Here’s to the second person (and no, it will not always be a person) who has earned the F1C Select award, Zak Brown. Look I know for a fact this will piss people off and get downvoted on Reddit because of the comment I am about to make. Before you downvote, ask yourself this. Do you cheer for drivers, teams, team leaders and owners who have a similar background as you?
If you said no to last question, you’re only lying to yourself. F1 is not an American sport by any means. It has no nationality. It’s worldwide, and it’s the greatest sport ever! Nothing matters besides speed, not race, religion, sexuality, male/female, nothing! Speed is all that matters. And when someone comes into the sport who is from the same country as I am, unless they are truly awful I cheer for that person. So, one awesome thing about Zak is he is American. But forget that. What’s more important to us at F1 and Coffee and why he wins F1C Select this week is his attitude and reason for going to McLaren.
During episode two of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Zak makes says:
“My name is Zak Brown. I’m Executive Director of McLaren Technology Group. I’ve been in motor racing my entire life. I’m now 46 years old. We have a lot to offer at McLaren. We’ve been absolutely dominant over the years. To show up every day and look down the boulevard and have the first thing you see is Niki Lauda’s car. And Ayrton Senna’s car. We’ve got thousands of employees running around here that all share the same passion and desire to win. We’ve got a massive fan base, but it’s been pretty hard to cheer for us cause we’ve not been anywhere near racing at the front. You know, it’s been a difficult five-year run. I felt l could contribute to making a difference. And so, I wanted to get into an environment that I had some work to do as opposed to maybe joining a team that’s on the top, and you’ve got kind of only one way to go.”
First, he recognizes how bad McLaren has been the past few years and says he took the job to make the team better. I don’t know what other offers he had, but to go to a team that hasn’t been good for a while to make that team better deserves some respect. Now, I won’t argue that Niki and Ayrton are two of the greatest drivers ever, but I was a little disappointed that he didn’t mention James Hunt’s car. More on my thoughts about James in another article..
For today, Zak Brown, keep doing what you’re doing making McLaren better and get back to the top! While I hated to see Fernando go, I can’t wait to see Carlos behind the wheel in Melbourne next week.
It’s no secret that most of us die hard F1 fans would most rather quit our jobs and watch every second of F1 as soon as the new season starts each year, starting with testing in Catalunya. That isn’t realistic for, well, anyone. Like one of the F1 and Coffee writers stated to me during the 24 Hours at Daytona, where our boy Fernando dominated for Wayne Taylor Racing (ok, not dominated, but ultimately won due to Felipe Nasr running wide at turn one shortly before the session was red flagged, never to restart). That race is “like a methadone fix for F1 addicts after a long, cold winter”. While I’m not 100% sure on the analogy, that race sure as hell got me pumped up for the 2019 season. Then testing came along, Ferrari looked solid, as did Ferrari B (aka Alfa Romeo Racing, aka New Sauber). Now, we all know Mercedes was sandbagging the shit out of testing like they always do, but the midfield looks damn good and like it will be even more competitive than last year. Hell, has McLaren finally gotten their act together after Alonso “retired” from the sport? I hope so!
So, today, Netflix launched a new series called Formula 1: Drive to Survive. Initially, I was ridiculously excited about it. Then I saw on www.WTF1.com that Mercedes and Ferrari wouldn’t be featured in the docuseries. That bummed me out, regardless of how completely reasonable it is for the top two teams fighting for the championship to not want cameras behind their closed doors during the 2018 Season.
Now, I’ve only watched the first episode, but that episode spent a lot of time showing one of my favorite drivers of all time, Danny Ric. I’ll just be honest here. Seeing his smiling face and hearing him talk got me excited as hell about the new season, which goes lights out, in (at the time I’m writing this) in just over 194 hours. Technically, the first laps will occur in just under 6 days time… I can’t wait!!! How about you?