The Inside Line #57: Stuck in a moment (you can’t get out of)

TILI Logo PrintJobs in F1 you wouldn’t want: (a) being asked to write the absurdly flowery comments attributed to Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari press releases, (b) being the person charged with cleaning up after Marussia’s Monaco after-party, and (c) Pete Bonnington. ‘Bono’, as he’s often (amusingly) called by many at Mercedes, is Lewis Hamilton’s race engineer, and the voice we hear on the team radio to Hamilton throughout race weekends. He also has to play school headmaster, psychiatrist and amateur optometrist if last weekend in Monte Carlo is anything to go by. It’s a gig that would leave anyone on The Edge … [1]

After Hamilton kept his composure so admirably (and unexpectedly) after he failed to finish in the first race of the year before winning the next four Grands Prix, it was the Hamilton of old at Monaco – emotional, sometimes irrational, occasionally spectacularly fast and seemingly far too wound up for his own good. Yes, there remains some doubt over the legitimacy of teammate Nico Rosberg’s “mistake” in qualifying that denied Hamilton a chance at pole [2], but the perceived injustice from the lack of action taken by the race stewards sent the Briton on a downward spiral that saw him increasingly stroppy with Bonnington over the radio, bizarrely claim he had something in his eye (but refused to talk about or it seek medical attention immediately after the race), and look like a man who had lost control. Rosberg is a bright guy and will undoubtedly be taking mental notes, and could do worse than wind up his teammate as much as possible over the final 13 Grands Prix. Given how close it’s likely to be between the two of them, every little advantage has to be taken.

A comprehensive recap of the Monaco Grand Prix features on Episode 57 of ‘The Inside Line’, while we review the life and achievements of Sir Jack Brabham in this week’s show. With Brabham having won his first Grand Prix at Monaco in 1959 and Mark Webber following in those footsteps twice in 2010 and 2012, it was great to see Daniel Ricciardo on the steps of the royal box that doubles as Monaco’s ‘podium’ on Sunday, continuing the tradition of Australians impressing at the most famous race of all. Without Brabham, there would have been no Webber, no Ricciardo, no Alan Jones … the sport’s fans in Australia have so much to thank one of our greatest sporting pioneers for. [3]

‘The Inside Line’ is on SPEED TV Australia (Foxtel/Austar channel 512) at 7pm on Wednesday May 28, and also on ESPN (Foxtel/Austar channel 508 in Australia) at 8.30pm on Thursday May 29.

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[1] A U2 joke written at 3.19am. Whoa.

[2] One man’s view: I saw Rosberg’s “mistake” as being one of those accidentally on purpose ones. Just very well dressed up. Still, if you can get away with it …

[3] C’mon, Channel 10. Coming on air nine minutes before the biggest F1 race of the season, and the weekend after the passing of our most famous F1 export, all so you can show yet another over-acted American police drama thingy? Not. Good. Enough. Thank goodness for the Box of Neutrals boys and their pre-race preview.

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