todtkimi.jpgThis is a new one. The only explanation I can think of is that people are now running out of genuine ammunition and picking at straws. We have heard of ‘mountain out of a molehill’ but this is an entire mountain conjured out of thin air. The latest accusation against team boss Jean Todt is that he is ‘feigning’ a close relationship with Kimi Raikkonen – and this is apparently because he seemed quite happy on the podium next to the Finn. “”He was acting as if his best buddy Schumacher had just won” says Niki Lauda. Well…no, he was acting as if Ferrari had just won (which I believe was the case). I think it is quite reasonable for a team boss to feel happy if his own team has won, but I might be wrong of course. Todt might have shared a fatherly relationship with 7 times world champion (I really like saying ‘7 times world champion’) Michael Schumacher, but one must remember Michael also happened to be a Ferrari pilot. Is there just this small possibility that Todt has always been thrilled to bits about the Schumacher wins because da Schumi drove for Ferrari? Yes? All right then.

I was just wondering yesterday that it has been close to 24 hours after a Ferrari win yet noone has protested the legality of some aspect of the car. I didn’t have to wait for long – the F1 teams are about as predictable as they can get. The latest accusation against Ferrari is that they have a moving floor. You are entitled to wonder what is wrong about a moving floor – after all the floor is attached to the car and has to move when the car moves, otherwise one would imagine the driver would drop off from underneath the car – which is not very pleasant at all. But no, apparently it moves relative to the car which creates an aerodynamic stall and improves straighline performance.

So here we are talking about ‘illegal moving aerodynamic devices’ yet again, just when we thought that nightmare was over with last year. In 2006 if you remember there were the flexi-wings, BMW’s horn-like aerodynamic appendages (which was all very well except it hindered the driver’s view) and then of course the infamous mass dampers (rendered infamous thanks to Nando and Flavio accusing all and sundry of foul behavior). Now it is the moving floor, god help us.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis (now wouldn’t you know) has said he is confident “there are cars whose performance will be affected in the near future if certain technical rule interpretations are clarified”. The thing is, the floor is allowed to move a bit as if it is too rigid it is going to take a beating from the curbs, but all cars have a way of holding the front of the floor in place – and Ferrari’s rivals noticed an ‘unusually complex arrangement on the Ferrari’ in Melbourne. So isn’t that what the FIA is there for? Well, apparently the FIA tests the floor of the car by applying an upward force, and Ferrari’s floor is suspected to be lowering instead – so everyone is quite stumped.

Ron Dennis has made a lot of long, winding and complex statements about the same, which would bore you to death if I put them in here. The gist of it is that Ron is not happy (and he seldom is), and he thinks Ferrari is stretching the rules (and he always does). Ferrari is rather dismissive of the entire episode – “It’s part of the game any time Ferrari is quickest” says a Ferrari spokesman, “It’s not the first time that there have been questions about legality. If someone has a complaint, there is always the FIA”. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes actually feel sorry for Max Mosley and the FIA. We will keep you posted as always.

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