Poor little Felipe Massa. He must really be beginning to wish Australia wasn’t part of the F1 calendar. After enduring a tempestuous weekend there last season, ending up 15th on the grid with mechanical problems and then getting involved in a three car pile up, yesterday’s qualifying disaster which saw his gearbox fail must have seemed like Groundhog Day all over again.
Despite looking like he wanted to burst into tears while watching team-mate, pit lane penalty speedster and serial sandbagger Kimi Raikkonen nick pole, the chirpy little Brazilian has put a brave face on it and is hoping that he can still make something positive out of 16th place.
“The best possible is to try and pass as many cars as possible. It would be a dream to finish on the podium but it’s possible,” said Massa, who is aiming for back-to-back wins after his triumph in Brazil at the end of last season.
“Maybe we can be lucky with the strategy for the tyres, anything is possible.
“We’ve got to work hard tonight to have a reliable car tomorrow for the race. It will be very tough for sure especially starting at the back in Australia is really difficult.
“Maybe we have some strange things in the race that can help.” the little poppet is quoted as saying.
One can only assume the ever-resourceful Ferrari team has something interesting up their sleeves for tomorrow, and I’m not talking about their hankies.
Perhaps they might wish to consult with Mark Webber, with his clairvoyancy skills he might be able to predict what is going to happen tomorrow and save Luca Baldisserri a whole lot of brain-storming this evening.
Elsewhere in the pit lane other teams will also be hard at work now wracking their brains, Super Aguri will be pondering just exactly how does one run a race when your not last any more (with their drivers in 10th and 11th places respectively)…. Perhaps also wondering which end of the champagne bottle is which should they actually accrue some points for a change.
McLaren will be wondering how to keep the egg off their face if their new boy and rookie Lewis Hamilton actually manages to thrash the pants off an expensive Double World Champion in his opening race.
BMW-Sauber will be contemplating if beards really are a lucky charm and throwing their razors away, after bearded wonder and Chewbacca look-a-like Nick Heidfeld stormed to third on the grid.
Heikki Kovaleinen will be wondering what on earth possessed him to sign for Renault, while Fisichella will be worrying that Nelson Piquet Jnr is about to jump in his grave before he’s got out of it.
DC will be wondering if he should go to collect his pension after getting thoroughly beaten by team-mate whinge-bag Mark Webber, who qualified an impressive 12 slots ahead of him, still moaning his head off and driving a turkey to boot.
Honda will be wondering how to increase the speed and handling of their planetoid, and Toyota will be wondering how they can waste some more money and utilise their spare car-jacks to best strategic effect tomorrow.
Spyker will be stamping their feet and having the colly-wobbles. Not only did they come last in qualifying, but the Stewards at Albert Park have refused to rule on the legality of Super Aguri’s car after Spyker lodged an official complaint, meaning that the ‘customer car row’ will now go to arbitration.
Apparently the complaint should have been lodged within two hours of the launch of Super Aguri’s car (which is a repackaged 2006 Honda) but it took Spyker three days of poking about for evidence by which time the FIA were playing so no evil, hear no evil….so it looks like this could rumble on for some time….let’s hope it’s not another Mass Pampers (Dampers) Affair.
All in all the season is shaping up to be quite the soap opera already…and Fernando Alonso hasn’t even had a hissy-fit yet!