An Aussie who could drive our taxis
Archie Henderson: Heikki Kovalainen might disagree, but Mark Webber is one helluva driver and by early November in Abu Dhabi, he could be the first Australian world champion since Alan Jones in 1981.
Webber, who currently leads the Formula 1 championship, is a driver who would be right at home in a Joburg taxi or behind the wheel of a Cape Town tow-truck.
No disrespect, just admiration for his nerves of carbon fibre. At least Webber does not do his driving on the M1 or along Settlers' Way.
Kovalainen might have the taxi-tow-truck image more in mind. It was Webber who bumped the Finn at 190km/h during the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year in Valencia.
In what was probably the most spectacular rear-end in motoring history, Webber's Red Bull hit Kovalainen's Lotus, somersaulted over it and landed upside down before skidding into the barriers.
Webber not only lived to tell the tale, he handled it with a sang-froid common among those who drive very fast.
"When you race for as long as us guys do, you're going to have the odd big one here and there," he told the BBC.
You can't blame Kovalainen for not easily forgiving this "odd big one".
It was his second collision with Webber, the first being in last year's Australian Grand Prix, when Kovalainen had to retire.
The Finn has been in more than his fair share of F1 scrapes since making his debut in 2007 with Renault. Not all have been his fault, especially when Jarno Trulli tried to lunge past him in the French Grand Prix of 2007 at Magny-Cours and ended up wrecking both their cars.
You had to feel sorry for Heikki in that year. At the Brazilian Grand Prix, the last race on the calendar, Ralf Schumacher blew him into the barriers, preventing Kovalainen becoming the first driver to complete every race in his debut year.
But this is not about the Finn and all about an Aussie, who is a driver in the tyre-tread tradition of Jack Brabham.
Like us, the Aussies have not had many F1 championships. We've had Jody Scheckter (world champion in 1979 with Ferrari) while they have had Brabham and Jones. By the end of the season, Webber could make it three.
By Sunday, we'll have a clearer picture of his chances. He's leading the F1 drivers' standings, but it's going to be a close-run thing this year. Just 25 points separate the top five, and competition is as tight as the grid at a red light in Mitchell's Plain on a Saturday night.
F1 is also a very different game from when Brabham, Jones and Scheckter were champions. It's obviously more expensive than in the days when Brabham, now 84, got started in his Cooper in the '50s, and later in a Honda-powered car that carried his name.
For all the Nascar hype in the US, F1 is the most competitive of the world's motor sports and it's a bugger just to get a regular drive nowadays.
So if Webber can win the title in the modern era of grand prix racing, it will be a sensational achievement, greater than his Aussie predecessors. F1 is tighter, more competitive and pressurised than perhaps any other time in its history, and the field he is up against is full of talent, so you have to respect every one of those on the grid, even the Lotus drivers.