Monday, July 1, 2013

F1: The British Grand Prix - Now and Then...



Formula 1's Greatest Drivers - Jose Froilan Gonzalez. (Image source: AUTOSPORT.com)
As I was somewhat tempted to use the title “The British Are Coming, the British Are Coming” instead, due to the proximity of some ‘lil ‘Ol holiday us ‘Yanks celebrate on July 4th... 

But surely Y’all know by now, la Scuderia’s debutant Formula 1 winner José Froilán González  died at the age of 90 recently, as the portly Argentine was nicknamed "the Pampas bull" by adoring British Fans along with "El Cabezón,"
The latter translating to ‘Fathead, which fellow competitors called him instead.

Nevertheless, El Cabezón so impressed “Il Commendatore,” nee Enzo Ferrari that he hired him to pilot one of his scarlet racecar’s for the 1951 Grand Prix season after Froilán had impressed vs. countryman and eventual five time F1 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio...

As González’s debutant victory came one year after the inaugural British Grand Prix that I’ve scribble previously ‘bout in:


Whilst Fredrico Suave capped off a memorable Silverstone victory for la Scuderia two years ago after piloting González’s winning Ferrari earlier in the morning as part of celebrating the 60th Anniversary of said victory - with the winning Ferrari 375 model being owned by Uncle Bernaughty, nee Mr. Bernard Ecclestone...  

Thus with Froilán’s passing, a silly thought entered my head, probably partially due to a subject that’s been near me lately, i.e.; the Grim Reaper and its ensuing death, as surely thee GURR-REAT ‘Awntie Harriet who’ll be 94 this September is getting one day closer as A-L-L the rest of  us are right?

Thus moving along from this Maudlin thought bubble, I pondered to myself if Messer González was the oldest living competitor from his inaugural Gran Primo victory, the 1951 British Grand Prix, as I’d incorrectly surmised (to myself) that Sir Stirling Moss was there too.

Hence, a somewhat quick perusal denoted that twenty competitors took part, albeit Irishman Joe Kelly is listed as nc (not classified) out of the seven drivers retiring - out of this field of total competitors that comprised one reigning and two eventual world champions, with inaugural 1950 F1 world championship winner Giuseppe Farina, the aforementioned Fangio, and future double world champ Alberto Ascari.

As the top two steps of the podium were occupied by Argentineans that day, with González besting countryman Fangio, a feat El Cabezón, would accomplish twice during his F1 career, with Argentine’s only other F1 winner later being the ‘Raging bull Carlos Reutmann...  

There were a total of five Italians: Luigi Villoresi, Felice Bonetto, Consalvo Sanesi, Farina, and Ascari. While Great Britain accounted for the most contestants with the likes of Reg Parnell, Peter Walker, Brian Shawe-Taylor, (Dublin, Ireland) Peter Whitehead, Bob Gerard, Duncan Hamilton, (Cork, Ireland) Philip Fotheringham-Parker, David Murray, (Edinburgh, Scotland) and John James, with there being a further four nations represented singularly by Belgium’s Johnny Claes who was also a talented Jazz musician with his own band Johnny Claes and The Clay Pigeons. (As Tommy ‘Slim Borgudd was the only previous musician turned F1 racer I was aware of...) France’s Louis Rosier, Ireland’s Joe Kelly and Louis Chiron of Monaco, born in 1899 and was the races elder statesman at the age of 52.

The first four finishers were split evenly by Ferrari and arch rival Alfa Romeo, as la Scuderia entered three of its 4.5-liter naturally aspirated V-12 375 models for González, Ascari and Villoresi, who finished third while Ascari retired, while rival Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo had four “Works” entries of its domineering 1.5-liter Straight-8 Supercharged 159 on hand for Fangio, Farina, Bonetto (4th) and Sanesi with the first non-Italian make being Reg Parnell’s BRM in fifth place.


Thus, fast forward sixty-two years into the future to when as Mary Ellen informed me over the long, H-O-T weekend that I’d simply LOST I-T! As the weekend’s viewing of the modern day Grand Prix was very chaotic at best, as I’d managed to once again set the ‘Ol School Memorex-machine upon the SPEED channel for Friday’s ‘qualie coverage; Hey! O-L-D habits die hard apparently, eh? As I said oh FUCK as I turned the tape onto a very old re-airing of Whips, which I’d adorned as ‘Whipes; Hooah! And planned to watch the replay at 9PM Pacific - before I knew I’d be off to Tacoma for the weekend instead, after first breaking out Ye ‘ol Wallet and ordering a new ‘Desktop “tower” Confuzer as Mary Ellen was tiring of my constant complaining about how much Ai Squared has FUCKED UP ‘Lucy, my ess-STEAMED Screen Reader, claiming that ‘Lucy’s been given an ultimate makeover which I simply cannot S-E-E!

Then upon our multiple errands, we ran into the local Friday night Cruise-in at Taco Time and hence I found myself getting to check out some vintage cars ‘N trucks on a pretty hot night for us  Western “Warshintonians...” As I got to hang out ‘N chat with a very pleasant gentleman who’d driven his Model T to the event from Everett, WA, telling me it’d been a twelve-year restoration project, he’d actually driven it on the freeway and the cowling was British Racing Green with the rest of the body being yellow, before Mary Ellen returned with the panting ‘Hoonds and we set off to go for a quick look-see.

There were lots of very kOOL old carz, including a Zed-28 with obligatory white double wide stripes and a bunch of very old Rods, i.e.; Buicks, Pontiac’s, etc, while I was really enamored by a beautiful midnight blue? ‘Chebbie pickup truck... While we both marveled in astonishment at the one vehicle that truly looked out of place, a FREAKIN’ AMC Gremlin; Aye Karumba!

Saturday I sat ‘N listened to the ‘Qualie show from Jolly “Ol England via the magic of television in what seemed a pretty dour qualifying session, albeit its refreshing to see the Mighty ‘Merc’s having the all conquering Red Bulls covered - as although I was pulling for “Nico-the-Great” (Rosberg) instead, I was happy for “Louise ‘JAGUAR” Hamilton claiming pole, albeit not quite as delirious as his British subjects were, whilst ‘TWINKIE BOY was nipping at the Mercedes duo’s heels as always...

Then as qualifying came to a close, I said vociferously out-loud: BASTARDOES! Causing Mary Ellen to cry out what? As Leigh Diffey interjected to be sure to catch the race live on CNBC at 7:30AM ET which left me seething and totally pissed off since I’d set my recording device to the originally published NBC Sports Network 11:30AM ET, broadcast which I believe is 8:30AM Pacific, right Dave? And just spent the rest of the day murmuring to myself FUCK YOU NBCSN!

And thus late Sunday morning Mary Ellen asked, don’t they re-broadcast the race? Yeah, but I don’t have a clue since I’ve recorded the wrong channel at the WRONG time, as I was so PISSED OFF at what I’d naturally ARSE-sumed duh Peacock-lite had done to us by pulling an ‘Ol Switcheroo that I was just so FUCKING DISGUSTED that I didn’t give a SHIT about the race anymore!

Thus imagine my surprise when Mary Ellen managed to find out the broadcast info stating that I’d actually taped the re-broadcast  at the right time on the right channel - to which she said you could have just watched I-T; SHEISA!

Thus further fuming towards Leigh Diffey whom I’m usually HIGH upon had totally bungled I-T by leading us to believe that they’d pulled an ABC/ESPN Switcheroo by NOT ever enunciating when the “Encore” presentation would be, as I was so pissed off that I wasn’t going to get up at 4-FRIGGIN’ 30-AM just in order to sit in the dark and listen to the broadcast! So if the Blowhards at NBCSN got an ultra LOW ratings for this year’s British GP they’ve got NOBODY but themselves to blame for the obscure channel placement and confusion caused by not spelling out when A-L-L of the broadcasts would be!

I mean C’mon, Y’all blather on ‘N on ‘Aboot how ‘Qualie works every FREAKIN’ time but you cannot manage to inform the “Casual Fan,” not to mention the DieHard fanatics when the re-broadcast will be? Oh Never Mind, as “Here’s your Sign” Diffey!

Thus, having just returned home Monday afternoon, I haven’t had a chance to watch what hopefully is the correctly taped “Encore” presentation and hence have NO clue if Hamilton was able to please the ‘Mega 100,000+ British audience as I’m off to watch the race a day late and Y’all know what I’m short of, right? Hya!

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