G’Day race fans. Spy here and today is Australia Day and while we’re quite clearly a traditional Austrian team based in the UK, our factory in Milton Keynes has just a hint of the green and gold to it and so today, we celebrate the founding of a country just about as far away from Buckinghamshire as it’s possible to be.
Our affinity with all things Antipodean obviously stems from the drivers: 2017 will be our 11th consecutive season with an Aussie in the cockpit, and between them Mark and Daniel have brought us 14 pole positions, 13 victories, and 47 other podiums. The Australian Grand Prix is also a firm favourite of ours: we’ve won it, been on pole three times and twice set the fastest lap – but, perhaps more importantly, the thought of landing at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne and exiting into bright sunshine keeps us going in the long, dark, incredibly cold northern winter.
So, today, and much to the despair of the actual Australians in and around our team, we’ll be raising a pie floater, misappropriating slang and whistling Waltzing Matilda with even less idea of what a Coolabah tree is than Daniel Ricciardo does. If you want to join in, here’s our entirely haphazard guide to Aussie slang. And to our Aussie fans, even the ones who are mean to us on social media, Happy Australia Day!
Mark Webber often explained that he liked to relax at home in thongs. We’re a live and let live sort of team, so that was fine. Occasionally he took the trouble to explain to the open-mouthed that these are what the rest of the world calls flip-flops.
Our ultra-professional work ethic ensures that, when leaving the track, every member of our track racing team, eats a nutritious meal and then spends a quiet evening reading technical manuals, meditating or flower arranging. However, after a victory and a lightspeed pack down it’s not unknown for them to visit a bar or two. This may result in people feeling a little dusty when arriving back at Heathrow.
Informal: a person who shows the effect of alcohol after drinking comparatively little, viz. F1 drivers.
For example: “So, did the party go on late into the night?”
“Nah [insert name of a racing driver, possibly German, possibly a four-times World Champion] is a bit of a two-pot screamer and fell asleep in the karaoke.
Woop woop = out in the sticks; the back end of beyond; the boondocks, beyond the black stump
The world is full of people who think ‘Woop Woop’ is a genuine place in Australia, rather than shorthand for any place outside the narrow strip of urban and suburban Australia where pretty much everyone lives. For example:
“Is your V8 Supercars team based in the city?”
“Nah, the workshop’s out Woop Woop.”
Despite its casual use by a well-known Formula One driver, nowhere in rural Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire or Northamptonshire actually qualifies.
Stoked = enthusiastic, excited or europhoric
A frequent Ricciardo-ism, often used in conjunction with the prefix super. Daniel tends to be stoked by things like sunshine, beaches, cowboy hats, weird Aussie death metal and the nebulous promise of half a Twix if he performs well at a sponsor activation. He’s super-stoked at the prospect of racing in Monaco, seeing the RB13 for the first time and anything involving a dirt bike and/or a day off.
Tinny/Stubbie/Esky = can of beer/bottle of beer/beer cooler
Drinking warm beer may be considered unpatriotic in Australia, thus tinnies and stubbies are generally small and therefore spend less time out in the sunshine before being consumed, whereupon another cold one can be recovered from the Slab (24 tinnies) deposited in the Esky.
For instance: “I say my good fellow, that a Minardi running fifth?”
“I think you’ve had too many tinnies – but grab me another cold one from the Esky”
Ute = utility vehicle
While the automotive world has become a largely homogenised block, Australia* stands proudly distinct, thanks to the Ute, the unnatural offspring of a passenger car and a pickup. Unlike an SUV (aka Toorak Tractor) – which is a four wheel-drive utility vehicle that rarely goes off road, the Ute is generally a two-wheel drive vehicle that frequently does. While Utes may come in luxury or performance garb, the rest of the world expects a proper Aussie ute to be held together by rust and used primarily for carrying slabs to a Barbie.
Hard Yakka = Hard Work
For instance, building a new F1 car for the 2017 season in just 14 weeks is hard yakka. But then again, so is barbecuing on a hot day, though that has the advantage of being a good excuse for cracking open another tinny. "My word, cooking that barbie was hard yakka, I therefore deserve another tinny from the esky." Etc.,
Snag = Sausage. Or Sensitive New-Age Guy
Context is very important in this one, you really don’t want to get into a situation where you think you’re having a conversation about sausages but are really talking about a friend who moisturises. If the snag in question is mentioned in close proximity to prawns, tinnies and a barbie, you’re in the sausage zone. Probably. Actually, better to just say sausage. Everyone knows what a sausage is.
*Also New Zealand – but by law they have to be towing a trailer which was bought second-hand on TradeMe and involved an 800-mile round trip to collect.