Inventing Controversy

A couple of days ago, FOM released their highlights video of last week’s Singapore Grand Prix from the shiny Marina Bay.

While the video compressed the entire Grand Prix into four sparkly minutes, back by sleek electropop muzak, the highlights zoomed through the vital moments of the race, including the clash between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa.

During the video, Massa’s race engineer, Rob Smedley, encouraged the Brazilian to “hold Hamilton as much as you can, destroy his race as much as you can…” – a statement that was swiftly followed by much bellowing nonsense from numerous armchair experts and tabloid fodder machines.

(Declaration – I am an armchair viewer type)

There are commentators who now seem to be accusing Massa of deliberately causing the accident with Hamilton by driving too slowly, which is – quite frankly – nonsense. Hamilton, on cold Pirelli tyres, outbraked himself and slid into the rear of Massa – simples.

Some have also lambasted Smedley for his comments – I do not. One must remember that this apparently occurred in the heat of battle and as such emotions run high, while also taking into consideration that we do not know when exactly those comments were made.
As an addition, I would not be surprised if that was the only vaguely clean comment that could be garnered from the pit wall.

(My everlasting respect to anyone who can prove at what point in the race Smedley made his comments…)

But enough of all that stuff.

The FOM race edits are generally interesting (ish), but one cannot help, but feel the Smedley comment was a desperate grab for controversy from a Grand Prix that was… not that intriguing.

Out front, Vettel was never threatened and as soon as Webber rolled sluggishly off the grid, Button had him covered. Alonso seemed slightly lost in a car not good enough for his startling talents, while Hamilton and Massa’s climb through the field – although somewhat impressive – was largely DRS enabled.
Beyond that, Michael Schumacher had an expensive flying lesson courtesy of a young Mexican, while Timo Glock and Jaime Alguersuari both lost respective arguments with the Amrco barriers.

From my vantage point, something far worse came from the Singapore Race Edit – it looked dull. If FOM cannot make a four-minute race edit from Singapore appear interesting, then what hope for the GP itself, coming in –as it does – at 119 minutes…?

Of course, it could have been worse…

3 thoughts on “Inventing Controversy

  1. Ha! thanks for putting Smedley’s comments in context Leigh… wouldn’t you just love to hear what all the engineers and drivers say, I’ll bet Smedley’s comments are mild by comparison, and for that matter, do we even know for certai that those comments relate to this race?

  2. Man, I dunno. I trust the audio on those race edits implicitly. I mean, next thing you’re going to tell me is that that music isn’t being played over the drivers’ radios for the entirety of the race. There’s no way you’re going to convince me of that.

    Seriously, there is nothing here. This stuff happens constantly, and has since the first race of the World Championship. Anybody who believes otherwise hasn’t been a fan of the sport for long enough to understand how the whole thing works. An unfortunate selection of words by Smedley? Maybe, but, who really cares?

    1. Aaaahhh c’mmmon – every racing driver loves some bangin’ choons over the radio when the mood permits.

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