Home  /  May 2024  /  Comment

We all have lots of excuses for not winning in the game of life or on the racetrack.

For example: “The wind was blowing in the wrong direction”; “Google maps got the turn wrong” and “I know I didn’t make a mistake – the wall must have moved”.

Then Lewis Hamilton suggested the reason he was being targeted by the stewards: “Maybe because I’m black?”

But our award for the worst excuse goes to Lando Norris, 24, 173cm and 68kg, originally from Woking, SDL (soap dodger land) but lately of Monaco. As many of you know, one moves to Monaco because 12 months ago, Bert Grimaldi, 66, 180cm and 85kg (hmm, I think he has a great PR person), set up an Attractiveness Unit to highlight the 2.1 sqkm principality’s features, such as great views of rich people driving old and new F1 cars, great views of rich people in boats, great views of rich people in the casino, great views of rich people walking because the joint is so small and, oh, great views of rich people paying no tax. Well, there’s the answer JC2 (Jim Chalmers) and current titular head of what passes for Australia (Anthony Albanese, who I’m reliably informed is no relation to the Italian Olympic fencer, épées not palings, the late Antonio Albanese) no need for the Future Made in Australia Act to attract investment and build prosperity.

No, 20 readers and those who will never be called readers because they nick other people’s copies of The Weekend Australian and subscribe to OnlyFans instead of taking up our special $1 a week for the first four weeks offer (you can tell the top brass is in town – no not here in Monte Carlo but there in Surry Hills – the Monte Carlo of the more humble area of the Emerald City), the answer is simple.

Follow Bert and his 32 relations’ attractiveness plan. No tax. No capital gains tax. No property tax. No wealth tax. And you only have to live in Smallville for three months of the year to be a citizen and quite frankly, no one really knows when you come and go.

Cut back to Lando.

Last week at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Lando finished first of the losers, behind Mad Max by seven-tenths of a second. “One or two more laps and I think I would have had him,” said Leaping Lando. Get your hand off it Lando.

This is like saying “I could have won the gold medal in the 100m if it was 150m” or “we could have won the one-day match if it had gone for two days”.

Millions of dollars, thousands of hours and years of F1 driver skill go into getting the car just to the finish and no further. Maxie’s tyres were just about done but he knew they were and an enormous amount of skill would get him the chequered flag. Which they did.

That’s not to say the differences between the cars aren’t closing. Chuck Leclerc’s Feezer and Lando’s McLaren both look good for tomorrow. McLaren has had the most wins here, followed by Ferrari. Among the current drivers, Hamilton has won three and Fred Alonso and Max Max have won two each (trivia note: our own Mark Webber also won two). Back Max for Sunday.

Of course, if you’re not in Monte Carlo you’ll be in Ned Kelly territory, Winton, this weekend for Australia’s longest-running historic car and motorcycle event, Historic Winton. There will be 400 cars and a few temporary Australians on motorbikes.

Talking of Ferrari, you remember that two readers have had serious problems with their Ferrari Romas? Not that you’d know but Roma owners around the world have had serious problems that make this $600k piece of Italian metal worthy of the title, “limone”.

“Electrical bugs stopping the car after three days”; “bad battery, driver’s door panel coming loose, uneven gaps”; “multiple updates for software issues” and “this is my third Ferrari purchase and probably my last”.

One of the readers, a multiple Ferrari owner, cut her losses and sold her Roma, the other is battling on with Ferrari and dealer Ferrari North Shore, which refuses to replace or refund the value of the car.

This is in clear breach of Australian Consumer Law, which says: “A consumer has the right to their choice of a replacement or refund when a car has a major problem.” Ferrari keeps fixing the Roma and the Roma keeps breaking down. So next week we’ll go online with videos of the Feezer in all its glory (dead as a dodo by the side of the road).

Talking of lemons, our friends at Consumer Reports have just issued their list of the 10 least reliable cars based on detailed data collected from members on more than 330,000 vehicles.

And the “winners” include: the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee, Volvo XC60 plug-in, and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Also low scoring are: 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage, 2024 Polestar 2, 2024 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, 2024 Land Rover Discovery Sport and the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Talking of the least expensive car brands to maintain from six to 10 years, Tesla and Toyota had the lowest maintenance costs, with Audi, BMW, Merc and Porsche at the top end. Given you pay $1k for a BMW external mirror that costs $75 in Germany, you can see why this might be the case.

And forgetting warranty, spare parts and service just bid on one of only 50 of the most significant modern Maseratis. This 2005 Maserati MC12 is up for auction at RM Sotheby’s next month. First purchased and displayed by the Riverside International Automotive Museum and driven by Derek Hill with Phil Hill at Laguna Seca Raceway in 2008 this is better than sex.



Support great journalism and subscribe 

Recent articles from this author

Article Search

Related articles