Jean Todt, Ferrari CEO, placed Kimi Raikkonen in a position of acute embarassment by admitting rather triumphantly that Ferrari had signed Kimi in 2005. It must be remembered that Kimi had been conducting long, winding negotiations with Renault and McLaren through the better part of 2006 season, probably carrying the concept of ‘red herring’ a little too far, and Jean Todt’s revelation didn’t really endear Kimi to either team. Kimi’s later attempts to brush the thing under the carpet with ‘the timing of the contract with Ferrari didn’t really matter’ did nothing to alleviate the issue, the damage had already been done. “Of course the timing matters” said a visibly incensed Briatore, “If Kimi signed that contract in 2005, then effectively Ron and I are chumps…well Ron is a chump anyway irrespective of when Kimi signed the contract”.
We sympathize with Briatore of course, no one likes to find out that they have been spending all their spare time and more providing free negotiation practice for Kimi’s management team when in reality there was nothing to negotiate. “Alonso has won two world championships, what has Kimi won?” asked Briatore, the episode still clearly rankling. Well, certainly not Briatore’s heart for sure.
And speaking of current world champion Fernando Alonso, this is what his former boss has to say of him. “Alonso is a great driver, but he really must stop his animal impersonations after every win”. Flavio leads us to believe that Alonso felt the need for establishing some kind of individuality, similar to Michael Schumacher’s podium leaps, but added that making like a duck or a crane after every win doesn’t really garner respectability in the paddock. Flavio also mentioned that he was looking forward to a fair amount of verbal fireworks from the McLaren camp next year, what with Alonso’s famous spanish temperament and Ron’s control obsession. We at FFNA fully expect Alonso to declare “I no longer consider McLaren a team” at least by midyear 2007, and it is rumored that a certain section of the paddock is accepting bets on the same.