Lord of all the Rings


Never one to miss a trick, Pitpass finally offers it's rebuttal to Drive to Survive!

Oh yes, most respected readers! While we are not going to offer fly-on-the-visor close ups of conversations and manic back-stabs, we are going to go wide screen cinematic for this article. Please bump the sub-woofer up to 99, dim the lights, and join us for a whimsical movie related article which is the first part of what passes for a season review here in the Southern Pitpass Towers. V. Max having (the cat) in the bag for this season the Southern Pitpass cat is already falling asleep during races as he cares not what happens next, such is the attention span of cats. So granite tablet before me, and chisel firmly in hand... here we go...

Yes, it is a little late to the game for Lord of the Rings (LOTR) memes, but with the championship wrapped-up one needs to find inspiration for articles under every Nazgul toe, and behind every Orc trap-door.

F1 this season! There has been one Lord who has ruled them all, yet many rings (circuits) to consider. Over all the rings have been good, with the exception of street tracks known to us. Singapore still shines, Monaco enthrals me, the Pitpass cats and esteemed editor Balfe not so much.

So to the wannabe Lords of these rings... V. Max has either swept in like Aragon and saved both the Shire and Minas Tirith from devastation, or he is the Dark Lord, possessed of evil powers crushing all before him with fists wrapped in darkest chainmail. His flaming eye roving the Rings and the Paddock, seeing all, conquering all. Either would be a fitting role for V. Max the slayer of worlds. For me he is Aragon. I respect those who see him as Sauron. They are wrong, but hey, respect is good. He has laboured mighty and hard as a ranger from the North. Now it is all "Return of the King". He fully deserves his role. Keep going V. Max.

Adrian Newey as Gandalf is a natural fit if ever there was one. Seemingly able to bend reality to his will, vanquish (great name for a hyper car that...) all foes, and generally be so far above the usual that his work appears as magic to mere mortals. One can clearly see him turning in frustration to a non-comprehending soul and uttering "Fool of a Took!", before rapidly apologising for the uncharacteristic outburst.

The temptation is to cast Ross Brawn as Saruman, but I think this classic villain role has been passed to Stefano Domenicali. He is yet to grow fully into the depths of the character but has plenty of scope for meaningful development into the quiet evil of this role. For both these men of the F1 world have passed from appearing to be Saruman the White to ultimately proving to be to Saruman the fallen.

This season Toto has been channelling his inner Gollum. They have his precious and he wants it! Give it to us! No other worthy contest for the role this season. Felipe Massa having sulked out of the shadows just long enough to make the short list didn't really put his grabbing hands and giant eyes into it after that first brief hissy fit. So it is that we will witness Gollum (Toto) on prize night shriek at V. Max Leave now, and never come back! As his entire being is consumed with the return of His Precious.

Faramir, a true man of Gondor, has been the most hotly contested role this season. Lando? George? Liam? Heck we could even throw Alonso, Daniel, Stroll (more on him later), and possibly Perez in for the audition! This has been the true hot bed of the Lords of Rings casting this season. A mighty set of auditions for possible future champion, and current finest gentleman. Yet for me it goes to Oscar. Oscar P. who moved quietly into the team, and then gave Lando the sulks simply because he drove a good clean race to a great podium result. We have our Faramir.

The battle-crazy Orc at Helm's Deep who plants the bomb? Well in years gone by Bernie and Max collaborated to share this role so as to cause maximal damage to those attempting to stand against them. Eddie Jordan did a fine job of attempting the role on occasion, but never really got the method acting skills together to pull it off with Robert de Niro levels of success. I'd have to give a tip of the chapeau to Chase for his time attempting this role. There were days when the guy sent masonry, elves and men flying sky high. So, due the sinister supporting role played with feeling by his moustache, Chase wins this by a whisker...

Ummm. It is a testament to diversity within F1 that Susie Wolff is the only candidate for Galadriel. I mean seriously F1, LOTR does not offer that many female parts, notwithstanding that I've no clear guide to spotting a female Balrog, Orc or Ent. Yet the women in the LOTR universe outnumber the females in F1 by about, oh... six-billion to one at a guess. Now if Susie was the Galadriel of F1 I'm sure she would have magically generated a pathway through the darkness to a race seat. She could not, and as a result fails the audition for this role. At best she is going to be a Shield Maiden of Rohan, or, at worst, one of the women fleeing in fear in Minas Tirith as marauding Orcs slice them to pieces. The greater tragedy being that women trying to get a racing seat in any formula, let alone F1, probably identify more with getting hacked to pieces by male monsters than being the lady of might and power that is Galadriel. This is possibly the greatest horror in this light-hearted comparison.

The last steward of Gondor? Chase was born to play this role. I actually think he would play it better than the movie. Munching salad while his own son fails at an impossible mission. Then throwing himself from the mighty towers of power in a blaze of vainglory. Yup. No need for a second audition Chase, you've got this. Just act natural and it will be a perfect performance. So by default the Helm's Deep Orc role now falls to Eddie Jordan. Blow it sky high Eddie!

Helmut Marko as the Balrog? Yup, seems a perfect fit for this one too. Many drivers will sadly tell you what happened when they reached the bridge of Khazad-dum. The time the Balrog had the pleasure of telling them that they shall not pass...

Boromir goes to Lance Stroll. Favoured son of the last Steward of Gondor, mighty in battle and with all the top-shelf armour and weapons... Yet he falls short. A fine man, well born, but no Faramir. What final battle will he find with which to prove he is true and strong to achieve redemption at the last?

In days of yore Bernie and Max would have been a classic Legolas and Gimli double act, but Bernie is slowing down, and Max is sadly departed. Yet, yet... I believe with a touch of CGI magic, and reworking some old footage, we can make the casting work. Bernie also auditioned for Elrond, but kept laughing in all the wrong places.

Another call to CGI arcane incantations for Niki Lauda is the best we have for King Theoden, Horse Lord of Rohan. No other in the paddock could fill this role. Niki literally rising from the ashes of his horrid crash to win the championship, and now to have passed from this realm? The part is his eternal.

Barliman Butterbur the endlessly moving and talking, mildly confused inn-keeper at the Prancing Pony in Bree requires another dip into the CGI cauldron, as this frenetic cheerful role was made for Murray Walker. I can see this being worthy of a nomination for best supporting actor.

Mohammed bin Sulayem? He turned up prepped to audition for the titular role in the Wizard of Oz only to be told he was in the wrong story. Wrong wizard, wrong idea. Muttering about being misdirected by supposed friends, he scuttles off, cape torn, flapping in the wind behind him as he screams "Expelliarmus!" at all around him in another apparent bout of confusion. If he comes back we could offer him a role as an extra in a crowd scene...

What of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin? Dear reader rather than attempt to (mis)cast a leading F1 light in any of these roles it is far better to consider these core characters as representing us, the fan-base.

In LOTR they encompass all that is fine and right while retaining honour. Each tackling the hero's journey with courage, even in the face of utter fear, with potential death only ever one step away.

That is us dear reader. We keep climbing the molten slopes of Mount Doom, because we feel that the evil will be slain and only that which is good will remain.

Retreating exhausted into the last friendly home before the sea, Mohammed bin Sulayem can be heard to mutter one of Frodo's most poignant lines, "We've saved the Shire (F1) Sam, just not for me."

On the light evening wind, drifting softly from the Grey Havens it sounds as if the laughter of Elves is intermixed with the hearty breathless laughter of Colin Chapman and Max Mosley, who already know how legends are made.

And as the Sun sets over the Shire (paddock) no one notices as Christian Horner slips quietly out of his Witch King black armour and into one of Galadriel's finer numbers. Which, dear reader, would explain much about the curious magic seen this season...!

Max Noble

Learn more about Max and check out his previous features, here

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Published: 14/11/2023
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