Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Frankly Frankl - Summer and Pebble Beach Week - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

The Summer was supposed to be leisurely with trips to Tahoe and elsewhere instead of which it turned out to be an absolute mayhem.

Of the good sort I hasten to add. God willing I will be a grandfather for the very first time in a couple of weeks.

On top of that I was busy finishing my new book which is now-finally-at the printer. 208 pages, foreword by my old friend Jackie Stewart

with lots of new pictures and an extended Cannonball section. The word is that Pam Yates, wife of the late, great Brock Yates is talking about a new movie to the studios.

Lady Pam is one special lady and I do hope she will succeed. It was certainly the best week of my life back in 1979.

I am just recovering from Pebble Beach, the 4 day automobile extravaganza. It was great to see the new Pista spider unveiled by world wide sales supremo

Enrico Galliera and Ferrari’s US boss Matteo Torre. They started with a short but heartfelt tribute to the late Sergio Marchionne- architect of the new car. As you can see from the enclosed photo

I gave it the two thumbs up. Buying it will be a different matter as the line stretches from SF to NY..

The Portofino is more readily available and I may change my trusted California to the new model which I had a chance to drive both in Italy and at Big Sur.

Talking of which there was a FNA rally from San Diego to Pebble Beach starting the Monday of Pebble week. It ran to Palm Springs through the mountains out to Malibu, up to Santa Barbara and on to Pebble Beach. It was an incredible four days and fun for all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Frankly Frankl - The Great Ferrari conspiracy. NOT! - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

Image result for toto and niki british gp

I have never heard as much drivel as the nonsense Toto and Niki were muttering after Lewis came second in the British Grand Prix. They assumed that the hugely popular Hamilton would  win his home race for an unprecedented 6th time. It certainly looked like as they lined up with Lewis in pole position after a stunning qualifying lap. But as we all know qualifying is one thing, Sunday afternoon is a different matter.

As we all witnessed Hamilton got too much wheel spin and before he got going Vettel was already pulling away from second on the grid. Enters a devious plot cooked up in the kitchens of Ristorante Montana-the Scuderia’s favorite watering hole in Maranello. Kimi-said owner Maurizio- you will hit Lewis and put him into a 360 degree spin without damaging your own car.

Piece of cake really. Pathetic in other words and definitely not worthy of three times World Champion and old mate Lauda. I have seen him crash into Clay Regazzoni-his own team mate many years ago and over the years there have been ding-dongs with other drivers as well, that is the nature of the sport. Think Prost and Senna.

As for Toto his problem is that he thinks the Austrian Empire is still around. He really is full of it.

Next time I see him I will point out that his beloved Empire collapsed exactly 100 years ago. Humility is not a word he is familiar with. Posing for the cameras and banging a table or play acting about what is happening on the track is something he should have left behind in kindergarten. Maybe one day.

In the meantime all sorts of fun things are happening here on the West Coast. I have just returned from a talk I gave at the Peterson Museum to the Southwest Region of the Ferrari Club of America. Led by the energetic and enterprising Jim Bindman the members never seem to stop. One day they are off to Edwards AFB in the Mohave desert, next time it is Vanderberg AFB. We had  a full house for the event which started with pictures of my children-Nicholas and Annabelle. Nicholas was in the pits at Silverstone carried by Maria Helena Fittipaldi-wife of Emerson while Annabelle is on a police horse at Zandvoort just before the Dutch GP. This gave an indication as to how long we have been associated with motor racing bearing in mind that they will be 47 years old in a few days time. The talk included stories about the very first GP back in 1906, Cannonball ’79 and lots of Ferrari stories of course including my recent trip to the factory and my impressions of the new Portofino. It is very nice and as my regular drive is a normally aspirated California the only bit I was truly jealous of was the repositioned horn. Back in the middle of the steering wheel where it belongs. I am somewhat concerned about the ever-increasing production numbers, hopefully quality will not suffer. I certainly did not enjoy seeing

Lewis Hamilton’s brand new LaFerrari Aperta on the back of a tow-truck outside Nobu, that well-known watering hole of Hollywood celebs in Malibu.

Image result for lewis hamilton laferrari on tow truck

The Portofino I had for a day was just fine, especially as it had company. For the first time in years we’ve persuaded daughter -and ace driver-Annabelle to join us for  our annual visit to Modena, Maranello and Sant’Agata. Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini-some family trip.

The  owners  of  the restaurant at the top of the legendary Futa Pass came out to greet us just like last year.  Wonderful people and huge car enthusiasts.

Of the three I would definitely pick the Portofino but truth be told the other two were also fun.
The Lambo is too much like a bull, bit too raw for me, you really have watch what you are doing.
Especially at 140mph. The Maserati is the sort of very elegant car well to do ladies would drive up to the Monte Carlo Golf Club. White leather, stunning. Don’t get me wrong-it also goes like smoke but I enjoyed driving it slowly on the very narrow roads up to the Club. It is the sort of car in which you can turn up anywhere and nobody will ask for your membership card..

But back in Marin it is all hands on deck to get my second, updated edition of Frankly Frankl
ready for the US Grand Prix in Austin. I will let you know where it will be available and  I will of course be on hand to dedicate each and every copy. Price remains the same at 44.95. Print run is the same-499 copies . All sold years ago.

If you would like to reserve a copy  without any obligation whatsoever drop me a note at and a dedicated copy will be yours.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Frankly Frankl - From Monaco Qualifying Day - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

Many of you will have seen Daniel Ricciardo clinch pole position for today’s Monaco Grand Prix. This was expected. What we did not expect was that his team mate Max Verstappen would stuff the Red Bull into the barrier two hours before qualifying. The British lads who work for the team are probably the finest in the World but even they could not repair Max’s car in time. Of course Max’s loss is our gain, starting from last he will have to produce  a miracle to get on the podium.

F1 is full of young, hungry drivers such Leclerc and Ocon and they will be fighting their own race so letting Max pass is the last thing on their minds.

The start will be interesting because as you all know the first corner at St Devote has been tricky at the best of times so with three tigers from three different teams-Ricciardo, Vettel and Hamilton one of them could exit after a few hundred yards and seek solace as St Devote is under normal circumstances a beautiful church.

Monaco is not completely full, probably because it is very expensive to be here unless you are a sponsor or a sponsor’s guest. Or get a special rate at a hotel after 35 years  such as your reporter.

The new owners are trying very hard and I must say that their TV coverage, especially the instant replays are quite brilliant.
Would go as far as to say that unless you have plans before and after the Monaco GP-maybe a trip to the Ferrari factory- staying at home with a cold beer is a lot less hassle. And free.

So far there have been three highlights for me. One, the sight of Keke Rosberg in his championship winning Williams from 1982 alongside his son Nico in his winning Mercedes from 2016. To the best of my knowledge this is a first and it was quite magnificent. 
I know  that both Hills-Graham and Damon were also World Champions but unfortunately Graham was not alive when Damon clinched the title.

Image result for rosberg cars at monaco

My other highlight was of course my annual visit to the Monte Carlo Country Club for a game of tennis. Has to be the most beautiful  location anywhere in the World.

I have been driving a Maserati for the last few days and the trip to the Monte Carlo golf club was very special indeed. Just to walk  a few holes with playing friends. Stunning location with the first 9 overlooking the Med And the second the mountains. It is of course inside France, Monaco are just leasing it. Don’t blame them. In case you do decide to  fly over next year and you are a golfer don’t miss it just make sure you reserve in advance. The course is special, the ambiance is unique and it is just half an hour from Monaco.
So enjoy the race tomorrow, this is THE one everybody wants to win because of the tremendous world-wide interest. Baku? Bahrain? Hands up all those who could name the winners.

Image result for monte carlo golf club

Don’t miss the start or if you are in California at least make sure the alarm clock is set.

Andrew Frankl
GP Editor-FORZA    

STOP PRESS! Anderson Cooper is here for 60 minutes. Logic dictates that he is here for a reason…Frankly Frankl

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Frankly Frankl - From Monaco Day One - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

I may have been coming here for 53 or so years the first sight of the blue Med its as special today as it was back in 1966.

I  am writing this before first practice and the place is eerily quiet. For now. Tuesday evening we had the traditional football -soccer-game between Prince Albert’s 11 versus a motley collection of F1 drivers past and present. As most of them live here  it wasn’t too difficult to put a team together. Old friend Mika Hakkinen, Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg drove to the stadium in his race vintage Mercedes while others preferred their trusted scooters, for many just about the only way to get around town. Or what’s left of it. Every year there is a skyscraper missing only to reappear two years later taller and vastly more expensive.  I just feel sorry for the people who bought apartments  in  the one behind..years ago they were assured that nothing would ever block  their views. Well, not that sorry but you know what I mean.

That is not all. Monaco is expanding because they can only build so many skyscrapers so the next step as you can see from the enclosed picture is building outwards into the Med.  I am told that one day the racetrack itself might look different but I will report back on that as soon as I know more details.

As far as the race is concerned there is a lot of hype  concerning local boy Charles Leclerc. I’ve asked him how much he knows about the track, has he been around it? Oh, frequently he said, on the Number 6 bus. The number 6 is also my favorite, stops outside the hotel and takes you into town is a few minutes. And of course it is virtually free, there one thing Monaco can’t do is to double or treble bus prices. Everything else.. well will start tomorrow when suddenly the 10 euro menus will suddenly become 15 or 20. For those arriving from abroad the only thing to do is forget how much a coffee would have cost in New York or San Francisco, the quickest way to ruin the weekend is to start figuring it out. Frightening.

I came across a very interesting cast iron statue of my hero Ayrton Senna. Stunning.

Before you think that Monaco is one non- stop party, well, it may be for others. I am busy updating my book “Frankly Frankl which will publish just before the US GP in Austin.

I’ ve had a surprisingly large number of orders from people who’ve missed out on the first one.

In case this is the first time you’ve heard of it the price will be the same at 44.95 dollars and the book will be full of new stories about F1 greats such as Colin Chapman, Dan Gurney, more Cannonball pics and exclusive pictures from ace photographer Mark Sutton.

Print run 499 copies. 

Must go now, the Ferrari team are staying at the same hotel and the PR supremo just invited  me for an espresso.

Andrew Frankl