What with today being April 1 and all that, most F1 news websites have been busy making up stuff intended to pull a fast one on the poor, unsuspecting F1 fan (and as we have been making up stuff anyway every other day, maybe FFN should stick to hard facts today for a change). PaddockTalk would have us believe that some idiot in FIA faxed a top secret document containing plans of an imminent F1 split to a news agency by mistake instead of Formula 1 Management Inc. Well, that sounds a bit like a general sending a courier containing war blueprints to the enemy camp by mistake, and then having to surrender the troops. We don’t know what the average IQ of a FIA employee is (and it might not be much considering some of the rules they are coming up with), but one assumes an IQ roughly that of a fish would suffice to not commit a gaffe along those lines. A laughable idea at best, but not quite believable. Nice try, anyway.
Renault is thrilled to bits about their Sepang tests because they claim to have finally understood the Bridgestone tyres. You might wonder what there is to understand about the tyres except they are round in shape and black in color (except the softer compound, which looks like it has got the Measles with big red dots all over it), but of course there is more to it as any frustrated F1 fan will agree. Last year especially made one’s head spin, what with the Bridgestone-Michelin seesaw, and having to wait till the Friday before race weekend to know if it would be domination or damage control. There were more fans reading about tyre compounds and chemistry and movable aerodynamic devices than Bernie Ecclestone would have wanted, thank heavens we have one less variable to worry about this year. Anyway, Renault claims to be on top of things now after understanding Bridgestone better. “I think we understand more. A part of the reason the car is better is because of how it is using the tyres” says Alan Permane, head of race engineering at Renault, “I think it will reflect on qualifying and on the race. The car is better. It will not just be better in the race only or in qualifying only, but in general it is a better car” (Yes we get it, now that you have mentioned ‘better’ and ‘car’ in all possible permutations).
You know there is a tendency to sensationalize in this sport (or non-sport according to you know who) when a respectable news website runs an article that goes “What happened to Heikki Kovalainen?”. Well, nothing much I would presume, except he has made his debut and will be racing again very soon. I don’t know of anything else that happened to Heikki Kovalainen to be honest. The chap is clearly talented (perhaps not so clear from his first race), so now if we ease off a bit and give him some space to breath, he will do just fine. Of course we have Flavio to thank for making a mountain out of a molehill and putting Heikki’s mediocre debut performance firmly under the spotlight, making the Sepang race seem rather like a do-or-die situation for the rookie. Flavio’s damage control skills seem to roughly match that of Attila the Hun. Let us hope that Heikki is a bit like fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen when it comes to handling pressure – which is to be totally oblivious of it.
When it comes to Michael Schumacher news these days, pretty much everything sounds like a ‘Fools Day’ joke, so the latest bit about him serving as a consultant to the Indian government to bring F1 racing to India by 2009 is just more of the same. Nice try again. At this rate we will have Schumi finding a cure for cancer before breakfast tomorrow and solving the global warming issue by end of next week. Don’t forget to check out this hilarious piece carried by sportsnetwork about Honda replacing their Earth livery with that of Jupiter (http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s169/st114036.htm). Ciao.