FIAT President Luca Di Montezemolo is very optimistic ahead of the 2007 season and brushed aside concerns that Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t give adequate feedback on the car. He insisted that race engineer Chris Dyer can stand testimony to Kimi’s prowess in this department. (“Er…yes” concurred Chris Dyer, “We did learn from over 2 weeks of testing that the car is very nice to drive and goes very fast”). Chris Dyer added that the team is hoping to learn more about the particulars during the next test session at Jerez.

 Herman Tilke will be constructing one more of his dreaded trademark circuits (all of them with long straights and tight corners) in Abu Dhabi on Yas Island. It is one of those rare natural islands as opposed to all the man-made ones in the vicinity, though Tilke has threatened to construct some man-made hills so ‘the track rises up and down’ – giving the drivers the impression of a roller-coaster ride while lulling the spectators to a gentle stupor.

michaelfederer.jpgMichael Schumacher was surprisingly photographed at the Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament, though he didn’t make an appearance at the F1 festival also being conducted at the same location. The combined presence of Michael Schumacher and Tennis great Roger Federer might have distracted Tiger Woods, who bungled his putting on the 13th hole and eventually finished third. The trio who have been kind of monopolizing the prestigious Laureus awards since its inception (winning 6 of the last 7 awards between them) seem to have formed some kind of mutual fan club – with each claiming the other is the greatest sportsman alive. They certainly don’t need any tips about dominating a sport from each other.

 It would appear to be a little wierd that the organizers of the golfing tournament would invite Michael Schumacher of all people all the way from Switzerland to Dubai to present the winner’s trophy, and perhaps even wierder that Michael would accept the invitation- but that seems to be the case. An insider reveals that Jean Todt has let him know if he gets bored of all the globe-trotting and kart testing, he could help out a little by following the Jerez test session. Right then.