Playing Field, Leveling Of

NASCAR fans or non-Formula 1 devotees can skip this post.

Consider the final standings for the 2023 F1 season:


If that looks like a runaway train for both Max Verstappen and Red Bull, then it was.  Verstappen won 19 out of the 21 races of the season, and Red Bull’s Perez won one.

Which has led to an interesting game among fans, thinking about leveling the field, so to speak, for the 2024 season.  Here are the favorites:

  • Level the driver playing field and find another Perez-level driver for Red Bull to replace Max.
  • Force Max to wear an eye patch and strap one arm to his leg.
  • Force Red Bull to use Trabant engines. (“Then they’d only come 3rd.”)
  • …and Reliant Robin 3-wheel technology.  (“Okay, 4th.”)
  • Fire Max and sign Daniel Ricciardo.  Or Logan Sargeant.
  • …and so on.

Let’s see;  only 90 days till the new season begins.

In the meantime, there are the college football championships and the Super Bowl… which I care about as much as most of you care about F1.

Italians: Never Trust ‘Em

I think it was Richard Hammond who, on the old Top Gear show, pointed out that Ferrari’s technical statistics were often flat-out lies:  “How many horsepower does our new model have?  A million!”

It’s not just their statistics, though.  Try this one on for size:

Legendary Italian car maker Ferrari has no intention of phasing out combustion engines and going fully electric or hybrid anytime soon, promising Sunday to keep making the eight and 12-cylinder engines it has made its trademark at least until the end of the 2030s. (May 2023)

And then there’s this one:

An iconic supercar brand is set to launch its first ever EV, with a new factory already in the works.  The luxury car giant is planning to open a new facility in Italy to produce its new all-electric models.

Who could this be, this “luxury car giant”?

Ferrari boss Benedetto Vigna confirmed that the company was on the right track in developing a new electric car.  (November 2023)

I know, I know:  this isn’t exactly a lie:  Ferrari never said that they’d make only internal combustion engine (ICE) cars… but they sure as hell skated around the issue.

Just as they do with their technical specs.

And of course, they’ll cheat when it comes to the sound their new Duracell cars will make.


About Those Duracell Cars

It seems as though at least one car manufacturer is thinking straight:

“It is regular users who are the ones who suffer” when government regulations try to shoehorn buyers and automakers into EVs, according to Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda. Speaking publicly as the head of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Toyoda said, “People are finally seeing reality” as sales growth sputters. “I have continued to say what I see as reality… if regulations are created based on ideals,” instead of real-world conditions, “it is regular users who are the ones who suffer.”

All true, of course.

As an aside, I would love to see the sales figures for EVs that excludes those in California, because I’ll bet that state skews the whole thing. Why do I say that?

Anecdotally, the Son&Heir just got back from a business trip to SoCal, told me that regular gas there is currently costing $7 per gallon (!!) and that just about every Uber or Lyft driver now uses an EV.

No Takers?

Yeah, color me surprised.  I mean, I love me my Dinos, as any fule kno — and this one purports to have only 37,000 or so miles on the clock — but sheesh, nearly half a million?

Stupid money.

Common Thread

Here are some headlines, all talking about the same thing.  See if you can guess what it is (no links):

Of course, there’s always someone who missed the memo:

Yeah, that makes sense:  cutting production of gas-powered cars to concentrate on EVs… when all signs point to growing consumer rejection of the latter. Nice one, Ford:

…when you should, in the words of some famous guy, just keep on truckin’.

Without the Lightning.

Zero Value

Here’s an interesting find:

A Ford dealership that looks stuck in time has been discovered in Germany with a selection of untouched motors still inside.

The showroom displays six 1980s modern classic cars from the blue oval brand in the window that remain unregistered today — three zero-mile Ford Sierras, a Fiesta, Escort and an Orion saloon — and given their unused condition, should be worth thousands.

Considering that almost all Ford models from the 1980s were the blandest cars ever made, that “thousands” must surely be cents and not dollars.

Here’s the Orion, for example:

I could fall asleep just looking at the picture.