Friday, 22 February 2008

More political than the politicians

Sorry to sully what ought to be a purely political blog with yet another Formula 1 story, but I saw this article and couldn't resist. This is such hilariously-bungled spin that it almost feels more at home on a political website than a motor-racing one.

Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher, less talented and more annoying younger brother of world champion Michael, was fired last season by his team, Toyota. He's spent the whole of the winter break desperately trying to find himself a team for 2008.
He sucked up to McLaren in the press when they were looking for a second driver to partner Lewis Hamilton, only to be told he was "not under consideration". He even went so far as to test-drive for Force India, the outfit which came dead last in the 2007 championship. You might have reasonably concluded that he was pretty desperate to carry on racing.

But now that even the worst F1 team on the grid has turned him down, we suddenly learn that Ralf never wanted to race this year, and that even if he'd been offered a drive, he'd have refused it. All the bleating to the media, and all the begging at the feet of the team bosses was in fact an elaborate trick. Ralf wanted to retire quietly and without a fuss, and this was apparently his way of creating a diversionary tactic, to allow himself the most dignified exit possible:

"I just said that [I would remain in F1] because there were a lot of people talking, and the situation was difficult at Toyota, so I just wanted to finish the season in peace. I did test [for Force India] over the winter, but that was just something for a friend."

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