Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are preparing themselves for the season opener at Melbourne (Massa more sedately in comparison to Kimi whose ‘James Hunt’ snowmobiling episode has the paddock appalled that he would risk injury so close to a GP). Luca Colajanni must have had a distinctly harrassed expression on his face as he went about his business…and to think he was just beginning to relax now that Michael is not around anymore to stir up trouble and land everyone squarely in the soup. The Finn downplayed the preseason tests, but refused to comment if the car could compete for the title. “The season is a long one and so I will only be able to reply at the end of the year” says Kimi. Well, that wouldn’t help much considering we will be able to tell too by end of the year anyway. Felipe Massa seems charged-up, confident and excited about the upcoming season. “At this point last year, just before my first grand prix as a Ferrari driver, I know that many people were sceptical about my ability. Now, twelve months later, with some wins and pole positions in the bag, I think I have changed a lot and I am stronger mentally. If you look at the last two years, I have improved a lot and I have much more experienced. I can still improve some more, but this is a great time for me and a great moment in my career” says Massa, and we couldn’t agree more.
Willi Weber sure has a wierd sense of humor. He has denied speculation that Michael Schumacher is contemplating purchasing STR…yes, the same speculation that he started last week when he said so explicitly. But apparently he meant it as a joke – not too sure if the F1 community will appreciate it much after working themselves into a tizzy with the perumations and combinations of possibilities.
Artistic director Jon Woods has confessed complete responsibility for the Renault livery. The new drivers suit with streaks of white, blue and orange that makes the driver look like a partial sunrise is also apparently of his making. What is surprising is that R27 livery (which looks like someone just hurriedly splashed a few buckets of paint on it) actually took a little over a month’s work of looking at 2D and 3D plans and wind tunnel models. “We had to ensure that the colours would provide a powerful visual impact on television” explains Jon. Oh believe me it does, and how! Though I am not too sure if it is the right kind of ‘powerful visual impact’. Apparently it also has some new kind of metallic paint, so we advice the viewers to take necessary precautions and ensure the darned thing doesn’t blind you.
Super Aguiri revealed their new car SA07, which (much to SA’s collective surprise) looks a lot like last year’s Honda. Fancy that, what are the odds really? Technical director Mark Preston denied the cars look similar, stating that “Aerodynamically, the car will be sporting different aerodynamic devices”. Okay then, that ought to convince Williams and Spyker, who are no doubt scheming (as I am typing) about doing their ‘unexpected’ bit that they wouldn’t talk about earlier as then it wouldn’t be ‘unexpected’ any more. Is anyone else developing a mild headache?