125 Comments
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The point of F1 is to give you something to do at 730am on a Sunday. Liberty Media fucked that up when they moved start times to 9am EST.

Expand full comment
author

New York is the whole world dontcha know.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The moment I didnt have to get up to watch the only broadcast of the race, I sort of stopped watching. Now Im like oh I'll enjoy my sunday and watch it that night. But a few hours later I forget and open social. And then I don't bother watching them parade around the track. I think Ive watched 10x more videos on the aero design of the new cars than I have the actual racing!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Same. The technical aspect, design changes, and other little things are what I fall into. I absolutely adore that part of it.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Watching Lewis stick around for years after he's no longer any real threat (even more than now) will be enjoyable for those who were completely tired of hearing about him. I really don't think Max will ever permanently leave though. He might go, but he'll be back.

I hope Alonso keeps at this as long as he enjoys it and wins a championship before he retires.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I think Hamilton fancies himself as a hip-hop artist/fashion designer/Civil Rights leader, but deep down inside realizes his only currency, the only reason people pay him any attention, is his status as an F1 driver.

Expand full comment
author

It's interesting to watch him interact with notable figures of American Black culture. He has literally nothing in common with them, he is physically tiny, and he carries himself like the lower middle class but non-chav white Briton that his mother was. I imagine that the LeBrons of the world go to meet him thinking he is Willy T Ribbs only to find out he is a sexually ambiguous manlet with the mannerisms of Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Expand full comment

Oooo. Harsh!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Jeez man you COOKED him

It's pretty weird how he handles himself though. The outfits are horrid. Dunno if he even knows what he's about.

Expand full comment
author

How could he know who he is? He never got a chance to find out for himself.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

There is lots to say about Angela Cullen here so go ahead and say it.

Expand full comment

I'll start. What was up with having a white woman with bleached blond hair be a valet?

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Passive aggressive show of power having a blonde white woman on a chain.

Expand full comment
author

I think it was a Mommy sex thing to be honest. Lewis hasn't connected well with the ladies with the exception of the narcissist Pussycat Doll.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Wearing trash bags as clothes that even the homeless that live under the bridges in L.A. won't wear doesn't help. I'm surprised he hasn't done a throwback to DEVO or the Beastie Boys Intergalactic video.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

He is now connected to Shakira? Who, like the Pussycat Doll is somewhat older than him, but now instead of being a very young man banging some prime(ish)pop star, to an almost 40 year old hitting tax defrauding over the hill pop stars (I would still hit it it, but I am no a knighted F1 world champion in excellent physical condition)

Maybe to distract Red Bull he should try his luck with Ginger Spice.

Expand full comment

And I hear she's coming back.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Willy T- That is a guy with talent and personality. Imagine a young Willy time-traveled to the present and dropped into an F1 post race interview with todays PR robots. Could be a Comedy Central special in if itself

Expand full comment
author

I still remember him saying that if McDonald's would cover his expenses he'd change his name to Willy T. McRibs

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

What a lad. I like him already.

Expand full comment

The McRib is one of my favorites for some reason. Wish they carried them more often, but the current situation is best for my waistline.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023·edited Jun 22, 2023Liked by Sherman McCoy, Jack Baruth

I think we would continue to hear about Sir Lewis from the Sky commentators even if he was at the back of the grid in a Life L190.

Expand full comment

Had to look up Life Racing Engines. That's one I'd never heard of!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I want real manufacturers fully involved again. If your name is on the car, you should be, to a greater extent, building the car. But that's just me.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I disagree. F1 was at it's best when McLaren, Williams, Benneton, Brabham ran the show. The less bullshit we get over incessant advertising of products and merchandise, the better. Plus it would help keep the insufferable influencer culture away.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

"... McLaren, Williams, Benneton, Brabham...

But weren't they the "real manufacturers" of the cars? Unlike "brands" such as Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, and whoever (Ford, Audi, Cadillac?) shows up next.

Expand full comment
author

What I'd really like to see would be the everyday race car constructors like Van Diemen build an F1 car, like the Swift Indycar or Radical SR9.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

THIS times a million. I've watched F1 since the mid 90's, which also happened to coincide with some of the best racing of any series ever, the CART/PPG Indycar Series. Chassis from Penske, Reynard, Lola, Eagle, later Swift. 800hp engines revving to 15k rpm from Ford, Honda, Toyota, and Mercedes. Drivers like Andretti, Zanardi, Tracy, Villeneuve, and Greg Moore duking it out on tight tracks like Mid Ohio and then super speedways like Michigan.

Expand full comment

You just beat me to that observation.

Expand full comment

And don't forget the Galmer, ugly as sin but with an Indy 500 win to its credit, driven by Little Al.

Expand full comment

And, of course:

"Nigel Ernest James Mansell, CBE (/ˈmænsəl/; born 8 August 1953) is a British retired racing driver who won both the Formula One World Championship (1992) and the CART Indy Car World Series (1993). Mansell was the reigning F1 champion when he moved over to CART, becoming the first person to win the CART title in his debut season, and making him the only person to hold both the World Drivers' Championship and the American open-wheel National Championship simultaneously."

Amazing times in open wheel racing!

Expand full comment

Didn't the Swift win its debut CART Indy car race? Or was it the Reynard? The diversity of chassis and engine manufacturers back in that particular heyday staggers the memory.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

That's my point exactly. The number of different package combinations (I didn't even mention Goodyear v. Firestone!) was insane. I believe the Swift did win on its debut but disappointed thereafter. It was a beautiful little thing.

Expand full comment

The tire situation crossed my mind. There was so much money involved during that era.

Expand full comment

Garagiste.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023·edited Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

When I started watching and attending F1 races, 80% of the competitors used the (Ford) Cosworth DFV V8. The racing was the best it's been in my memory, dare I say very much like that open wheel spec-series in the States!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I guess what bugs me is a team like "Aston Martin" which has nothing to do with the F1 cars, gets to run under the company's banner. Just feels wrong to me. Just like their Le Mans cars should be Aston Martin/Mercedes.

Expand full comment

In that case the only "real" teams are Mercedes, Ferrari and Alpine. F1 has always vacillated between bespoke and "customer" cars but I get your point. At least Aston road cars use MB engines and there's a familial relationship between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

Expand full comment
author

Being complete and total bullshit has been an indispensable part of the Ass-ton "brand" since Victor Gauntlett let go in 1993. An XJS in drag with a jag motor or double Taurus engine, a bunch of mostly identical looking cars with automatic transmissions, a "Vantage" that ties with the Gen 1 SLK for Stubbiest Shitwagon in History, and the repugnant DBX.

The worst thing they ever did was lean on the James Bond thing hard enough to burn it out. Those of us who fancy a British GT car don't like the association and the people who DO like it are a liability.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

James Bond is a total burnout also, so they make a good match. I'd say Aston died with the death of the Virage line. I do wonder if it would have done better had it not been launched into the teeth of the collapse of the exotic car market.

Finally, I can forgive the DB7, since it was a Hail Mary by a very small car manufacturer, doing the best they could with extremely limited funds. But it all just seemed to get worse, not better, after that. I've likely said it before, but no Aston of the modern era has even been a match for the comparable Corvette of its day.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I did really like the looks of the DB9 when it came out. Still think it holds up. What would have made it "more Aston"? Better interior and a real engine/transmisson?

Expand full comment
author

It's gorgeous but totally generic to my eyes... probably the only modern Aston with which I'd bother.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

For a few years Red Bull had Aston Martin as a sponsor on the rear wing. Pre Stroll ownership and pre Honda Engines. AM tied their horse to a Mecachrome engine in those days. I don't think they were running the Renault name on the valve covers.

Expand full comment

It gets very convoluted and incestuous, yet we're supposed to see the Sauber as an Alfa Romeo for the next two seasons until it suddenly reappears as an Audi.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Even better was the sound. At COTA a few years ago they had a support race with those cars. Nobody raced of course but those cars looked and sounded so great. They're like a 3/4 scale race car compared to the current crop.

Expand full comment

At the Saxon ring (I know Sachsenring) in MotoGP we saw Honda reveal that they're not only not competitive but entirely out of the running at a favored track with their top gun. Wreck after wreck with Rins breaking fibula and tibia (and maybe another one?) And Marquez breaking a finger on his fifth or so crash of the weekend.

KTM continues to look like the only manufacture that can pose a challenge to Ducati, but Binder's huge off and likely concussion hurt them overall.

It was great to see Jorge Martin come into his own and fight it out with Bagnaia at the front! Real racecraft shown by each of them and plenty of contact between them and other racers to keep things interesting.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Sunday’s MotoGP was the first time since 1969 that not one Japanese motorcycle made the top ten.

Expand full comment
author

It's frankly odd to see the Japanese bike makers walk away from performance. In no sane world should a Beemer be the most powerful sportbike.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

It sticks in my craw having owned a Kawasaki 500 two-stroke triple and a Honda CB900F.

Expand full comment
author

Same here, with my two XS Elevens, a Super Blackbird, and a ZX14R!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I miss my 82 CB900F every day.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Mine was an 81.

Expand full comment
author

Both of you may be amused by next week's feature here...

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

MotoGP continues to provide the actual racing excitement you don't get out of F1.

I was pretty bearish on the whole sprint race every weekend concept when it was announced, but I've been enjoying them. It seems like a nightmare for the riders though - seems like so many more injuries this year than prior.

Re: Honda - it's even worse than that, Marc's only lost twice there in any category of the 14 times he's competed and both of those were in 125, but the best he could manage in the sprint was 11th. Plus of the 4 riders on Hondas on the grid there was only one that survived uninjured to compete in the feature race.

It's hard to see how the Marc/Honda relationship will continue much longer - he seems to have hit his limit on dealing with the bike and Honda isn't known to deal very well with riders who don't toe the corporate line on everything very well.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I've tried to have this discussion with friends: Is it that Honda has made a shit bike this year or is it that Marc has lost his touch (or is he pushing too hard trying to regain the magic he's been known for his whole career?) Marc has been carrying Honda for years making it normal for all non-Marc Honda riders to be much lower in the points. Looking back at past championship standings, Honda hasn't had a non-Marc rider in the top 5 since Pedrosa in 2017.

Despite what they or anyone might say, Honda had absolutely built a bike that Marc could win championships on. It worked out great for them as he single-handedly won them the constructors title in 2019 (Marc scored 420 of Honda's 426 points that year!) but Marc's injury had to have raised some serious doubts in the minds of the HRC higher-ups about whether that was a sustainable strategy. They've moved away from it being Marc's bike and in doing so, made one that no Honda riders on the grid can ride fast.

Honda needs a MASSIVE turnaround in 2024 otherwise Marc is absolutely walking away from the team. I'd like to see him retire and support his brother but there's no way that's going to happen. I also don't see him winning any championships again as I don't see other manufacturers being as willing to develop a bike just for him as Honda was. I think Marc's lost his mojo and is going to be a danger on the track until he realizes that the competition has finally caught up to him and that he's now a mid-field rider.

Expand full comment

My opinion is that the bike isn't competitive and Marquez is pushing way too hard all the time just to keep it near the front. Hence all the crashes. The other Honda riders maybe aren't at the same talent level but they aren't losers, either. It's kind of sad that maybe the best Japanese bike was the Suzuki and it's gone now.

Expand full comment
founding
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Sherman McCoy, Jack Baruth

Not that you needed me to say this, but your first few paragraphs summed up why I loved watching F1. Schumacher execute the 4 stop fuel strategy on live TV is permanently etched into my brain.

I caught the first 15 or so minutes of the Canadian GP thanks to being broadcast on ABC. It’s the most F1 I’ve watched in years. All I can say is that Sky’s pre-race coverage is miles ahead of what NBC put out there.

For the MX guys, it broke my heart to see Roczen kicking his RMZ after swapping positions with Jett a few times. This is perhaps the first time we’ve seen the latter under real pressure this year. I still say that he can be beat if you can get the right rider out there. Who that rider is these days, I have no idea.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I think it's Chase Sexton once he's back from injury, to me this is the beginning of an era where if you don't have flawless technique, you're not in the top 10. I want Anderson to get back to racing soon, he's my favorite rider to watch because he's so fluid on the bike. Jett probably is too, but his style is such that it looks like he's riding really slow.

Expand full comment
founding
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Isn't Sexton basically out because he has mono? I am starting to think the length of his injury is more of an excuse to not run/get injured prior to the "playoffs" or whatever they're calling them.

What absolutely kills me about this sport is all the secrecy surrounding contracts and silly season. Sexton to KTM has been all but confirmed. Will he be on an orange bike come playoffs? You can tell that he isn't jiving well with the CRF, and he's pretty much said as much.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Maybe that's why Jett seems to stay so upright on the CRF, maybe he could go even faster if he trusted the bike. I haven't ridden any modern Hondas, but the couple of early 00s CRs I tried felt awfully rigid and harsh compared to to Yamahas and Suzukis of the same era. Honda always has to do things a little strange. Who knows how much faster Sexton would be on a bike he trusts? To your point, the sport really needs a Penske or equivalent at the helm, Feld is really fumbling Supercross management. One thing I do like about the playoff thing is that it incentivizes riders to race outdoor who would normally skip it, in order to stack up points.

Expand full comment

Great work, Jack. As Lewis continues to humble George and prove you wrong each week, the Wednesday Night Racing Thread slowly transcends into a saga of what you think of the guy. I don't know how much space is left on your dartboard of him, but keep shooting.

Expand full comment
author

I'm still bullish on George in the long run, for what it's worth. And I have less animosity for Lewis than I do for the kid gloves treatment he's had for 20 years simply because his father is black. (Ironically, his dad was probably the only person in history to treat Lewis badly.)

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

As one who actually went to the Canadian GP I want to say that it looks just like on TV. I did enjoy DeVries and KMag clacking away in front of me. Checo's army wore big ass sombreros. There were Dutch fans dressed like red devils. Jack Daniels sponsored. The Fan Zone had a tattooed barber in short shorts, and yes you could get a real haircut. It rained on Saturday just like last year and took an hour to move 200 yards. The Casino is the ugliest building on the island. Beautiful women DON'T hang out there.

Your faithful observer.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Sherman McCoy, Jack Baruth

I was in section 46 just after the hairpin and have to say, watching the drivers (particularly Alonso, Bottas, and Hamilton) manage their oversteer after the bump on the exit of Turn 10 in the rain during Qualifying was fucking marvelous. The "spectacle" would benefit from lighter cars and skinnier tires.

Expand full comment

The exit of the hairpin was our section the three years my friends and I attended ('96-'98). The first time I saw a car braking for the corner I thought to myself there's no way he's gonna make it. He did but several didn't, testing the limit.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

wide tires ruined racing--my motto since maybe '75

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Or ground effects. Potato potahto

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

bring back the days when the drivers were fat and the tires were skinny.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

A quote from Froilán González.

Expand full comment
author

This is all useful information!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023·edited Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I used to go in the 80s. Fall races. Snow flurries a couple of times. Only a couple of minutes, but snow.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

DeVries and KMag was clown slap boxing. Nobody gets hurt and they both lock in the clown moniker. Still, I thought KMag got screwed though, both times. Run off the road and then not given a shot to make the corner.

Hard to believe DeVries is the same guy that drove the Williams last year.

Expand full comment

Friggin' excellent, especially "The only way to beat it, and subsequently beat Hamilton, is to be a handsome white man in the twilight of his career who loves beautiful women, doesn't work too hard at racing, and doesn’t give a shit about much else, cf. Messrs. Button and Rosberg."

In a naked attempt to drive traffic to my own "Pathfinder Doorhandle" Substack account, here are my thoughts on last weekend's F1 and IndyCar broadcasts themselves:

https://open.substack.com/pub/bimmerfan739/p/antennas-vs-aficionados?r=e0lnc&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

"The only way to beat it, and subsequently beat Hamilton, is to be a handsome white man in the twilight of his career who loves beautiful women, doesn't work too hard at racing, and doesn’t give a shit about much else, cf. Messrs. Button and Rosberg."

I seem to remember Nico busting his ass to beat Hamilton. My thoughts when he retired were that he didn't want to contemplate having to work that hard ever again. He didn't think he had it in him to win another championship and decided to just go out on top.

Expand full comment

Probably more accurate but Jack's take is funnier so he wins!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I think he made up his mind after Brazil. Nico was lucky that race had 3 safety cars and 2 red flags or else Lewis was going to lap him twice in the same car.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023·edited Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Rosberg was lucky and certainly no match for Lewis as a racer but I guess a World Driver's Championship on his resume, a home in Monaco and a handsomer version of Leonardo DiCaprio looking back at him in the mirror was enough. What a quitter! 😅

Expand full comment
author

There are always interesting dynamics with racing sons of racing fathers. Nico probably felt some pressure to match his father's record. He ended up having a few more wins and the same number of championships. Then he retired to have one of the best lives you could possibly have, including his Sky TV gig.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Many feel that the team would be looking out for #1, and he wasn't it and he knew it.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

and let's not forget Button racing from last to first in the epic 2011 Canada GP.

The guy finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the points during 17 seasons, and was in the top 5 in five of them, with several mid-field finishes through his career. Not great, but respectable.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

1955 rules for all motorsports. you couldn't keep me away

Expand full comment

I was three but already a car nut. By the late '50s I was aware of racing and loving it.

Expand full comment
author

I like the cut of your jib but on the other hand I like having brakes that work!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

But it would be nice to have 2023 safety regulations, if we don't want 1955 casualty rates.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

https://www.youtube.com/@Rocketpoweredmohawk

RPM the only reason I know anything about current F1

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Was hoping someone would bring him up. Stupid funny guy.

Expand full comment

He IS hilarious!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Sherman McCoy, Jack Baruth

Sorry to hijack a bit, but I love this topic and feel like writing. Your posts make my mind run.

Why stop doing what you love?

I've always wondered why some stay and others leave. Barichello could have raised a kid and raced against him by the time he finally left F1. Button wasn't far off. I always wondered if it was how the drivers were raised. About what else they know and love outside of racing. Take Eddie Irvine. I'm surprised he stayed as long as he did. The Hunt days are gone. It's hard to bang and race in modern F1. Especially if you like to party. In that sense, Im surprised Mika and Michael ever left. It's sort of all they knew and seemed to care about it. Im generalizing like crazy based on a feeling, but think about it. Those with lives outside of F1 leave the moment their racing looks more like Drive to Survive instead of Sex Life. (Yes thats a show on Netlfix and it has some hysterical episodes.) Why take all the drama when there is so much fun in the world? Unless it's all you know.

And Nico is one of my favorite of all time. Not necessarily because of his racing. He's the only F1 driver that invited me out drinking. He had just won his first Monaco and I had a friend working with Mercedes. I was sleeping in my car below the racetrack in a public parking garage for $20 a night, so I abused the mercedes yacht as much as I could. Food, Drinks, and I even took a shower one day. I also showered at the Sparco party on some yacht they rented too. My hosts were horrified, but couldn't stop laughing! I got a yacht shower every day! (ahhhh I'm going to digress more... but it should circle round)

I was like, man, there is a shower in every bathroom on these boats and I'm sleeping in a Fiesta. Yeah dude. Im showering on every yacht I go on. (dont worry, this goes back to quitting). That turned out not be totally accurate, because I went to the Force India Party on the Indian Empress and they locked off all the staterooms. The boat was so big it had regular bathrooms! The party was wild, McNish told us he wanted to quit and Alex Sauber, Kobayshi and I tried to talk him out of it. Like we really tried. We even called him names and had fun. He was like no guys. Im out.

He sounded like he wanted to hang with his friends and family. Like he was tired and earned the right to quit. But mostly he knew that he wanted to do something else. And while we teased him, not one of us could thing of a valid reason to stay. He asked too. mostly because he was tired of us calling him a quitter. He was like each of you, one at a time, tell me why I should keep doing this?

Alex declined. Was like you earned the right to decide. Do what makes you happy. Alex was so cool the whole time. Koboyashi felt like a fellow driver and we each tried so hard with a passionate approach. McNish was like sure. This is true. There is a good message to send about never stop trying. But what about the next guy? When does he get his turn to realize his dreams? Mcnish doesnt quite talk like that, but that was his message. Every driver I've known is very self centered. You almost have to be to stay focused. But McNish achieved something bigger and the moment always stuck with me.

And yeah my life was crazy special for a bit. Later that night Hobbs went full berserker on me. "I've raced the Nurburgring at night, in the rain, and won you little shit. What exactly have you done?" It was amazing. I love Hobbs. Way to have fun with life and call people out when you feel like it. But our little mess ran off laughing.

Ok, back to Nico. He won Monaco and left! WHAT? WHY? If I won Monaco I would ruin that town. I would finish my night at Tip Top and buy pizza through sunrise for every race fan. The place has been there forever. One of the last of the old school haunts. I first heard about it from the Battle of Tip Top chapter in the Hunt's book. And I ate there at sunrise with the Mercedes mechanics but no Nico.

His guys were awesome. Not everyone wanted to come out but the group that did was so fun! Like maybe the best night ever after a race! They did just win Monaco and no one would let us pay for a thing - even me that was sleeping in my Fiesta. Later I showed the team my setup and we couldn't stop laughing. They were like you are sleeping under the track? How? Turns out the city closes the parking garages that are too close to the circuit, but if you get in before race weekend, you can stay!

Anyway, I leave Monaco and shortly later my friend is like hey... I have a VIP setup for Montreal, want to go? Sure! And as we're walking down pit lane on that grid walk thing, the guys see me and walk out of the garage. My friend is like um, um, um, why are the Mercedes guys walking directly towards us? He thought we did something wrong! But as they got closer they yelled CASWELL! What are you doing here? I didnt even answer when they got word to do something and had to run. But they were like we'll text you! there's a big party sunday, but we have to ask Nico. My friend was like WTF was that? how do they know you? WHAT? I was like you should change your flight home....

I went to the party and had so much fun! It was so much bigger than Nico's team. He invited other drivers and anyone that worked in F1 was welcome! Or at least that's what I was told. Who knows. It all happened to so fast. I got so drunk. There was a 4' bottle of grey goose on a big tilting stand thing that allowed you to pour it. Except we started doing shots out of it and it got messy. Kimi grabbed my phone and threw it across the club. No photos. He was so right. But the ones I took were AMAZING!

And what I saw that night was really special. Nico was having so much fun with his team. He wasn't like other drivers I had met. He reminded me of Mark Webber who also is crazy normal. Ohhh I got to meet every driver in Turkey like a decade ago in a weird VIP autograph session. I was put on Turkish television on some show filmed in the paddock and asked who was my favorite F1 driver. I was reading the Hunt biography when the show started and simply held it up. James Hunt!

The hosts were laughing so hard, but one of them hid me in the tv set instead of walking me out. He was like dont leave, hide here, live tv, trust me, hide, I LOVE HUNT. So I did. And when he let me out, every driver walked in and hung out for a bit. I have a program with every signature from the grid. But listening to the other drivers make fun of Massa's watch is still one of my favorite memories. Of course, I sort of started it all. Weber was wearing a simple GMT reverso and I was like that watch is cool. He was like really? Yeah man. It does what it needs and looks good.

He was so chill, but instead he started casually teasing Massa. Hey man, does your arm get tired with that giant BRM? It was so long ago, but I'll never forget the tone. It was like kids having fun on the playground. And when the other drivers joined in , it was hysterical. Like being on a playground as a kid. Massa was like you guys don't know, this watch is perfection. But watching the other drivers joke around with only 20 of us watching, was amazing. They were so different. Some wanted to have fun and laugh and enjoy the moment, others just wanted it to end so they could sleep and get ready for the race.

It was my first real glance into F1 and made me think. Who really wants to be there? Is this just a job like when I worked in finance? F1 is the top job in the world for me(even I dont bother to watch the races anymore). The best of the best. But oddly that night I questioned if the drivers really liked their lives.

I left that interview session and instead of taking a taxi back to instanbul, I went the other way. The lines to the city were insane and I was sure If could get to the coast I could get back to Istanbul. Sure enough, I sat on the roof of a ferry and watched the sunset as I rode back from qualifying. It took three times as long, but I didnt wait in line and I'll never forget that sunset.

I always wondered how many drivers missed the sunset along the way. And how many drivers never ever saw a sunset because they worked so hard. I always wondered if this shapes how hard they race, how long they race, and if they long for something else. Most of would say that if we got to F1, we would never leave until someone changes the locks! I was in that camp. Fund me for F1 and it's all I'd ever do. But is that really true?

It wasn't for me. I quit. I went so much father than I ever expected. I got so close to my dream, but my friends that helped me build all the cars had to keep working their jobs. That wasn't my dream. And I still had to write checks for race cars I didn't build myself. That wasn't my dream either and it looked like the only way to move forward. So I quit not realizing how hard it would be to get back that N24 qualification. I should have spent the money and raced.

So it makes me wonder, what are their dreams when they've already come so far? Does it make it easier to quit? Or harder, bc F1 gives you some purpose? Button returning to Nascar is awesome! I hope he has fun racing like has been doing since F1. I hope other drivers do the same. But what happens when the dream becomes a job? Do you quit? Or just ask for a raise?

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

This is a brilliant read to wake up to. Thank You! As a former FiST owner I loved that story.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Well in 2023 we have this. I imagine it is even more structured the higher up the team food chain:

The Haas duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen have both been reprimanded by the FIA after turning up late for the drivers’ parade at the Canadian GP on Sunday.

The drivers are under strict time commitments throughout the race weekend, and the pre-race parade sees the drivers go around the circuit for a lap to wave to the fans in attendance before the racing gets underway in earnest.

And with Hulkenberg and Magnussen turning up five minutes behind schedule, the FIA issued them both with non-driving reprimands for the first time this season.

The team claimed other prior commitments needed to be satisfied before their drivers could go on the pre-race parade, but the FIA took a dim view and awarded them a reprimand nonetheless.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

a former employee of graham hill said graham loved driving and at a test day or whatever he'd just drive around and around, not particularly getting faster or slower, until their rental time was up.

Expand full comment
author

That seems very much in character for him.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

When I look at that old suitcase and I think of how it was

The bad times and the good times, hey, and we did it just because

I know I had to try it and today I'm standing tall

Cause I'd sooner be a 'has been' than a 'never was at all'

Now, you won't reach the finish line if you don't ever start

You'll never live and you'll never love if you don't have a heart

So don't just sit there whinging mate, it's no damn good at all

And I'd sooner be a 'has been' than a 'never was at all'

Oh, Id sooner be 'has been' than a 'never was at all'

Give it everything I'd got, really had a ball

If you don't climb the ladder, mate, then you can never fall

And I'd sooner be a 'has been' than a 'never was at all'

- Slim Dusty

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

More stories about Kimi, please.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

It's the only time I've met him. But... I wish I spoke Finnish, because he was having fun and running his mouth like I've never seen! I just wanted to shake his hand, say hi. They tried to include me in their conversation for a second, but speaking English seemed painful. He wanted to know how I got there... Which Im wasn't even sure of myself.

But then I remembered Kimi crashed at WRC Mexico. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XDh1kIh3Qg I was like hey! remember WRC Mexico? You crashed? (and right then the whole vibe changed) I wasn't trying to F with Kimi, but I think he thought I was making fun of him. I was like you must have left Mexico when you crashed? Too bad, you missed an awesome party at the end!

He looked a bit confused. Like why were you at the WRC Mexico party too? So I went to show him my $500 rally car at Mexico thinking it might make sense. But Kimi thought I wanted a photo with him. I barely blinked and he already had my phone in his hands and was whipping it across the club. No Photo!

The smirk on his face after was amazing. Like ok, you leave now. go find your phone... hahaha

Expand full comment
author

To think you get these stories from Bill for FREE with your ACF subscription! Mr. Caswell is a genuine American treasure.

Expand full comment

Indeed!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Sensational! You've really been there and done that!

Expand full comment
author

Also, Bill, I was the stunt double for that shower scene in season 1 of sex/life.

Expand full comment

Excellent! Thank you!

Expand full comment

Great stories. Thanks for sharing!

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Just saw this comment from someone on racing web site. MB says there's no problems with the budget this year and next year's car won't be impacted. They have 46 people in their accounting dept. counting the # of angels on the head of a pin. A comment to the story:

"It's funny how the teams are doing this. I have a friend in Red Bull who is technically employed by Redbull Assisted Services (or similar) but works pretty much exclusively for RBR but is told to do a timesheet which shows he does barely any for RBR. He keeps getting tuped around all the RB companies as and when something needs to change.

They're all doing it, just funny when you actually hear the stories of how they are doing it!"

Haas has had some interesting bookkeeping in the past which I think concerned MAZ. Something along the lines of "No, we are the Haas F1 team. That was a subcontract to Haas Investor Relations and they sub/subcontracted it out to Haas Logistics. We have no control over what they do."

Expand full comment

Intercompany accounts might as well be magic. And that is when their is the best of intentions.

Expand full comment
author

Building and running an F1 car for $135M a year ain't easy?

Expand full comment

Rosberg was a weak ass bitch. There's no respect for that.

Expand full comment
author

In what sense?

Expand full comment

For winning once then retiring, not competing further in the best cars. That's a weak move.

Expand full comment
author

If you could retire from your job in your early thirties and be a wealthy global citizen for the rest of your life, would you do it? He wasn't a racing enthusiast. It was the job he'd been raised from birth to do. He left for the same reason Izzy Stradlin left Guns N Roses; its a pain in the ass being told to walk a step behind the chosen one.

Expand full comment
Jun 23, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Not a chance especially as a competitor. I would have loved to be a professional athlete post-college all day long. All of them could do that as we speak. It would be impossible to convince me otherwise, it shows weakness.

Expand full comment
author

I'll club race until I'm dead, possibly right up to the moment that I'm dead, but I'd retire from my day job in a heartbeat if I had the money. I'm very good at my day job. Doesn't mean I owe it to anyone. I don't think F1 means to Nico what your athletic career might have meant to you, or mine to me. We will never know what Mercedes did behind the scenes to make sure Hamilton usually had better luck.

Expand full comment

Two schools of thought...a means to an end vs. getting paid to do what you love. Not sure what I’d do if I got to that fork in the road...

Expand full comment
Jun 23, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

These people acting like they wouldn't take the same route Nico did if they had the chance in their own lives crack me up. Call it quits so you can be, as you described a "wealthy global citizen" Heck yea! Hell, I'd retire from my job right now and be the middling town drunk if I could get away with it.

Expand full comment
Jun 23, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

He owed the fans nothing. He tied his old man in WDCs. "I can't quit, because Will wants me to defend my title, I can't let Will down". Or possibly he did it to PO his dad off.

Someone who was weak and actually needed and craved the fan and potential father's validation would have stuck it out.

Barry Sanders quit the NFL 1 or 2 seasons short of being the all-time rusher. I remember the sports talking heads and callers, "HE CAN'T DO THAT!!!!!!" Yeah, he can. Look up the Wiki on him. 1 day before training camp.

"Shortly after the end of last season, I felt that I probably would not return for the 1999–2000 season. I also felt that I should take as much time as possible to sort through my feelings and make sure that my feelings were back with conviction. Today, I officially declare my departure from the NFL."

The reason he quit was he burned out playing for the Lions.

Expand full comment
Jun 23, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

who was the young nascar guy who won the championship a few years ago and quit? he did backflips off his car. and there were absolute ninnies who said "you can't quit!" where do they think they got the authority to say that? they shoulda said "please don't quit."

Expand full comment
Jun 23, 2023·edited Jun 23, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

You're talking about Carl Edwards. He never won a Cup Championship but he did have a ton of wins across all 3 of NASCAR's national touring series and I believe he had a Bush/Nationwide/Xfinity Series title to his name as well. If I remembered he wrecked in the last race of 2016 while competing for the championship, skipped the infield care center and elected to watch the rest of the race from his team's timing stand. He raced in the halcyon days of mid 2000s NASCAR where big money was everywhere so you can safely assume he had more than enough dough to call it quits and never look back.

Expand full comment
author

It can be hard to remember that people don't "owe" their fans anything. I'd personally have liked to see Michael Schumacher stay in the Mercedes, skip the ski lift, and win another three championships in his forties. God knows he could have done it.

Expand full comment

I was in Montreal for the race. Some mickey mouse stuff going on with a power failure in the garages on Friday, and the track cctv going down to screw up everything. Really?

Another walk away for Max, and good run by Fernando. The Ferraris finally lucked out after what looked like a very questionable call not to change their mediums during the safety car.

Really just another procession with Max controlling the outcome, but I still loved every second of it!

Expand full comment