Nick Heidfeld has already arrived in Australia (perhaps a little prematurely), he apparently got the grand prix dates mixed up a bit and thought it was the next weekend. Now that he is there, he seems to be a shade bored of twiddling his thumbs and waiting for the others to arrive and has decided to open up to the Australian press instead. The 29 year old has stated that he is probably going to be the fastest German on the grid this year….and also the only German with half a chance and a competitive car. He also explained the sudden spurt of facial foliage is not a lucky charm, but just an outcome of his laziness to shave everyday. Apparently everyone has been telling him it looks okay (rather misleadingly), and he is not planning to spend any time trimming it unless it constitutes a safety concern. That’s that then, we just have to get used to the eyesore. Incidentally, Heidfeld will be rooting for Massa over Raikkonen this year.

Mark Webber has again reiterated that he will not be missing the Schu (*yawn*) – he says he won’t shed a tear for Schumi, and really there is no need either – the man is happily retired and probably wouldn’t give a darn even if Webber cried copious bucketfulls. He says he might not be challenging for the driver’s title this year (Really? Now that comes as a surprise…we better recalculate all the odds now), but is quietly optimistic (we are quite dubious about the ‘quietly’ part…and also the ‘optimistic’ part coming to think of it). In an unrelated piece of news, De la Rosa might not be playing along with Fernando Alonso’s mind games when he stated rather emphatically that “I’m sure that our cars will be fighting for victory, I think we will beat anyone”. Easy for him to say considering he won’t be driving in the races. De la Rosa also admits that they have not had their usual reliability problems, and have been able to focus entirely on performance.

Montoya scored his maiden NASCAR victory (congratulations are due), but not everyone is celebrating as he took out his teammate on the way. “That’s low-down, nasty, dirty driving” says teammate Pruett who is understandably vexed, Montoya’s habit of taking out half the field in his bid to get to the finish line seems to be persisting. “I don’t know that he had to make a move like that so soon” said Ganassi. Well what can we say…live and learn.

massa1.jpgFelipe Massa is in a rather genial mood and has been doling out compliments to his fellow drivers rather generously. “Hamilton may be the surprise of the year for sure” he says, before going on to add “But for sure Kovalainen is going to be quick as well”. He has a kind word for Kubica as well – “I think Kubica’s a great driver for sure”. So what else is Massa ‘sure’ about? He credits Michael Schumacher for his rise to the top – “I learnt so much from him, without him I would not be where I am”. The typically modest young Brazilian says he thinks he deserves more respect from the F1 community this year, and he is not a ‘stop-gap solution’ anymore. That he surely is not, and for sure he has emerged as possibly one of the main championship contenders this year…he just might clinch it if things go his way a bit…for sure. Forza Felipe.