French GP: Red Bull preview

MAGNY-COURS MON AMOUR Okay, we admit it: our previews for the French GP for the past two years have caused some controversy with their attacks on the host nation. They became famous, or more accurately infamous. But now it's time to give ...

MAGNY-COURS MON AMOUR

Okay, we admit it: our previews for the French GP for the past two years have caused some controversy with their attacks on the host nation. They became famous, or more accurately infamous. But now it's time to give "L'Hexagone" an easier ride. Could the Renault stickers on our car's engine covers have anything to do with this? You betcha!

Working with the Brits for eleven years, Fabrice Lom, who heads up Renault's programme with Red Bull Racing, is well placed to comment on the failings and foibles of the English. "What annoys me about all these attacks on the French is that the English have a habit of attacking other people and their customs whereas we French do not. So being given carte blanche to have a go is a bit unsettling," says Lom.

"But I can see the funny side. For example, I know that English think French people are dirty and that we don't wash. So I find it particularly amusing when I stay in hotels in England that it is the hardest country in the world in which to get a supply of hot water: either it is burning hot or freezing cold, but nothing in between. So if the English really pride themselves on their cleanliness I don't understand how they manage to wash properly. The absence of the mixer tap is a fundamental fault in England."

Lom is warming to his task now and the words begin to flow: "The English are so proud of their own country and don't ever let you forget it, but as a nation they seem to be the keenest in the world on emigrating to somewhere else. In every country which has nice weather you will find the English only too happy to leave their own country even though they constantly shout it from the rooftops that theirs is the nicest. Very funny!"

"The English don't seem to learn any grammar at school. In France, we are taught when to use tenses and the grammar is drummed into us. But if I ask an Englishman, should I say "has been" or "was" he does not have a clue. The English have no rules, they just learn by habit."

Apparently, les anglais cannot even work out if they are hot or cold. "Working with the English you have to get used to working in the cold, as their offices are about ten degrees colder than in the rest of Europe," says Lom.

And now the big one: the problem with alcohol. "Since I have worked with the English it would seem that it is difficult or maybe impossible for them to drink in order to appreciate the taste and in small quantities. As soon as they drink they get drunk.

It is infernal. The relationship between the English and alcohol is a case of "je t'aime moi non plus."

Showing emotions. "English people with whom I have worked have no idea how to show happiness. When we won a world championship, the French in the team immediately chucked water over one another, sprayed champagne everywhere and that does not seem to be the English way. When we attacked them with champagne they were very surprised."

"Another big difference is respect for a hierarchy," continues Lom. It must stem from the fact there is a nobility in England, whereas in France we had our Revolution. In England when a boss gives an order, the subaltern will complain behind his back but he will do as he is told. Whereas in France, if a boss gives an order, the subaltern will complain to his face, they will argue and there is no innate acceptance of an order. It puts a bit of life in the garage, which will get the English element frowning and upset."

Anything else Fabrice, before we give you an armed guard in the garage? "I don't like hitting on the English but I find it amusing that they are always keen to attack everyone else. Maybe they should put their own house in order first. I think they've got a nerve."

-credit: red bull

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Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing