitude. Late last year at the height of his feud with Fernando Alonso, the guy just would NOT shut up. Every day I’d check Autosport’s website and there’d be some new idiotic remark from the boy. This guy has been under McLaren’s wing for a decade, and yet it seems NOBODY in the team, who admittedly were a little distracted what with their cheating and all, took him to one side for a quick “Dealing With the Media 101” course. Not to mention that when Alonso screwed up, like in Japan, he came out and said “Yep, my fault”, whereas when Lewis parked it in a Chinese rock garden, Lewis didn’t take any blame and everyone at McLaren was in a race to see who could throw themselves on the sword first, completely ignoring the fact that the REAL reason for the retirement was Lewis drove like an idiot and destroyed his tyres. Which is one reason the endless media hype around him makes me sick. Yes, he’s fast. However all the speed in the world does you no good if you can’t temper it with wisdom and intelligence, an area where Lewis is severely lacking. He’s also shown himself to be a lot less than sporting in his behaviour on track.
What is interesting is how popular opinion has turned against him, despite what the likes of ITV would have you believe. Around the Canadian Grand Prix I’d become sick of the Lewis phenomenon. I talked to some friends and said I couldn’t stand the guy now. They all turned on me and started heaping scorn upon me, condemning me etc… By the time Japan rolled around, they all agreed with me. Not sure if it was the overhyping of the guy, his personality or what, but they’d all come around and now agreed with me that he is a chore of an individual and entirely not worthy of the level of adoration he’s receiving.

Of course, because he’s black, the problem is anyone who loves the guy can play the RACISM card on you if you criticize him, and there’s nothing you can counter it with. With Schumacher, it was all opinion. The fact that those defending him were utterly wrong had nothing to do with it, it was still opinion and those defending him could easily be battered down with inescapable fact. Now here we are. “You’re just saying that because you’re a racist.” James Allen, erstwhile moron of ITV commentary infamy has even said as much. I’m quite certain that with some people, the fact Lewis is black IS a big part of the reason, if not the sole reason they don’t like him. Me on the other hand am very pleased to see a black guy finally make it into this marvelous global sport. It’s just too bad he’s a jerk.

2) Felipe Massa: Entirely unworthy of either multiple paragraphs, or a Ferrari drive. Who does this guy have incriminating pictures of? He’s a nobody. He’s white noise in a red suit and yellow helmet. He’s never going to be champion. He’s only won races because he’s in the best or second best car. The fact is there are people sitting in their underwear reading this that, if put in that Ferrari, could do what he’s done. He’s mediocrity personified and, thanks to being in the right place at the right time, is punching way WAY above his weight.

3) Anyone else at Ferrari who isn’t Kimi Raikkonen: Weasels. Politically manipulative scumbags who are an insult to the sport with their endless lawyering, rule twisting and generally douchebaggery. A team acting like weasels is hardly unusual in F1. However, most of them don’t have the full weight of the FIA behind them, unlike The Scarlet Menace. The team represent everything I loathe about modern F1. Actually stated last year they had no problem winning the championship in the courtroom. That, my friends, is a supreme example of why Ferrari are evil.

4) Anyone else at Mclaren who isn’t Heikki Kovalainen: I used to be a big Mclaren fan. When the espionage crap blew up, I was on their side. Martin Whitmarsh stood up and claimed in so many words that Ferrari were evil for saying about winning the title in the courtroom, McLaren would never do that… Fast forward to the end of the season. McLaren get a sniff of a possibility to get Lewis the title in the courtroom, and dive on it immediately. The only thing I hate more than outright weasels like Ferrari is backstabbing hypocrites like McLaren. It’s one thing to be openly evil like Ferrari. McLaren are no better. If anything, they’re worse, because Ferrari never play the innocent routine. McLaren did, then did a complete 180 in an attempt to win the title in a fashion they had condemned Ferrari for just weeks earlier.

5) Max Mosley: It would be wrong of me to remind everyone that his father was the leading fascist in England in the 1930’s, so I won’t mention it. For a good read on how Mosley got where he is today, you should read this. The FOCA/FISA war was an interesting time in F1, and ultimately Bernie’s mate took control of the governing body. Anyway, Max is a turd of the highest order. His rule changes and decisions are asinine and misguided. The guy is completely in the thrall of Ferrari. He has never made a single sensible decision in his entire time as head of the FIA. In short, any self-respecting F1 fan should loathe the guy.

6) Bernie Ecclestone: Has bought the sport to dizzying heights and deserves tons of credit for that. However he’s on this list for being a misogynistic prick and likening women to domestic appliances.

7) ITV’s commentary team excluding Martin Brundle. Various countries around the world get ITV’s commentary. It’s been medically proven that listening to ITV’s F1 coverage causes you to lose IQ points at the rate of 3.5 per 7 minutes. I plan to publish my paper proving this any day now for peer review…

8) Jenson Button: Overrated. Hearing Ross Brawn refer to Jenson Button as a “proven race winner” on “Inside Grand Prix” nearly had me choking on my tea. He’s no more a “proven race winner” than Olivier Panis. Massive meteorological circumstances gave him his first win.

There are others who could be on this list. For example I think Mark Webber is a jackass most of the time, but I wouldn’t say I actively dislike the guy. In fact his forthright opinion after Lewis drove like a moron in Japan and caused the Red Bull/STR accident, I smiled. When it comes to drivers, to be on my dislike list means I actively cheer when your car fails. I have never cheered a Webber retirement.

So there we go. The “bad guys”.

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March 13, 2008 - Posted by | f1 | ,

2 Comments »

  1. A salient point to add about Massa is that he has the ability to drive fast when he is by himself on the track, but as soon as another driver is there to race he chokes. Hard. I remember telling my wife that he was about to school Lewis Hamilton in Malaysia, and then he went off instead of the rookie.

    Comment by rocketv | March 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. Yes, I remember that. I hadn’t started disliking Hamilton at that point and found it hilarious. If I recall didn’t Lewis sucker him twice?

    That’s what I don’t get with Lewis. He seems to have some aspects of racecraft down, but not others.

    Comment by simracing | March 13, 2008 | Reply


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