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GP Week : Issue 114
GPWEEK OPINION >> BAHRAIN ISN’T IN THE SCRIPT ... Best of ... enemies – oh yes! He pointed out that he’d had Lorenzo’s tyre marks from knee to shoulder of his leathers after the race at Jerez, and reminded everyone that Jorge had a bit of history himself, having suffered a one- race suspension for dangerous riding in 2005. “Your example was wrong,” he boomed, several times, as Lorenzo responded with accusations that other riders were also concerned about Simoncelli’s gung- ho riding style. By the end of an increasingly heated exchange, Simoncelli had won the support of the crowd and looked amused, while Lorenzo was red in the face with rage. Rossi and Stoner were quite calm by comparison, but just as pointed. It was Rossi who sounded off first, having suffered (he said) from repeated derogatory remarks from Stoner since their crash at Jerez. Time to hit back: and he belittled the Australian (“He talks about my shoulder injury as though he is the first doctor in the Melbourne Hospital of Shoulders, but he knows nothing.” ); and said it all stemmed from their epic race at Laguna Seca in 2008, where Rossi’s forceful overtaking move not only won him the race, but left Stoner saying: “I lost a bit of respect for him.” Stoner professed himself flattered by Rossi’s psychological war fare “that he’s used with so many riders in the past”. Both clearly enjoyed the battle a great deal more than Lorenzo. But not as much as the rest of us. Gloves are off, riders are actually being sincere, instead of resorting to the usual mealy-mouthed sponsor- friendly chat that usually marks these occasions. Best of friends off the track? I don’t think so. They’re motorbike racers whose drive has taken them to the highest level. They don’t like each other, and they’re deadly serious about it. Keep going, guys. It’s the real world after all. seemed to give a monkey’s. For the Germans to get excited it has to involve a football or David Hasselhoff. Both of which rather embarrass the Americans. But they are wild for the royals, and you know why? Glamour, wealth, tradition, scandal, mystique, notoriety... and with a ‘commoner’ now destined for Buckingham Palace, the Windsor soap opera is now the perfect American dream, even though Kate isn’t a yank. There isn’t an American in Formula One either but gosh darn it, as is the local parlance, it ticks all those royal boxes too. F1 could be massive if pitched to the US right, played out in the correct venue to a social climbing demographic. And where’s that venue? It ain’t Austin, it’s Hollywood. It’s time Formula One got West Coast representation. I don’t mean a race in LA, I just mean an agent. Consumer companies employ agents to lobby producers and get their products on the screen. Sometimes money changes hands (see James Bond) and sometimes it doesn’t. Red Bull is particularly successful at using relationships to get their cans in the frame, rather than dollars. Last week I was in talks to get a big name action star a drive at Le Mans next year. The appetite for racing among Hollywood’s elite is definitely there, and many would like to be cast in a Steve McQueen-style role. Oscar-winning screenwriter Peter Morgan is drafting a Niki Lauda-inspired script, and is looking for a production team to make it a reality. But right now the domestic audience isn’t there. With the right management it could be. In Monaco we’ll see a bunch of movie stars cruise over from Cannes to get a taste of F1 glam. And that is THE venue for any F1 screen adaptation. It is not Bahrain. Keep Bahrain on the calendar, and Jean Todt might as well change his name to Alan Smithee. 21