Well, they’ve done their part, now we have to stand up and support them.
Yup, FWONK has brought back the biff so expect fireworks and more on the Hungaroring at Mogyoród next weekend. Now before I riff on the biff when Hamo and Mad Max go mano a mano (hand to hand, not gender-disparaging man to man), racer against racer, soap dodger against, well, Belgium is so boring it doesn’t have a nickname but fortunately Max “feels more Dutch” so its soap dodger against clog and they sort out the little altercation they had last Sunday at the British Grand Prix, let me just raise the issue of Birmingham.
Last Saturday I called Birmingham Birmo and it caused a flood of correspondence. Well, two emails. Jerry Thornton didn’t take any prisoners when he wrote: “Not Birmo but Brum and a local a Brummy … it’s quite possibly how you skips call poorly made vehicles … Brummy … as Birmingham did make some below-average cars.” But Don Main questioned Jerry’s spelling when he said: “A native of that fair city is a Brummie”. Well, forget Australia-China relations, the Covid Olympics and the Black Death, this is where you come to solve the big issues of the day.
OK, puzzling over FWONK?
Puzzle no more. FWONK is the listing name for F1 owner Liberty Media on the Nasdaq, the poor person’s version of the NYSE. Just before the plague hit in early 2020, FWONKs had been trading at about $65, then the wolves of Wall Street thought the end was nigh and FWONKs dropped nearly $40! But last week, as soon as the masters and mistresses of the universe got news of the Hamo/Mad Max biffathon, FWONK hit a record $66. Anyway, that’s why they (the masters and mistresses and Hamo and Max) are paid the big bucks and you and I have to get by on JobKeeper and SPAC profits.
Last week on the first lap of the Brit GP, Hamo and Max came together at around 320km/h, putting Max into a tyre barrier and for a short period of time into hospital before he headed back to Monaco, where there is plenty of water, no dykes but awkwardly, Lou Hamilton. Lou was given a 10-second penalty. Max and Red Bull management believe Lou should have been sent to hell. For what it’s worth, in my view, it was a racing incident, in other words both shared the blame.
These sorts of blues happen historically in F1 when there’s a new gun in town. It’s been brewing for a while between Hamo and Max. In fact, Hamo eased off to let Max take a corner the day before in the sprint final. The reality is Max is too aggressive a driver. But now it’s no more Mr or Ms Nice Person, as we’ll see at Mogyoród when it’s the rumble in the töltött káposzta. I can’t recommend shares but watch what happens to FWONK after a bit of Hungarian biffo.
If you haven’t been to Mogyoród, put it on your bucket list when we’re allowed to travel again in 2040. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s in Pest county or the fact that many people say the last interesting thing that happened there was the Battle of Mogyoród on March 14, 1074. No, the Hungaroring is in town and there’s a GP there every year. Stucco sculptor Károly Bebo was born there in 1712. And an inside tip from Hamo himself: “John don’t forget to tell the 19 readers and one friend to hit the Mogyoród Aquapark. It’s the largest sliding park in the whole of Hungary. Often, after the race, a lot of us grab a few slabs of Mad Scientist/BrewDog Budapest Blackcurrant Trifle beer and head straight to the park and the Python. Johnny it’s more fun than spinning Maxie into a wall at 320km/h. We hide in the skin of the 50m snake and let the two intertwined snakes enchant us! You don’t even know where you’re going? You’re sure to pop out somewhere.”
Talking of scary drivers, the late Kerry Packer put the frights into racer Kevin Bartlett in Kezza’s British Racing Green XJS Jaguar V12. As legendary auto writer Mike Stahl tells it, Kezza and Kev met in about 1979, when Bartlett was asked to provide some driving lessons at Sydney’s Oran Park circuit, in Packer’s bog-stock Jag XJS. Bartlett found that Packer had a low threshold for being told what to do. Bartlett shrugged back at him: “If you can’t f..kin’ do it the way I want you to, go and do your own thing. And when you crash, don’t f..kin’ blame me.”
“KP had said, ‘Righto, how do we make this thing quicker?’ I said we’ll put a couple of turbochargers on it … It was a complete and utter disaster. He kept on bitching and complaining about it,” KB grinned. “But then he’d say, ‘Oh, doesn’t it f..kin’ go!’” Kezza was in a “who has the faster car” war with radio star John Laws and his Porker. Lloyds have Kezza’s Jag up for auction online. They’re looking for about $80k for the unregistered racer, one of three versions that were specially built by Gary Walker Jaguar in Sydney and originally rumoured to be putting out 900kw before sense prevailed.
With Pebble Beach week coming up next month, keep an eye on the very beautiful Campari red 1974 Alfa Romeo TIPO 33TT 12 that was part of the 1975 world championship-winning season, raced by Derek Bell and Henri Pescarolo and purchased from Alfa Romeo Works Team Autodelta. Yours from Bonhams for $2.5m. Also on offer, Tom Hanks’ “gorgeous and cosy” 1992 10m silver bullet Airstream Trailer. The trailer was ordered new by Hanks to the actor’s specification. Tom told me: “I had spent too much time in regular trailers with ugly decor and horribly uncomfortable furniture.
“I didn’t want anything built-in, other than the kitchen and bathroom, so it had only a desk and cupboard in the back, a futon platform on the floor, and room for a small table and chairs.” Yours for $200k.