Following on from the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today, one really has to wonder if Renault Team Boss Flavio Briatore gets his people management techniques from a publication entitled ‘How to win friends and influence people’.

flav.jpgThe 60 year old Italian blasted his new rookie driver Heikki Kovaleinen for having a torrid time and only managing to finish 10th in his first grand prix, despite the fact Kovaleinen had actually had very little free practice experience this weekend.

In an uncharacteristically eloquent public relations exercise with Italian TV Company RAI, Briatore slammed Kovaleinen’s race as “horrible” and went on to basically say the rookie was rubbish and needed to change his attitude. Hopefully Kovaleinen isn’t studying at Flavio’s school of temperamental outbursts…otherwise it wont be just Massa and Raikkonen supposedly having an all out war this season.

Down the pit lane at McLaren, it was momentarily feared that CEO Ron “I’m a control freak” Dennis had been kidnapped by aliens and replaced by an imposter. The Ronster-Monster was seeing smiling (I know I couldn’t believe it either), admitting to being quite pleased with the race result and didn’t even manage to get a dig in at his long-term pit lane love object Ferrari.

Ron went on to claim his rookie Lewis Hamilton is world championship material (no pressure on the poor lad straight away then), the F1 journalists could only breathe a sigh of relief that Ron was actually himself when he apparently commented that his two current drivers were very nice affable people indeed. I’m sure no dig was intended, no honestly I do Kimi.

After the post-race conference I’m beginning to see why Ferrari CEO Jean Todt chose Kimi Raikkonen as his new protégée instead of Double World Champion Fernando Alonso.

kimiinterview.jpgNo I’m not thinking it has anything whatsoever to do with Kimi’s sterling driving skills, instead I reckon he was chosen for his unique interview techniques. While you can never quiet tell what outburst might spring forth from Nando’s mouth at any given moment, even if Kimi did throw a temperamental outburst it would be impossible to tell.

The Kimster seems to only have two facial expressions, serious and slightly smiling, and when he talks not many people can actually work out a word he says so he could be giving all of Ferrari’s most deeply hidden secrets away and we would be none the wiser. I’m guessing if he ever gives up driving in F1 he could do a nice little sideline business in inducing people into a hypnotic trance like state.

Tune in for the Malaysian Grand Prix in 3 weeks time to see if Massa can beat Kimi in the car gremlin stakes, if Lewis Hamilton has won the championship yet, and also to see if Renault actually has any drivers left to shout at.

Ciao!

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