When Michael Schumacher announced his retirement a few months back, he said it was his dream to go swimming with the whales. Of course it is a bit of a help being Michael Schumacher under these circumstances, and as it happened, Spanish Olympic swimmer David Meca happened to chance across Schumi’s remarks and arranged the needful.
You have to feel sorry for the German press. They are clearly bored of writing about the constantly changing state and length of Heidfeld’s beard, which is about the only exciting thing happening in F1 currently that is related to Germany. Ralf tries his best to provide comic relief by issuing statements like “I consider myself amongst the top 3 drivers” or “Toyota can win a race this year” from time to time, but it is clearly not the same as having elder brother around at large in the paddock constantly setting things in motion. Now the German journos are not an unreasonable lot, but they are getting rather impatient with all of Michael’s ‘swimming along with whales’ expeditions, not to mention getting kicked in the face playing football for FC Echichens II. They have had enough, and if Michael is not in a hurry to find himself a new occupation, they are determined to find one for him. Not to be put off by Michael’s distinct lack of enthusiasm to purchase STR or to become team boss at Ferrari despite several versions of sensational rumors regarding the same, the perseverant chappies now have Michael gunning for Bernie Ecclestone’s job by asking Bernie “What about Michael Schumacher? Is he a candidate to follow up in your position?” Now Ecclestone seems to have learnt Kimi Raikkonen’s optimization algorithm that deals with conveying the necessary information using minimum number of words possible, especially when dealing with stupid questions. So a precise “I don’t know” is what they got in reply from Bernie, which roughly translates to “What on earth are you jabbering about? I am still here, ain’t I?”.
Meanwhile, Nick Heidfeld has been questioning BMW’s policy. He simply cannot understand why BMW would want to run Sebastian Vettel as the third driver on Fridays and he feels there is no data that Vettel could possibly provide that he or Kubica couldn’t. Well, considering BMW has only a fixed number of racing seats available (that would be two), and considering Kubica has established himself as a potential star for the future and has a relatively guaranteed drive, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why quick Nick is most anxious to play down all the fuss about young Vettel. It is all well to encourage young talent, but Heidfeld is a prudent chap and he knows too much of encouragement will result in him getting the boot. Clearly the prospect of quitting F1 and releasing a joint music album with former teammate Jacques Villeneuve is not an enticing one, though JV’s album is rumored to have sold more than 200 copies internationally (which is quite a big deal if you consider 200 people actually dished out hard earned cash to willingly procure the album… and that too under no threat of physical violence, mind you).
Christijan Albers feels it is all quite unfair. He thinks Super Aguiri has no business qualifying in the top 10 when instead they should be giving him company in the back of the grid. “Last year they were nowhere and suddenly Sato is tenth” he says, “Obviously it is unfair”. That sounds like a reasonable complaint, except that it’s a bit rich coming from someone who drove into the barriers in Australia because he was looking down instead of at the track going into the corner. Niki Lauda is getting quite tired of his inaccurate predictions concerning Ferrari’s downfall, and has decided to direct his attention to BMW instead. “It would be a joke if a company with a global reputation like BMW cannot get to the bottom of a specific problem with their reliability” he has said of Kubica’s gearbox failure in Australia. Unfortunately for him, BMW team boss Mario Theissen just recently confirmed that the problem was attended to and resolved during the Sepang tests. So much for that then. Barely 3 days to go for the Malaysian GP.