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australian grand prix start f1

Parc Ferme: Formula woes

australian grand prix start f1

Heading into the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, there’s no shortage of head-in-hand situations within the Formula 1 grid.

I’ll skip the obvious here, as the reporting bytes generated around one non-story are probably already enough to register as a cause of global warming.

The Alpines, exit Turn 1, in the barrier

As we return to the scene of the crime for Best Team Howler 2023, it’s worth considering how the summary disposal of Otmar Szafanuer solved the “French team’s” issues.

With a classic Gallic shrug, we can give a “Non, ce n’est pas le cas.” It turns out that Otmar, together with Alan Permane and Pat Fry were probably the only motor racing grown-ups in the room. Their two drivers – Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly – calling a halt to their on-track tête-á-têtes allowed them to nail a couple of results.

That is until the rest of the field passed them like their PU had smoked sixty Gauloises a day for thirty years. Renault failed to supply a decent power unit and support Szafanuer in building his team. Result: Alpine is a huge merde, sitting at the back of the grid. Chapeau guys!

Szafnauer: Unfortunate to have both cars come together

No Ricciardos

The Aussie/Italian’s marketability may have helped him cheat F1’s performance grim reaper to date. However, when Alan Jones is moved to express an opinion, you have to feel like someone has just walked over your career.

One presumes the pubs were shut recently, and the ex-Aussie F1 World Champion got down to watching DTS 6 to get up to speed.  It’s being suggested that time is running out for the avuncular driver, much in the way that it’s running out for Flavio to come back and run an F1 team.

Nothing short of a played-for win can save him from a permanent position holding a microphone in the F1 Paddock Club

No Sargeants

With Liam Lawson and Ollie Bearman circling like two ravenous hawks, Logan Sargeant is also looking equally small mammal-like. It can’t be long before he’s asked to close the pit box door from the outside. Williams seems to be on the up, unlike Sargeant, who seems to have continued into 2024 as he left 2023; at the back of the grid and one lap down at the end. Even the stoic James Vowles is starting to shake his head.

Jones: I just can't see Ricciardo getting back into F1

Meh, Mercedes

The team must feel like a bleeding man surrounded by two sharks. The sharks being Aston Martin in the hands of Alonso and the McLarens of course.

Red Bull and Ferrari have already said, “See ya later, cobber”, and left the building. Meanwhile, the Silver Arrows are now in real danger of becoming the fourth team in the F1 Constructors’ pecking order; a position in the table they must have forgotten about over the years.

George Russell appears to have already stepped up, while sadly, Lewis Hamilton seems only to bitch about the car. Sure, it’s not good, but hey, it’s time to cowboy up and show us some “hammer time; we miss it! So now we’ll have to see what Melbourne serves up. Meanwhile, be a possum Daniel and pop another shrimp on the paddock BBQ.