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Alternative Championship Round 11 - British Grand Prix

FEATURE BY MARGEIT & CROMPTON
20/07/2004

In the eyes, of the Alternative Championship Headquarters (ACHQ), F1 runs not on money, oil derivatives, broadcast rights or even tobacco fumes. Rather, in this era at least, we reckon that which breathes on-going life into F1 is characterised by the most vile four letter word we know, sp*n.

And those who regularly supplement their legitimate literary intake with our offerings will be well aware of our disdain for those despicable, demonic, detached dealers in disinformation - sp*n doctors.

For the benefit of anyone yet to suffer the assault and battery of the sensibilities that is our column, we hate sp*n and we hate the charlatans who pedal it. Interesting to note that though these repugnant reprobates have generally not completed a Doctoral Thesis - not one in anything vaguely meaningful at least - they seem to delight in spuriously conferring upon themselves, the collective title of 'doctors'.

For the benefit of those who have possibly been locked in a basement cellar these last few decades, sp*n is the colloquial term, applied to the liberal re-telling of facts in such a way as to deliberately distort reality, typically with a view to protecting the guilty. Sp*n doctors', author this mischief. Nameless and faceless, it is they who craft the propagandist corporatist platitudes so inexorably embedded into the modern press release.

For the final benefit of those who still don't get it, sp*n is bullsh*t and sp*n doctors are bullsh*tters.

The reason sp*n serves F1 so well is because F1 is possibly the ultimate "boys club" structure - a truly closed shop if ever there was one. You see, almost every soul involved in F1 is well remunerated - perhaps many times more so than they might be in some other, infinitely less opulent, though equally valid, field of commerce.

From the team owners and their staff to the media and even the governments seduced into hosting Grands Prix, with very few exceptions, it suites almost nobody's vested interests to deliver cold, hard, objective facts. Because in our humble view, truth is F1 is presently boring as bat sh*t and if that fact isn't suppressed with extreme prejudice, the whole house of cards will likely come tumbling down.

Lest you think we're getting carried away here, permit us to cite a few of the more obvious, recent cases which spring to mind.

Recalcitrant Ron, investing countless hours talking up of a series of lacking McLarens, is sp*n. He does so because he has convinced sponsors to shovel money into his pocket as fast as they can. Whatsoever he's told them in order to achieve this enviable stream of income, he certainly can't tell them the result of their rabid spending is a farcical series of velocity-impaired crap-trucks, at least one of which never even saw a Grand Prix.

When Jabbering James Allen tells the global audience who suffer through ITV's feed of F1 that "this is a cracking race" and that it is held at a track "where drivers really can overtake", he's pedalling sp*n. He is doing so because his lifeblood is F1 and he is therefore bound to talk it up, lest his not-inconsiderably though thoroughly undeserved stipend, wain.

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