While Kimi Raikkonen and his Formula 1 contemporaries have been enjoying a few days well earned rest and relaxation in the aftermath of the Australian Grand Prix, the teams have been busy packing up shop and taking part in a huge logistical nightmare to get their equipment to the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia. This huge logistical effort is in preparation for testing which is due to take place between 27th and 29th March.

packing-up.JPGAll in all, apparently the teams’ equipment accounted for over 600 tonnes. Including Flavio Briatore who was reportedly locked in a big padded case by Renault to try and stop him ranting loudly in-flight. The transportation of the teams belongings had to be carefully managed on 6 flights from Melbourne and cleared by customs, then delivered to the circuit ready to be unpacked by the teams personnel. Rumour has it the Malaysian customs officers wanted to refuse entry to the loud-mouthed Italian case, but eventually relented after they were bribed with a few spare tickets for the Grand Prix.

The only team who will be absent from the test at Sepang is the Spyker-Ferrari team, who will be testing at Silverstone instead. According to Chief Technical Officer Mike Gasgoyne the team are planning to introduce a significant upgrade to their vehicle in time for the second grand prix, and they would not have time to get the parts needed onto the Spyker Ferrari in time for the Sepang test. Well that’s their story and they are sticking to it, and probably has nothing at all to do with being a bit unpopular with a few unnamed teams down the pit lane who they have incidentally launched arbitration proceedings against.

Whilst unpacking the never-ending equipment ready for testing and subsequently the Malaysian Grand Prix due to take place on April 8th, the teams have been musing on the successes and failings in Melbourne and trying to establish where they fall in the pecking order.

For some strange unfathomable reason, its trendy to be considered to be in the top four teams this year. While Ferrari have pretty much run away with things at the front on their prancing horse with its magical carpet moving floor…the rest are vying like a pack of jockeys to be one of the three top teams chasing them.

Undoubtedly McLaren Mercedes have shown to be strong title contenders with their performance and pace in Oz, and BMW-Sauber also put in a strong performance leading their team boss Mario Thiessen to claim they are indeed in third position currently in the standings.

Everyone else seems to be fighting it out tooth and nail for fourth place, with former world champions Renault, Honda, Toyota and now Williams all laying claim to that golden spot verbally…despite their performances not being much to send a postcard home about. Williams Technical Director Sam Michael has been speaking on the teams’ pod-cast claimed that they indeed are in fourth spot and their driver Nico Rosberg could have delivered an even stronger performance in Melbourne, if only he had managed to qualify higher than 12th position…that old chestnut.

Considering these people are all supposedly to be fairly mathematically adept in such a technical sport, they have yet to realise you can’t get four teams into one place… not even with a bit of squeezing… so sooner or later they are going to have accept that they are in fact in 5th, 6th and 7th places respectively. Mind you Renault keep changing their story on a daily basis so they range anywhere from being ‘World Champions’ to ‘fourth’ depending on which way the wind is blowing at any given moment.

nando.JPGYou may remember before the F1 season started, McLaren Mercedes CEO Ron Dennis stipulating that he will not allow his two pilots to consume alcohol, so it may come as a bit of a surprise that one of them has been off secretly performing in TV adverts promoting beer. Double World Champion Fernando Alonso has according to rumour, been hamming it up in an advert showing him daintily sipping beer from a tankard. However, Ron will be relieved to know that Nando was not hardcore enough to attract interest from the likes of Finlandia Vokda, and was in fact promoting a non-alcoholic beer made by the Heineken Company. One can’t help but feel that Nando needs to be given a few nights out on the town and a bit of drinking instruction from F1’s cool karaoke king Kimi Raikkonen….drinking non alcoholic beer just isn’t manly is it? next we will be spotting him with bacardi breezers with a slice of lemon and an umbrella in it.

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