Heading for the open road

It’s off to Austria today, on the longest road trip of the year. I’m heading for Germany and will spent the evening eating schnitzel (no doubt) and then motor on tomorrow to Austria. The Vettel business is now fading and we will have to see whether Vettel has learned his lesson or whether he will do something daft again when next the red mists descend. As for the rest of the teams they will be noting the decision and filing it away for future reference if their drivers get into trouble. The FIA may in future get rather tired of the “Vettel Defence”, but sympathy will be hard to find in the F1 world. Very few movers and shakers in F1 respect the soft touch. To control them it is often only rough justice that works.

Elsewhere, there is still no team principal at Sauber after two weeks of hiatus, which underlines the point about Sauber being a team that is different to all the others and difficult to recruit for. The only way it can be done is if there is a leader with sufficient passion and drive to convince people to move. Money is not enough. The other key, of course, is stability so it would be wise for the team to get some really quickly. It strikes me that the situation at Hinwil will be watched very closely at Ingolstadt, where the big cheeses of Audi know the value of Sauber (the two parties work together a lot with DTM development) so if one day they are considering an F1 assault, the idea of buying Sauber is not such a stupid one (as BMW found out). There would be a certain amount of irony if that were to happen, of course, because Sauber was established in F1 with Mercedes money, was used by BMW and could one day end up in the hands of Audi. But the Audi folk are clever. They will wait until the team’s value has shrunk sufficiently before jumping in to buy it.

We will see how things develop now, but as a fan of architecture I do know that when the keystone of a building is removed, the roof tends to fall in.

Elsewhere, I’m watching McLaren to see if we are going to get a new Dennis-level boss. The wait to sort out the settlement made this impossible but that hurdle is now out of the way.

So what next? F1’s endless soap opera rolls onwards. I guess the British GP will be the big talking point in the next 10 days. I also expect more chatter about Copenhagen, as this is clearly a serious project for the future. 

To the autoroute!