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Archive for the day “May 14, 2012”

“Father” – in memory of Gilles

In the midst of the Gilles Villeneuve Exhibition in Modena last Tuesday, Melanie Villeneuve found a piano and sang the song she wrote (with brother Jacques) about her Dad

Lyrics

Your life wasn’t long just like a bird’s life


But you had your only sky


And like an eagle you one day flew too high


Beyond the limits set by the unknown


And up where they belong and where the sun is black


That’s when we understood you never never ever were to come back



Just like the water flowing down a stream


You were as endless as a dream


Unlike some old forgotten poetry


Your tale will always be chanted inside of me



Father I miss you so


Father why d’you have to go


So far where I can’t go


Somewhere, some place, but where, I don’t know



Your life was a song of love and strife


Too many times you rolled the dice


And all the people as a court they prayed and they cried


When you climbed beyond the summit of the unknown


And up where the wind is strong and there’s no turning back


We got lost and found in the woods where the seeds of love grow back



By the millions you were held in high esteem


Bringing happiness to every dream


To every dream



Father, I miss you so


Father, why d’you have to go


So far away where I can’t go


Somewhere, some place, but where, I don’t know

Reflex Action

When Williams’ victory team talk was disfigured by a sudden explosion, the F1 world was united by action.  Many, indeed, were the acts of heroism

Sir Frank Williams had just begun his post-race pep talk.  Many of the WilliamsF1 team members were crouched around him, craning to hear his words.  He spoke of the effort they had been making over the past months, of the improvements brought by the technical team….

…and then violently, seemingly from nowhere, came a ball of flame…

We don’t yet know the detailed cause of the explosion.  It was fuel-related;  that seems to be clear.  Many suspect that there was also a KERS element.  Hopefully we will know soon.

What is clear is that F1 again showed its grit under pressure.  Dr Mark Gillan, Williams’ Chief Operations Engineer, grabbed Frank and moved him swiftly towards safety.  Mike Coughlin, Technical Director, was soon on his hands and knees, scouring the garage for anyone possibly in danger, seemingly oblivious to the toxic smoke and flames.  And F1’s mechanics – from all teams, including Williams – were exemplary.  Local fire-fighting crews had begun to pack up;  the race was over.  As Diego Merino’s picture shows, mechanics grabbed fire extinguishers and ran to the scene from all directions.  These two – James Prosser (tyre man) and Lee Hart (Lewis Hamilton’s car) are from McLaren.

Exposed personnel were cared-for in F1 motorhomes – at Red Bull and Force India; thankfully, as of this writing, there appear to be no critical injuries.

For WilliamsF1, though, the damage has been immense.  Bruno Senna’s car – in the garage following its shunt with Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes – has been severely damaged.  All of the major computer and garage equipment has been destroyed.   Many Williams team people are still in Barcelona, surveying the damage and drawing up contingency plans for Monaco.  There are even a few whispers that the team may not be able to race at the Principality.

I doubt that.  If necessary, I believe that the other F1 teams will come to Williams’ aid.  It is a part of what they do.

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