Thoughts from an airport lounge

Sorry I have been out of touch. Yesterday was a bit of a washout after a very long night of writing on Sunday. I had a pleasant lunch and then sat in traffic (and rain) for two hours to get to the airport. Then I was on a flight to Chicago (why not?) and just arrived and found myself with none other than Ross Brawn, who was very bouncy, which is not entirely surprising given the events at the weekend. Ross went rushing off for another flight and as I have a long lay-over here my mate Dan snuck me into one of the lounges with free wireless and drink. So I am now here having a bagel and some cream cheese and am pondering a few hours on my own with the computer. It will a good time to get ahead on the next issue of my e-magazine GP+.

My first thought for the day: Is it not remarkable that an English driver, in a Mercedes-engined car bearing the number 22, beat a Brazilian to the World Championship by finishing in fifth place in Interlagos – for the second year running?

29 thoughts on “Thoughts from an airport lounge

  1. I hope your most recent time here in the USA has been a more enjoyable experience than the last Joe 🙂 I suppose the Windy City is not in the greatest of spirits at the moment, but have fun regardless if you’re still there!

  2. Who will get no.22 next year? If it’s a Mercedes car, the driver negotiations could get interesting…

  3. ! fantastic, I missed that one .. lets see whos in number 22 next year .. Anthony Davison?

    It seems that only now the champioships have been won one can sit and think about what a strange and marvellous story it all is. I was struck by the fact that a privateer with a customer engine supply has won both world championships – when was the last time that happened!! Hill with Williams in 96? but they had a works engine deal at the time.

    Not only does it seem like a fairy story but a very ‘old school F1’ tale at that.

  4. That is highly remarkable. It is also highly weird, and a more than a bit scarey.

    The world is full of very strange coincidences – if coincidence is the correct word.

  5. What’s more remarkable is that the championship has been decided in Interlagos 5 years running, regardless of it’s position in the calendar. Something magic about the place, I suppose…

    Enjoy your stay in the city of big shoulders.

  6. Was worth every minute given the 5am start here. Bit less nerve-racking than last year, but every bit as rewarding. I find it amusing that the general consensus for the first half of the season was – when will the rest of the field catch up – and when the they did, Jenson still came through despite the criticism he was receiving based on what many people had said would happen. That the other teams would catch up…
    Love the blog and always enjoy the stuff you do with the sidepodcast crowd.
    The F1 exhibition in Wellington (New Zealand) finishes soon, was great to see the MP4/4 and the FW14b here at Te Papa.

  7. I am so pleased to see the personal attacks settle down regards Button and Brawn. Both Button, Brawn, and the team as a whole deserve hearty congratulations. No disrespect to the other teams though. It’s the intense competition that creates the sport we love! Also a real “Thumbs up” to a very fine group of drivers and teams who at vatious times, during the year have risen to the moment: Rubens, Webber, Vettel, the Finn, The kid from Poland, now the young Japanese, Red Bull, Force India, Toyota, Torro Rosa, virtually everyone. With all the rancor, usual politics and all else, Travel, time changes, first night race, “1978 Singapore” thrown in, Mosley leaving, and dozen’s of other things, it’s been a hell of a season! Maybe, to some degree, the season so many have been crying for, not perfect, but, far, far, from a failure and not over yet. Lookin forward to next year, and rather different cars wrapped around that fuel tank! Enjoy your travels Joe and thanks for this great website!!!!!!

  8. So Joe – Maybe it is just part of the wierdness of air travel today, but part of me really wants to know: Where was Ross B. headed? Back to the UK, or somewhere (where, and with who) in the USA?

  9. I thought you might’ve been rolled and they took your iPhone. Ok a little on the harsh side, but there is a history of crime in Brazil, against F1 teams as well.

    One does wonder if there are going to be terrible stories of Olympians and tourists getting done over when the Olympics roll around.

  10. “My first thought for the day: Is it not remarkable that an English driver, in a Mercedes-engined car bearing the number 22, beat a Brazilian to the World Championship by finishing in fifth place in Interlagos – for the second year running?”

    It reminds me of the Ascaris. All those similarities between father and son regarding their untimely deaths. Can’t remember the details.

    Probably just co-incidence though.

  11. “My first thought for the day: Is it not remarkable that an English driver, in a Mercedes-engined car bearing the number 22, beat a Brazilian to the World Championship by finishing in fifth place in Interlagos – for the second year running?”

    Not only that, but the previous year’s drivers champion was on the third step of the podium. Que “The Twilight Zone” theme.

    Somehow the race in Brazil felt like a fitting finish to the season. The championships are decided, the bubbly has been spilt, and the teams are just now getting over their hangover. I know that the people at Abu Dubai don’t want to hear this, but the race in two weeks feel like an afterthought. I think the only thing that I and other fans might be exitied for is to see what $1.5 billion (USD) can buy these days in terms of a F1 track.

  12. Joe:
    I hope you enjoy your stay in the U.S.
    I live in St. Louis and started reading your articles in Grandprix.com a few years ago and your blog this year.
    Keep up the good work.
    Paul Berry

  13. …and in both cases Sebastien Vettel was the guy ahead in 4th. For a wjile it looked like the weather was going to do the same thing too.

    It is also quite something that since the Australian Grand Prix moved to Melbourne in 1996, the winner of the first race has gone on to win the championship 10 out of 14 times. Only David Coulthard (twice), Eddie Irvine and Giancarlo Fisichella have not. Button, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso, Schumacher (4 times), Hakkinen and Damon Hill all did.

  14. Joe, it is indeed enough to get one wondering if there really is a Great Architect Of Formula One whom even Max cannot stitch-up.

  15. Yeh, I just read that from a quote attributed to Norbert Haug, it is an amasing coincidence.

    I do think Merc deserve huge credit for the Championship campaign as a whole and have shown real sporting integrity throughout, not forgeting the role played by McLaren in supporting the supply to Brawn also.

    Enjoy your stop-over Joe…

  16. There is much remarkable about this season’s winner. Riches to rags to riches again. And with the impending mercedes tie-up the former tyrell team could become a powerhouse. Still not conviced by button I have to say though. Next year will tell us if he’s a great champion, or just someone who had the best car for a season and didn’t stuff it all up.

  17. A case of history repeating itself? There’s something almost supernatural about Inter Lagos though isn’t there!?

  18. “Smeehee
    I thought you might’ve been rolled and they took your iPhone. Ok a little on the harsh side, but there is a history of crime in Brazil, against F1 teams as well.”

    Bah, it’s not like that.

    You just gotta be as careful as you gotta be in Rome, NY or Madrid… just pay attention and you’ll be fine here.

    I don’t remember if it was Renault or Toyota who a few years ago made a big deal about their laptops being stolen from their boxes and cried all over the media about it. When the race finished and they’re packing, they found the laptops in between the wall and their tool case, it turns out they fell and the stupid mechanics didn’t even bother looking for them.

  19. Talking about strange co-incidences, I found that info about the Alberto and Antonio Ascari that I referred to above:

    Alberto Ascari died on May 26, 1955 at the age of 36.
    Antonio Ascari died on July 26, 1925 at the age of 36.
    Both father and son had won 13 championship Grand Prix.
    Both drove car number 26.
    Both were killed four days after surviving serious accidents.
    Both were killed on the 26th day of the month.
    Both crashed fatally at the exit of fast but easy left-hand corners.
    Both left behind a wife and two children.

    I am not 100% sure about the next bit but I am sure I have read that both were wearing a borrowed helmet when they died and both were extremely superstitious about the helmet they used.

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