December 30, 2005
Simon W. is a reader who commented here on the Pond for a while, then seemed to just fall off the face of the Earth. I even sent him a few e-mails, with no reply. I've "known" Simon for about a year, more or less, first at a political blog we both were regulars at, then here, so having him disappear like this was somewhat disturbing... just *poof* and he's gone without a trace.
So imagine my surprise and relief when I FINALLY get an e-mail from the bum this evening! He's doing well, and while he didn't get the job with McLaren (yes, THAT McLaren), he's gone and gotten himself into something big that'll keep him busy for a while... congrats, Simon!
Hopefully, he'll be able to drop by once in a while, too... always room for another Official Reader of the Pond!
December 22, 2005
I'm not even going to try to describe THIS. Just... go. Look. Weep.
December 20, 2005
*ALONSO SIGNS WITH MCLAREN!: Yes, you read that right. Fernando Alonso, 2005 World Champion, has signed with rival team McLaren for the 2007 season.
Now, his contract with Renault DOES expire after the coming season, so I suppose this might not have been much of a surprise. Also, Renault has been rumbling about leaving F1 after the coming season, so Alonso's contract may very well have been void afterwards. But this really blindsided me, and the F1 Update! crew is just banjaxed.
Merry Christmas, McLaren! Your team for 2007 might very well be Raikkonen and Alonso. Sheesh, nice lineup you got there.
*SUPER AGURI ALLOWED ON GRID!: There hasn't been an official announcement yet, but it seems that MF1 has had their arms twisted sufficently, and Team Super Aguri will be allowed to participate this season. That puts 11 teams on the grid, 22 cars. Yayyyyyy!
If you were wondering why MF1 was dragging their feet, ankles, calves, thighs, buttocks, and any other part of their anatomy they could get on the ground on allowing a new team in, current rules in F1 state that only the top 10 teams get a cut of the TV contract at the end of the season. I think I read that the payout was $50 million per team last year... that's enough to run a team (poorly) on.
MF1 won't have to worry about Super Aguri for the first few races, though. SA will be using the 2002 ARROWS chassis for the first leg of the season, with a V8 engine... which means the car will be underpowered and overweight in comparison to everybody else.
Now, I'm just a duck, but even I know that that isn't a good combination! Still, that should only last until the first European race, when they plan to get their own body out there.
...now all the Duck needs is for Zsolt to get a drive...
December 19, 2005
"But Wonderduck," I hear you ask, "what does this have to do with the price of cheese in Switzerland?" Well, nothing until the last quarter of the ad. Then it gets REALLY cool, as we get an long, loving in-cockpit view of a 1960s-era F1 car at speed, which then goes under a bridge...
...and comes out as what might be the 2006 Honda entry into F1. I've watched it a few times in still-frame, and it doesn't quite look like last season's car.
If you've got broadband, watch the ad. If you don't, get broadband, then watch the ad. I have no idea how long it'd take to load using dial-up... I'M not gonna try it (I have dialup at home).
December 11, 2005
For Takuma Sato, I bring a team of his very own. And a no-fault car insurance policy.
For Alexander Wurz, I bring a full-time drive... and either a larger cockpit or knee-replacement surgery, whichever is easier.
For Christian Albers, I bring a car that will go fast... that he won't have to have two wheels in the air to get around corners. Even if he IS good at it.
For Jacques Villeneuve, I bring... um... I know there's something in here somewhere, hang on...
For Felipe Massa, I don't bring anything. He's already the luckiest man on the face of the earth, he doesn't need my help.
For David Coulthard's Chin, I bring a wristbrace... for the carpal tunnel syndrome problems he's suffered while signing all those autographs. Hey, get away from that reinduck!!! Do you know how hard it is to get Sharpie ink off feathers???
For Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld, I bring individual personalites. Use them well, boys... um, which one is which?
For Jacques Villeneuve... um... still looking...
For Jensen Button, I bring a contract with the team-name left blank. Everybody knows that what you wanted last year...
For Rubens Barrichello, I bring a DVD set of the 2004 season. Watch it often, Rubino, it's probably the closest you'll come to winning a race this year...
For Jarno Trulli... a lump of coal. No, no, you haven't been bad! It's just for you to throw into the engine of your train next year.
For Jacques Ville... oh, just skip it, he's not gettin' nuthin' from me.
For Ralf Schumacher, I bring the Cora Schumacher Guide to Driving Racecars. Maybe it'll help.
For Giancarlo Fisichella, I bring a replacement butt. To replace the one that Flavio Briatorie chewed off last year.
For Juan Pablo Montoya, I bring NFL shoulderpads and a tennisball deflector system. Just in case.
For Michael Schumacher, I bring a pair of boxing gloves. Might hurt your hands less that way.
For Kimi Raikkonen, I bring mmblembllmbmmblembblmmb mbmbblmbl mm-mmbllelmmbemmll. (Kimi: Cool! Thanks, Santaduck!)
For Fernando Alonso, there's nothing I can bring. He's got everything.
For F1 Fans, I bring a new season, just around the corner.
For Official First Reader Mallory, I bring NASCAR (less than 60 days away!) and a really new storyline for the WWE.
For Offical Overseas Reader Flotsky, I bring a "3\/1L l33t G33k" T-shirt. 'Cause I know j00 understood that.
And for Wonderduck, I tried to bring a drive for Zsolt Baumgartner, but not even Santaduck could pull that one off.
December 01, 2005
SuperAguri F1 isn't on it.
This was the main concern for the new team; they had to get a deposit into Darth Bernie's cronies by Nov. 30th, in the size of $48 million. It's quite possible they didn't make it in time, perhaps the check got lost in the post.
This doesn't make it impossible for them to race this year. They'd just have to get approval from the other teams. This could be difficult, however... why would MF1 (hold the 'M-F' jokes) approve of a team that stands a good chance of beating them in their rookie year?
An article at GrandPrix.com reminds us that Williams missed the deadline in 1993, and thus was not on the competitor's list despite being the reigning champion! So it's not impossible that we'll be seeing the 2002 Arrows car out there (at least until San Marino, when SuperAguri F1 is supposed to roll out their first chassis), so cross your fingers!
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