As a car culture, we throw the word "iconic" too much, but if there's anything it has ever applied to – when it comes to racing liveries especially – surely it's the legendary stripes of Martini Racing. The Italian vermouth brand has sponsored everything from Porsche endurance racers to Lancia rally cars. It's followed Ford into the WRC and Alfa Romeo into DTM. It's even sponsored offshore racing powerboats. But when it comes to Formula One, it's come and gone over the years.
Williams without Frank Williams just wouldn't be Williams, but the elderly, wheelchair-bound founder of the eponymous Formula One team knows he can't be running things forever. That's where Adam Parr came in, but now he's on his way out.
As fast as tarmac and competing drivers can vanish behind you in Formula One racing, so can the unfortunate events of the past. In some cases, anyway. Flavio Briatore may still be banned from the sport due to his involvement in the Crashgate debacle, but Mike Coughlan is making short business of putting his scandal behind him, and returning to F1 racing in a big way.
Racing fans on either side of the Atlantic may be familiar with the name Mike Coughlan. The controversial engineer was at the heart of the Spygate scandal between the McLaren and Ferrari teams a few years back and was subsequently ejected from Formula One. While he was waiting for his banishment to expire, he came over to the U.S. where he was working for Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR. But as soon as his sentence was up, he was back in F1 with the Williams team. Trouble is, his contract with
As far as racing disciplines go, Formula One and NASCAR are about as different as can be. They run entirely different kinds of cars, on different kinds of tracks, for different types of fans, from garages on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Recent years have seen a handful of F1 drivers trying their hand at stock car racing, but the latest clash of civilizations is set to play itself out not on the race track, but in the court room.