Things vaguely related to the new Haas

Those of you who keep up to speed in the world of athletics – if you see what I mean – will recognise that Haas is a victim this year of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for the country’s manipulation of data during investigations into doping allegations against its athletes.

This means that Russia cannot send a team to the Olympic Games (if they happen) in 2021 in Tokyo nor to the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022. It cannot compete officially in any World Championship sporting event until the end of 2022. The ban was originally for four years, but the Russians appealed and this went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). This body reduced the ban, but upheld it for two years. This has impacted on the Formula 1 world because the FIA is a signatory of the WADA code – and has been since 2010. Thus Russian drivers have to compete as “neutral athletes” and the country’s flags cannot be displayed on the cars, although the athletes clothing/car livery can feature the national colours. The WADA ruling should also mean that “Russian Government officials/representatives may not be appointed to sit and may not sit as members of the boards or committees or any other bodies of any Code Signatory”, which should mean that General Victor Kiryanov can no longer sit as a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, if he remains the managing director of Rostec, a Russian state-owned company. The ruling also states that officials/representatives may not attend World Championships organized or sanctioned by any signatory.

The playing of the Russian national anthem is also not allowed if a Russian athlete wins (Not much likelihood of that in F1…) and an alternative tune (Swan Lake or something) should be played instead, while a white flag (presumably) is hoisted on high. The anthem is the one thing I will miss, although I think the Russians deserve the punishment, because the Russian national anthem is by far the best in the world and stirs parts of me that other national anthems simply do not reach. Perhaps to cheer me up, they might consider playing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau if Nikita does miraculously win a race this year. Why? Because the Welsh anthem, which we call “Land of My Fathers” is about the only one that gets close. They both leave the plodding British national anthem a long way behind.

Still, there is some hope on Sunday afternoons as while God Save the Queen will no doubt play a fair bit for Sir Lewis, we have the chance at least to listen to Germany’s splendid anthem for the winning Constructor. I am a fan of Joseph Haydn’s “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser”, also known as “Austria” in hymnbooks. This was once the Austrian national anthem before the German’s purloined it to become “The Deutschlandlied”.

Anyway, to get back to Russia, it all rather begs the question what the Russian Grand Prix will be called this year as under the WADA rules this would need to be changed to the Sochi Grand Prix or perhaps the Grand Prix of Krasnodar Krai, although President Vlad might conclude that the Putin Grand Prix would sound rather cool, although one needs to be careful with that name when French commentators get involved, as Putin and putain can be confused. Putain is a very rude word in French (and has several different meanings). This, by the way, can also lead to problems when ordering Quebec’s famous poutines, which are a mess of French fries and cheese, with gravy on top. For those of a linguistic and culinary bent, the word is also the root for “puttanesca”, which means hooker (not in the rugby sense) and is a recipe developed, so they say, because the ladies of the night in Naples would go home and put everything in the fridge into their late night meal, thus creating pasta alla puttanesca…

In addition to being Russian at an unfortunate time, Mazepin has also made his life rather difficult in recent months because of a video posted of his hands wandering in places where some think they should not have wandered in public. The fact that the woman in question posted comments suggesting that it was all just fun and games was ignored by the critics and some seem to think that Mazepin is a sort of anti-Christ. The truth is that he’s just a rather silly boy, who did things that he did not seem to understand might upset the delicate sensitivities of lots of social media-aged crusader types, who have obviously never made mistakes in their perfect and pure lives. The lesson has been learned I am sure. He would be rather dim if it hadn’t.

In the meantime, because we won’t hear it in F1 in 2021 or 2022, here is the wonderful uplifting Russian national anthem, sung by the Alexandrov Ensemble. Sadly, many of them (64 in total) died on Christmas Day 2016 when the plane they were travelling on crashed into the Black Sea, shortly after taking off from Sochi.

44 thoughts on “Things vaguely related to the new Haas

  1. Hi Joe, while i do not like the cancel culture that seems to be growing.. It does feel that he is being protected a bit due to the money he brings.
    Related however is the silly things he did on track and in the paddock. What will happen if he gets himself a race ban? Will money still be flowing for the event he cannot attend?

  2. We solved the ‘poutines’ problem here on the Isle of Man by just calling it what it is: Chips, Cheese ‘n’ Gravy. It’s just about the Manx national dish, and a goodly sight better than the former national dish of Spuds ‘n’ Herrin’. (Yes, the Manx English dialect does drop a lot of letters)
    And March 1st this year wasn’t just St David’s Day (much respect for the Welsh anthem here too, as a singer it’s one you can really get behind!) it was also Chips, Cheese ‘n’ Gravy Day.


    “For those of a linguistic and culinary bent, the word is also the root for “puttanesca”, which means hooker (not in the rugby sense) and is a recipe developed, so they say, because the ladies of the night in Naples would go home and put everything in the fridge into their late night meal, thus creating pasta alla puttanesca.”

  4. A well crafted report Joe…I enjoyed reading that. However I will dispute your choice of stirring anthems and say that the Italian anthem stirs the blood and it gives me great happiness to see it sung with love and ‘mucho gusto’ by the Ferrari team members.

    1. You can dispute as much as you like, but it is a subjective thing, isn’t it? I like the Russian anthem because of I find it a very emotional piece of music. I like Land of My Fathers for the same reason. I don’t dislike the Italian one, nor the French (etc etc). But they don’t touch me in the way that the Russian anthem does. Why that happens, I have no idea. I’m not Russian, I don’t have any Russian relatives. I haven’t spent much time there. I have studied the country’s history and perhaps that it is part of it. With the Welsh anthem, it reminds me of great rugby matches I watched when I was young.

      1. totally agree the Russian anthem is emotional and a wonderful piece of music. The Italian one was supposed to be a temporary anthem and – like many other things in Italy – it became definitive. Not only I dont like it but the wording is utterly dramatic, and like the French anthem is cruel and an hymn to war. Contrary to the Russian hymn which is an ode to peace and brotherhood. Thank you for this very interesting and instructive article Joe.

      2. It’s all very subjective indeed, Joe. For many years, whenever the Ferrari team starts to sing the refrain of “Fratelli d’Italia”, I’ve always heard “Waltzing Matilda” in my head!

        1. When Australia replaced “God Save the Queen” as the national anthem in the 70’s they had a plebiscite to decide on the replacement. Waltzing Matilda was the runner up to Advance Australia Fair. Whilst I think choosing a song about stealing and committing suicide to escape from the law may have come back to haunt the country, it certainly would have been sung with more gusto than the somewhat bland fare served up by the winner.

      3. Agree completely that the Russian national anthem is one of the best, and I hope to never hear it played after an F1 race. There are a lot of songs by the Aleandrov Red Army Choir that are very moving, if you want to call them that, fight songs. “The Echelon’s Song”, and “The Partisan’s Song” are heroic songs.
        That plane crash was truly tragic.
        To be honest, I had not heard the Welsh before, but man that’s good.
        One doesn’t have to believe in something to appreciate the music, I also love some Roman Catholic liturgical singing, and don’t believe in that any more than I do the Redskies.
        Of course, right now the greatest of all Russian songs is Robbie Williams’s “Party Like A Russian”.
        “It takes a certain kind of man, with a certain reputation,
        To alleviate the cash from a whole entire nation,
        Take my loose change and build my own space station.”

    2. The current round of crowd-free Six Nations matches shows that without a shadow of a doubt Ferrari mechanics are WAY better singers than the Italian Rugby team.

  5. sorry if I am pedant: italian for hooker is “puttana”, puttanesca is an adjective derived from that. So “alla puttanesca” means more or less “done the hooker way”

  6. “The fact that the woman in question posted comments suggesting that it was all just fun and games was ignored by the critics ”

    It’s not that the critics ignored the post about the groping incident being al fun, because that should be ignored as it seemed to be a lie.
    Not long afterwards the girl in question posted some statements that suggest quite the opposite. She even unfriended him from Instagram.

    1. Probably because of the torrent of hate mail she got from internet crusaders for telling it how it was in the first place. It was a case of a silly young boy being silly with his friend and then crowning that stupidity by posting to the internet. Some people now seem to want to treat him like he was Jimmy Saville reincarnate!

  7. I have exactly the same emotional reaction to the Russian national anthem which, for me, is even more pronounced when it is sung than if it is “just” the music. Like you, I have no idea why but I’m happy in my ignorance…
    I am so pleased to read your view about what the boy Mazepin got up to having had to read and listen to all sorts of holier than though comments from “crusader types”… Drivers (and no doubt young and not so young men generally) get up to all kinds of things in search of fun and challenge. I’m sure you have many examples of this within the racing world down the years. Of course we now have social media which tends to multiply the audience, be that good or bad. I remember 2 French drivers – 1 of whom became a very well known F1 star – driving slowly down a busy south of France street whilst one of them hung out the window to try and lift girls skirts as they kerb crawled. At the time, those who knew about it found it very funny. But it will have only been known to a handful of people because there were no mobile phones to record it, nor any social media to post the escapade on.
    Really looking forward to this new season of F1.

  8. I’m quite surprised that a US listed company i.e. F1 is allowing it partner Haas to deal with someone and an entity that was very close to being slapped with sanctions in recent years and in recent weeks.

    I’ve always defended F1 when it has hosted races in some questionable places, the pretext that sport should transcend most things, but i must say this is rather disappointing.

    1. As with the athletes, Haas can simply say that it’s not the Russian flag but is actually the Neutral Flag from Russia.

  9. I wonder if a sponsorship pitch to the Trump Organization might be well received at this point…

    1. Mmm, do you not know that Trump doesn’t pay for anything?

      Actually, they say that Trump contacted G. Haas to authorize his picture on the engine covers for 5 million Dollars. (Please note that this information was provided by “they,” also Trump’s main source of information.)

      1. Exactly – Haas get stiffed (again) whilst confirming their sell-out to the Russian oligarchy… just deserts all round!

      2. Precisely – Haas gets stiffed (again) while reconfirming their sell-out to the Russian oligarchy…

  10. This is one of the reasons I come to Joe’s blog for F1 news and comment, informative and entertaining – the Spanish National Anthem, Marcha Real, is one of the most boring tunes for me and currently has no official words (dropped after the death of Franco), although it does get played a lot at MotoGP events!

  11. Thanks Joe for the usual blend of information, opinion and erudition, and to the commenters for the same. I always rather liked Billy Connolly’s comment that ‘God Save the Queen’ was far too pedestrian and boring, and that the British participants at the Olympics always looked half-asleep trying to march to it. His suggested alternative was the theme from The Archers. Tum-ti, tum-ti, tum-ti, tum …

  12. Here’s a thought, we in Australia could adopt the Russian National Anthem (as the Australian anthem is, in my humble opinion, worse than the poms anthem) then at least you can hear it at the start of this years AGP.

  13. @ Joe…Yes, of course the likes and dislikes for national anthems is subjective but I find that most things Russian, like their literary and music accomplishments, too deep, ponderous and somewhat turgid. However each to his own. As for the Mazepin lynch mob I have one thing to say, “moral indignation is merely jealousy with a halo’, a quotation i have appropriated from an unknown source.

    1. “[…] appropriated from an unknown source”

      Joke about Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky goes here ==>

  14. Everybody seems focused on the colors of the new livery when, in fact, they are common to many national flags. The problem is the treatment on the fin, which does appear to be a waving Russian flag. Surely the Haas graphics people can come up with something less blatant.

  15. I hope this year to see the disgusting-liveried Haas to be overtaken by the equally disgusting-liveried Williams. Quite unlikely, though, as Haas’ Ferrari engine should have improved from last year. It’s sad to see the current state of the Haas team, once a promising outfit. It seems to me that Gene Haas no longer cares about it.

  16. Well I listened and found it very repetitive and rather dreary. My first thought was of Michael Palin with those bright red cheeks!

    The French anthem always evokes memories of WW2 films of the Resistance and is immediately emotional.

    The Italian was very catchy, though we hated hearing it with such frequency in the Schumacher era, A shame it was deemed disrespectful when MS started to conduct as it seemed the whole crowd joined in.

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