Danger, Finnish Drivers

The Formula 1 season kicks off in Albert Park over the weekend. Kevin and I are both very busy, and will probably end up watching the race on video at some point, but we can at least look forward to the action. We are helped in this by The Guardian who produced a helpful little guidebook to the new season free with their Monday paper. Parts of it are quite funny, especially the history of last season told as if it were a Facebook feed. “Ron Dennis has joined the group “Cooperating with Inquiries”; Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are no longer friends.”

One of the articles, however, is about why Finns make such good racing drivers. Mostly they get this right. Young Finns learn to drive at crazy speeds when they are barely out of nappies. It seems they don’t have many police on Finnish country roads, or at least no one much minds if kids use them as race tracks. The article also pinpoints other aspects of the Finnish character. It notes, for example, that a Finn always wins the annual Christmas Eve round the world aerial sleigh race, largely because he’s the only person who has figured out how to build a suitable vehicle. The Finns are also the only people to have won the Eurovision Song Contest while dressed as Oakland Raiders fans. Apparently Finland is home to an annual wife-carrying world championships, but the Finns are no good at that and it is always won by someone from Estonia. However, the article mentions the Finnish passion for ice hockey only in passing, and completely ignores their talent at running science fiction conventions. My guess is that the Finnish talent for raising sponsorship must have Bernie Ecclestone terrified.