Old Mo's Almanac

At this time of year, one tends to take stock and look back at the racing season just past. But it is also a time for looking forward too, and

Old Mo's Almanac

Formula 1 writer Maurice Hamilton is never shy of making his predictions for the year ahead. So as a Christmas special, here is Old Mo's Almanac. A Merry Christmas from everyone at Autosport.com.


Bridgestone issue snow tyres to Arrows so that Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi may continue trying to qualify for the 2002 French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Niki Lauda hires Cherie Blair to advise on a case of wrongful dismissal against Jaguar. After discussion with her husband, Mrs Blair sells Lauda a flat in Bristol, offers to send troops to Milton Keynes and suggests he blame the media.

The Jean Todt lecture on 'Team Orders for Dummies' at Autosport International is cancelled. Refunds are strictly limited and are issued on a 'second-come, first-served' basis.

Relationships with Citroen get off to a shaky start when Colin McRae insists team sits through Burns Night supper and eats haggis.



Ticket sales for the 2002 Network Q Rally GB still not complete on a 'first-come, never-served' basis. Cherie Blair, in a tearful press conference in Downing Street, says she had no idea rally people could be like this and offers a flat in Bristol as a sales office.

Cut backs at Jordan mean new car launch is held at the Green Man pub and journalists have to buy their own food and drink. The Green Man issues a profits warning. Jordan says the Green Man should be so lucky.

F1 team bosses fail to agree on date for an urgent meeting to discuss the future of the sport. Further discussions in a month's time.

Proposed entry by 'God Bless America F1 Team' is refused. An FIA spokesman says: "It's a day late and 349 million dollars short." President Bush threatens to bomb FIA headquarters in Geneva if they don't hand over Paddock Club passes to UN representatives.



Jaguar check out the London Hilton as a venue for an emergency media briefing to explain they've got "lots of issues". The Hilton is not considered suitable. "The Hilton was perfect," said a Jaguar spokesman. "So, of course, we couldn't possibly use it."

F1 bosses agree a date for summit meeting on sport's future - but can't agree on a venue. Further discussions in one month.

Bernie Ecclestone finally finds his way into Silverstone and is counselled by the 'Octagon Samaritans', an all-day service for harassed spectators which tells them nothing and removes their money.

The FIA bans F1 and WRC sporting directors who are French, under 5ft 6in and smoke cigars. Jean Todt and Corrado Provera unable to hand in formal protests because FIA Help Desks are now 6 feet high. Ladders and steps are banned forthwith.



Colin McRae learns 'Flower of Scotland' by heart in French. Tearful Citroen mechanics don kilts and enter McRae for Eurovision Song Contest.

F1 bosses settle on date and venue but can't agree morning or afternoon for urgent meeting. Further discussion in one month.

Wakinshaw sells remnants of Arrows to 'God Bless America F1' but team immediately declared bankrupt. President Bush threatens to bomb Scotland.

Eddie Jordan sells motor homes but causes a furore when one of the horses towing his caravan craps outside the McLaren Communications Centre in the Imola paddock. Jordan bags the droppings and sells it to a local allotment.



Jaguar sack Toilet Tissue Operative for not being technically minded and allowing the paper to hang from the front rather than the back. The man takes the Ford Motor Company to court in Michigan and wins. President Bush threatens to bomb all Kleenex factories.

Formula One Administration agrees to add page to pit lane computer screens updating each team's current bank statement.

Octagon Motorsport charge clubmen £2000 per lap to race on British circuits with 50 per cent discount for cash.

Team bosses agree date, time and venue for urgent summit but can't agree fee for hire of room. "Far too expensive," said a representative. "These hotel people are blatantly out to make a profit. Whatever happened to sport?" Further discussion in one month.



Jaguar Racing launch 'Confused Issue'. "It's an in-house magazine devoted to serious issues arising from people not doing anything wrong," said a spokesman.

Team bosses agree date, time, venue and fee with Heathrow hotel but can't agree special landing charges for executive jets. Further discussion in one month.

Plans revealed for 2003 Network Q Rally GB. There will be 17 special stages, all on the Cardiff Superspecial with servicing in Builth Wells. The MSA opens a ticket office in the Orkney Islands.

Ferrari drivers score clean sweep in Canada despite being given 10-minute stop-go penalties because they are in Italian cars and the crew chief's breath smells of garlic.



Team bosses agree landing charges for urgent meeting at Heathrow but Ferrari representative refuses to ride in chauffeur-driven Mercedes to hotel. Further discussion in one month.

The Arrows finally qualify for the 2002 French GP and start the 2003 event a year behind.

Jaguar Racing spokesman says: "We've got an issue over the latest issue of 'Confused Issue' which is discussing issues issuing from serious issues regarding the distribution of executive tissue issues. Basically, there's no loo paper."

Eddie Jordan's mum cooks mashed potato breakfast for the team at Silverstone and makes potato-bread sandwiches for lunch.



The Ferraris, forced to run the German Grand Prix in reverse and make pit stops to take out fuel and fit knackered tyres, still manage to destroy the opposition. Barrichello backs across the line first but Schumacher given the win because, he claims, he was in front of his team-mate in a forward-facing position.

Team bosses start urgent meeting but abandon it through disagreement over whether a window should be opened. "We can't afford a knee-jerk reaction on fresh air issues," said a Jaguar representative. Further discussion in one month.

Eddie Jordan warned against busking outside the Ferrari motor home in the Hungaroring paddock. Paul Stoddart demands a share of the takings.

Outrage among WRC teams when Rally GB regulations and road books written in Welsh and tulip instructions to be referred to as 'Daffodil Diagrams'.



Team bosses reconvene and forget precisely what they wished to discuss in the first place and spend all day arguing about it. Further discussion in one month.

To raise F1's flagging profile, Bernie Ecclestone invents top-rated TV series which follows the life of pop stars and media personalities camped together outside the paddock gates. It's called: 'I'm a Celebrity! Let Me In!'

Tony George causes confusion with the chequered flag at Indianapolis by, through habit, looking to his right and missing the Ferraris coming the other way. Schumacher and Barrichello run out of fuel, sprint back to the pits for a can of petrol and complete one more lap to take the flag without losing their places. A McLaren, 16 laps behind, is third.

McRae excluded from Eurovision Song Contest after turning up two minutes late for draw for running order.



F1 teams meet at Heathrow and emerge after eight hours. "It's been an excellent start with everyone pulling together. We've agreed not to come back here again because the Côte de Boeuf was not quite au point," said David Richards. "And the steak was rubbish too," added Eddie Jordan.

Walkinshaw insists Arrows is viable. The FIA sends UN representatives to Arrows HQ to search for F1 cars and finds nuclear warheads aimed at Paul Stoddart's factory in Ledbury.

Stoddart equips European Aviation 747 with Sidewinder missiles and flies Minardi team from Bologna to Japan via Leafield.

Trouble on New Zealand Rally as kilted Citroen mechanics refuse to bend over while working on McRae's car in service area surrounded by fields of sheep.



Irish fans vote BBC Radio 5 Live F1 coverage 'Best for Pictures' after terrestrial TV coverage is limited to helmet camera focussed on Michael Schumacher's left nostril and repeated shots of Eddie Jordan weeping over a bank statement.

Connie Montoya gives birth to son. Juan Pablo Jr offered test drive by Flavio Briatore for 2020. McLaren offer same in 2018. Williams in 2016. IRA member in Colombia, acting on behalf of Jordan, makes offer no one can understand.

A car cleaner in a Jaguar showroom is sacked after being voted Employee of the Year. Antonio Pizzonia barrel rolls a Jaguar X-type on the M1, causes a multiple pile-up and closure of the motorway, but receives two new cars and a pay rise. "Being too nice and being too fast are separate issues," says a Jaguar spokesman.

Relationships deteriorate further when McRae retires from Australian Rally after a mechanic accidentally leaves a sporran under the bonnet and fouls the fan belt.



Michael Schumacher, winner of the Autosport International Driver since 2000, voted second to Kimi Raikkonen but turns up at the awards dinner for the first time. Schumacher upset when Raikkonen refuses to hand over his trophy.

In an all-day session, described as "deeply uninteresting but highly productive", the F1 teams fail to make any changes. "We actually agreed not to agree on anything. That's really excellent progress," said a team boss. Further discussion in 20 years.

UN representatives raid Octagon headquarters in the USA and find evidence of the mass destruction of British motorsport.

Jaguar engineer caught kerb crawling wearing bra, knickers and racing driver's overalls in white XK8 convertible in Northampton. Promoted and given Mondeo estate so he will be less noticeable. Tony Purnell sacked. "Tony did absolutely nothing wrong," said a spokesman. "But, because he had no issues, I'm afraid he had to go."

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