Grapevine: Farewell Parties Dominate China

Formula One said goodbye to four big team names in China this weekend as Sauber, BAR, Jordan and Minardi all bid their farewells before the takeovers of BMW, Honda, Midland and Red Bull respectively

Grapevine: Farewell Parties Dominate China

Sauber boss Peter Sauber made a typically quiet and dignified exit when Credit Suisse held a meal to celebrate his time in Formula One with many of the other team chiefs in attendance.

BAR did little to mark their passing, perhaps because it is still unclear whether their name will remain in any part when the takeover of Honda is completed next season.

Jordan held a small and well-attended gathering in the paddock, where new team figurehead Johnny Herbert presented a speech while key figures Colin Kolles and Alex Shnaider stayed out of the limelight.

The team lost its soul, to a certain extent, when Eddie Jordan sold up and left at the start of this year and the exuberant atmosphere that would typify the team's departure was clearly missing.

But they soon turned that around on race day when all the team members donned Burberry caps in deference to the 'Chav' cap worn by Kolles when he arrived in Formula One this year.

The Russian team boss joined in the classic Jordan humour by pulling on a shirt with 'RIP Jordan' on the front and 'Chavski' across the back and the rest of the team also had their nicknames on display.

But the departure of the weekend went, as expected, to minnows Minardi as Australian team boss Paul Stoddart threw his own style of party with an Aussie barbeque.

The event started mildly, with flowing Fosters and plenty of burgers on the Barbie and members of the paddock turned up in droves to say goodbye to the popular team in its current guise.

FIA president Max Mosley, with whom Stoddart has had a long-lasting feud, was not present but one team member positioned a shark with MadMax written on the side as a table centrepiece.

The party descended into a riot of hilarity as Stoddart announced the entries for the 'wet t-shirt competition' using a microphone plugged into a sound system apparently bought at the local knock-off market.

Few of the paddock's female contingent could be coaxed into entering, however, and the prize of a ride in the two-seater Minardi went to one of the team's larger mechanics, who danced with MadMax and pulled a moonie as part of his winning routine.

The mechanics, from Minardi and many other teams, then took to first ripping off each others' trouser pockets then ripping entire legs off their trousers.

It was a fitting end to Stoddart's time in Formula One and displayed in a unique and typical fashion not only his but also the long-running team's popularity throughout the pitlane.

shares
comments
Schumacher Spins Out of Chinese GP
Previous article

Schumacher Spins Out of Chinese GP

Next article

Montoya Retires after Hitting Drain Cover

Montoya Retires after Hitting Drain Cover
Load comments
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021