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Stop messing about

NEWS STORY
17/02/2006

F1 fans of a certain age - and we certainly know one at Renault - will probably remember the legendary BBC Radio comedy series, Around The Horne, which featured a number of British comedy great including, Kenneth Horne (obviously), Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Bill Pertwee and various others.

Who will ever forget Williams' Rambling Syd Rumpo and his nonsensical folk ditties, or the ultra-camp polari of Julian and Sandy.

One particular sketch, which remains etched in the memory almost forty years later, had Kenneth Williams clearly shocked at something which had been suggested to him.

"I'm speechless," he declares, "totally speechless."

Moments later, he adds, "I just can't believe it, I'm utterly speechless. Speechless I tell you!"

And on it goes, with Williams continually reaffirming his shock and consequently the 'inability' to speak.

Finally, Horne interrupts: "When you've finished being speechless," he says, "perhaps I can get a word in."

Somehow, this sketch, and Williams' words have repeatedly come to mind this week when listening to the comments and suggestions from the people that run Formula One.

It is rumoured that Max Mosley believes Morocco would be the perfect host for a Grand Prix, while our spies tell us that Bernie Ecclestone is off to India to look into the possibility of bringing one of the world's fastest rising economies on-board.

Max writes off A1 GP as a one-make series, as we look forward to the control tyre, 'common' Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and the Centreline Downwash Generating Wing (CDW), which will be introduced in the years ahead.

We hear talk of relegation, and warnings that the manufacturers will be given a ten-day window in which to sign up for 2008 or face exclusion - this, of course, follows on from the revelation that they will not be entitled to a share of the, oh so bountiful, for some, F1 cake.

The failure of the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association, or any of its individual members to react - and we have asked - might be seen by some as a sign that the first cracks are appearing and that we are about to witness one of the manufacturers break rank and follow Ferrari.

Then again, perhaps, having heard some of what has been said in recent weeks, the members of the GPMA are, much like Kenneth Williams, 'speechless'.

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