Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Monaco dressed but doesn't impress like Moss

All that is right and all that is wrong about motor racing was shown on Sunday on BBC1.

With the Beeb not allowed to show the Monaco Grand Prix live it was a delayed start in Monte Carlo for Suzi Perry and the boys but this didn't stop them beginning with a convoluted opening about how this was as much a fashion show as a race.

"Some say the race is a parade," said Eddie Jordan, showing he knows what he's talking about some of the time, but as soon as he appeared on screen in the sky blue jacket Cliff Richard used to wear when it was lashing at Wimbledon, then I couldn't take him seriously.

Beside him was a Ribena berry, but on closer inspection, it turned out to be David Coulthard bedecked in purple and a very exciting chat about tyres ensued and when I woke up the race was over and nice to see an Irish winner with Nic O'Rosberg taking the chequered flag.

Well, he might be Irish, his dad, Keke, is Finnish (even though he was born in Sweden, thanks to Wikipedia), he was brought up in Monaco and he races for Germany, so I was more confused than Eddie's tailor at this stage.

For once there was a bit of exciting action but mainly as the pace was so slow because of those exciting tyres again that drivers were ploughing into the back of each other like Northern Ireland folk trying to get home in the snow.

"You know the score, don't take any risks," was the message to Sebastian Vettel as he dared to boldly go where no recent driver has gone before and overtake.

Thankfully there was an antidote to this immediately following the race when Racing Legends came on screen with Patrick Stewart meeting up with Sir Stirling Moss.

Now, that's what a racing driver is and old Captain Picard met his boyhood idol in what was a superb piece of telly, meeting up with Moss, who came dressed as Dr Evil's dad, in his Mayfair overground lair, that was more full of electronic gizmos than an F1 steering wheel.

A great programme, starting with Moss' win at the Ulster TT and following him through the highs of racing cars and chasing totty and ultimately, the lows and crashes, of racing, as Stewart explained that the grand old man of motorsport raced 'not in spite of the danger but because of the danger.'

F1 may be boring but an hour spent in the company of Moss was just what we all ordered.

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