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2004 Alternative Championship Round 2 - Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix

FEATURE BY MARGEIT & CROMPTON
28/03/2004

It's been a good week here at the Alternative Championship Headquarters (ACHQ). We've rather enjoyed basking in the glory of getting it right, not least of all because getting it right is not exactly something we're renowned for. Sure we occasionally luck-in a guess of the kind that makes real journalists wonder if we don't actually have some kind of inside line. But in the main, our runs of getting it right tend to peter out after about one in a row.

So what is it we're gloating about? Our mildly revised format for the 2004 Melbourne GP of course! The reaction was spectacularly underwhelming. Not one single phone call or e-mail by way of reaction. And let's face it; the only mail we get is hate mail. Ergo, no hate mail equates to complete consumer satisfaction. So whomever that guy is who still bothers to read us, thanks for not objecting.

Speaking of getting it right, we thought it might be fun to look at F1 in precisely that simplistic, mono-dimensional way. No grey areas, no mitigations, no wily Maximilian or Berniesque rhetoric, just plain old right, wrong and the getting of "it" thereof.

Now thinking persons worth their sodium chloride are probably, at this very moment, crowing that the concept of right and wrong is endemically subjective and can never be absolute. This is of course absolutely correct. So to those people we say: why is somebody as clever as you reading our work? And anyway, if you don't like it, go write your own nefariously shallow F1 column.

Drivers

10 points - Mark Webber: And we, unlike the entire bandwagon-vaulting Australian media who've never shown a jot of interest in F1 until last Saturday, aren't beside our collective selves regarding Mark's impressive grid position either. Mark - when bailed up by Louise Goodman after his retirement - listed the litany of car-difficulties he'd suffered during the afternoon. THEN, he closed by saying that it was his job to adapt to the car's problems so it was his fault that he spun out! Now that, loyal readers, is getting it right.

ACHQ Editorial note - include for publication: Max, Bernie, Ron and just about everybody else in Formula One for that matter. Suggest you acquire a copy of the Oxford Concise. In it you will find reference to the word "honesty". Please review this text in order to appreciate the importance of the previous sentiments - Rob and Crompo

6 Points - Felipe Massa: The Sauber is not a delightful racing car of the kind that would make Sir Stirling liltingly and wistfully recall it as "a joy to drive". It is vile, skittish, erratic and scary. Despite this, the oft-slighted-but-deeply-appreciated-by-us Felipe, brow-beat and manhandled the contemptible contraption home in the points. In so doing, he got it right.

4 Points - Jenson Button: Being more famous as the love-interest of that girl from the talent show does not constitute getting it right. For that matter, falling off the road at the final turn of the final lap in a Malaysian GP when you looked set to cop your first podium smacks of not getting it right either - but that's history isn't it? Genuinely crafting and grafting your way onto the podium for the first time however, is very definitely getting it right.

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