Marko, Translated

Danke to MotorSportsTalk for the link.

I see your lips moving, but I can’t hear what you’re saying.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has revealed that the team considers the dispute between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to be over.

Vettel ignored team orders to overtake Webber for the lead in the dying stages of the Malaysian Grand Prix last Sunday, as the internal tension at Red Bull boiled over for all to see. Although many believe the matter is far from over, Marko has assured the media that the issue has been put to bed.

“In the debrief afterwards, there was the relevant discussions about the race and then there was a handshake between the two drivers,” Marko said to the BBC.

“For us, now, the issue is settled.”

Marko has frequently favored Vettel over Webber, calling the Australian “inconsistent”, but on this matter he has said that triple-champion Vettel was in the wrong.

“I don’t think he will do that again.

“They don’t have to be completely on the same page but it must be a solid working partnership.”

Although the handshake between the two drivers suggests that the situation is not irreparable, the matter is likely to still be the talk of the paddock when Formula One returns in two weeks’ time at the Chinese Grand Prix. However, Red Bull will be keen on drawing a line underneath the entire dispute, in order to prevent their championship charge being damaged from the inside.

Marko – “This shit is over because VET and I say it’s over. Anybody who continues to have a problem with this shit, they are the one with the problem. Then we’re gonna have a problem.”

You know, I remember this one time, I was a kid. This other kid: some asshole in his half-tint, rim-less glasses was giving me shit. Probably for being a fat dork, which, hey. Somehow, his mom gets involved and makes us shake hands. I never saw that kid again. I can assure you, my fat dork status notwithstanding, I would’ve attempted to kick the shit out of that kid, had we crossed paths.

I’m betting WEB holds that “handshake” in the same light. Just sayin

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Inscrutable Kimi, Translated, Part 2

The first rule of Kimi Klub is that you don’t talk about Kimi Klub. The second rule of Kimi Klub is that YOU. DON’T. TALK. ABOUT. KIMI. KLUB! Any questions?

Thanks to Lotus F1 for the link!

Toni Vilander has been a very close friend to Kimi since they started racing together as 10-year-olds and were also in the army together.

Toni won the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship for Ferrari in the GTE class and is a very experienced GT racer.

“As we race in different places we have not been seeing each other very often, but I think the friendship is forever” he says.

Toni is a father himself and Kimi is also the godparent of his son Luukas.

Was it any kind of a surprise to Toni to see his friend having such a consistent season after two years’ absence?

“I was more surprised about Kimi making a comeback than how he performed during last season” says Toni. “When he stopped, he was so fed up with Formula 1 and kept saying “never again”. I think it’s a good thing to have some distance away from everything and do something totally different, like rallying. That’s how your way of thinking changes and your approach gets stronger and stronger.

“Kimi is Kimi. It doesn’t matter how different the cars, the tyres or the rules are, it takes only a couple of laps and he is straight away within a second of the top guys. That’s what he did at the beginning of the Lotus era, too.”

Kimi’s image as a laid back person was seen even more during his first season as a Lotus F1 Team driver. His physio, Mark Arnall, has been working with Kimi since 2001 and asserts that the laid back image gives a false impression of how hard the Finnish star trains.

“When Kimi races he is not laid back. He fights and keeps fighting as long as the car is moving. That’s how he works in training as well. Since we started, he has always been like that. He gives 110% every time, whatever the programme.”

Kimi even ensures that his trainer stays in top condition. “He gave me the latest heart rate monitor from Finnish company Suunto for Christmas” says Mark.

One long-time trusted friend has a big input into how Kimi looks on track. Uffe Tägtström – one of the leading helmet designers in the racing world – has been designing Kimi’s helmets since his karting days.

The driver is very much involved in the design process too, so how artistic is Kimi?

“Artistic? I would not say he is very artistic, but he knows what he wants and he is very fashion-conscious. He is certainly of his generation” Uffe says.

Kimi has always been a trend setter in design style. “Sometimes it has been that whatever Kimi brings to his helmet design, it doesn’t take that much time to see the same idea in some way on somebody else’s helmet, too.”

Kimi saves all his helmets and remembers the season just by having a look at the helmet design.

“Usually Kimi gives a hint of what should be on his helmet for the season ahead” says Uffe. “I’ll then make five different versions of the idea on the computer and he picks what he likes the most.

“Last year he wanted to have his race number up there. He had the number previously during the McLaren times, but then it was at the back of the helmet. Now the number has changed from 9 to 7, but there isn’t that much of a change for 2013, just some new partners” Uffe explains.

At the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, Kimi showed his respect to a driver of the 1970s when he incorporated the James Hunt design and name on his helmet.

“The idea was there for many years, but with McLaren and Ferrari, there was no opportunity to use it. Last year it was perfect and the feedback was great too” Uffe praises.

Let’s wait and see what Monaco brings along this time…

Fucking Kimi is so inscrutable, we couldn’t find anybody to say shit about him, good or bad. “Kimi works way harder than people realize.” Duh!

I love that even the guy who designs his helmet is, like: “EeeeYeah. . He’s not artistic. I’m so Finnish, I have no tolerance for any bullshit at all, ever. I can’t even be expected to patronize the guy who pays my bills second-hand. Please: I have 73 grants from the IFACCA that say I know shit about Art and he, has zero grants from the IFACCA, but he does have 1 ka-billion $US that say I will put whatever the fuck he says to put on his helmet.” And thus ends the interview. 

At this point, Kimi would have to light Mark Webber on fire on the track while not responding to direct orders from the team not to do so for me to say that he isn’t the greatest human ever to breathe the air of our little, funny globe/planet/thingy, here, in space. In the galaxy. In the Universe. Since The Big Bang. Since the seven dragons.

Hamilton Singing, Translated

Seriously, if I’m at all responsible for Lewis thinking he should sing, I’m really sorry. Like, this is probably worse than the time I got caught with the transvestite hooker.

Amazing Gracias to Formula 1 Blog for the singing link telegram.

Things are looking up for Lewis Hamilton. He still has his girlfriend, Pussycat Dolls lead singer and X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, as well as a new dog, named Roscoe, and a brand new jet worth £20m. The one thing he gained by going to Mercedes was a bit of autonomy and that could allow him to re-focus on his music. the one thing he loves and hasn’t seen to fruition.

That could be a case of history as producer Angel has been working with Hamilton and has recorded 12 songs. Angel said:

“He sounds better than certain singers. He’s a proper singer. It’s a breath of fresh air. He’s got a smooth vocal,” said Angel.

“I hope (he does release them) because it’s actually crazy. Right now he’s just recording. He’s a perfectionist. He doesn’t want to rush. If it doesn’t sound right, he’ll record it again.

“It’s a real diversity. He’s got rap — “dirty south” kind of tunes, some massive pop records and soul records. We’re doing all types of genres. We’ve written about 12 songs so far.”

How’s that for an endorsement? Comes in handy having a music business girlfriend and a desire to record songs. Lewis is a lover of music and has spent a lot of time learning guitar and one presumes having a well-known producer to handle vocal production, well that is the icing on the cake. Angel said:

“I was chilling in a restaurant and he was in the studio opposite. My manager got an email saying he’d been referred to us after hearing I did vocal production. We left the restaurant and went straight over and the day after we started working together.”

Hamilton came under criticism two years ago when his personal life seemed to be adding distraction and stress on his professional life. His on-track performance seemed to struggle from time-to-time and he admitted that his eye was off the ball… at the expense of McLaren. His desire to record music, travel with his pop music girlfriend and chill with Hollywood folks may have gotten in the way of his desire to be world champion again.

Will it have an impact on his new role at Mercedes? Most likely not as Hamilton proved last year that he is capable of re-focusing and getting on track with a terrific performance that came short of a title. Hamilton likes his new life and if the team keep asking teammate Nico Rosberg to stay behind Lewis, as in the Malaysian Grand Prix, then his life can only get better as the clear number one at Mercedes.

HAM – “So, guys! Guys! I’ve totally decided to join the awesome ranks of people-who-are-pretty-good-at-one-thing-but-pretty-much-suck-at-another and I’m totally recording another album/dropping some mad cash on studio time since I have so much money I don’t know what do with it all. Ok, ok, I know: Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby, Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Bruce Willis. .. I  know! It’s an impressive track record! A daunting task to achieve more than these guys have, musically, right? But I think I’m up to the challenge! Also, money.

Even though this album-thing already kinda became a thing with my last team, I figured: Hey, it’s new team, a new start. I know all the other drivers succeed by being completely committed to driving, to racing. I kinda think: it only bit me in the ass once before, I should try it again! Besides: I am Dope Beats! Really: I am. And I don’t say that just because I paid Jan Smith a kazillion dollars to say my name in the same breath as Drake and The Biebs. She did that ’cause I’m AAAAWESOME. (Confidential to all y’all: How do I know this album will be dope? Nicole and I did this thing with the Ouija Board and we totally contacted Rick James in the afterlife! For reals, yo! We dropped some tracks for Rick’s ghost and said it was at least as good as Eddie’s best tracks! Awesome, right!? Then his ghost asked us for some crack. . .but, awesome, right!!??)

Don’t worry, Merc! If I start sucking at racing, I’ll just blame the tyres. OMG, those A-holes at Pirelli, amiright?!!

Bless.

Bonus Translation: Angel – “Oh my GOD! These fucking checks that he’s writing me for sitting in the booth, listening to his cat-strangling, nodding my head to his “beats” are fucking HUGE! HUGE! 12 whole songs! 12 times I want my fucking soul back! Oh, but those sweet, sweet gigantic checks!”

Kimi’s Mom, Translated

Kittos to Lotus F1 for the link.

Iceman – the nickname given to Kimi Räikkönen by Ron Dennis at the beginning of the 2002 season – suits the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion perfectly.

The Finnish star is most likely the coolest guy in Formula 1… ever. There is nothing that really makes him upset, angry or happy for more than fifteen minutes or so. Kimi is quick to put everything behind him. The cool nature is innate.

Kimi’s mother Paula remembers him only once being very nervous and losing his cool outlook. He was six years old at the time.

Paula took her son for a regular check-up with their doctor and Kimi had to wait in the corner with toys to keep him occupied as mother and doctor talked. There were many toys, but suddenly Kimi became agitated, biting his finger nails and acting very nervously.

“The doctor started to think that Kimi perhaps had a concentration problem,” Paula explains,“but it was only a question of the toys!

“In those days Kimi was interested in jigsaw puzzles and felt that the jigsaw puzzle available in the surgery was too easy. He saw the puzzle for older children – for 10-15 years old – but could not reach it. The doctor’s assistant refused to give it to him and told him it was meant for older children, not for him.

“Finally Kimi got the more difficult jigsaw puzzle, put the pieces in place and smiled. The doctor was laughing; convinced now that this kid did not have any kind of problem with concentration,” Paula says with the pride of a parent in her voice.

Kimi learnt to drive around that age and – as with putting the pieces together in a jigsaw puzzle – so he started to become the master of putting pieces right in his racing, without losing his concentration in any circumstances.

Paula confirms that Kimi’s willpower has always been tremendously strong.

“He is always going his own way. Whatever you do, you cannot change his mind if he has decided something. As a small kid, if I wanted him to help me in some household chores – let’s say like taking a trash can out – if I saw he didn’t want to do it, i had to ask in an opposite way. I’d say to him: “Don’t you take the trash can out; I will do it myself.” Usually that way Kimi did it,” his mother recalls.

So when did his parents find out that their younger son had the talent to become a world-class motorsport star?

“The closest people – like parents – never see those kind of things themselves,” says Paula. “I think we noticed some promising signs for the first time when Kimi was about ten years old and started in the junior classes of go-karts in Finland. It was a father of one the competitors – who had a lot of experience as a mechanic for his own son – who started to ask; “who’s that boy in car number 104?” [which was Kimi].

“He said that with that attitude and that speed he would go far; and he was right” Paula smiles.

His mother also knows the strengths of her son.

“An absurd will to win every time and a never give-up attitude; that’s Kimi. From the time he started racing, he kept turning the steering wheel as long as the wheels kept rolling. I think it is that Finnish-style of tenacious fighting spirit we call ‘sisu’ in him.”

How surprised was Paula when Kimi decided to make a comeback to Formula 1?

“To be honest, I was amazed. Kimi never talks about his work with me if I don’t ask first, but I heard some rumours of his negotiations with Williams and I asked him about that. He answered that he would go to Lotus, because it was a better option for him.

“It was a surprise. His friends had been saying to me that Kimi was so tired and finished with Formula 1 and then suddenly he went back. I think it was very good for him to have his break as he seems to really be enjoying racing again” she emphasizes.

The closest people – relatives and friends – know a totally different Kimi Räikkönen compared to the one race fans see. He is far from lacking emotion, far from being blunt and tough. Quite to the contrary, he likes to help, he likes to be around, he likes to take care of his family.

Kimi’s brother Rami has two sons, Justus and Tiitus. Kimi is a godparent of the elder, Justus, and continually brings presents for both of them.

“The boys are in a way like I was with Kimi; competing with each other in every possible way. Kimi likes to keep them well equipped with all kind of racing stuff for kids. This Christmas he bought them tablets; or should I say Santa Claus brought tablets for them”Rami reveals.

But how close are the ever-competing Rami and Kimi nowadays?

“Kimi is my brother. I think it’s a very normal brother-to-brother relationship. We talk almost every week, we play ice hockey and do some other sports together. We both have our own work and that takes time; especially Kimi who works and travels a lot.”

Kimi’s Mom – “On the day that Kimi was born. . .  Oh, I’ve never told anyone this. . .On the day Kimi was born, we were in the delivery room, the doctor was there, a nurse and no one else. Not long before Kimi was born, an unearthly chill filled the room. The doctor and his staff, who had been shouting out words of encouragement, turned strangely silent. Our excited breath became visible inside the room and steam rose from my body. Seven ice dragons appeared in the room, then, surrounding the bed where I lay. Their crystalline wings and translucent bodies barely rustled in the now silent delivery room as their nostrils flared and their chests heaved in the suddenly, ice-cold October air. 

My body, though, had not stopped. My baby, Kimi, was coming. The ice-dragons stoically watched as the doctor and the nurses went about the business – who, being from Finland, must’ve seen this sort of thing before – of bringing young Kimi into the world. Kimi cried for a moment when he arrived, not from the cold: I could tell he was unperturbed by the presence of seven ice-dragons in the room. The dragons’ icy wings shook as they watched Kimi take his first, crisp, breathes and the crystals from their bodies filled the room with a ephemeral, snowy fog. It was through this fog that I saw the largest ice dragon, with a wry grin/not-grin, lay a small racing car, with a sort of trident or futuristic plane logo on the side, next to the now-swaddled infant. Kimi took the still-frosty car in his hands and the dragon half-whispered, half-roared, “Nyyrikki hunts again!!”

The fog turned to blizzard as the six remaining dragons roared their approval, flapping their wings, chanting as they all, all seven, dissipated into the taciturn, Finnish night, “A new Ukko, a new Nyyrikki, A new hunter thunders!”

Other than that, and the puzzle story, nothing really strange happened in Kimi’s youth. It was a normal, Finnish childhood.”

 

Actual Sincerity

As over-blown as this WEB, VET, RBR Hullabaloo may or may not be, it has certainly highlighted a couple of things for me: 

1. F1 is a pretty spectacular fusion of zero-sum and non-zero sum theory. On one hand, you’ve got A Team. A Team that has to work together for the benefit of The Team so that The Team can win. Then, at the center The Team, there are two people and their only goal is to fucking defeat all the other drivers everywhere, all the time, and your mother. How the tension of that fusion is harnessed is pretty amazing. You could say, use it to power A Team to victory/use banana peels to power your Delorean into the future or, OR, you could use it to fucking obliterate everything/all other drivers and you’re left a winner. . . in a desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland. Fun stuff! 

2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Sport, in general, is kind of a stand-in for battle, no? As much as it sucks, sometimes, to win (which, um, is the point. No, wait! It’s how you play the game! Augh, no! It’s winning! Augh!) you have to be a dick. I know, I know: We’d love all battle to be noble; we’d love all our heroes and anti-heroes to adhere to some sort of moral code on and off the battlefield. It’s all pretty fucking easy for us to say when 25 Driver Points are just. Within. Our. Grasp. The world/F1/Marriage (what?!) is a cruel place.

So, there: Actual Sincerity ™. We all bitch about Team Orders and Bernie the Puppetmaster and this and that but, really, we watch and love this sport for the very things that make us crazy! 

And that is how, on this day, I drew a straight logical line between F1 and my wife. Love you, honey! Love you, too, honey!

P.S. (Gentlemen! Feel free to use the above logical progression next time you get into it with your wife. Let me know how it goes!)

Horner, Translated

Two advantages: 1. Improves signal reception from Planet VettelEcclestone. 2. Muffles Mark’s sobbing and Seb’s chortling.

Takk to ESPNF1 for the link

Vettel’s decision to ignore team orders and overtake Webber to take victory in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix has led to criticism of Vettel and left a question mark over Webber’s future. Horner, however, defended Vettel by saying Webber would have done the same but admits it’s the latest showing of a lack of trust between the two drivers.

“They’re both competitive guys, they both race each other hard,” Horner told Sky Sports. “There has been a breakdown of trust ever since Istanbul; it’s something that we’ve had to manage since 2010 but the most important thing is that they do have a respect for each other when they race each other on track.

“What happened on Sunday was unfortunate but let’s not pretend it hasn’t happened the other way round or in other teams … if Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton had been in that position, they’d have done the same. If Mark Webber had been in that position we’ve seen him do the same. So let’s not kid ourselves that this is something that is unique to Sebastian, this is something that is in any competitive driver’s DNA.”

Asked if he was confident Webber would remain with the team for the rest of the season, Horner replied: “Absolutely.

“Mark knows there was no conspiracy within the team at the weekend; we gave him the priority. Our intention was to shut the race down, to minimise the risk – particularly with the tyre deg that we’d seen – to see out that race, and it was the intent of the team that Mark would win that race.”

Horner – “Sooooo, you see: It was our intent that Mark would win the race and the most important thing is that the drivers respect each other on the track, except that Seb disregarded both of those directives. And, for all my moral and bureaucratic prevarication, it’s all moot, because any driver in that situation would’ve disregarded the team directive, and that makes it ok, except that it’s not ok, except when it’s ok. . . ..Ummmmmm. . . Could I sing you guys a few bars of ‘Skyfall’?”

Vettel, Translated

This stylish hat helps keep me warm when I think cold thoughts of icy, unfulfilling victory.

Thanks to formula 1.com for the link (and their timing!).

As a 27-time Grand Prix winner, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is no stranger to crossing the finishing line in first position. As such, we thought it would be more than appropriate for the 25-year-old triple world champion to be one of the first drivers to take our new ‘Finishing Line’ questionnaire, designed to provide an alternative insight into the minds of today’s Formula One stars…

The sportsperson I most admire is…
Sebastian Vettel:
 Michael Schumacher, as I know him best. It could also be Michael Jordan, but I have never met him so I’ll stick to what I know.

I’m hoping that, after, like, my eighth or ninth championship, they’ll have to change a rule just to make it more interesting. . .you know, to make the other drivers more hopeful, I guess.

The best actor in the world is…
SV:
 John Travolta.

I was in diapers when Pulp Fiction came out, but I’ve heard he’s awesome in that. Swordfish: awesome. Thin Red Line was really weird, but he was in that, I think. Look Who’s Talking 1 and 2 were hilarious. Battleship Earth is a real touchstone for me. I’ve decided that I’m going to go “full-creep” and convert to Scientology so I thought, what better way to acquaint myself with the church than enjoy some John Travolta movies? Did you want to watch some Tom Cruise movies? I’ve got a whole bunch here. No? Wanna listen to some Beck? 

The most memorable overtaking move of my career was…
SV:
 Many – some from way back, some quite recently…

HAH-HA! HAH! HA! Ha! Ah! Ha. . . .Aaaa . . aaaa. . . uh. . .uhhhhhh

My favourite song of all time is…
SV: It depends on the mood. If I really have to pick one, Back In Black.

I like it because it rhymes with “Stab you in the back!”

The best thing about the off-season is…
SV:
 Being home.

The worst haircut I ever got was…
SV:
 My short hairdo at the beginning of 2007!

I cut it really short after I had dreads! Well, Bernie made me cut them off.

The last time I lost my temper was…
SV:
 I lose my temper over small things – but calm down again very fast. A well-tempered personality…

It helps that my heart has adapted to pumping nearly-frozen blood.

My first pet was…
SV:
 The family dog – a Dalmatian by the name of Floyd.

When I say “Dalmatian by the name of Floyd” I mean “Team mate by the name of Mark”.

My most treasured possession is…
SV:
 My memory.

Who am I again?

The funniest person I know is…
SV:
 In terms of humour, Bernie Ecclestone.

I lose my shit every time he does his Andy Warhol impression!

My favourite drink is…
SV:
 Red Bull and apple spritzer.

And the liquified hope of the other drivers. I use it like vermouth!

You would never catch me wearing…
SV:
 Nothing.

Not even the emperor’s clothes!

The best excuse to give your team boss after crashing the car is…
SV:
 I am always honest – even to my disadvantage…

Well, honest. . .dishonest. .. advantage. . . disadvantage. . These are all just words, you know? And, like, if we get to attached to meaning, you know? The words just start to hold us back. . . . like slow team-mates, you know?

The last time I lost something was…
SV:
 I ‘almost’ lose things – recently I thought I’d lost my wallet, but hadn’t. Even more recently I thought I’d lost my passport, but hadn’t…

Like that time I thought I’d lost all the respect that people had for me? Shit, I had had it on the buffet, like, forever. And I kept telling myself: “Put that shit somewhere safe and where you’ll remember that that is where you put it.” Then, it was recycling day like three days ago and I just grabbed up all this stuff and put it out in the alley. I haven’t seen that respect since then, but I know it’s around here. . . somewhere.

My favourite holiday destination is…
SV:
 Home.

My favourite time of the day is…
SV:
 Morning.

Something about the morning air. I don’t know what it is. When you’re, you know, sharpening knives in the morning. It just seems like they get sharper.

The strangest rumour I’ve ever read about myself is…
SV:
 That I had bought an Alp in Austria. And that I had signed for Ferrari.

And that I thought Bernie Ecclestone was the funniest person I know.

The best present I’ve been given by a fan is…
SV:
 A drawing – of me and my car – from a fan at this year’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

It was in crayon and I was all on fire, like I was really fast. And I had these huge fangs and claws and I was, like, eating these human bones. And you could tell I was, like, this totally victorious, undefeatable monster. Down in the corner, scrawled, like, really heavily. . .Like, it took, like, three crayons just to write this. It said, “To: Seb From: Mark”. The crayon was flaking off all over, it was so thick. It’s hard to say, really: I know so many Marks. I’m on the Twitter and stuff. . .so many fans. Love the fans!

The best cure for a hangover is…
SV:
 Water.

I’ve been hungover A LOT (lately).