My winter of discontent...
I sat down to write another piece on Michael Schumacher and his comeback to go with the other eleventy billion pieces on Michael Schumacher’s comeback and realised that I had absolutely zero desire to write that piece. I instead decided to make a point of how I hate December and January with regard to F1 every single year.
If F1 fans were dinosaurs (of the carnivorous type – who exactly appreciates veggie dinosaurs? Rubbish.) December and January provide us the equivalent of one T-Bone to feed the whole tribe (or herd or whatever the correct bloody word is). The excitement of last year has faded, the major driver announcements and news are well behind us and the new cars are not yet here. The Premier League is just starting to ramp up, the Super Bowl is a few weeks away and absolutely nothing is happening in F1.
Those that have to make news are considering the significance of Schumacher pulling rank over Nico for the #3 on his car. This is news? Really? Wow. Schumacher probably is up to his same old psychological tricks or maybe he really is just superstitious. I’m saddened if not surprised that this is at the top of the F1 news reel. Exactly what else is going on right now?
USF1 are considering hiring Argentinean tintop champs, Campos may or may not make the grid, Sauber has announced the solid and unspectacular de la Rosa alongside Kobayashi. Renault are probably going to sign Vitaly Petrov and Toro Rosso are internally upset that they couldn’t find something, anything, better than Alguersuari for their second seat.
As F1 fans we like to pretend that this stuff is interesting us and that we care but what we really want is the start of testing, so we can discuss who is sandbagging, who has left three drips of fuel in there car to get it to the top of the timesheets and debate whether or not MS looks good in his first outing in a 2010 car.
What I and you, possibly secretly, are railing against is the lack of F1 in our lives, during the season we get caught up in it, qualifying, the races, the penalties, the reliability (or lack thereof), the rise and decline of various drivers and teams, the overtaking moves, the crashes and all the rest. Right now we get MS has changed his number, it’s like trying to fill a lake with a bottle of Evian.
Like the football fan that pretends the transfer market holds his interest or the American Football fan that waits wide-eyed for the draft what we should really acknowledge is that F1 is currently in the sporting form of hibernation.
Thankfully however hibernation is about to end, the thaw from our proverbial spring is going to start, slowly at first, with the car launches and testing before we get to the season proper in March. At that point we can forget about how right Carlos Tevez is about Gary Neville being a moron and concentrate on F1 again.
We can look forward to the drama that will no doubt unfold this year and hope against hope that Bernie sorts his head out on this idiotic shortcut thing he’s been blathering on about.
I can’t wait for the rains to come, the car launches, the testing, the rumours, the sandbagging, the unreliability, the first practice in Bahrain, the cheers, the tears and the drama. My lake will be full again and Evian can go back to being something that looks appropriate next to a salad.
And no-one will give a toss what the number on Schumi’s car is. Thank f**k for that.