Ferrari’s pre-season testing continues to run into problems with the Italian team not making the right impression so far. This time it was not the weather, but an engine problem leaving Kimi still more than a second off the pace. However the tifosi can take heart from the fact that the fastest pace was set by Ralf Schumacher, proving that these tests are really not very indicative. Though why Ferrari continues to run a F248 every session instead of a second F2007 remains the question of the hour. Borrowing liberally from the poet William Cowper, let us hope ‘Ferrari moves in a mysterious way its wonders to perform’.

It has also just been revealed that Nigel Stepney is considering alternate employment after 14 years of adding excellent value to the Maranello based squad. If this has come as a shock to the Ferrari management with too many veterans leaving all at once, they are not showing it. It is rumored that Jean Todt is offering Michael’s role of ‘super-assistant’ to Stepney in the hope of retaining him. Jean Todt will also be offering Michael a new role of ‘ultra-super-assistant’ just to check if at least the addition of ‘ultra’ to the nomenclature would induce him to do some minimal work.

schumikarting.jpgWhen Ferrari setup an exclusive virtual network at Michael Schumacher’s residence and developed the technology to constantly keep him updated with telemetry data in the comfort of his home, it was perhaps with the hope that Michael would take a look at it every now and then and not dash off to ‘La Conca’ circuit near the town of Lecce in Italy to test Tony karts instead. But in Michael’s defense, an insider revealed that he figured what with 7 Formula 1 teams testing in Valencia, nobody would be at ‘La Conca’ circuit taking photographs of a karting test, and without the photographs nobody at Ferrari would have known. He might have underestimated his own popularity a bit. It was also reported that he was being his usual self plaguing the mechanics by testing continiously without a lunch break, only stopping to grab a sandwich in the middle. The mechanics must have been wishing Michael came with an ‘intensity’ switch that they could turn off for a while.