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No need to go to Albert Lake in Melbourne or watch the procession on TV (unless it’s Kayo). Why spoil a perfectly good Sunday arvo when you can get the results today? Yup it will be Mad Max, Checo Perez and Chuck Leclerc.

Then there will be some other drivers. Some will look like they’re in a different race they’re so far behind. Others will do a good job of making up the numbers and one or two might end up with a participation certificate.

F1 has the most diverse group of participants in any sport, except maybe underwater dominoes and competition nude portrait painting. Well, that’s not quite right. F1 drivers are ethnically, racially, religiously and hirstutely diverse but gender is the sport’s black (not in any racial sense) mark.

No matter how hard the F1 management tries to spin it, it has a women problem. Let’s count the ways.

Christian Edward Johnston Horner, CBE, Red Bull Racing team principal and CEO, was alleged to have indulged in inappropriate behaviour with a female employee who worked closely with him.

Before you could say independent inquiry, heavy (not a fat shaming comment just using the word in the sense of senior) members of Red Bull began threatening to leave, others suggesting they would leave if Chris (husband of the only member of the Spice Girls with a spice name – the Spice Girls were a singing group formed 30 years ago so would now be named the Spice Seniors) stayed on.

This escalated into an internal war between the Austrian faction (the Mateschitzs) and the Thai faction (the Yoovidhyas) who together own the fizzy drink company, with even Mad Max among the threatening to leave.

Then surprise, surprise, the independent inquiry conducted by an eminent KC who will remain nameless because Red Bull didn’t name him or her cleared the Hornster.

Then the woman involved was stood down from Red Bull. Then she appealed the decision by the unknown KC and has filed a grievance with the sport’s governing body, the equally untransparent FIA.

Max has said he’s staying but Red Bull’s key genius chief technology officer, Adrian Newey, looks like he is going to the Feezer company.

Then things are not all that swish over at the Mercedes company. Star driver Lou “The Hamster” Hamilton and driver development director Jerome d’Ambrosio will soon be leaving to join Adrian Newey at Ferrari.

Then team’s boss Toto Wolff’s wife, Susie, has filed a criminal lawsuit against the FIA boss, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, after its investigation into alleged improper exchanges of sensitive information between Susie and Toto allegedly caused her serious reputational damage.

As she said in an exclusive social media post to this column (and one million others): “I can confirm that I have personally filed a criminal complaint in the French courts on the 4 March in relation to the statements made about me by the FIA last December. There has still not been any transparency or accountability in relation to the conduct of the FIA and its personnel in this matter.

Then the Hamster weighed in: “I’m incredibly proud of Susie. I think she is so brave and she stands for such great values. She’s such a leader and in a world where often people are silenced. For her to be standing up sends such a great message.

“It is still a male-dominated sport, and we’re living in a time where the message is if you file a complaint, you will be fired, and that is a terrible narrative to be projecting to the world, especially when we’re talking about inclusivity here in the sport,” Hamo told the world from the end of the world, Albert Park, Victoria.

“We need to make sure we stay true to the core values.”

Mohammed Ben Sulayem has just been cleared by an independent inquiry conducted by the ethics committee of the FIA (of which he is the boss). The allegations were that he had interfered with the stewards’ decision to reverse a penalty handed down on Ferdy Alonoso at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and that he pushed for the FIA to not approve the track certification for Las Vegas (if I am going too fast for you here let me know and I will slow down my typing).

Cue the Hamster: “There is a real lack of accountability here, within this sport, within the FIA.

“There are things that are happening behind closed doors, there is no transparency, there is really no accountability, and we need that. The fans need that. How can you trust the sport and what is happening here if you don’t have that?”.

Don’t stop there Hamo. “Is Ben Sulayem the right person to be in charge of the FIA?” asked the journo. “He never has,” said the Hamster.

Talking of Ferrari let’s hope the two cars in this weekend’s cruise around the southern Australian equivalent of the Grande Corniche, which painfully winds its way around the Yarra River Delta, don’t suffer the same fate as the Feezer 458 of California’s Iliya Nechev who kept losing his brakes after buying the car.

In a class action complaint filed a few days ago (and I’m translating the legal document from law talk to real talk for you), Iliya’s mouthpiece talked about a fatal prang in 2015 where Fezzer technicians said “no braking problems here” in “testimony now contradicted by Ferrari’s disclosures to the NHTSA”.

In 2021 Ferrari recalled 10,000 cars (probably all the Feezers in the known world) saying a “defect related to motor vehicle safety may arise in some Ferrari 488 vehicles”.

“These vehicles are equipped with a braking system that could potentially leak brake fluid, which may lead to partial or total loss of braking capability,” Ferrari said.

Anyway, you can buy your own Ferrari F1 car for about $10m with no warranties as to the brakes. RM is selling Jody Scheckter’s 1979 Feezer at Monaco – the Albert Lake of Europe. This was Enzo Ferrari’s last Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship-winning car. Entirely original since leaving the factory, including heavily worn seatbelts and very worn brake pedals.



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