The Lighter Side of Owning a Ferrari


    The F1 Fiasco at INDY    by john babos



Well, I’m sure most of you are aware of the Formula 1 fiasco at Indianapolis this year.  I have attended every F1 race at Indy since it restarted here in the United States in 2000.  It has always been a high point for me, hearing the screaming cars and seeing in my opinion the most exciting thing in a sporting event, a Formula 1 start.  Watching the cars accelerate from 0 to 150 MPH in 4 seconds and brake for the first turn is absolutely incredible.  On that day however, I watched the cars drive the formation lap and then pull into their garages. That was a real insult to me, as well as every F1 fan in the world.  I met F1 fans from Japan, Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, England, Netherlands and Germany.  Seeing the look of disappointment and betrayal on their face really angered me. I wanted to leave but my friend Roger convinced me to put my emotions aside, stay and take in what would certainly be an historical event. I have to admit, I’m glad I stayed.  I had an opportunity to experience a near riot complete with police in riot gear and fans on the verge of exploding.

            By the time I returned home, the lack of a real race was still festering within me, the more I thought about it the more infuriated I got.  As is usually the case however, Crystal showed me that there was a positive side to that event, the proverbial silver lining to the cloud, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; translation “just be quiet and get over it.”  She was right; I realized it wasn’t that bad. So, here are the top ten positive things that came out of the F1 Fiasco at INDY.


1.      Friday and Saturday practice sessions were a blast.  I met people from all over the world and had a great time talking, when language permitted, about our favorite teams.  Where else in the world can one person meet and converse with so many different cultures about a common passion such as racing? The time and vacation spent, as well as the transportation and hotel cost were well worth those two days.

2.        After most of the teams pulled into their garages, I got to hear and actually learned a variety of curse words in about eighteen different languages including the following Funngowee phase, “Ugambu tutani zualo mungambo” which when translated roughly means “We’ll be back when pigs fly”.  I also got to practice my hand gestures.

3.        I had a chance to observe the different fluid dynamic forces that result when the back wheel of Barachello’s Ferrari impacts a plastic water bottle at 180 MPH versus the explosive nature of the same impact on a beer can at roughly the same speed. An interesting observation was that, at least from what I could see in and around my section, only Americans were providing test samples.

4.        I got to stretch out in my seat plus about 5 others since almost everybody was leaving the race and vacating the rows of seats.  Leaving the track at the end of the race was also relatively easy with the diminished crowds. Parking lots were nearly empty.

5.        I got to practice my letter writing skills when I returned home.  I wrote nasty letters to the Indianapolis Speedway, Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management Co., the FIA, and Michelin International Headquarters, demanding a race day ticket refund. Each letter was in my opinion, eloquent, articulate and worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.

6.        I actually got a response from Formula One Management Co.  Somebody took the time and effort to send me a very polite “Ugambu tutani zualo mungambo” or, “We’ll get back to you when pigs fly.” But hey, it was a response and at least at this point it was more than anybody else was offering.

7.        After some recent announcements and press releases, I might, (just might), get a refund and maybe, (just maybe), get a free ticket next year.  You can be sure I’ll be holding my breath.

8.        As far as the race goes, (if you could call it that), there weren’t any annoying yellow flags to slow down the “excitement.”

9.        Ferrari won! You take um where ya can get um. After all, it may be the last time this season.  I don’t know when the moratorium on Ferrari wins will be lifted.

10.     For the first time in my life, NASCAR is beginning to look good.


No…not really.  Forget #10



john babos