Toyota held the first car launch for 2007 today, and surprisingly the new car TF107 was actually present. Though it is difficult to spot the differences to their 2006 car with the naked eye, the technical chief Pascal Vasselon insists the only part of the old car that they have retained is the seat-belt (as they got it right last time). It is seen as an encouraging sign that the team has mastered the seat-belt technology, and it is widely believed that once they get the other parts (like engine, aero etc.) right too, they could be competing for wins. Ralf Schumacher spoke about his championship chances (*cough*), and Jarno Trulli (we are happy to report) remains an optimist.
Pat Symonds, Renault’s technical director, revealed that Giancarlo Fisichella’s lacklustre performance last year was owing to being beaten by his teammate time and again which affected his confidence. “Fernando was a monkey on his back…and I think that monkey has gone (to McLaren??)” said Symonds, expressing confidence that Fisichella will now start performing. Well…at least till he starts getting regularly beaten by Heikki Kovalainen. David Coulthard brought back memories of ‘King Bruce and the Spider’ when it was reported that he is motivated to fight for the championship this year. Our sincere good wishes for DC.
Kimi Raikkonen, meanwhile, had a hair raising experience yesterday trying to evade the paparazzi that descended on him everytime he took a sip of any beverage – alcoholic or not. “He couldn’t even drink water in peace without telephoto lens zooming in to identify the contents” said a sympathetic insider. And speaking of the H20, Niki Lauda criticized Kimi for drinking too less of it. “Michael Schumacher was very disciplined and always drank 8 glasses of water a day” said Lauda, “Kimi barely drinks 6 – we will start to see Ferrari struggle by mid-2007 at this rate.”