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 Post subject: The Formula One Insider
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:00 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:18 pm
Posts: 4
Its the reader's guide to the things people write.
Its the writer's guide to things people read.
Its all things to all things.
Its free so quit your whining.

By Ben Eton

Number 1. Because number 2 is no joke.


I thought I should probably yell that just in case you didn't realize that I'd been gone. And in case you didn't even realize that I'd been here in the first place, I should explain that The Formula One Insider used to be the pre-eminent source for made up news about Formula One. And when I say "used to" I am not pussy-footing around with the use of the past tense.

In fact, the last time I wrote a column, my non-de-plume was a relevant F1 joke, Mika Hakkinen became world champion, Max Mosley was not a cross-dressing Nazi (as far as we knew) and Verstappen was giving me more inspiration per lap than any other driver. And now. HE'S BAAAAAACK! No, not Max. Jos. Jos the Boss. The former, future world champion according to the entire nation of Dutchland. (Hollandistan? Netherregion? Whatever).

Jos Verstappen. The only man to pack a bucket and spade when taking to the grid. The man who elevated spinning off into the gravel into an art form. The man who tried to get his car to mount that of Juan Pablo Montoya. The driver so unloved that even his team tried to set fire to him. That Jos!

Of course, I knew months ago that Max would be coming to F1 this season but it wasn't until this weekend when I saw Jos standing in the pits that I knew it was time for the Insider to make its return. Maybe at some point during the season he'll turn around suddenly and we'll all laugh and laugh. Maybe I can reconnect with some of my most avid Dutch fans and see if they've become any funnier now that I really am an American. Maybe Max will have inherited a double helix with the double helix he got from his Dad!!! (If only there was a god!!!)

So its good to be back and, if I may quote a brilliant Formula One journalist from his debut column: "This is the second edition of a new, regular column which will appear only once, unless it appears again".


I hear the question forming on your lips so let me introduce myself properly. My name may or may not be Ben. In the late 90s I wrote a column about Formula One motor-racing that was so popular that I didn't do it for a couple of decades and nobody noticed. There will be some of you reading this who were not born when this column last appeared but back in the good old days of Usenet and rasf1 we used to have some wonderful times debating Hill or Schumacher, Ferrari or Williams, the exact lap on which Verstappend would spin off. For a while the Insider moved to the Atlas F1 site which was apparently acquired, consumed and excreted by Autosport. It was while at Atlas that I had to wrestle with the fact that it was unclear who was most bored with the Insider, me or everybody else. I've been struggling to answer that question for 17 years and now that I have a satisfactory answer I've forgotten the question.

So for those of you younger than my laptop, the goal of The Insider is to bring you fresh, relevant, exciting news about F1 that you can't find anywhere else. This is of course very difficult. Therefore, I will mostly just make stuff up. As reporting "rumours" is now de rigeur for all legitimate news outlets, I think this now makes me part of the mainstream. I have always promised my readers one thing and this will continue to be an important part of my raison d'etre. Every sentence will have something foreign in it gracias. No that wasn't it. Oh I remember:

We check at least one fact.
Each and every issue, without fail, you can rest assured that we have checked at least one fact. We won't tell you which one it is, and its probably not one of the important ones, but we feel that this is an important covenant between us, the journalistic genius, and you, the common reader.


For those of you who can afford a Google subscription, you can confirm to everybody else that I was railing against re-fueling long before the FIA finally got around to banning it in 2009. Clearly, after all my efforts (and a deliberation period of a decade or so) the powers that be have realized just how right I was. I am far too modest to claim all the credit (OK, that is not the fact that I checked) although if all the credit was forced upon me I would be almost powerless to resist. No, the fact is (hint) re-fueling has been gone for some time now (not news, not made up, not interesting - the history teacher's trifecta) and F1 is the better for it. Now, if you want to see a car in flames, you'd better hope that the director finds some reason to follow a McLaren for a half a lap or so.


After declaring Hamilton and Mercedes the 2016 champions two weeks ago, it seems that the titles have been revoked this week. And James Vowles has become a household name. Depending on the household. For those of you not currently sleeping with Mr Vowles, and you know who you are, he is in fact the Chief Strategist at Mercedes. This is a position very similar to Chief Iceberg Watcher on the Titanic in that it is a job so painfully simple that anybody with a fake F1 news column could do it. May I suggest the following strategy for the Chinese GP: show up with the fastest car, drive it faster than everybody else during qualifying, drive it not quite so fast but still very fast during the race and, here's the clever bit, don't stop. Its a well known fact (could it be?) that cars that are stopped don't go as fast as cars that aren't stopped. Just a little free advice for Mr Vowles (and whoever may be sharing his bed right now).


The End.

Mitch McCann
The Formula One Insider at
Follow me on Twitter @mitchmcc

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