Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso have all recently spoken out about the Australian grand prix. While Kimi was not expecting to win so early, Felipe Massa was hoping for a better weekend, and Nando is “not agreed that Lewis is the fastest one” in his own words. Ferrari would have us believe that Kimi’s recent victory and subsequent visit to Thailand has resulted in a sudden spurt of vocabulary, with Kimi saying rather un-Kimi-esque things like “It was a moment I would not have missed for anything in the world”. First of all, it is more the two words, which is a strict no-no in Kimi-speak, further it seems rather emotional – and that is totally unheard of.
“I have never hidden my joy since the first day I came to Maranello” says Kimi, making us wonder – if this is the joyous version of Kimi, then the mind boggles at what the taciturn and stoic version would be. “Now, after the success in the first race, I am – in case this is possible – even more joyful”. Okay, now this is stretching things a bit. Luca Colajanni (even if made the whole thing up to put on the Ferrari website) should have at least made it sound realistic. Even I can do better….let’s see…”It is nice, I am happy. After the win, it is nicer, I am happier”. Now that sounds like the Kimi we know, doesn’t it?
“When I passed the chequered flag it was a really emotional moment and it was fantastic to celebrate together with the boys from the pitwall. It was a moment I would never have missed for anything in the world” he adds, and those ‘boys’ from the pitwall would include Jean Todt, Luca Baldisserri, Stefano Domenicali and Chris Dyer. It all does seem like one big, happy family. Kimi also felt bad for Massa, saying “The problem Felipe had during qualifying was a real pity, we could not bring home the best possible result as we should have done”. Massa meanwhile is not disheartened by his slow start to the season, which saw gearbox problems during qualifying. “I just have to think ahead” says Massa, sounding positive, “There is a fresh chance for the next race at Sepang, and I am looking forward to being in the front”. Way to go, Felipe.
Fernando Alonso has meanwhile been very busy trying to dampen all the enthusiasm for Lewis Hamilton, his first race for McLaren getting more than overshadowed by Hamilton’s – with suggestions that pitwall tactics ensured the finishing order to save Nando some embarrassment. Alonso on the other hand, feels he was “slightly held up by Hamilton”. This is a bit like Nick Hiedfeld saying “I was faster than even Kimi Raikkonen, but I couldn’t catch up with him” – I thought the whole idea about being faster is that you catch up with the person in front – otherwise basic physics would dictate that you are travelling at the same or lesser velocity, but Hiedfeld obviously thinks differently. Or maybe he was referring just to the few microseconds after the start. Anyway, Nando points out that he has always struggled against his teammates, saying “I remember Fisi winning in 2005. I had difficult moments with Trulli in 2004, he won in Monaco and he had more podiums than me”. Well…we don’t know what Alonso’s point is, is he trying to say he is not that much better than Fisi and Trulli? Or is he trying to compare Hamilton’s performance on debut to that of the veterans-in-comparison? I am quite fogged to be honest, but all it takes usually is a congratulatory word about Hamilton’s performance before moving on to concentrate on the next race. After all, the season is more than one race long.
Meanwhile Scott Speed is rather appalled at the suggestions from Gerhard Berger that he is a party animal. “It is ridiculous” he says, “For sure I am the person in the paddock who parties the least, I don’t even drink alcohol”. We feel sorry for Scott Speed of course, it’s always rather a pain to be unfairly blamed, but we would also like to point out that it is not very tactful to call one’s team boss ‘ridiculous’, it might result in him no longer being a ‘person in the paddock’, and that would be a pity. Especially considering his weekend was far better than that of the other STR driver, and even one of the Red Bull drivers (at least he didn’t come to within inches of decapitating Wurz, and that is no laughing matter). 16 days, 13 hours and 40 minutes to go for the next race.