Hello and welcome to the first ever Formula 1 Thoughts of a Trying Atheist Awards, a catchy named ceremony where the awards themselves are named just as self indulgently as whoever Oscar is and his awards he named, and more importantly, some alternative awards inspired by Jake Humphrey’s latest blog entry within the past year of Formula 1 and certain areas that deserve to be credited, shamed, and laughed at within the sport. It’s been quite a year for Formula 1, with moments such as Mr Fisichella unsure where to pit, Ferrari getting in a strop and being upset at just about everything, and allsorts of almost-wacky-racers inspired efforts from the sport. Nevertheless, let’s jump straight into the awards!
Biggest F1 Fail Moment of the Year 2009
Winner: Michael Schumacher realising that he ain’t the man he used to be
Runner up: Luca Badoer being even worse than that
Whilst we all felt for Felipe Massa’s horrifying incident at Hungary earlier this year, the news that soon occurred not long after with Schumi divided much opinion. Whilst many over at Sidepodcast were angry at upset that ‘he’ was returning, others felt joy at this 7 time world champion making his return to the sport. However, I will admit that after the euphoria from the media and sudden loving for the man seemed to appear when it was announced he was returning, I produced many a laugh when Ferrari admitted that… well, he ain’t returning. FAIL. Although I approve of him not returning. But still. FAIL for Ferrari. Whoopsy!
This leads me into my runner up for this award, which goes to Luca Badoer who seriously, seriously defined the term fail during his time as an f1 driver for Ferrari. I mean… wow. Almost impressive!
‘My Ears are Burning’ Award 2009
Winner: James Allen’s… thing after Malaysian GP
Runner up: Anything spoken by Jonathon Legard, throughout 2009
After putting up with the noise that is Legard over 2009 on BBC F1, I began thinking… maybe I do kind of miss that scallywag James Allen? However, I soon remembered this utter masterpiece from Allen created after the Malaysian GP retelling the weekend’s events in a narrative only Alan Partridge would be proud of. It’s a bit of a shame because I kind of like James Allen, mostly because of Legard’s monotone… monotoneness. Nevertheless, enjoy the winner of the ‘My Ears are Burning’ Award 2009:
Sorry about the lack of embedding. It just would not let me, and just didn’t work. I can only assume the video is so rubbish that even HTML hates it. Concerning the video though, I can’t begin to imagine which hand gestures speak volumes with that. Oh and the runner up? Well the title speaks for itself really.
Ridiculous Bernie Ecclestone Moment of the Year 2009
Winner: ‘Hitler would have got things done’
Runner up: His ongoing affair with secret lover Simon Gillett
We all know how outspoken Bernie Ecclestone is. His shortcoming in height are easily made up with his rather ridiculous solutions to sorting things out – I take you back to the F1 Olympics idea with the medals instead of points debacle. However, Mr Ecclestone really pulled it out of the bag this year with the simply outrageous comments he made to The Times:
“In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done.
“In the end he got lost, so he wasn’t a very good dictator because either he had all these things and knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it . . . so either way he wasn’t a dictator.”
Yeah. Kudos to you Bernie, for making the most remarkably stupid, non related Formula 1 conversation when talking to The Times about Formula 1. I for one can’t wait to see you compare the British Grand Prix to the Falklands, or perhaps talk about Apartheid in south Africa being nothing when you lose money in Formula 1. He really did go the whole pitch to get a ridiculous outspoken comment out there and what a ridiculous comment it was.
The runner up for this award once again goes to Bernie, of course, for this stunning revelation of deadlines over the course of 2009. Donington and Simon Gillett were supposed to pay up for the British GP, yet all they created was a big hole in the middle of the track, the loss of an iconic landmark over the track and an embarrassing year for the future of the British GP. And yet, deadlines were being thrown out left right and centre regarding the payments! It was obvious that Gillett wasn’t going to get it done, and Bernie continued to play with his strings until it finally ended in November 2009. Sadly, not long after Donington lost the British GP, the man who rebuilt Tom Wheatcroft and owned it for so many years passed away just as the future of the track he loved went with his memory. Sad times.
F1 Building of the Year 2009
Winner: Abu Dhabi Hotel which apparently had a race track under it
Runner up: The Green Building of Valencia
Fair play to the organisers at Abu Dhabi. They promised a huge event to welcome F1 into Yas Marina and they certainly delivered with a day-night event with a huge, modern world of buildings set in an area which will be built up over time, with an accompanying Ferrari World and of course, this Abu Dhabi Hotel which was a massive highlight without a doubt. It was magnificent, it was multicoloured, it was exciting and it brought Formula 1 buildings to a whole new level. Also, it had a f1 race under it but that was forgettable. nevertheless, let’s take a moment to look at the well deserved winner of the F1 Building of the Year 2009:
The runner up for this unbelievably prestigious award is of course the Green Building of Valencia, which is quite simply the only really distinguishable feature of he track asides from the greay walls, grey bridges, grey grey, and docks. It stands out in a world of dull and even though I’m sure Valencia is a lovely place to visit, the Green Building of Valencia is a true highlight of the Formula 1 calendar as I’m sure everyone will agree. The following photo is courtesy of Lou:
A truly remarkable building. As I’m sure every single fan will agree, this award was a big one for Formula 1. So well done to the new giant colour hotel for doing such a great job, and I hope it does such a great job next year as well at being a hotel!
‘How can a comment make me laugh so much?’ of The Year 2009
Winner: Steven Roy on Sidepodcast explaining Star Wars
Now I know what you are thinking - ‘This has nothing to do with Formula 1’ – true enough, even though it was made over at Sidepodcast but there is no way I could make awards and not give credit to this genius comment. It was made on the fateful day of 10th April 2009, when Lou (who is probably going to hate me for this!) mentioned that she wasn’t sure who Yoda was and that she had never seen Star Wars but had seen Cool Runnings. This led to Steven Roy making this incredible comment:
It was just the same except Star Wars was in space and instead of going down a hill they had to go and take on Darth Vader and the bad guys in a massive space war.
It is just genius and everyone deserves to know about it. I can’t remember laughing so had at such a ridiculous comparison and yet somehow it kind of makes sense, so congratulations to Steven Roy for winning this non-F1 related award in an F1 awards ceremony!
Pit Stop of the Year Award 2009
Winner: Jaime Alguersauri’s ‘Pitstop’ in Abu Dhabi GP
Runner Up: Heikki and Kimi’s Fiery Duel, Brazilian GP
There is simply no way I was going to let Tim, also known as Jaime Alguersauri to those who have no idea what I mean by saying Tim, get away without having a bit of fun at that silly pitstop he made at the ‘race’ in Abu Dhabi. Basically, the man was having gearbox troubles in the race and needed to come in to pit. So, he came strolling down the pitlane as you do to stop… only to stop at Sebastien Vettel’s pitbox… who was in second place at the time and due to stop at any second. As Tim came to stop, he suddenly realised as did the crew who pulled out some marvellous reflexes such as the front jack man who launched himself out of the way motioning for Tim to get out of the way. Basically, he came in, strolled through Vettel’s Red Bull pit box ready to stop, and went straight back out again…
…only to have his gearbox die out on the track. All in all, a pretty successful few laps for Tim and a definite winner of this award. It’s been quite a year for him since the master class that was Sebastien Bourdais was (un)fortunately sacked only to be replaced with this young man who is obviously unsure, just as the rest of us, what the differences between the Toro Rosso and Red Bull liveries are!
The runner up here is a joint effort to two finnish drivers who deserve much credit for their hard work to cause utter mayhem during a first lap of the Brazilian GP that had more action than an Action Man Convention in the middle of shooting an action movie. The mayhemic start to the Brazilian GP saw both Kovaleinen and Raikonnen both come in for repairs and the like. The thing is, what with it being Massa’s first time back at a racetrack since his accident, Heikki thought it would be pretty damn sweet to impersonate his Benny Hill-esque get away from his pitstop by pulling off the fuel hose and dragging it down the pitlane with his car. Unfortunately, this time he had Raikonnen right behind him causing the fuel pouring out to ignite in a fireball of mayhem around Kimi’s car who simply drove through it and carried on, being the Iceman he is. Whilst of course completely serious, it was also completely insane and one hell of a start to arguably the the best grand prix of the season. So well done to Heikki I suppose for coming second, which is something that isn’t usually said unless the sentence involved Lewis Hamilton. Sorry Amy.
One quick final special mention to Giancarlo Fisichella who began his season in Australia by driving straight past his mechanics for a pitstop and then driving into them when realising. Who’d have thunk that could have lead to a Ferrari drive!
And now, sadly onto our final award for 2009, the most prestigious award of the entire ceremony…
Best Formula 1 Scandal of The Year 2009
Winner: The Downfall of Lord Flavio and his Sidekick Pat
Runner Up: Breakaway Bonanza!!
So of course it would not be a Formula 1 year without a good ol’ scandal in the background to get on our nerves and make us hate the sport that we love. Luckily, in 2009, there must have been 6 or 7 of them so it’s been a treat for us to have all this politics thrown at us fans!! Yes we’ve had Lewis Hamilton having a bit of a laugh with the stewards, and of course we had that wonderful saga with the double diffusers being ‘the reason for Brawn GP’s success’. Brilliant!! However, it is kind of my honour though to award this to Nelson Piquet Jr, Pat Symonds, and Flavio Briatore for their stupidity in thinking they could get away with this yet, at the same time, utter genius is ridding that horrible man Flavio from Formula 1. Yes, they got away with it for a while but those crazy kooky Scooby Doo kids at the FIA sure did find out about it sooner or later once Nelson broke away from the grip of Flav. So many questions arose from this saga – why didn’t Nelson just say no and report them? How much did Fernando Alonso know about this? Who uploaded that picture of Flavio showering onto drop.io? It was truely a worrying time for Formula 1 and the safety aspect but we all fought together to get through it, Flav got banned for life, Pat got banned for 5 years and Nelson got shunned by the Formula 1 teams for being a bit of a cheat. So the award goes out to these three idiots creating this saga! Congratulations!
The runners up here are the entire FOTA organization having a bit of a hissy fit about the idea of a two tier championship, which admittedly was a shocking idea as ever from Max, and threatening to breakaway from Formula 1. Let’s be honest – it was NEVER going to happen was it? It was seriously overblown by the media and by FOTA and it was a bit amusing to see them get their knickers in a twist until the FIA gave up and sorted it out with them. Well it worked I suppose!
So that’s it folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed these awards and I hope to see you next year for the return of the Formula 1 Thoughts of a Trying Atheist Awards 2010! God help us if it was anything as mental as the past year was!