Mario Illien, former McLaren engine expert, has (conveniently) blamed Kimi Raikkonen’s aggressive driving style for McLaren’s reliability issues, and has suggested that Ferrari should build a tank to withstand the same. However it is firmly believed by Kimi’s supporters that McLaren engines are wired for self-detonation and certainly don’t require any outside assistance to aid in their demise. A point no doubt established by the smoky McLaren photographed yesterday with Fernando Alonso at its wheel. Still Kimi’s mechanical sympathy and Alonso’s mental stability remain the two unknowns for this season.
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso has threatened to shave his head if he wins the world championship this year leaving his supporters in a dilemna. On the one hand they would like to see Alonso as a 3 time world champion, on the other hand the thought of a bald Alonso in conversation with a bald Ron Dennis makes them want to jump ship and root for Kimi instead. It is not an easy choice.
Overall, it is felt in F1 circles that this season could be a season of upsets. Alonso, we all know, is suspect to be a little dotty under pressure and he is going to be driving the unreliable McLaren. Kimi’s brilliance at the wheel is undoubted, but his reputation as a car breaker is causing a few palpitations amongst the tifosi community. To add to the excitement, Renault – the current constructor world champion – was outpaced by Super Aguiri today at the practice session, raising the frightening possibility of Takumo Sato being crowned champion in a year of upsets.