Sunday, November 2, 2008

God among the gearboxes

Naturally the whole country is currently tuned in to Speed Channel to watch the F-1 finale in Sao Paulo. With British darling Lewis 7 points ahead of the Brazilian Felipe, it is surely his to lose (again). Both have revealed in the course of the last few days their strong faith. In this most materialistic and glamorous of sports, any mention of God seems very out of place. Of course, the late (and definitely not immortal, despite his sublime brilliance) Ayrton Senna, the thinking man's racing driver, was also deeply spiritual. Nonetheless, the public face of F-1 is much more that of Flavio, silver-haired, aging-trendy boss of Renault, who has never met a girl he wouldn't shag. Have to note now that Lewis, a humble lad from south London, has now acquired a pop tartlet: not a Spice Girl but a Pussycat Doll? As I'm sitting here waiting for the start, God, evidently paying attention, has clearly demonstrated a sense of humour as he has sent a downpour on to the starting grid moments before the getaway. The start has been delayed 10 minutes as teams fiddle with the wets. This yet again shows why F-1 is vastly superior to vulgar NASCAR: in the event of rain, the whole show in the latter case stops and they bring out a giant vacuum cleaner and some squeegees.

Fast Forward to the finish. God again displaying a sense of humour as rain arrives in the last four laps and the drivers dive for the pits. Lewis wins, loses and wins again the title on the final two laps. Mind-blowing drama. No fake cautions required here. Does Lewis' success in the relatively exclusive backwater of F-1 foreshadow success of an ethnically similar gentleman on the larger world stage this coming week?

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