Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Frankly Frankl - Quite a Week - San Francisco - New York and London - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

 Well. This has been quite a week. Started off with a dash to Half Moon Bay's Ritz Carlton for a speech And a book signing at the Pacific Region Ferrari Owners Club. It was freezing outside, lots of brave open top members arrived half frozen but once inside it was a great occasion. Knowledgeable, welcoming folks, dedicated owners with a twist of California thrown in. Namely-no phony airs and graces. 

Of course having people like the outgoing President Randy Steyer and incoming President Jody Stewart helps, move charming, more dedicated members you would be hard pushed to find.

I must salute the Ritz for the stunning brunch, this was a far cry from mass catering!

As soon as I've signed a few books it was time for rushing off to the airport to catch a flight to New York and a whole new experience. First of all thank you Mr BMW for an excellent X5, it was a tough week of driving around, the Bimmer never missed a beat.

I have  to be honest, the Chowder Club and I are fairly new acquaintances. They've never heard of me and I've never heard of them. This was soon rectified with the help of some mutual friends such Ken Gross and Larry Crane. Thank you gentlemen!

The club is run by Bruce Wennerstrom, a highly knowledgable auto expert and enthusiast. The Chowder Club holds a lunch 10 times a year, always at Sardi's in the heart of the theatre district.

They very kindly invited me to be the guest speaker at their Christmas lunch, a huge honor. I must have done something right-they've invited me to become an honorary member. Great crowd, several FORZA readers, one of them has a complete collection since Issue One!

In the meantime the book has received two very favorable reviews, one from Peter Habicht in California and one from David Tremayne in England, David writes for GrandPrixplus- the number one blog for all F1 enthusiasts.
Now it is time to jump on Virgin Atlantic to London for a further talk and book signing.

Happy holidays said someone in New York..happy yes, holidays? One day.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Frankly Frankl - US Grand Prix in Austin - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

Austin Anecdotes..

Just as I was ready to board the plane back to San Francisco came the shock news that this time round Bernie Ecclestone could really be on his way out.  The boss of CVC made it crystal clear that if found guilty in one of the many court cases pending. Bernie would be dismissed from his job as the undisputed master of Formula One. Before people start passing judgment just  let them listen to the folks in Austin. They love him. He put the city on the map of great destinations. Just been talking a FORZA subscriber in the departure lounge. Roger is the proud owner of a 246 and a 328. He has been telling me that motels that normally charge  50 dollars a night were asking 500! Like me, he would also like to see some closer racing in 2014. That was certainly the sentiment shared by the Shell people who very kindly invited me for the weekend. The size of their company is simply mind blowing as is their depth of understanding the business. Talking to a charming lady from one of their London offices she was telling me about the various challenges they face from Nigeria to Turkey. I've asked her about the recent Greenpeace Demo at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race they sponsor. Instead of jumping up and down they very wisely chose to ignore it. Much more relevant us their technical knowledge. A few years ago there was a massive explosion at a refinery in the UK  belonging to a rival company. Shell's safety expert were on the scene almost immediately to offer help and with advice to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. 

Coming back to Texas the story of the weekend belongs to Governor Perry. Apparently Ferrari invited him to Maranello with his wife. President Montezemolo duly took her for a spin around the company's Fiorano test track in a California. The car is very nice pronounced the Governor but there is something wrong with it. Puzzled look from Montezemolo. The name is wrong said Perry adding California is the past, Texas is the future. Game, set and match. We don't have to agree with him but I think it was really funny. The look on Luca's face..


But back to the race. Watching from a stand instead of the claustrophobic press office it was fascinating to see the racing live and from above. Vettel's serene progress totally just amazing just as it was great to see Alonso retaking a position with a masterful pass on Hulkenberg. There was a lot of love and sympathy towards Felipe Massa who is leaving for Williams. I think we would all love to see him do well although I am not sure he will ever be the same again as before his horrendous crash back in 2009.

I loved the initiatives of the locals near the track. They were not only offering parking for 20 or 30 dollars but in addition offered to drop the customers at the circuit and collect them after the race. Some of them were even doing BBQs to make some extra money. There were a number of very trendy clubs all over the city and these were all jam packed with well healed customers. The My Yacht group who normally run a very successful weekend during the Monaco GP did a great transplant from the Principality to the building normally occupied by the good folks of the Austin Ballet. It was wonderful to run into Sharon, Sally Swart's daughter. Now this will mean very little to most people but I knew Sally when she was Jim Clark's girlfriend. If you don't know who Jim Clark was then you are reading the wrong blog.

Now it is on to São Paulo and the final race. For most teams the season cannot be over too soon, for once great team such as McLaren the humiliation must have been quite hard to take.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Frankly Frankl - Book Launch Party at Ferrari of San Francisco and Fun in Napa - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

Well folks, it has been pandemonium here of late. The book-Frankly Frankl- was finally launched last week. I've spent 2 hours signing at Ferrari of SF, in the meantime they made full advantage of the merry crowd-courtesy of Cline wines-and decided to spend a bit of money. So at the end of the day I went to the bank to pay in  800 dollars and they , the sales team also went off to the bank to pay in half a million dollars! Someone said I should have been on commission which is not fair. They gave me a platform and I for one don't blame them for taking full advantage of it. Leah Garchick who writes in the SF Chronicle's datebook found it sufficiently amusing to mention it as did the local paper here in Tiburon.

Once we've all recovered from the party we started planning our next adventure. This was a small gathering of Ferrari enthusiasts from the Pacific Region who decided to drop in on next year's President, Jody Stewart, a seriously big cheese at Napa's Silver Oak winery. Amazing wines and literally a cast of thousands. There were limos as far as the eye can see with customers from all over the World. Clearly well-heeled as nothing happens at Silver Oak at under 70 dollars.
The bit I liked most that after floods some years ago the whole place rebuilt at  a higher elevation and as the Boss said-should there be another flood or earthquake there is room for all the staff. I had a massive treat on the way . A very nice gentleman whose name and address I will not mention for the simple reason that there is no need to advertise something as desirable as a brand spanking new 458 spider -took me all the way to Sonoma. After some very fine, enthusiastic driving it was time for a standing start. I know he won't mind but the truth is that he had the 458 somewhat sideways!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Frankly Frankl - New Book Launch Party at Ferrari of San Francisco - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

My adorable neighbors Bill and Sandra told me that writing a book is just the  beginning. They specialize in military books but the principle is the same. First you write it, then you get an editor and an art director, send it to the printer, pay him and hey presto your book arrives in no time. Yeah right. On pallets with 10 copies in a box weighing 28 pounds each. Thank God Ferrari SF's service people came to my rescue and allowed the copies to be unloaded at their San Rafael premises. So far so good. Then, if this is your first book you realize that you have to  fulfil all your orders from people who have been kind enough to trust you without seeing anything apart from your articles in FORZA. No problem apart from figuring out postage, packing, shipping, labels, invoices,  the sort of things all big publishers employ lots of people to do. So with all of that falling on my shoulders ably assisted by my lovely wife things are getting a bit hectic. Still, we have a launch party organized for Wednesday both October at Ferrari of San Francisco, 595 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Cline are very kindly pouring the wine, Piatti will be serving refreshments and I will be happy to sign personalized copies. Neither purchase of a 458 Spider nor of my book are obligatory although Sales Director Mark Paddack will happy to part with one. The book at 40 dollars costs less than any part of a 458 apart from the documentation, without the leather binder of course. Please let me know if you can make it,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Frankly Frankl - Meadow Club - Formula 1 and the Columbus Day Parade My New Book - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

Some local friends very kindly invited me for a gentle drive to the rather spectacular Meadow Club, not far from Fairfax in Marin County.


The variety of cars was simply mind-blowing. The organizers- Ken and Carole Jesmore did a superb job and in addition to making sure that everybody was happy led the way in a light blue 1957 Thunderbird. It has been superbly restored but there was more to it. For once in my life I didn't have to drive settling instead into the very comfortable back seat of Mel Owen's 1956 Bentley. In mint condition it ran like a Swiss clock. There was of course a bright red Ferrari California Spider owned by Tom Price. This is part of Tom's collection which also includes a priceless Maserati 250F. Not to be outdone good friend Dave Olson came along in his 1934 Packard owned by a certain Al Capone. Dennis Barry turned up in a 2012 Bentley Continental. Apparently he went to buy a Lamborghini and ended up with this rather fine convertible. I' ve driven an awful lot of Lambos over the years and I simply could not imagine him or his good lady trying to get into or out of one. Mind you, once you are in an Avantador Spider there very few cars in the World to touch it. A good time was had by all/

Thank you Ken and Carol.


Moving on to Formula One I have to admit that Vettel is rapidly becoming a true champion. He and Horner seem to have got the message and have toned down the sometimes juvenile celebrations. The Japanese Grand Prix showed Vettel at his finest. Alonso already congratulated him on his fourth title and even though there are mathematical chances for a last minute America Co style change of fortune I do believe that in this  instance it is a pipe dream. As for all the driver changes Hulkenberg star seems to be rising, Massa's falling. You have to feel sorry for the plucky little Brazilian who was World Champion for all of 15 seconds before Hamilton took away the title.

I have had a lot of e mails concerning my new book-- Frankly Frankl-:ife, love, luck and automobiles. I too would like see copies arrive to fulfill all the orders. The minute they reach me they'll be on their to you. Thank you for your patience!
In case you missed it - The Columbus day in the city was fun filled with a Ferrari float and a lot of fun had by all

Friday, October 4, 2013

Frankly Frankl - My New Book - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles - My Heroes

Many people have asked me why I didn’t cover  current F1 in my new book-Frankly Frankl-life, love, luck and automobiles which will be ready for shipment by the end of October. Simple. These heroes are not my heroes. Well , some of them such as Alonso and Hamilton are but I simply could not face writing about Sebastian Vettel. It seems that I am not alone. The booing that started several races ago seems to follow him all over the World. Maybe not in Korea as I am sure the locals haven’t got a clue about what is going on and possibly not in Japan either. But come Austin Texas I can guarantee a less than friendly welcome.

I can think of several reasons. The owner, the team, the PR lackeys are all incredibly arrogant. Mix this with a young man who is surrounded by adoring sycophants and you have a mixture that many people find hard to digest. Sticking  up a finger after being fastest in qualifying and again after winning the race might go down well in Austria at Red Bull’s HQ but it turns stomachs in the rest of the World. Vettel is not the first World Champion and certainly not the last. Senna was gracious in victory as was Jackie Stewart. Lewis Hamilton’s victories are a delight to witness, as are those of Alonso. Vettel and his boss Christian Horner both come across as a couple brilliant but preprogrammed parrots. Having said that one has to admire them and their design genius Adrian Newey as well their unsung yet  brilliant Renault engine.

So maybe now you’ll understand why I concentrated on Stewart, Peterson, Cevert and the rest. Anyway, as you can see from the enclosed  front cover it is now only a matter of a few weeks before I start visiting the post office on a regular basis.
For the benefit of those who are new to my blog Frankly Frankl in its first, hard cover, coffee table format will sell at 44.95, 35 pounds in the UK. 499 copies all told with about 400 remaining, 99 having been pre sold. Of those 50 have been reserved for the launch party at Ferrari of San Francisco and another 50 for a book signing at Sardi’s in New York where the monthly meeting of the Chowder Society is held. Take away another 50 reserved for the Royal Automobile Club in London and if my mathematics is right leaves about 250 copies for the rest of the World . If you are going to be in Austin for the Grand Prix next month  and would like to buy a copy please  let me know and I would be happy  take a signed copy for you.
Just send me an e mail to andrewfrankl@me.com or go to my website at www.franklyfrankl.com

 Thank you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Should you RUSH to the nearest movie theatre? - Frankly Frankl - My New Book - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles -

Should you RUSH to the nearest movie theatre?

The answer-if you are a Formula One enthusiast is most definitely a YES! I go further. If you like action movies without guns and zombies you will also enjoy it even if you are not an F1 fan. In the so-called  specialist press there has been a great deal of debate about the authenticity of the film. Well, seeing that Niki Lauda was one of the advisers and Ron Howard directed it the answer has to be yes. For the out and out purists there were details  and episodes which didn't quite work  but they forget one thing- the producers poured 30 million dollars into it, consequently they couldn't have a "deadly rivalry between two racing drivers who were actually good friends. How do I know? I was there. In fact as you'll read in my forthcoming book Niki used to come to us for dinner after racing at Crystal Palace. One evening he asked me to take him to 235 Kings Road, a night club in the middle of London. I am meeting my friend James Hunt he added.

All good stuff but it does not sell tickets so in the actual movie we end up with two  baddies. Lauda was never what you might call charm personified-even before his accident in '76 and James, well, James was James. In this respect the movie is absolutely true I have seen him emerge from his hotel room in his racing overall  leaving one of two nubile ladies behind. He could be absolutely charming but could also be very abusive when he was drunk which was often.

The cinematography is stunning, the action shots are amazing and the one truly funny bit which took place in Italy you  will adore.

The film has had very good reviews in all the major newspapers so trust me-if you have a drop of Castrol or Mobil 1 in your veins you ought it to yourself. And do take a girlfriend. This may surprise you but all the wives and girlfriends who came to the preview loved it. And before I forget. The book. My book. Had a word with the printer earlier today, if all goes well it should reach Belvedere by the end of October. This seems a good time to thank all those brave folks who have placed advance orders-as soon as we have the copies the man from UPS will be in his way. If the book is news to you but would like to reserve a copy all you have to do is send me an e mail to andrewfrankl@me.com  499 copies in all at 44.95. Signed and dedicated.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Frankly Frankl - My New Book - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles - Ron Howard's New Movie Rush

"I don't want to be a spoilsport so I won't go into any details of  Ron Howard's new film Rush beyond saying that it really is worth a trip to the nearest theatre when it goes on general release. I knew the Niki and James well-they both feature in my forthcoming book-and hat off to the actors . When I closed my eyes and listened to" Lauda" I really thought it was the real thing. He used to eat at our place after the races at Crystal Palace -one of which features in the movie . This is a film true Formula One fans will want to see more than once, the action is so fast and furious that I found it impossibly to digest al the details. Because 1976 wasn't THAT long ago, a lot of the original cars were available plus mock-ups for the crashes. Several former colleagues were involved in the making it, good for them.

Several people asked me after the movie about my forthcoming book as they've seen it mentioned in the most recent issue of FORZA. The good news is that it is ready, it is on its way to the printers as we speak.Now if the next sentence sounds like a blatant commercial it is only partly true We are printing 499 copies all told and 40 of them have already been sold. Some kind soul bought 5!

This without any prior publicity, book signing or what people call marketing. All 499 copies will be signed by me. Some people have asked for personalised dedications presumably with Christmas in mind. At 44.95 it is certainly cheaper than a good bottle of Scotch and lasts a lot longer,

Finally I urge you to see Rush, as a fan you owe it to yourself."


Friday, August 30, 2013

Frankly Frankl - New Book - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles - Raikkonen admitted Ferrari move at Finnish party

 Raikkonen admitted Ferrari move at Finnish party - report

Kimi Raikkonen partying with Sten Pentus 22.08.2013

Kimi Raikkonen, no fan of the spotlight, is the man of the moment as F1's summer slumber ends this weekend in Belgium.
The Finn's manager has ruled out a move to Red Bull, but some sources at Spa-Francorchamps think the fact the team has put off announcing Daniel Ricciardo's 2014 deal is a sign Raikkonen might still be in the running.
At the same time, Lotus has made clear it wants to keep the 33-year-old on board, while reports continue to insist there is a real chance Raikkonen will return to Ferrari.
Germany's Sport Bild even reports that Raikkonen recently admitted to friends during an alcohol-fuelled night out in Helsinki that he will be wearing red again in 2014.
Reporting about the Helsinki party, the German broadcaster RTL suggested Ferrari has put a EUR 11 million contract on the table, including bonuses and sponsorship of his motocross team.
As ever in the 'silly season', though, there are conflicting reports.
Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat is now quoting Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson as saying the driver actually wants to stay at Lotus in 2014.
"Kimi likes it at Lotus," said Robertson. "But we are waiting for information on certain issues that are still outstanding.
"About Kimi's future, the ball is in Lotus' court."
And the German newspaper Welt reports that talks between Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg, about replacing the Brazilian Felipe Massa, have now kicked off.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Frankly Frankl - New Book - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles - Belgium Grand Prix

" There have been all sorts of reactions to the publicity stunt by Greenpeace at the Belgian Grand Prix.First of all top marks to who ever came up with the idea. If you protest-peacefully - you should do it where you get the maximum publicity. It is a tribute to the popularity of Grand Prix racing that Greenpeace should have chosen one of the most prestigious of all races-the one  at Spa. They made their point without  hurting  anyone. Whether Shell should or shouldn't drill in the Arctic is not for me to decide, this protest simply highlighted the need  once more to have  serious discussions on a subject relevant to all of us.

As for the race, well, there wasn't any. It isn't Vettel's fault that on circuits with long sweeping corners the Red Bull has no rivals, as Fernando Alonso said the other day he is not just  fighting Vettel but Adrien Newey as well. Interestingly enough Jenson Button reckons that Ferrari will take the fight to Red Bull as some circuits such as Monza will suit the home team. I hope so as right now it looks like a one horse race.

A number of people have asked me about my forthcoming book, all I can say is that we've had to increase the number of pages from 160 to 176 as there were simply too many stories that would have been left out.Halle Berry? A Rolls Royce to replace a sheepdog? A bob sledding Prince? A McLaren at the Top Gear Test track? And of course lots and lots of Ferraris. It may sound like a sales pitch but 499 copies all told won't go very far bearing in mind that FORZA alone has several thousand subscribers.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Frankly Frankl - New Book - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

 " Anybody who ever told you that writing a book is a piece of cake is not to be taken  seriously. It is fun, it is hard work and at the end of the day only those who buy it will be able to decide whether it was worth  49.95 dollars  of their hard earned money or not. I hope they'll like it. Just to confirm the basic facts-it will be available in mid-October. The title is Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles. It covers the best part of 75 years, for car aficionados there will be stories on Ferrari, McLaren, great drivers such as Jackie Stewart who wrote the foreword, American auto legend Bob Lutz who was kind enough to say a few words for the back cover, Bob Sledding , visiting  Prince Albert in the Royal Palace of Monaco plus lots of original photos never  published before. We are printing 499 coffee table books and at present can accept orders for more than one copy. This is not some sales hype because someone at Concorso Italiano ordered 4 copies even though we are  not even printing and someone else was asking for a bunch of copies he wants to ship to Dubai which apparently is full of Ferraris, 499 copies won't go very far.

So if you would like to reserve a copy -without any obligation- please e mail andrewfrankl@me.com
You can also go to the website www.franklyfrankl.com

Friday, August 2, 2013

Frankly Frankl - The new book is getting closer - Concorso Italiano is coming up here in August

I don't know many of you have written a book, it sure is not a cakewalk. Editor  Aaron Jenkins of Forza is editing the book, Forza art director John Kirikos is art directing it so you might say that we are keeping in the family. That the foreword is by Jackie Stewart is something I've mentioned before, I am very excited, proud and honored. The back cover will also have some kind words by people whose name I am not revealing just yet. In the meantime of course we've also had deadlines for FORZA, as the saying goes-the show, the regular show must go on.

 Talking of shows

I am really excited about Pebble in a couple of weeks, Concorso Italiano will be amazing as usual. Old friend Scott Brown of FIAT is having an early morning party which I am hoping to attend. He really is one of life's great guys. As for all the dramas in F1, I don't know what you make of the Hamilton soap opera, thank God it is not effecting his driving. I would love him or Kimi or Fernando to catch Vettel, I am afraid I am not a huge fan . Whether Alonso could live alongside him it a different matter. If you ask me he simply wanted to warn the team that patience has its limits. Give him a car that he can put on the front row of the grid and leave the rest to him. This playing catch up business is getting on not  only his nerves but on all his fans as well.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Frankly Frankl - Great Drives in Europe


I must apologize for the blog's long absence but getting ready for the trip back to SF took a bit of organizing. I left for Europe on 20th May and been away until 4th July. But never mind all that, how about the cars I've been driving. I can honestly say that I have never ever driven a  more exotic collection my life. Let me start with Maserati's refreshed Quattroporte. A very fine gentleman's carriage indeed. It ran like a dream until it got a puncture which took quite a while to fix. Luckily the gauges showing the tires pressures were accurate to the nth degree which was reassuring under the circumstances. The mad dash to Bologna was just that-effortless and quick. WE had to hurry as we only had one hour in which to enjoy Lamborghini's Aventador Spider. In a word-insane. On a sunny afternoon in Tuscany the only car I can think of which would be on par is Ferrari's  458 Spider. The difference is that whereas the 458 has tons of room for luggage the Lambo has nil. Not even for a blackberry or an iPhone. I called it the Fedex special, after shopping trip to Florence the only way to get the stuff home is to head for their nearest office. As for getting in and out, well, being an acrobat helps, AARP members needn't apply.


The following day we had a field day in Ferrari's F12 and the Lambo coupe. Or rather we would have had but for the somewhat unexpected snow in and around Abetone. Details are in the next issue of FORZA which is at the printers as we speak. This however was not the end of the story, back in London I had a brand new 5 liter, supercharged  510 horsepower Jaguar XF waiting for me. Oh my life! You see the Ferrari looks like a Ferrari, a Lambo looks like a Lambo but for all intents and purposes the Jag could have been a diesel. Yes, on closer inspection the tires and exhausts would have given a clue but to Joe Punter it was just another Jag. Until you touched the loud pedal. Personally I prefer it to an M5. Just as I was getting ready to leave I had another Jaguar which took me in total comfort to Silverstone  and the British Grand Prix. The XJ is one size bigger and for me one size too big. I simply loved the XF which was very much in Maserati country. One other problem I had which I must as well admit hear and now-I got stuck in the XJ. Well and truly stuck, so much so that I had to dig it out. To make matters worse it was in a car park not far from where Jaguars are built and which is a regular haunt of Jag executives. The Crab Mill is near  Stratford,  Claverdon  and all those wonderful places in Warwickshire, luckily it was dark. I got out and sank angle deep into the very wet gravel. I did of course managed to get the Jag out but my dinner was cold by the time I got into the pub. My fault, should have known better. Now back in sunny Marin County and settle down to finish my book-"Frankly Frankl-the crazy life and times of an automotive journalist." With a bit of luck it will be on sale by the fall. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Frankly Frankl - This was not in the script..

The trip from Monaco to Maranello in Maserati's finest is always a treat and also a prelude to what we should expect in Italy's motoring Mecca. The F12 was waiting inside the gates as promised and we were looking forward to a quick blast to the Med. Forte dei Marmi. Instead we got as far as Abetone in a snowstorm. The locals were a bit puzzled as they were clearly not expecting a Ferrari and a Lamborghini, worth between them a good 600 thousand dollars. Not mentioning over 1400 horses from the two. The full story will have to wait for FORZA but let me assure you that good, dare I say great cars will get you to your destination come rain come shine.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the latest Quattroporte which is a serious piece of machinery. Elegant to the nth degree it has a presence that makes BMWs and Mercedes look positively pedestrian and dull. You only have to come up behind other cars, the drivers take one look and the strada opens up a bit like the Red Sea. Is it perfect? No. The gearbox is not intuitive but once you are on the road it is just fine. Cruising at 100 miles per hour the noise level is minimal and the fun factor is 100 per cent.

I hate to finish on sad note but I have to pay tribute to the Marshall who lost his life in Canada during the Grand Prix. These volunteers work 12 hour days, take their own sandwiches and do a superb job for the love of the sport. I do hope that the extremely well paid drivers will reach into their pockets and made major donation to the family.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Frankly Frankl - From Budapest

Phew! Tried to figure out why my neck and shoulder muscles were aching. Then I realized. If you hurtle around for hours in 700 plus horsepower beasts your body takes a bit of a beating. I am not expecting too much sympathy, we could have driven the hills of Tuscany far more slowly. Sure. In an F12 and an Aventador. The full report will of course appear in FORZA, let me just say that neither car is perfect. Without wishing to offend anyone and given serious money to spend I would pick the 458spider for sheer thrills and an adrenalin rush while the rest of the time I would be very happy indeed cruising round in a Ferrari engined Maserati Quattroporte. The latter has a presence which makes Mercs and Bimmers look positively boring.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Frankly Frankl - Intrigue upon Intrigue

You would have to be a very  good script writer to come up with a thicker plot. I've already mentioned the legal, illegal? secret tire test by Pirelli and Mercedes and the outcome is very much up in the air. Will there be a punishment of some kind, who knows. It is, in all fairness a minor matter. The big question is what will Pirelli do in the long term.  Regardless of who told them to make rapidly disintegrating tires-as in all the races pre-Monaco- As far as Joe Public are concerned Alonso needed 20 tires to do 300 miles in Barcelona. The rumor mill is already talking about the return of Michelin, a company I have always respected and who have been very badly treated by previous FIA boss Max Mosley.

Equally interesting and not entirely coincidental is Kobayashi's first test in an F1 Ferrari. Poor Felipe Massa could not be very happy about that even if he is looking out of his apartment at the blue Mediterranean.

Anyway, the teams are busy packing for one of their favorite tracks in Montreal which resembles a real race track far more than Monaco.

Lewis Hamilton is trying to figure out what he is doing wrong; he certainly did not expect to be out qualified three times in a row by Nico Rosberg. Neither did I.
Frankly Frankl - Monaco

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Frankly Frankl - Monaco GP- Fireworks but no cigar! -

I am afraid the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix is one that Ferrari will want to forget. Felipe Massa crashing twice in the very same place, Alonso turning in a less than spectacular performance, all in all the team couldn't pack up and go home fast enough. On top if it when we thought it was all over it wasn't as it turned out that Mercedes and Pirelli have held a secret tire test at the Barcelona circuit. Red Bull are claiming that it gave a one second advantage to Mercedes. One thing is undeniable, Nico Rosberg drove brilliantly and fully deserved to win. I just hope the Scuderia can turn things round in Canada.

FranklyFrankl - Monaco

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Frankly Frankl - No Team Orders

No Team Orders - Let Them Race

Frankly Frankl

Frankly Frankl - Monaco Qualifying


We were hoping for better results to put it mildly. I am of course referring to qualifying this afternoon in rainy Monaco. The sea was rough, the track was half dry half wet and the result quite frankly- disappointing. It didn't help that Massa stuffed his car into the guardrail there by eliminating himself from further proceedings. This left Fernando Alonso with a great deal to do and unfortunately we couldn't quite deliver.6th on the grid is not what dreams are made of.

He might be able to make up a place or two during pit stops but beating three World Champions especially these three-Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen- might prove to be tough, especially here.
Frankly Frankl - Monaco

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Frankly Frankl - NBC Commentators Monaco


It was huge fun running into the NBC commentators in Casino Square Wednesday afternoon. For the first time, instead of sitting in a studio miles away from the action, NBC has sent a huge crew for Sunday's live broadcast. Not on NBC sport but on the main channel. They were filming segments which will go out probably during or before qualifying.

For the uninitiated, the race will be 78 laps long . Some interesting statistics: 9 cranes, 120 firemen, 656 marshals,500 fire extinguishers, 18 miles of guardrails and once the race is over all the equipment is carefully stored for 2014.

There are no miracles in Formula One so I would expect the usual suspects at the front after Saturday's qualifying. Hopefully with a certain Spanish gentleman by the name of Fernando Alonso in P1.


Frankly Frankl - Monaco

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Frankly Frankl - Arrived in Monaco

It is just wonderful to be back in Monaco and have breakfast with the Ferrari mechanics who are all staying at the hotel. The trip was find until the British Airways flight to Nice aborted takeoff with some very strange mechanical sounds. I am not an expert on the subject but it sounded like hydraulics to me. So once off the runway the Captain came on to say that we had some mechanical problems, Visions of going back to the terminal, hanging around and possibly having to stay in London. Anyway, he consulted the technicians, got it fixed and had us in Nice an hour and a half later. After a quick taxi to the hotel where I caught up with Nicholas and Annabelle.  I also ran into Renato, a very nice guy from Ferrari's press office asking if I wanted to take the jet black Ferrari spider parked outside for  a spin. It was midnight local time so reluctantly I had to decline.
Maybe tomorrow.

I will certainly keep you posted.

 Andrew Frankl Monaco

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Frankly Frankl on the Ferrari Sonoma Events

My name is Andrew Frankl, this is my very first blog. You may have heard of me as I have been European Editor of The Autochannel for 15 years and Grand Prix Editor of FORZA-also for a similar amount of time.
Right now, as has been a tradition for 45 or so years-I am packing to attend the Monaco Grand Prix on the 26th of May just a few days from now.
Two weeks ago I popped in my see my old friend Mark Paddack, Sales Director of Ferrari Maserati of San Francisco. Mark is an old friend who is normally calm, serene and smiling. Well, most of the time. Not very long ago a member of his staff accompanied a potential customer who duly drove the brand new Ferrari demonstrator into the Bay of San Francisco. Mercifully there were no injuries beyond the gentlemen’s pride.
 Anyway, back to Mark. He very kindly invited me to a truly exceptional function at a very elegant winery near Sonoma Raceway. There was  a stunning F12 waiting at the entrance which I’ve checked out for size as hopefully I will be driving one after my trip to Monaco. This reception was the automotive equivalent of the sort of function the San Francisco Chronicle’s Leah Garchik normally writes about at the opening of the Opera or the Symphony. There were Enzo owners, GTO owners; the car park was every Ferrari aficionado’s dream. Talking of Leah I did interview her once for radio a while back and she confessed to not being a huge auto enthusiast driving a somewhat battered Volvo. I should add that I also had a Volvo in England for the best part of 12 years, took it all over Europe and it never missed a beat. But back to the function where I’ve met one of life’s great guys-Randy Steyer. President of the Ferrari Club of America’s Pacific Region he has been immensely helpful to kick start my latest project-a book. Entitled Frankly Frankl-same as the name of my column in FORZA it will publish on 16th October at Ferrari of SF’s premises. There will be a very fine display of cars at the entrance; I just hope the book will be as good as some of the cars I have been writing about. The foreword is by my very old friend and three times World Champion Jackie Stewart. The Scotsman won his titles in a Tyrrell but even ferraristi will agree that he is way beyond being associated with a racing car. His efforts to make motor racing more secure may have made him some enemies but I can only salute him for his efforts. Thanks to him and also to the late, great Sid Watkins –neurosurgeon extraordinaire we haven’t lost a driver in F1 since that appalling day back in May 1994.
I am looking forward to writing about all the forthcoming events and promise to keep you posted. One topic which is getting a lot of coverage at the moment is the future of 82 year old Bernie Ecclestone, czar of Formula One. From what I hear he may no longer be there much longer although I personally have great respect for he  has done. Think Austin.

Andrew Frankl, 16th May 2013

Belvedere, California.