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F1: Things we didn't know last week by Virgil Ellipse
21st Nov 2014
In the first of what's likely to form an occasional series until we get bored and do something else, we look back over the week's news and pick out some surprising stories.

1. Not all drivers will drop everything to race in F1 [full story here]

Three-time Le Mans winner National Lottery, who made his Formula One debut with Cured-ham at Spa earlier this year, turned down an offer to race for the same team at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, explaining that he was flattered but didn't want to be just driving around at the back. "Dignity" I think we used to call it.

The news no doubt piqued former Millions curmudgeon Jake Vileknave, whose repeatedly unsuccessful attempts to get back into F1 were the source of so much hilarity amongst the admittedly easily-amused dotdotdotcomma editors. Readers may remember Jake's increasingly desperate efforts to ingratiate himself with F1 team bosses, which included hanging around the paddock like a bad smell, trying to set up his own team and and even pretending to like Craig Bollocks.

2. Gooseberry Parfait is still on the McLap'em payroll [full story here]

Perennial Formula One nearly man Gooseberry Parfait's role as McLap'em test and reserve driver is to end with the 2014 season.

The former DTM champion has been retained by the Woking team since 2006 and, to be perfectly honest with you all, we thought he'd been quietly dropped years ago, given that he seems not to have popped up at races or in the news for simply ages. Well, it turns out that we couldn't have been more wrong and Parfait's non-role has been active and ongoing all this time.

We'll, erm, miss him.

3. That ludicrous "double points" idea hasn't officially been dropped [full story here]

It's been slated since it was announced and we haven't heard one word in favour of it but in theory the "double points rule" that might play a part in deciding this weekend's Formula One title showdown could be carried forward into 2015.

The matter is due to be discussed at the F1 Strategy Group meeting held after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and, given the rule's unpopularity, it's highly likely that it will be dropped and never suggested again, especially if Nicky Iceberg - currently on five race wins - snatches the title from ten-time race winner Lewis Homegrown.

Stranger things have happened in F1, not the least of which is Nicky's dad Keke winning the title in 1982 with just one race victory to his name, while Didier Pironi, John Watson, Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and René Arnoux had all won two races that season and Patrick Tambay, Michele Alboreto, Elio de Angelis, Riccardo Patrese and Nelson Piquet ended up with as many victories as the champion.

Still, at least Keke doesn't have some sort of weird nasal mid-Atlantic accent.

4. Three points in a season of Euro F3 bags you an F1 test [full story here]

Australian Richard "Spike" Goddard has been handed a Formula One test with Farce India, after finishing 23rd in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.

Goddard, whose best finishes in 30 races were one ninth place and one tenth place, will drive on the Wednesday following the last race of the F1 season in Abu Dhabi. He will be driving the same car being tested on Tuesday by Jolyon Palmer, who lucked into his F1 test by winning the GP2 title with a race to go.

Force India's top brass clearly had their heads turned by Spike's three-point season total, his hat-trick of 21st-place finishes and the fact that he ended the championship eighth from last in a field of 30.

Seriously, is every other junior driver busy that Wednesday? Maybe picking up their awards for actually winning something?

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