This is one of those days when too much news is barely enough. Hope you had your Foxtel on late at night last Sunday to watch one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time drive one of the greatest races of all time.
Yes, I’m talking about Hamo.
The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 car used in James Bond films
Let me give you a quick summary of the 92 minutes 29 seconds and 845 tenths of a second Lou drove around Hockenheimring (a German word meaning traditional Swabian egg noodles with fried Maultaschen on the side) to regain the world championship lead.
Basically, Hamo started 14 places down but within about three minutes had moved in to sixth. Dano had power problems and had to park his car on the grass. Talking of grass, the pit crew called Hamo in and then said don’t come in so he had to drive over the grass to get back on the track, which could have had him expelled or worse.
Then the Ferrari management spent 10 minutes subtly suggesting Kimi let Seb through, which he eventually did and Seb promptly ran nose first into the DHL sign. This was unbeatable publicity for DHL but Seb swore, then said sorry guys, then cried.
Then Hamo had to survive a stewards inquiry into his grass excursion, which he did, and at the press conference with second-placed Val and third-placed Kimi, who is from Espoo (very childish laugh you had there), Finland, was so angry his face looked like it came via DHL from Mount Rushmore. But the quote of the day goes to Seb, who finished a very good practice lap by uttering those immortal words “Woop badd, doop dadda, boop boo”. And he gets $40 million a year for this?
Anyway, the takeaway for the Formula 1 Rolex Magyar Nagydij 2018, which is all live and ad-break free during racing on Foxtel (I know which side my kenyer is buttered on) is that Seb has some mind issues that are making him very accident-prone. It would be fair to say his amici at Feezer land aren’t all that pleased with him, either.
The grey fox, Ferrari team boss, Malboro Maurizio Arrivabene, didn’t once utter the word Vettel in his post-race media release. Of course, Maurizio was appointed to the job by then Feezer chairman Sergio Marchionne. Sadly, Sergio died this week. The chain-smoking Canadian-Italian brought Ferrari back to racing dominance and saved Fiat from bankruptcy by merging it with Chrysler and made a fortune for shareholders.
Moving on to your super fund investments: Bonhams sold the 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato GT for close to $18m; the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 that starred in GoldenEye, brought $3.4m; the 1932-34 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Grand Prix Monoposto sold for $8.1m, while Shannons got a 1962 Porsche 356B T6 “Twin Grille” Roadster away for $352,000.
OK, if $3.4m is too heady for you, how about giving your local toy shop $300 for a Lego version. As Ms Lego told me exclusively by press release: “Featuring 1290 pieces, you can combine the understated sophistication of Aston Martin with the joy of Lego building and create your very own piece of James Bond memorabilia. An authentic replica of the world-famous 1964 Aston Martin DB5 sports car, this 1:8 scale model includes many of the unique features showcased in Goldfinger, from a working ejector seat, revolving numberplates, radar tracker, hidden telephone, bulletproof shield, front wing machine guns and wheel-mounted tyre scythes”. An Ikea version is next.
This week Facebook’s market cap fell by $US119 billion ($161bn) during trading on the back of some bad results. Imagine if they had been really bad results. The FT’s John Authers told me exclusively by column that “the biggest one-day fall in market cap ever suffered by any company ever was the $192bn fall that ended Volkswagen’s one-day reign as the world’s largest company back in October 2008”. That was before the never-ending story of Dieselgate. In a not dissimilar vein, Rocket Rod Sims and his gang at the ACCC are taking Europcar to court for allegedly charging excessive credit and debit card payment surcharges.
In April 2016, the Federal Court declared a number of terms in Europcar Australia’s 2013 standard rental agreement to be unfair, and ordered the company to pay a penalty of $100,000 for making false or misleading representations about consumers’ liability in the event of vehicle damage. Now both Nine-Fairfax and the gang here at The Weekend Australian motoring in the business section have been inundated with complaints and allegations of dodgy practices when renting from Europcar, particularly in Europe. So, you have been warned, again.
And our favourite carmaker (sarcasm alert) Tesla has asked suppliers to refund some of what the Thai submarine company and electric-car company has paid them. This is because Tesla has been burning $1.3bn in cash every three months. It may also have something to do with the car’s build quality. Detroit’s Munro & Associates does teardown benchmarking. In other words, it pulls cars to pieces so other carmakers can see how they were built and how much they cost to build.
After the teardown, Sandy Munro said: “I don’t understand how it got to this point. These are flaws that we would see on a Kia in the 90s or something. I can’t imagine how they released this. It’s just a surprise. A really big surprise for me.”