Luvvie, Darling: Adrian Sutil, Sebastian Grosjean and Jaime Alguerasuari driving antics at the Singapore Grand Prix were really a collective attempt by 3 F1 driver vaudeville fans to alleviate paddock gloom following the Crash Gate affair.
It was whilst enjoying the hospitality of Adrian Sutil in his motorhome the Wednesday before the race that the 2 rookies and Force India driver hatched the plan to cheer up the F1 fraternity.
Following a DVD double bill of their favourite 3 Stooges compendium, “Larry, Curly and Moe Hit Each Other Over the Head with a Variety of Building Implements” followed by top 80’s car crash fatality porn, “Havoc 2!” the trio hit upon the idea of a series of slapstick driving misdemeanours which would have the F1 fraternity rolling in the aisles.
Concocting their own unique versions of chaufferised charabanc, each designed an accident or bit of mayhem that would cause the maximum amount of petrol pandemonium yet remain artistically truthful to the black and white slapstick violence of their favourite trio of intemperate clowning thugs and also blend in satirical, knowing nods to past misdemeanours cheering up even the most jaded and maudlin of post-modern crossover cultural sporting commentators.
Track workers careful to move Grosjean’s installation without diluting its artistic integrity
Eschewing the traditional mores of modern comedy drama for a chaotic Dadaist arrangement, Romain Grosjean’s now infamous recreation of the Piquet crash from the year before was a dramatic subversion; the expected piece de la resistance seen first rather than last, perfectly synthesising comedy, irony and incompetence simultaneously evoking that bit where Moe pulls a squealing Curly by the nostrils whilst banging him over the head with a brass kettle.
The remaining guffaw-giving gaffes: Sutil driving head first into fellow German, Heidfeld (representing Moe putting 2 fingers into Larry’s eyes having been accidentally scalded with a hot cup of coffee) and Alguerasuari’s ambitious “Driving Off With The Fuel Hose Still Attached” act, (an audacious artistic statement at once mimicking, mocking and paying tribute to the absent Felipe Massa whilst executing a perfectly timed pratfall – the equivalent of Larry moving a plank of wood round his head missing Moe on the upswing but hitting Curly on the downswing) underscored the trio’s efforts at synthesising artistic meaning from crashing brightly coloured cars into various other brightly coloured cars.
But despite the best efforts of F1’s newest comedy collective and the gales of laughter up and down the pitlane not everyone was convinced by the trio’s attempts at brightening the paddock gloom,
The 3 Stooges in, “Because you put your fingers in my eyes, I’ve crashed the car“
“This sort of amateur dramatic comedy is frankly sub street theatre”, one critic huffed and puffed.
Others also waded in: “the conceit was somewhat heavy-handed; whilst I found the individual clowning occasionally amusing I was never convinced the collective attempt at a cohesive comic narrative worked and overall the lack of tragedy created an overwhelming sense of the jejeune rather than the jeunesse”, wrote Stan Piecha of the Sun.
Penning a one off piece for the Culture section of the Sunday Times meanwhile, Professor Richard Starkey commented, “that was shit”.
But whatever the artistic merits of the theatrical experiment, it is impossible to disprove the fact that Crash Gate has now been permanently forgotten by everyone in F1. Aguerasari too, it would seem is keen to extend the artistic synthesis of his driving; going on to use Suzuka as a canvas upon which he could express his own interpretation of the crowd massacre scene in Battleship Potemkin by losing control of his car and smashing several dozen polystyrene blocks into smithereens.