At last the secret of Michael Schumacher's phenomenal success in Formula One racing, has been leaked to the public.
Forget the state-of-the-art engines, aerodynamic perfection, the skills of the back- up technicians, or even the cool Teutonic persona that exudes from this giant of the racing world - no, the plain truth is that Michael has won because of the skills of his co-driver, a spider called Woolfgang!
Incredible as it seems, Woolfgang, or Woolfy as he prefers to be known is a direct descendant of the N.A.S.A. Arachnoids Programme of the early 'sixties' , which trained Wolf Spiders (Family Lycosidae ) to carry out simple operational tasks in the zero- gravity conditions of outer space. This training gave these pioneer Space Spiders extreme intelligence, and it is these incredible skills that the Ferrari Team has utilised to create the fantastic partnership of Ferrari, Schumacher, and Woolfy!
Professor Peter Parker, head of the Arachnids Department at the prestigious 'Zurich Academy of Creepy Crawlies', explained the amazing capabilities of these eight-legged wonders! " You see it's like this", the easy-talking Californian academic expounded. "We have all seen the early attempts to create artificial intelligence. Those silly little mouse-like robots that whiz around a small rink, astounding all onlookers because they don't collide with each other! Such creations are mere toys! -just a simple computer chip, a battery and a motor! -no, what we have with our spider clones is a master race of super-intelligent, bionic, automatons!"
Motor Racing aficionados can now understand the eccentric behaviour of their much-loved drivers! It is now very obvious why the cockpit is shaded by a large umbrella before the start of the race ; - it is simply in order to keep their co-drivers cool!
Also it becomes clear as to why the drivers go to incredible lengths to prevent their steering devices being inspected or photographed; - again because the bionic arachnids are housed in them!
A modern Formula One racing car is so incredibly complex that it is way beyond the capability of a human being to drive it constantly at its theoretical limits.. The bionic ,Wolf Spider, with its robust legs and eight powerful eyes is ideally suited to carrying out multi-tasks with ease and precision!
"This is where Woolfy comes into his own." reflected Michael. "His instinctive sense of balance and sensitivity to vibration enables him to 'fine tune' the suspension ,change gears, and operate the accelerator and brakes, at the exact moment necessary to ensure maximum speed. This enables me to do what I do best -to steer my machine to victory!"
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At his 'Spider school' or 'Spidergarten' as Schumacher light-heartedly refers to it, Woolfy was renowned for his acute sense of hearing.
"He could detect a butterfly breaking wind at thirty feet!" Michael recalled with pride. "He's as bright as a button, well certainly brighter than Jensen Button!", the racing legend interjected in a rare attempt at humour."
"In his racing position, Woolfy looks after all the boring technical bits, enabling me to do the simple task of steering"
So the next time you watch the 'unflappable' Murray Walker giving a bit of technical insight to the fabulous world that is Formula One, just give yourself a knowing smile of smug satisfaction that you know who is really driving these fantastic machines!
And the next time you find a cuddly spider in the bath, please check that it's not Woolfy, because if you turn on the taps - you may be flushing Schumacher's career right down the plug hole!