It’s the bank holiday DAFTAs, so without further ado...
Oddest Hispanic corporate tie-up of the week; Fernando Alonso announces that he has just insured his thumbs for £9m to “raise awareness of Santander’s life and accident insurance packages.”
According to Santander, who Alonso has just signed a one-year deal with, Fernando’s thumbs “are a big symbol as, apart from being essential when driving a Formula One car, they represent a sign of victory, and that everything is under control and well protected.”
Quite what the bloke from Santander thinks Alonso does with his feet, arms, backside, head, brain, ears, eyes and hands when driving an F1 car isn’t certain. But so long as his thumbs are alright, he probably doesn’t care.
It all sounds strangely like the insurance wavers they have on Spanish hire cars, in which damage to everything except the tyres is fully covered. I’ve often wondered what the average Holiday Autos rep would say if you handed back the keys to a burnt out wreck that was still smouldering on the side of the Autovia del Sol, and said; “Hello there, yes, the rest of car’s a bit knackered but don’t worry, the tyres are still fine.” I guess they’d just give you a casual thumbs-up – and then go back to their siesta and chips.
Ever so slightly pointless debate of the week; when is a production car not a production car? When it’s production-derived. Eh?
Ferrari has claimed that the admittedly rather swift new 599XX has set a new lap record lap for a production-derived car around the old Nurburgring. Thing is, there was no actual record to break. Either the record is held by a full production car wearing road tyres and number plates etc, or it’s a racing car – and the 599XX is actually neither of these. Instead it’s production-derived, which seems to mean it can use slicks and wings and all sort of other things to help it perform like a racing car. Except it isn’t a racing car it’s (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).
Belgian of the week; pretty much anyone who lives in Brussels and claims that they are the centre of Europen culture.
Conclusive proof that Brussels may, in fact, not be the trendiest, most progressive-thinking city on Earth arrived this week courtesy of sat-nav company TomTom. Because when TomTom’s analysts assessed Europe’s top 10 most congested cities they discovered that Brussels, you guessed it, is the worst of the lot. Second was Warsaw, third was Wroclaw (wherever that is) and fourth was London.
PS; if anyone can name 10 famous Belgians not including Rene Magritte, they will be awarded an honorary DAFTA – and be handed the keys to Europe’s most congested city for all eternity.
Read Europe's most congested cityMost irritating web contributor of the week; jointly awarded to Rover P6 3500S, theonlydt, Richard H, noluddite and Jon Hardcastle – all of whom managed to have a right old whinge about the potential return of TVR within minutes of us posting an exclusive story about it.
So well done to all of the above for being so fantastically narrow minded and irritating. Keep up the good work chaps, especially Rover P6 3500S, who said; “I'm sorry, but an automatic TVR? The man really has no idea... Leave that crap to Aston. TVR should be about hairy-chested cars, with heavy manual gearboxes. Oh, and why can't he revive the Rover V8 for TVR? It's more or less a straight swap between the RV8 and the GM LS (the LS being based on the Chevy small-block, which was the big sister to the Buick 215 aka Rover 3.5 litre). And it's going to be made in Germany. I'm not getting my hopes up yet. Idiot.”
Best excuse of the week in the face of a really rather annoying and obvious problem; CitroenWhen the Citroen Nemo Multispace failed the German Automobile Association’s elk test this week and ended up on its roof at 50mph, a spokesman for the French company said; "Our test procedures conducted in development reflect real-life avoidance tests combined with normal driving reactions. The elk test is extremely severe. It is clearly an issue we are aware of and considering.”No sh*t, monsieur.
So until this time next week…