The English press is more predictable than Michael Schumacher on race day. Every year, without fail, it chooses what I refer to as ‘flavour of the season.’ By design, the flavour would be not English, not Irish, not Scottish, not Australian either. It most definitely would be German. If not, it would be rest-of-the-world.
Each of the flavours is described using a distinctive set of words and phrases. For example, a supreme German flavour’s mouth would be referred to as “cat’s anus.” And yes, no matter how underwhelming an English flavour is, it would be labeled “the next Ayrton Senna.” The said flavour could be causing the rest of the world a stiff upper lip, but the English press stands united in its purpose, like the medieval Beefeaters. It also insists on a code of conduct for German and rest-of-the-world flavours. No pubbing, no lapdancing, no fiddling with gearshifts, no taking shit while a German flavour is retiring, and so on.
Strangely, the English flavours seem to have the Queen’s seal of approval to doze off in the cockpit during practice sessions, throw fists at track marshals, shout profanities at passing drivers during a race, block a race seat year after year despite not winning the championship in a dozen years…..so long as you are English-speaking. Or else, you should be British / own a hotel in Monte Carlo / respond in long, winding sentences that mean nothing / merely sit in the cockpit leaning a bit forward for the commentator to proclaim “look he’s willing the car to go faster!”
If you happen to be a ‘rest-of-the-world flavour,’ even a slightly unconventional demeanour will be dubbed “irresponsible,” “unacceptable,” “outrageous.” But if the flavour in question is English, it would be quickly titled something glamorous on the lines of ‘Golden Boy’ or ‘Irv the Swerve.’ And if the errant flavour is German, boy oh boy, out come the Spitfires swooping down on imaginary Messershmitts.
This season however, an all-time favourite German flavour has gone out of circulation. So the English press huddled together and through draw of lots or some sort of Victorian black magic, chose a new flavour. Ah, a Finnish one this time! The one that loves fiddling with the gearshift while its British masters are busy polishing their new toy. The flavour hadn’t even donned its new red overalls and out comes the verdict. “Maranello and monosyllabic don’t go together.” “Ferrari is Finnished.”
What nonsense! An iconic brand like Ferrari doesn’t need Marketing 101 from half-baked journos who pronounce Honda as Honder. And when have a grand prix driver’s PR skills or knowledge of the Oxford Dictionary influenced his racing prowess? If that’s the case, Mark Webber ought to be at McLaren and David Coulthard should’ve been a world champ eleven times. Samjha kya?