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Max Verstappen is so good he can make onions cry, he can win a staring contest with a statue and he can make a cat bark.

The difference between Max Verstappen and God is that Max doesn’t think he is God.

Watching Mad Max spend an hour and fifty driving around the 5.8km Honda-owned Suzuka Circuit last Sunday was like watching Leonardo da Vinci (572 today – buon compleanno Maxie – last known address, Amboise, France) paint the Mona Lisa, which some scoundrels believe was actually a portrait of Leo himself with a frock on.

No snide implications because the Maxster was wearing his Sparco Superlegga Nomex jammies while creating his art on Sunday and Leo took more than two hours on the tools in Florence.

Watching on TV (except Kayo) you don’t get a feeling for just how skilful all the F1 drivers are. They drive 40km/h faster than the speed a fighter jet takes off at, their bodies are racked by G forces five times their body weight which can cause blood to pool in their legs, less oxygen go to their brains and they actually stop breathing in high speed corners.

And then there are the necks. Notice that F1 drivers have thick necks. Some also have thick heads. Apart from anything else they need their neck muscles (or scalene muscles as we call them in the medico caper) to be strong during the G forces that are trying to push their necks to one side and so stop them looking straight at the next corner. Usually hanging a 30kg weight off your neck and lifting it up and down does the trick.

But there was only one artist out on Sunday. Watching Maxie’s absolute control of the car, the track and the race was a sublime experience.

Now we all know it’s really the reality show, the Real Drivers and Players of F1, that’s attracting the big audiences, so let me bring you up to date as we enter episode five, Shanghai Sling, where Ferdy Alonso marries Aston Martin for life; Ricciardo’s prang on lap one only adds to the downward pressure on the nicest person in F1’s career; former Jordan and Jaguar F1 technical director and Telegraph commentator Gary Anderson gives Alpine, Sauber and

Mercedes all an F (failing dismally); Alpine owner Renault secretly have the team up for sale despite running a very consistent last all season; Andretti Autosport establishes a new facility at F1 HQ, Silverstone, despite F1 rights owner Liberty Media telling it that it isn’t wanted; and your correspondent tipped you the F1 trifecta last week (no need to send me a share of the winning unless you really want to).

Talking of Aston Martin – billionaire fashion industry mogul Larry Stroll is now our favourite car company owner. On Thursday he told a packed audience of investors: “We will continue to make them (petrol-powered cars) as long as we are allowed to make them.”

That’s despite the Soap Dodger government banning the sale of new petrol or diesel cars from 2035. Another great decision like Brexit and hasn’t that worked out well?

Talking of McLaren: if you aren’t heading off to Monte Carlo next month (the old bloke, me and other tax dodgers will be there) for the Bonhams Les Grandes Marques à Monaco (the big brands in Monaco) then you won’t be getting driving lessons in Mika Hakkinen’s 2013 McLaren P1 Coupé Validation Prototype 3 offered directly from the two-time Formula 1 World Champion’s garages in Monaco, France or Finland.

Pay a lazy $3m and Mika, 55, will spend a day with you on a track or car park or outside Margaret’s Double Bay where leading bespoke investment adviser and equity raising solver Angus Aitken of Aitken Mount Capital Partners is often seen practising burnouts. Even Gus would think this is the deal of the year.

Talking Ferrari, “reader 17” bought a Ferrari Roma ($430k) in 2021. “It’s now travelled 8000km. The problem is, it constantly breaks down and Ferrari cannot find the fault,” he says.

“There are numerous other small faults and glitches, but breaking down unexpectedly obviously trumps them. (While) Ferrari ‘believe’ they have fixed the problem and I have the car back again … my problem will now be … what if it happens again?”

Naturally we reached out to Fezzer Australasia communications manager Ryan Lewis who says: “Ferrari Australasia is committed to its clients, and an investigation into the situation has been carried out based on the feedback from Mr Cleary. Ferrari Australasia will support Ferrari Sydney to ensure the ongoing satisfaction of our client and continue to maintain the standard of service that has made Ferrari a leading brand worldwide.”

Talking Hyundai, Reader 10 Travis Morgan purchased a brand new MY22 Hyundai Santa Fe Active last year from Callahan Motors in Warrnambool.

“As we drove home, I noticed a vibration which was intermittent and varied in intensity. I emailed the salesperson who we bought the car from to which I did not receive any response.

“The vibration has continued across the past 10 months and has been in the workshop at Mornington Hyundai more times than I would like to remember, has had many parts changed and for lengthy periods of time (again see summary with still no resolution).

“The service manager at Mornington has been good to deal with, however I believe they are at a loss as to what the problem is or its source and are looking to Hyundai for direction.

“We are still in limbo, now 10 months later, with no clear direction from Hyundai of the problem or a pathway forward in rectifying.

Naturally we reached out to Bill Thomas, GM of public relations at Hyundai, who initially said: “I’ll pass it on to the guys in customer care and come back to you with a status report and hopefully a quick solution.”

Then when no one had heard anything for a week I emailed Bill again. “Customer care tells me they can’t locate that vehicle on the system without the VIN, so are calling the dealer.”

Of course, we had mentioned to Bill that Trav’s car was at Mornington Hyundai. But I should have said “Mornington Hyundai is at 976 Nepean Highway Mornington, 03 5975 4433”.




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