It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s only fitting that on the day when romance takes centre stage that we should look at some of the bro-mances going on down the pitlane.
Lewis and Fernando: This one has been growing of late, with Fernando praising Lewis as the driver whose ability he respects the most. And Lewis returning the complement. This is probably due to the fact that Lewis hasn’t been a threat to Fernando’s title hopes for quite a few years. Plus the more he bigs up Lewis the more it p****s off Sebastian Vettel.
* Lewis’s Exs: Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg
Things haven’t been the same with Felipe since their big falling out of 2011, while Bahrain 2012 (where Nico tried to barge Lewis off the track) was a watershed between Nico and Lewis. They may have been karting team-mates, but now they’re battling each other at Mercedes.
Fernando and Robert: It may be that Fernando is just toying with Lewis’s affection until his one true bro-mance returns to F1 – Robert Kubica. Robert’s road to recovery has been slower than expected but it’s still an upward trajectory and there is hope. And as the great romantic writers know, hope is an important element in any love story.
Michael and Sebastian:Another true bro-mance, this time between an older man and the new young gun that he sees as his natural successor. The affection that these two have is obvious – they make up the German ‘Race of Champions’ team and are both driven men. The relationship was clear for all to see when Michael moved out of the way for Seb to pass him in the Brazil GP, allowing him to take his third World title.
* Michael’s exs: Michael is very self-contained, but used to be involved in a bro-mance with Jos Verstappen and the two used to go on holiday together – with their families. In later years it was Jean Todt who became the go-to hugger after Ferrari wins. Jean always held on for longer than Michael did.
Jenson and Mark: This bro-mance started back in their Benetton days in 2001 when Mark was the reserve driver and Jenson (the milepost) Button and Giancarlo Fisichella were the race drivers. They’ve been on charity bike rides together and both spend a lot of time doing a stupid amount of exercise. As one half of this relationship is an Aussie that makes it more of a mate-mance.
Felipe and Rubens: Felipe has a lot of Brazilian F1 drivers to look up to, but he and Rubens always had that special bond. It’s a profound sadness to those in F1 and Felipe in particular that Rubens couldn’t go on for one final season, because last year’s Williams in Barrichello’s hands would have scored double the amount of points they did with the drivers they had.
Bernie and Eddie Jordan: You don’t get to be a multi-billionaire and suffer fools gladly. Bernie has always been there for Eddie when times got rough. For times read ‘bank balances’. He helped EJ get the Honda engine contract that gave him his GP wins and in return Eddie was always keen to share information about what those other naughty constructors were up to. It’s a relationship that has endured with EJ going into a Pavlovian response on the BBC when any criticism is levelled at his ‘bro’.
Christian and Adrian: There must be something tugging at Adrian Newey’s heartstrings to keep him in F1. Many years ago he said he wanted to branch out from F1 and design other things, but the bond he shares with Christian Horner at Red Bull has kept him bound to the team. The chequebooks of Ferrari and Mercedes must have been opened wide to secure his services, but he won’t leave Christian. It’s deep.
Dieter Mateschitz and Helmut Marko: Considering the amount of c**** Helmut Marko comes up with, there must be some intangible reason that he’s kept on as special advisor to Red Bull owner Dieter Mateschitz. Typical of this is Helmut’s recent criticism of Mark Webber In Red Bull’s very own mag. You might imagine him saying, ‘Mark’s not very good under pressure’ in an unguarded remark to Autosport or Motorsport Aktuel, but in their own publication…? Cabinet ministers have resigned for tweeting less. Dieter must be enfatuated.