Morning Musings

With the Gentle Giant as president, we are in retreat throughout the world. The Chinese hack our government and industry computers with impunity, and build islands to claim massively increased territorial waters in worldwide shipping lanes. Russia enters Syria for a military and economic expansion far beyond their borders — with a military that has been reduced to Third World status. Syria is their new training ground, and our Gentle Giant simply watches.
That Russia can warn us to leave an airspace they intend to control, says volumes.

In my racing youth, the Racing King was Phil Hill, who was so good a California sports car driver that he won the pinnacle of all-world racing, Formula One (F1). 
But that was long ago, before cars by teams like Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes. Ferrari is paid $100 million a year just to appear on the grid, plus what they earn!

The top teams can expend $250 million in a racing season, and the United States has never had a modern team get off the drawing board — until now. After years and years of promises, someone with buckets of money (George Haas), years of NASCAR experience (winning the NASCAR title last year), and the drive to win has started to assemble an American team.

Well, not all-American at the start. F1 is far too expensive to go all-American team — the first announced driver is a Swiss-born driver, living in France, Romaine Grosjean, and the engine is Italian, Ferrari. The team will race out of Britain, where many teams are headquartered.

Grosjean is a known driver with Grand Prix experience — he finished third at the Belgian Grand Prix this year in an underpowered Lotus. He is a great bargain, driving far above his $1.5 million salary at Lotus. (Not counting endorsements, Fernando Alonso earns $50 million annually.)

The Ferrari engine will not be the latest 2016 edition, but a 2015 engine — “Works” (Factory prepared) engines are not sold to competitors. (This is so expensive a sport because for each race, the engine magicians must find more horsepower!)

But it is a start. Fortunately, Haas is a near-Billionaire, because each engine in a two car team will set Haas back $8 million, and the steering wheels alone cost $50 thousand apiece. Haas is a driven racing man who will eventually bring credit to America.

I just hope I live to see it!

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