This Is Our Manor, Manor

There’s been widespread condemnation from fans and teams alike of Force India, who blocked Manor (previously Marussia, previously Virgin, previously Manor) F1’s return to the grid, based on a half-baked excuse they came up with on the day. This is despite, in private, the other teams admitting they would have done exactly the same if nobody else had.

"Mwuhahahaha" - Photo: Sahara Force India Media
“Mwuhahahaha” – Photo: Sahara Force India Media

It transpires that, should the plucky Northern outfit not be on the grid in earnest, their prize money would be picked over by the other teams/vultures (which might have had something to do with it). At least this is what one F1 team principal told us, along with “Her? No. Pay no attention to that lady, she’s just my grandmother who comes to see me at work. Unless you want to swap her for a sponsorship deal, perhaps?”

Quick Ric

Affable Ozzie Daniel Ricciardo is feeling pretty smug with himself (for a change), after breaking the F1 driver’s lap record on the Top Gear test track. Previous title holder Lewis Hamilton, who has recently just got back together with his girlfriend/just split up with his girlfriend (Note to Editor; please delete as appropriate), is planning to come back for the third time as a result, and upon (more than likely) regaining the crown will be finding his dog Roscoe a new home in a reasonably priced Suzuki Liana.

Australia Hosts Motor Race, The BBC Fails To Confirm

Rumours that likeable former F1 star Mark Webber will compete in the Bathurst 12 hr endurance event in the future continue to surface. The Bathurst is a bonkers marathon GT race through the deadly animal infested setting of Mount Panorama, situated in the Australian outback. The traditional “kangaroo-getting-too-close-to-the-action-thus-destroying-half-a-million-pounds-worth-of-high-spec-racing-machinery” at least gives the Fosters-filled locals something else to throw on the barbie whilst watching an epic, panel-bashing race.

In fact, this year’s running on the weekend featured, after 12 hours, the lead changing hands on the last lap with mere seconds covering the top 6. The no-nonsense balls-to-the-wall (quite literally) Multi-21-less event is thought to have an appeal to Webber, who would probably cycle the thousands of miles in the deadly inhospitable outback to the middle of nowhere “for a bit of a laugh”.

We checked these rumours with our journalist contacts at the BBC, who told us the BBC understands (amongst very little else) that Mark Webber doesn’t race in Formula One anymore. They explained he couldn’t be very newsworthy unless caught being controversial at an F1 meeting, and would only be captioned alongside a picture in his Red Bull overalls.

We did try explain that, far from being retired, Webber was competing in the World Endurance Championship (including the historic Le Mans 24hr race), alongside THE OTHER current British motorsport champion, ex-Super Aguri pilot Anthony Davidson, but we were simply reminded that Super Aguri had gone bust, and Davidson was now purely a TV pundit for “the opposition”. It dawned on us that any motorsport the BBC doesn’t cover simply doesn’t exist, like the now defunct series Moto G something-or-other, or the cancellation of BTCC since Grandstand was axed.

Nothing to see here. Just a Sky pundit. Move along now. - Photo: @Toyota_Hybrid
Nothing to see here. Just a Sky pundit. Move along now. – Photo: @Toyota_Hybrid

Jerez Testing Concludes

And finally, Jerez testing concluded earlier last week with pace setters Ferrari topping the timesheets. Mercedes were surprisingly well down the field, although our sources at the circuit did spot barrels of Petronas cod liver oil in the fuel rigs and bags of cement being casually placed in the Mercedes cockpit.

McLaren have now completed 6 tortuous, trouble filled days in total with their new Honda engine, although to be fair they have said from the outset their bold strategy is to start with a quick car and work on reliability later. We should therefore be able to expect an approximate race distance sometime around Brazil.