Monday, July 14, 2014

Wither la French Grand Prix...




One of France's automotive treasures, the illustrious Bugatti Type 35. (Image source: s20.postimg.org)
Like many story ideas planted here in thy fertile grounds 'O Nofendersville, this one's seed was planted just a scant eight days ago, upon listening to the New York Times Autos section story about vicarious  celebrations occurring this past 4th 'O July weekend, hence bumping the previously canned stories to a further day's time slot.


Since Y'all would think that story would be feverishly wrapped up in the Stars 'N Stripes, instead it was all about two European powers, one a past giant of the sport, while a current day "Silver Arrows" continues to roll on, nee the Mercedes GP duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton who are locked into a Mano e Mano duel for this year's world championship.

And as my brain noted that Bastille Day was fast approaching, the thought that the French Grand Prix, who's roots date back to over a century ago, a la 1906 was further fanned by the thought that it seems downright criminal that Uncle 'Bernaughty continues to keep France locked out from returning to the Grand Prix calendar, while such far away dubious places like Azerbaijan join the F1 Circus, with Bahrain still engulfed in Sectarian violence also retaining its place on the docket while Abu Dhabi quietly watches the continuous Middle East unrest.


That's not to say that France doesn't have its own problems regarding its Muslim population, as banning of head scarf's comes to mind as the tip of the iceberg, yet nevertheless France seemingly is the birthplace of the modern Grand Prix, as the 4th 'O July article notes,

As a very quick synopsis of the once mighty French Grand Prix reveals that the race has been held 86-times in sixteen different locations, apparently only usurped by Australian venues, having first begun on public roads in towns with the names of Le Mans, tours, Dieppe, Lyon and Strasburg being noted, with the names of Reims, Paul Ricard and Magny Cours easily coming to mind, while not recalling another French Grand Prix venue named Dijon, which apparently featured prior to my Formula 1 baptism. While the 49-mile Dieppe venue was notoriously dangerous, with four drivers, two riding mechanics and two spectators being killed during its three Grand Prix's.

And as Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen recently inquired, the term Grand Prix refers to the French term Great Prize which reportedly was coined due to its prize being a staggering 45,000 Francs tied to the precious metal Gold, with said prize being worth 13kg circa 1906!

Yet whilst on a somewhat different quest, 'Wayback in Twenty-ten' I scribbled a lengthy two-part harmony regaling French Grand Prix drivers and France's participation in thee Pinnacle 'O Motorsports, nee Formula 1 in;


As  France has since rebounded from its lack of a single F1 driver in 2010 with currently three on the grid: Romain Grosjean, Jules Bianchi and Jean-Eric Vergne, down from the recent heights of four, when Charles Pic drove for the back marker Marussia and Caterham teams. With le 'Reggie suffering mightily in prestige this year in regards to its underperforming 1.6-liter PU, (Power Unit) after Renault enjoyed the laurels of victory from Red Bull and "TWINKIEBOY" (Seb' Vettel) crushing the opposition en route to four successive double world championships, i.e.; Driver's and Constructor's titles from 2010-13 before the new hybrid formulae seemingly caught Renault off guard.

Thus it seems a tad bit ironic that a Brit' would be advocating for a "Frenchie" to win its beleaguered national bicycling crown jewel, the Tour de Farce (Tour de France) which is apparently what Britain's David Brailsford is doing.


Yet, as all focus turns upon the Hockenheimring, site of this year's German Grand Prix, albeit largely overshadowed by its sister Nurburgring venue and its fabled "Green Hella," aka the great Nordschleife, whilst Messer E's (Bernie Ecclestone) trial goes on, as I fail to see how his $44m payment to imprisoned former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky is anything but a bribe to keep Ecclestone in charge and in control of F1, which will surely pop-up in the media's news cycles shortly...


But with the 'Uber dominant Mercedes GP Panzerwagons blighthly continuing to crush the opposition - hopefully Mercedes will continue displaying its previous juggernaught, the almighty W196's, with a lone version on static display in the Mercedes GP garage, a la the British GP in homage to the 60th anniversary of its staggering success, when ultimately the great Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1954 world championship behind the wheel of one of its streamliners.

Whilst I'm not trying to get A-L-L awash in nationalist jingoism, since after all Uncle 'Bernaughty has been playing mightily with the "Presstitute's," nee the world's "Fair 'N Balanced" News agencies with hints of first taking away the German Grand Prix from 'Der Hockenheimring, and now ceasing Monza's race after its current contract ends, to which all I can say is BULLSHIT! As although there's currently NO Italian's on the F1 grid, nevertheless, it just seems sacrilegious that France still doesn't have a Formula 1 race...

Happy Bastille Day - Viva la France! 

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