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.