Rexit and Vexit?
Chewing the cud over a cup of coffee in the workshop, chat soon turned to the recent events at McLaren. After a few unhappy and turbulent years, the shareholders have finally voted for Rexit. Big Ron has reluctantly exited stage left after 35 years in charge and leaves behind an F1 team with 20 championships in the bag and a business empire with an annual turnover of a £850m pa. Not bad really for a spanner man from Woking.
2016 has certainly been a year of departures and surprises. Bowie started things off in January by releasing a new album totally out of the blue and followed it up two days later with the ultimate curtain call. Brexit then caught just about everybody with their trousers down in June. Not to be outdone, our friends on the other side of the pond, swept the 'The Donald' across the winning line and now 'The Ron' has followed that up and been forced to leave his beloved McLaren. It just goes to show that when you give people a vote, never be surprised by the result.
The other significant departure this week and one that will surely be mourned the world over by engineers, is that of Camshaft Paul, aka Paul Rosche. For us, given our love of BMW this is the equivalent to Bowie and his brilliantly created alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Both men had a streak of genius in them and both gave us mere mortals huge fun and pleasure and will continue to do so even now they have left us.
Of course Rosche, did form a famous partnership with McLaren and Ron Dennis in the early 1990's. Having already penned hits such as the M31 2002 turbo engine, the E30 M3's S14 E30 power plant and the legendary M88 from the BMW M1, he was responsible for the V12 618 bhp engine in the McLaren F1. In our opinion this car will be looked back upon as the natural successor to the Ferrari 250 GTO and that is not a bad place to be from Paul Rosche's perspective. What an achievement to leave behind you.
But life goes on. The guys and McLaren will find that out. There is always a new chapter to follow and if you ever needed an example of that you should take a look at last weeks Brazilian Grand Prix. We have long since lost interest in the increasingly complex and anodyne spectacle that is called F1. But wet conditions and testicles the size of pineapples allowed young Max Verstappen to embarrass everybody, bar Hamilton. His car control, epitomised in the moment when he caught the back end of his Red Bull when approaching the main straight was some sight. It reminded us of Senna at Donnington in 1993 and that is high praise. At 19 years of age, this kid has some talent; let's hope F1's rule makers allow him to show it.
So in a week when we have had a double Rexit - Ron and Rosche what will be next? A Vexit from Red Bull? Surely the likes of Ferrari and McLaren must be looking very enviously over the fence at Red Bull. Stranger things have happened.