Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Frankly Frankl - Reflections on Melbourne, Remembering a Great Friend - Frankly Frankl-life, luck, love and automobiles

Reflections on Melbourne, remembering a great friend

Any race where the first 8 drivers are in exactly the same order  on lap 16  they when the lights went out has to be-by definition-boring. And it was credit though to the Ferrari engineer who found a tiny window which offered a chance for Vettel to leap-frog Hamilton. Also a big well done to Seb for not making a single mistake.
Kimi didn’t make any mistakes either, he just had an off day in an identical car to Vettel’s. I just hope the  fire will return and we will see the Finn the way he used to be-unstoppable. His countryman Bottas got lucky. Very lucky.
To inherit what is probably the fastest car in F1 is a serious stroke of luck. Still, he did what he was hired for-follow Lewis around. Wonder if he will ever risk overtaking him.

You may have seen all the hype in the specialist press-wow, bigger tires. More wow-wider cars. Wow-more aerodynamic gizmos. The results so far: zero. Ross Brawn the new tech boss of F1 promises changes but that it easier said than done and he knows it better than anyone. You cannot change the regulations halfway into the season. Maybe we will see some overtaking on the long straight next week in China, let’s hope so.
My hope is for rain at some circuits-Spa is notorious for changing conditions and the British weather is of course unpredictable.

Still, I don’t know about you but I was on my feet at midnight singing the Italian national anthem just like the
very happy Ferrari mechanics under the podium.

I just hope to do it many times more during the season.

On a more somber note I was devastated to hear that

Terry Page-founder of  Page One Automotive lost his life to cancer. The fact that I’ve just sent my Frankly Frankl column to FORZA’s  Editor Aaron Jenkins for the 159th  time is because of Terry.
Back in 1994 before leaving Europe for San Francisco to join Suzie a friend gave me one name. Terry Page of Page One Automotive. I rang the number, introduced myself and he simply said- how can I help you?
Within days he took me to a function at the Blackhawk Museum and introduced me Jay Lamm who at that time was Editor of Sports Car International. We are just launching a magazine on Ferrari said Jay-go and see the Editor.

That was 21 years ago. Apart from that introduction

Terry  also made sure that I’ve met colleagues in the Bay Area. Test cars, launches, lectures-Terry and his team were behind it all.

His is the quintessential American  success story. He was a taxi driver who picked up a Ford executive at SFO 30 or so years ago.  They got talking, the man decided that there was a great deal more to Terry than taking him to a hotel and to cut a long story short asked Terry to look after the Ford test fleet in the San Francisco region. Page already had an impressive office-his kitchen table! From there he built a company with over 130 employees most of whom are still with him to this day. The Ford account is still with Page One as is GM, Mercedes, Infiniti, Nissan, Bentley, Rolls Royce , BMW and Jaguar to name just some.

Terry remained exactly the way he was when I’ve first met him-modest, helpful, kind and at the same time highly professional. It may sound like a cliché but I don’t think he had an enemy in the World.
Terry old friend-thank you for everything, it was an honor to have known you.

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