It’s a good thing really that Formula 1 Engineers and Mechanics are such busy people that they really do not have time to sit around, put their feet up and read the newspapers. If by some chance of fate they did happen from time-to-time to come across the motorsport news, they would be horrified.

What then would these papers contain that would alarm these clever bods so much?

bernie1.jpgOne word, Bernie Ecclestone. The 76-year-old supremo of Formula 1 it seems never sleeps, doesn’t stop to eat or drink and rushes around like a fart in a bottle constantly in his quest to build his empire and conquer the known universe (and all without the aid of a can of Red Bull).

This week it seems Bernie has been spouting on about how he would like to see an increase to 20 races per Formula 1 season, an idea that probably has most of the engineers and mechanics in a blind panic.

Most of these poor beleaguered technical bods only manage to get one month off on their ‘jollies’ per year as it is before they embark on the next cycle of the Formula 1 Grand Prix merry-go-round. So the thought of Bernie casually sticking in a few extra dates and countries here and there is really too much to take for these poor little high-tech travelling gypsies.

With so little time off to relax already, the F1 teams are a little resistant to giving up their vacations in exchange for a few more stamps in the old passport. So there would need to be an incentive for the teams in order to incorporate the 20 races he is proposing. Apparently the proposed incentive required by the F1 teams is financial, which must be very flattering indeed for the poor wives and girlfriend’s of these technical ‘anoraks’ who hardly see their spouses’ as it is.

All this speculation and plotting by spritely young Bernard, seems to have sparked off a track building competition across the Globe as lots of nations are eagerly vying to attract the world’s most glamorous and exciting sport to their little corner of the Planet. With more traditional European circuits having the fear of god put up them lest they are shortly behind Magny-Cours in the queue for the axe.

queensland.jpgSo far in the last seven days, we have seen speculation popping up like magic mushrooms concerning the possibility of road races in Singapore and India, as well as Bernie throwing the names of India, Russia, Mexico and Paris (France) into the proverbial cooking pot.

Just when we thought we had got our heads around the tracks on the current calendar….

The latest poor misguided souls to jump on the circuit building wagon in an attempt to get their telephone number in Bernie’s phone book according to current press reports, are Queensland, Australia. According to the media, the proposed Queensland circuit will be floodlit in-fitting with Bernie’s wish to host a night time Grand Prix, meaning that the more traditional circuit at Melbourne could face the axe if plans in Queensland come to fruition.

However Queensland’s Premier Peter Beattie has played down talk of the proposed purpose built floodlit circuit suggesting it is in fact an idea that has been fed to the media by a person or persons with their own agenda….not like F1 to get embroiled in a bit of controversy and politics is it?

One poppet who has had time to get his feet up and browse a few media reports is Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who has just returned from spending a few days relaxing in the Maldives (what a hard life!). The diminutive Brazilian has spoken out today answering claims that Ferrari will be having a ‘cake walk of it’ this season in their bid to recapture the World Constructors and Driver’s Championships.

felipemassa.jpg“I have seen all the recent media speculation following Melbourne, that this year’s championship is going to be easy for Ferrari,” said Massa.

“It’s not true of course, but I do have a good car.

“As usual, the important thing for this weekend, will be to put everything together, all the elements you need to win and we do have those elements.

“But the competition is very strong and so it will be very difficult, but looking at what we did in Australia and also last week in Sepang, we are looking very strong ourselves.

“In the first race we managed to win but we had a reliability problem with the other car, so the obvious next step is to be in a position to have both cars at the front.

“And that’s not easy, but we have a good team and a good package and everyone is working very hard. I am confident we will be very strong again this weekend.”

It is rumoured Ferrari will be the only team on the grid who are not coming to Sepang with any updates to the car. Whether that is because they have been up to their eyes in it tinkering with their ‘flexi-floor’ all week thanks to their pals at McLaren, or because they’ve run out of ideas for new bits and bobs to outsmart the FIA with is hard to tell.

With weather predictions looking increasingly like the Malaysian Grand Prix may be hit with rain, and potential concern over Kimi Raikkonen’s Engine, it’s going to be very interesting to see if Ferrari can make a ‘cake walk’ of winning at Sepang.

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