Some leftover notes from an incredible weekend of racing:
— If you’re ever stuck for a definition of the word (or concept) “miracle,” you can use Allan McNish’s Audi R18 crash at Le Mans on Saturday to illustrate.
That car was going over the wall when it seemed like an invisible hand somehow reached out and pushed it back.
Yes, wheels, etc., seemed to get caught in the top of the retaining fence, and that might have slowed the car down, but I’ve watched that video a dozen times (you can take a look at it here) and I can’t figure out how the centrifugal force carrying the car forward just stopped.
And not only that, reversed!
As a friend of mine said, that accident defied the laws of physics.
And the fact that pieces of carbon fiber, wheels — what have you — went flying off that car and into a restricted area where at least a dozen (or more) marshals and photographers were standing, and nobody was hit by anything, is truly miraculous.
The fact that the McNish crash took place at the scene of the worst accident in motor racing history (the 1955 Le Mans 24 hours in which 84 people were killed and 120 injured when a car, or pieces of a car, went into the crowd) also makes you wonder.
That accident resulted in Switzerland banning the sport; many other countries considered similar action.
It there’s ever another huge disaster, who knows what would result?
God was on auto racing’s side at Le Mans last Saturday.
— Autosport magazine has got everybody all a-Twitter about the fact that Lewis Hamilton had some sort of a meeting in Montreal with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
People are saying that this means Hamilton is planning a move to Red Bull.
Now, the last time I looked, the guy who chooses the drivers at Red Bull is not Christian Horner. The guy who makes the decisions on drivers is Helmut Marko and when Lewis sits down with Marko, then I’ll start believing some of this stuff.
My bet? He either stays at McLaren or he goes to Mercedes.
— I don’t get the chatter about Simona Di Silvestro joining Team Penske for the 2012 season.
She’s an okay road racer — not great; good — but out to lunch on ovals and The Captain does not operate a racing school.
If the day comes when she’s as competitive on ovals as Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, he might give her a look — but not before.
The other factor in this “doesn’t-make-sense” scenario is that Penske doesn’t like to run three cars. Never has. He farmed Paul Tracy out to Newman-Haas in the mid-90s in order to cut back to two and he’s keeping Ryan Briscoe around now because of some sense of loyalty. I suggest Briscoe will be elsewhere in 2012 and Penske Racing will be back to two cars.
The other head-scratcher, so far as rumours are concerned, surrounds the alleged interest on the part of some car owners in Katherine Legge.
I’m a big fan of women racing drivers. I have a framed, autographed picture of Janet Guthrie in my house. She was the most talented woman driver until Danica Patrick came along.
Katherine Legge is no Janet Guthrie and she is no Danica Patrick. And there are plenty of other deserving drivers — male as well as female — who deserve a seat in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season before her, starting with Dan Wheldon, who only won the Indianapolis 500.
— Another note from a friend: “Loved the ending to the Canadian GP, and Vettel’s reaction. Somebody should send a tape to Busch and Hamlin on how to gracefully accept being beaten, especially when you make a mistake. . . “
— And: “If it had been Hamilton instead of Button in that “racing accident” with Alonso, Hamilton would have been penalized.”
They’re picking on Lewis and it’s scandalous. Emerson Fittipaldi, who was the driver rep on the stewards’ panel in Montreal, was on record before the weekend as saying that Hamilton was “too aggressive.”
How’d you like to go before a judge, knowing that he had already told people that you were guilty.
— Finally, I’m sick of the whining going on in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Dario Franchitti said before going to Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night that he didn’t think the lottery system (of determining the grid for the second race) was fair.
Okay, thank you for your opinion, Mr. Franchitti. We understand you don’t think the lottery is fair. This has been noted.
But then Franchitti wouldn’t shut up about it on the TV show all Saturday night. Before the first race, after the first race, during the interview before the lottery and then after the second race, he went on and on and on.
He crashed Victory Lane after the second race (when was the last time somebody who finished seventh went to Victory Lane looking to be interviewed?) and bitched about it again.
The people who run the Indy car series, and the TV network that televises the races, and the guy who promotes races at Texas, were trying something a little different to get people who might not necessarily attend Indy car races, or watch them on TV, interested.
It’s called marketing and promotion.
I might understand Franchitti’s concern if he’d never won anything. But the guy has won the last two Indycar championships plus the one the year before he went to NASCAR. In other words, the last three seasons he’s raced Indy cars, he’s won it all.
I know he’s a competitive guy, but can’t he just suck it up and get on with the job? As we all know, life isn't fair.
Betcha he wouldn’t have been as upset Saturday night if he’d picked the pole. . .