LOL peeps, OMG!
The Portuguese and Imolese Grand$ Prix are back, what a shocker! It took a global pandemic for that to happen. In our exclusive video we go behind the scenes of Portimão and Imola. Not really, but close. Hit like with a hammer and subscribe.
I do love this marasmic poster from 11 Sports: the car is obviously the result of an early Marussia F1 mating with the Ferrari SF1000. Bravo, eggnog and wet dreams is my summary of this arty-farty/artsy-fartsy poster. As if we needed a reminder of how bad and ugly the current generation of F1 cars looks, beauty is the eye of the beholder, for sure. I know a lot of people who can orgasm while looking at these trucks. I am in all honesty amazed that F1 still got some fans left and peeps seem to be enjoying themselves with ‘autofellatio’ one-team championship for the past eight years (I proclaim and profess, whatever, 2013-2020 as the most boring F1 years ever). Once again, horses for courses. Not my course and not my horse this. The best way to introduce concrete, tangible change is to break away from domination patterns without having to worry about the past. As designers, we do not live in the past, we work for the future. #BetterTomorrow #SustanableGas #ElectricChair
Anyhoo, Portimão was beyond question destined for future greatness and early on they managed to bag a GP2 race (unforgettable commentary by Will Buxton imitating, erm, still embryonic at the time Alex Jacques?) that got them into deep trouble with Mr E (money, that’s what the Internet said) and host F1 winter testing along the way in 2008 and 2009, plus some secret private test sessions or whatnot. Your humble servant has been a frequent visitor to the track over the years as these links below undoubtedly/indubitably prove.
I would define it as a nice and flowing track with mighty elevation changes, fan-friendly for viewing from the grandstands – not in the summer though, it’s way too hot and October date is perfect in that sense. Some good overtaking possibilities despite common prejudice towards the circuit. I mean, a race can be exciting even without any overtaking in it, you just gotta watch it closely and don’t fall asleep. DRS is a sin, it stinks like dog poo.
Paddock-wise, Algarve’s way bigger than Estoril, way more modern looking – that’s also expected. It’s got its own charm going on I think, we shouldn’t spit on new tracks/new countries on the F1 calendar so easily.
Peeps are making conscious efforts to host Formula 1™ races, should we get too choosy we will many an opportunity losey. Cemeteries of the sporting world are filled with irreplaceable events. Here today, gone tomorrow. I mean as a long-time direct and indirect participant in F1’s carbon footprint, I didn’t give a sh*t during the COVID pause about any kind of sport. F*** off, I got other things to sort out. That didn’t really surprise me. But you’re not gonna read that, are you? You peeps are too busy with “social” media, you forgot how to read properly, I can write anything I want and no one’s gonna stop me now, ho ho ho. Creative effing total carte blanche. DELETE TWITTER TODAY!
Where was I? Ah, the circuit. It’s fairly straightforward and easy to reach in terms of road access, good offer of hotels and apartments around. Via do Infante which leads to the circuit is a bit shabby and potholes are aplenty, it’s pothole galore. A minor issue though. I prefer smooth roads, you see. Other than that, I can’t find any issues with AIA.
The timing felt right to dig out a few early photos of the circuit from late 2008, with Ferrari and McLaren among the first F1 teams to venture out to the then brand new Portuguese wonder facility, hence some 2009 bits bolted onto 2008 Christmas tree cars. Drivers: the inevitable Pedro de la Rosa for McLaren and ‘Slowfoot’ aka Luca Badoer (or BAD according to his pit board) in the Rosso Corsa=Ferrari Red. Direct rivals throughout 1999 F1 season in Arrows vs Minardi battle, two memorable blokes from the wild 1990s. I have a soft spot for Badoer I will say that much, the dude just didn’t get lucky with his F1 career, a classic F1 journeyman in any case. Being a tester for Ferrari – I’d take it with both hands and legs. A legend in his own right. At least de la Rosa scored a few points and stood on the F1 podium once… Appy polly loggies for poor quality of the photos, I recall I was getting a splitting headache from those nasty howling V8s, the best feeling ever. I lost my concentration and seemed to be enjoying the moment, taking it all in, soaking up the atmosphere, the heavy air filled with high octane naturally aspirated exhaust fumes, it appears as though I’d gotten high without, though it may seem strange, noticing it. Badoer is having a chat with none other than Pedro Lamy Esquire (and we talk Imola later on, weird), should one enquire.
Pics are quite vintage as you can spot Bridgestone technicians and advertising for brands that no longer exist, like the Portuguese communications giant TMN, for example. If you think about it, Estoril was built in 1972 and hosted its inaugural F1 race in 1984. Algarve was completed in 2008 and now gets to host its first ever F1 race in 2020. There’s a 12-year gap between formation and F1 coming to town for both venues. Spooky.
Should you travel to the Algarve, don’t miss the region’s excellent wines. It’ll make you see the light at the end of F1’s PC tunnel. In vino veritas, peeps.
And this brings us swiftly to our next subject – Imola. The eternal and gorgeous Imola.
I remember the vibe: the Italian spring would normally have sprung on us, if that’s the right word. Engines would rumble, drivers would run out of fuel in the race, on-track shenanigans between Prost and Senna. We’ll never forget Alonso-Schumi edge-of-the-seat fights in 2005 and 2006. Madonna, è bellissimo! I’m sure you all carry your own memories of Imola. Older guys, that is.
Senna and Ratzenberger, well, we can’t change the course of F1 history. But please don’t hate Imola for that. It’s like loathing autobahns because of (“Aryan superhero”) Bernd Rosemeyer’s fatal crash. This one is for nonagenarians or older. I know you senior, up in years peeps enjoy reading my articles A LOT. Autobahns are essential for self-restrained and taciturn German EU citizens, they need to open the valve occasionally, release that political pressure cooker’s steam (ouch, hot!), otherwise they’ll go nuts looking after lazy Southern EU nations.
Here’s a quick selection of posts from our previous Imola visits.
Last but not least, we should commend F1 for its efforts in reviving The United Federated Forces of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). I reckon GPDA should kick it up a notch and do a Patty Hearst, maybe kidnap a rich white kid, rob a bank and teach evil capitalist pigs a lesson, blast the system. F1 needs General Field Marshal Cinque Jr and Tania Jr. How romantic. Wow.