May 2007

When it was announced Kimi Raikkonen was moving to Ferrari last September, it was immediately assumed the Finn would be running away with the F1 championship once he got in a reliable car. Well unfortunately things have not panned out as expected, Kimi is trailing both his team-mate in world championship points and the team he left behind.

The questions on the minds of many are, what exactly is going on? why hasn’t Kimi appeared to find his feet yet in the Maranello team? is Kimi really a car-breaker? is he over-rated or does bad luck just follow him everywhere?

helpimparalysed.jpgAccording to the German Media, they know the reason why Kimi has not fared so well this season. Apparantly Kimi is suffering from ‘Schumi Syndrome’. Those supposedly in the know on the subject believe the young Finn becomes paralysed with fear everytime 7 times World Champion Michael Schumacher walks into the garage, and subsequently fails to perform once out on track.

These so called psychological experts point out that for the two occasions when Michael has attend Grand Prix acting in his unspecified ‘advisory’ role for the Ferrari team, Kimi has both times failed to perform as expected (Barcelona and Monaco).

Here at FFN we were under the misguided illusion that Kimi’s poor showing in the Spanish Grand Prix was actually due to an electronical technical failure, but what would we know? And Monaco, well wasn’t Kimi just trying to emulate the guy we have all been saying he should all season? Honestly, he can’t seem to do anything right can he.

As for being terrified of Michael well..honestly the man is a pussycat nothing to be scared of there! Just ask Jacques Villeneuve. And really what was the Kimser’s excuse for all those years at McLaren surely he wasn’t terrified of Burger-boy Montoya as well?

ralfietoyota.jpgA person that should be terrified according to the current paddock gossip is Ralfie Schumacher. The not so prolific Schumacher Brother if reports from German publication ‘Bilge’ are to be believed, has been issued a two race ultimatum by his team to shape up or ship out.

The German star is currently trailing in the championship standings on only 1 point compared to the 4 of his team-mate Trulli. Not very good going for supposedly one of the top 3 drivers in F1 is it? according to Ralf he has struggled to get to grips with the 2007 spec tyres, but considering everyone else is in the same boat it doesn’t really hold much water as an excuse.

Although the team have stopped short of confirming they have issued the ultimatum, they are not confirming Ralf is definitely staying either which in an imminent sign of a heave-ho if ever there was one.

michaelferrari.jpgPerhaps clueless team boss John Howett has finally discovered that he isn’t actually called Michael, only has three pots to his name not 95 cajillion, and wants his money back. I wonder if Ralfie will take up a pop career as well? well he can’t do worse than that flappy-headed beady-eyed Canadian surely.

Meanwhile, rumours are suggesting that Ralfie could be replaced by Spyker’s rookie Adrian Sutil as early as Magny-Cours. It is understood the Cologne based team would be interested in recruiting another German driver, but Nick Heidfeld who had been linked to the seat some weeks ago is keen to stay at BMW-Sauber. Apparently Toyota have been overheard enquiring about the young German’s contract status at Spyker….in a possible move to replace Ralfie if he doesn’t pull his socks up.

Is it all a load of old hocum from the German Press yet again? Or are we about to finally see the last of one Schumacher Brother? because you can bet your bottom dollar Michael will still be tottering about the Ferrari Garage when he is 90.


michaelmonaco11.jpgWith only five races gone so far in this seasons Formula 1 championship, and Michael Schumacher disappointingly keeping a low profile at the back of the Ferrari Garage instead of unwittingly instigating controversies as he is want to do on occasion, it was only going to be a matter of time before the rumour mill cranked back into action and started churning out baseless rumours and utter garbage.

Apart from Ron Dennis making a public twit of himself as usual, and Kimi Raikkonen disappearing off from the circuit at random intervals to watch Ice Hockey during the Grand Prix, the Media has had very little of interest to write about just lately. So it comes as no surprise that silly season has begun already. Not only is Ralf Schumacher (F1’s third fastest driver) apparently getting turfed out of Toyota on his head onto the scrapheap of nearly has-been’s, but on the back of McLaren’s 1-2 at Monaco it is rumoured Lewis Hamilton was not best impressed at holding station and playing second fiddle to Fernando Alonso, and is subsequently sticking two fingers up at Ron Dennis and leaving quick-sticks for Ferrari.

lewishamiltonmonaco.jpgObviously the Motorsports Media believes this would be an ideal solution to replace the underperforming Kimi Raikkonen who is still struggling to get to grips with his switch to the Maranello based team, and give Lewis Hamilton the chance to go for victories. Quite where this leaves poor Kimi we are not quite sure, presumably advertising Roll Mop Herrings pickled in Vodka on Finnish TV. Right. It’s not like the Media to take 2 and 2 and come up with 27 is it? Presumably this has all been fuelled by the simple fact Ferrari CEO Jean Todt made some pleasant remarks about the young Englishman in the FIA Press Conference on Thursday prior to the Monaco Grand Prix. We can’t help but feel if the drivers swapped seats everytime a team boss made a remark about them, F1 would be playing perpetual musical chairs…and Torro Rosso’s Scott Speed would be working in McDonald’s flipping Burgers.

Still it is not all doom and gloom at McLaren. This afternoon the FIA vindicated the Woking based team for their race strategy and actions at the Monaco Grand Prix. While we would really have liked to see Ron get a smack on the hand for bringing the sport into disrepute (purely because we don’t like him) we can’t help but feeling common sense prevailed, otherwise the FIA would be investigating just about every team in F1. And really we have to remember it’s Ron that keeps the FIA in work thanks to his constant barrage of complaints about Ferrari, otherwise we would all be picking up the tab for the pensions for all these old farts. No doubt Retentive Ron will be strutting about more smug and pompous than ever, but where would we be without our F1 pantomime baddies? Flavio is getting on a bit and can’t do it all by himself.

Unfortunately for the British Media the furore they created in the first place has back-fired spectacularly and they have been left looking like a bunch of hysterical, over-sensitive partisan drama queens without a clue about the sporting rules, nothing new there then.

redbullgives-uwings.jpgMeanwhile it seems the FIA has its hand’s full with other problems. In the wake of fresh complaints within the sport about moveable aero-dynamic devices (namely flexi-wings) the FIA will be instigating new stricter rear-wing tests from the start of the Canadian Grand Prix. This comes in response to several complaints being made about the rear-wing on the Red Bull vehicle by several F1 teams. FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting has written to all of the teams involved in the sport, informing them that from Canada onwards the FIA will allow only 2mm of rear-wing moment under load compared to the previous 5mm. The clampdown obviously coming into force before a race where flexi-wings would give greatest speed advantage without effecting downforce. Here at FFN we are wondering where the Fundamentally Idiotic Association has been hiding all these years, don’t they know Red Bull can give you Wiiiings?

lucadi.jpgAfter Ferrari’s disappointing turn out in the Monaco Grand Prix, both Ferrari’s CEO Frenchman Jean Toad and President Luca Di Monte-whats-his-name have been adamant that the Scuderia will return to winning ways in two week’s time at the Canadian Grand Prix. Hurrah.

How on earth can the know this we wonder? Have Ferrari invested in a Crystal Ball? it certainly would fit nicely atop that humungous trophy Michael owns….

According to reports in today’s ANSA newspaper, Luca Di knows Ferrari will return to winning ways in Canada…because the Gestione Sportiva boys and girls are working day and night (isn’t that slave labour?). As yet none of them have been outside chanting about their desire to view Luca Di on a tractor as per last month’s industrial fallout at the road car division. So we can only guess the Ferrari President has learnt his lesson from last time and locked them all in until they come up with the goods.

Luca Di went on to vent his spleen diplomatically of course, describing the Monaco Grand Prix…and no…..glamour,excitement, fantastic action….didn’t come into it. According to El Presidento “Monte Carlo is a joke. It’s not even a race, it’s just a TV show”. And not even a very good TV show at that since most of us struggled to remain awake throughout. Although we must concede the McLaren Team Orders Debacle is turning into a bit of a Soap Opera. Not a case of sour grapes in the slightest then from the Scuderia?

jeantodt.jpgWhile Luca Di has been motivating his troops with a crack of the whip, poor Jean Toad has been worrying his socks off about his chances to ever retire from the role of Team Boss. It would seem that Jean’s ideal replacement at the helm of the Gestione is his super-assistant Michael Schumacher. But apparently Michael is having none of it.

Here at FFN we can kind of see why. The job entails spending 12 hours upwards per day sitting at a desk at Maranello sorting out problems and chewing your fingernails down to your elbows, if Jean is anything to go by. Even though Michael has “retired” he seems to be suffering from a case of ‘ants in his pants’, and can’t keep in one country for longer than five minutes let alone the same room. And really working 12 hours upwards a day wouldn’t leave him any time to go building Schloss, swimming with whales, preaching about road safety, turning up at fancy dinners left, right and centre or turning up at Grand Prix willy-nilly to wind up the press to fever pitch. So it would seem the search for the ever-elusive Team Boss goes on…and on….and on…..

While Ferrari have been beavering away in preparation for the Canadian Grand Prix, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has had his wooden spoon out and is merrily stirring up trouble again (completely out of character isn’t it!). This time Bernie has decided to get embroiled within the McLaren Team Orders row for want of any recent political scandals, and is insisting that should the FIA probe find them guilty…then McLaren should receive a draconian punishment.

bernieandmclaren.jpgThe diminutive supremo reckons that the appropriate punishment for McLaren may even exceed the punishment handed out to Ferrari for their Austrian 2002 team orders which saw Rubens Barrichello hand Michael Schumacher the win. At the time Ferrari received a $1 million fine, which really to the likes of McLaren would be loose pocket change. Although we do feel the $1 million would be better spent purchasing Ron some prozac, rather than rattling around the FIA coffers.

Young Bernard believes there is even the possibility of McLaren being excluded from the championship (as if that will ever happen) or the team being deducted points… call me an old cynic but I suspect Bernard is trying to wangle a photo finish end to the season (as it’s good for business to take it to the wire) so it remains to be seen if the 20 points McLaren has over Ferrari in the Constructor’s Championship suddenly and mysteriously get spirited away.

Any decision from the FIA is likely to be based upon the recordings of the McLaren team radio to young rookie upstart Lewis Hamilton during the Monaco Grand Prix. While Ron and his cronies are claiming they are not at all concerned about the probe, and that they have done nothing wrong… wouldn’t be the first time their radio transmissions team orders have got them in some slightly tepid water would it?

ronthemaggot.jpgUnless you have been hiding at the bottom of the sea the last few days, no doubt you will be aware that McLaren CEO Ron Dennis has got him and his team in a bit of a pickle with the geriatrics at the FIA. The McLaren boss reportedly admitting that his team had issued tactical orders to his two drivers Nando Alone-so and Lewis Love-Child Hamilton to hold station and not push each other for the win in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Within hours this admission from Retentive Ron had the British Press in absolute uproar, believing they had been robbed of witnessing Lewis taking his first win in his fledgling F1 career…although quite how he was actually supposed to get past Alone-so’s fat neck and humungous ego on the narrow twisty circuit we have no idea. Going into the race Lewis had claimed he was on a more aggressive strategy and it was widely believed he carried 5-6 laps more fuel which would allow him to pass Alonso in the pitstops. However, once the race was underway the pitstops did not pan out that way, leaving armchair experts everywhere furiously number-crunching trying to work out what was going on. Ron it is rumoured issued orders for the drivers to hold formation and not race each other to bring home McLaren’s first 1-2 of the season (and hopefully the last).

Usually the first one to go tittle-tattling to the FIA about their rivals misdemeanours, now it seems Ron is on the receiving end and all by his own hand…nothing like scoring an own goal is there? However the splenetic slaphead is now squirming like a maggot on the end of the fishing line by backtracking and claiming that there is in fact nothing wrong with the orders the team issued, that these orders were in fact organised before the race (and not after the first round of pitstops like he had originally claimed) and the respective race strategies were split to counteract the possibility of the safety car being brought into play during the race.

redbulletinandnorberthaug.jpgThat will explain why Lewis Hamilton looked like someone had stolen the candles from his 6th birthday cake then after the race. We can’t help but think that Ron will be in need of that safety car himself before long if the reaction in the British Press is anything to go by. It will be interesting to see how Retentive Ron worms his way out of this one after putting his foot totally in it with only a few million witnesses to hand. However press releases emerging from the McLaren team are suggesting the team are not concerned about the FIA investigation into the tactics, probably because the cantankerous old crackpot is more concerned about what Norbert Haug will be reading about him in the next addition of his favourite humourous publication the RED bulletin.

What one would give right now to be a fly on the wall at Ferrari, after enduring countless complaints about their cars, tactics, drivers, costumes and just about everything else at the hand of McLaren they must be having a good old titter about it all over at Maranello.

michaelescapes.jpgShortly after the race had concluded Ferrari “Advisor” Michael Schumacher was seen donning a ‘stig’ disguise and disappearing off like a rocket on his motorbike, no doubt escaping the circuit not quite believing it wasn’t him under siege for once.

Meanwhile Ferrari CEO Jean Todt is trying to calm down the tifosi, who seem to be getting their own undergarments in a knot about the performances of their Flying Finn Kimi Raikkonen. According to the feisty little Ferrari Jedi-Master, we should not be at all concerned about Ferrari’s performance in the Monaco Grand Prix. The Frenchman claiming the performance was a one off and that Ferrari will be pushing as hard as ever in future to take the challenge to their rivals. Todt has suggested that the team expected they would not fair as well at Monaco but believe they have documentation and data to suggest they will be performing much better at the Canadian Grand Prix.

When questioned about the size of the margin between Kimi’s points in the championship and those of the leaders who are 15 points ahead, Jean dismissed the concept that the gap was getting too large to rectify. “If there were two races to go, then a 15 point deficit would be impossible. But 15 points and 12 races to go, which is an average of 1.25 points per race, that is not so much”. Of course not Jean, but you might want to point out to Kimi that is 1.25 extra points per race required, not 1.25 extra bottles of Finlandia Vodka per night.

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso also thought he might as well stick his oar in considering just about everyone else has, and commented that Kimi must not make any more mistakes if he is to stand any chance of keeping in touch with the championship title leaders. According to the Spaniard the next mistake Kimi makes will render it nigh on impossible for Kimi to catch up, not to mention probably getting a lynching from a few angry italians….that’s assuming Kimi actually gives two figs.

Nando went on smuggly that he was very pleased with his own progress so far and if he continued to score points in a similar vein as he has done so far, he is hoping to have the championship all sown up by the tenth race of the season (Nurburgring). Not if the FIA have anything to do with it sonny-jim.

mclaren1-2.jpgJust in case you slipped into unconciousness during the snore-fest that was the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday, no doubt you will be delighted to find out that the McLaren team dominated the race start to finish. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton managed to bring home a 1-2 for the team, lapping everyone right upto third placed man Felipe Massa in a wholly thrilling occasion.

Much of the race was centred around the ongoing duel between Double World Champion Nando and his upstart rookie team-mate, but even though going into the race the Brit Lewis thought he had a strategic advantage, Nando-brows managed to put pedal to the metal where it mattered and outclassed him or did he? Rumours circulating in the media shortly after the race claimed that McLaren favoured Alonso and intentionally held back young Lewis from going for the race win against his more experienced team-mate. That seems to have really got the undergarments of the British Press in a right old twist…whom by now will be demanding for Ron Dennis to be hung, drawn and quartered and posted in bits to the four corners of the globe. Not a bad idea I feel. Perhaps Mika Hakkinen can roll up in his taxi to deliver them.

rondennislonlosttwin.jpgAs ever the McLaren CEO team boss and smug slaphead was ever so gracious in victory. Not simply content with his excursion onto the podium to collect the trophy and pull a face like a grimacing gremlin with a broom handle where the sun doesn’t shine…. Ron was witnessed strutting up and down the pit lane after the race gloating about how easy the victory had been. You know what the say about pride before a fall. Still if your stupid enough to point out to all and sundry you issued team orders to prevent your two drivers racing each other, you really can’t complain when you get egg all over your face…and an invitation to dinner to explain yourself from the FIA.

Even at the height of Ferrari’s race-fixing furore they weren’t dizzy enough to come out and gleefully admit it to a few million watching TV pundits. Here at FFN we can’t help but wonder if the snarling slaphead has had a bit of a senior moment, either that or he really is the long lost twin of Zippy from Rainbow.

Clearly the race was an exercise in damage limitation for the Ferrari boys, who simply never looked like they would be able to challenge for the win. Felipe Massa bless him, doing his best to bring the car home in third spot albeit a minute behind the McLaren’s thanks to a completely baffling switch to super-soft tyres after the first pitstop and getting stuck behind a series of useless backmarkers who were all doing their best to ignore the Track Marshall’s frantically waving blue flags at them. Felipe later complaining after the race that he got stuck behind moving chicane Jarno Trulli (yup trully awful) from Toyota, then Super Aguri’s Ant Davidson who subsequently got penalised for ignoring blue flags and had to do a detour down the pit lane for a stop-go penalty.

However, Felipe reckoned that it mattered little that Ferrari had swapped to the supersoft tyres in the middle race stint as he was never going to be able to catch and pass McLaren who were simply unbeatable on the day. A slightly worrying moment during his second pitstop also did not help matters, where the quick release mechanism on the F2007 had an iffy moment letting the car drop to the ground and leaving the Ferrari pitcrew wondering just exactly how to get the wheels on and off. However Felipe managed to endure all of these irritating tribulations and bring the car home in third, and get himself up on the podium although he looked like he was going to burst into tears at any moment and wail “its so unfair!” in a childlike manner.

themasterandtheapprentice.jpgFerrari’s Kimi Raikkonen managed to stay awake for the start this time, the Finn sensationally shooting past a few snoozing rivals off the grid and eventually improved from his rather dismal 16th qualifying spot up into 8th thanks to a 1 stop strategy to bring home a single point for the Scuderia. The Finn however spent some proportion of the race stuck behind Jenson Button’s Planetoid Nightmare and seemingly could do nothing about it, clearly he had got the “Rascasse Michael parking” down to a T but had forgotten to continue on and watch how to overtake. After the verbal lambasting the poor kid got after his qualifying mishap, the Finn has promised that he will keep on trying even though it is looking increasingly difficult for the championship now he is 15 points behind. I think some elements of the tifosi community are finding him very “trying” already.

In a race that was more akin to a procession of supermarket trolley’s going around Tesco’s in single-file formation, there has been very little noteworthy in-race events to comment on or make fun of.

walkofshame.jpgVitantonio Liuzzi providing just about the only millisecond of excitement when he got a bit lairy and hit the barriers at Massenet ending his race from 13th place, unusually for the Italian he did not manage to induce the safety car out.

Adrian Sutil for Spyker who had for the vast majority of the weekend outclassed his team-mate also had a set-to with the barriers putting an end to his race. Christian Albers meanwhile retired, whether through boredom at being continually rubbish or because he had a pressing engagement at the casino who can say…

Toro Rosso’s Scott Speed actually managed to surprise us all by finishing a race for once, bringing his copycat Red Bull home in 9th place despite complaints about his brakes during the race. Although whether that redeems him enough to lose his nickname “Scott Slow” it is too early to judge.

Renault’s Giancarlo Fizzy-fella also managed to pull off a feat, not getting overtaken by anyone except by the McLaren’s and maintain his fourth place, which is unheard of isnt it? I think I need to lie down from the shock.

Red Bull appear to still not have got to grips with their technical gremlins with Mark Webber retiring from yet another race to go off for an early bath and a whinge, and Mr Magoo only managing to secure a lowly 14th end classification despite the fact he knows Monaco like the back of his hand and should have done a bit better really. Still with a head shaped like a cube, one can only feel it provides a bit too much aerodynamic resistance around the twisty streets of the principality.

All in all the Monaco Grand Prix was about as thrilling as watching paint dry (Mental note to demand rain next time), and it’s rather amusing that more excitement has happened since the drivers stepped out of the cars than during the whole afternoon they were in them. Still I shall sign off here before I end up slipping back into a coma from having to write about it. Ciao for now.

frontrow.jpgJust in case you didn’t know, yesterday saw the McLaren Mercedes driver duo of Fernando “Eyebrows” Alonso and Lewis “Bling-boy” Hamilton sensationally lock out the front row for the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix (for the first time this season). Whether the McLarens were fuelled lighter and were in fact showboating it is impossible to say, but one really hopes that this does not repeat in the race. Otherwise we could witness a gathering of the shiny slaphead convention on the Monaco podium, if Ron Dennis gets up to claim the constructors winning trophy from Prince Albert of Monaco. Maybe Nando would be kind enough to rent out his eyebrows and save us all from the inevitable glare.

At Ferrari, things were looking a little bit glum. Felipe Massa did well to secure third spot on the grid for today’s race, but the Kimster’s fortune took a turn for the worse by ending up 15th. Unfortunately it seems the poor Finn has been trying to take on board all the criticism that is getting doled out in spades by certain elements of the tifosi, and after months of trying to tell us he isn’t Michael Schumacher decided the best course of action would be to park his car at Rascasse in the second phase of qualifying.

ferraripitwall.jpgBut you know there is no pleasing some people, we have been harping on for months “oh why isn’t he more like Michael?” and the moment he follows suit were back to carping like a bunch of old ladies again. Faces on the Ferrari Pitwall were looking particularly miffed, but we later found out that was because Jean Todt lost his bag of humbugs and couldn’t work out which amongst his staff were the culprit. Head of Track Ops Luca Baldisserri later confirmed that Kimi had actually broken a wishbone on the steering arm of his right front wheel by touching the barriers on the exit to the swimming pool, no doubt because he was too busy admiring his yacht than paying attention to the race track ahead of him.

Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella secured a magnificient fourth place on the grid next to Felipe Massa, this is a track the young Roman enjoys, however given his propensity to let just about everyone overtake him….we wont be surprised if he ends up driving rapidly backwards through the pack and actually ending up in France by the end of this afternoon’s race. Things did not go so well for team mate Heikki Kovaleinen who got knocked out in the second phase of qualifying and who will start from 14th on the grid.

oldmaninmonaco.jpgIt would seem Red Bull’s Mr.Magoo (DC) has struck again, this time blocking Heikki during the second qualifying session. DC claimed that he was unaware that Heikki was in fact on a hot lap and would have moved out of the way if he had been given that information. Obviously DC thinks people just drive around leisurely on a saturday afternoon for the fun of it, and aren’t actually trying to fight it out for a decent grid position. And what the devil was he expecting a telephone call from Flavio? “Get outta the way my driver eez on a hot lap ya know”.

The stewards subsequently handed out a penalty to the old aged pensioner, preventing him from taking part in the third phase of the qualifying session and preventing any further untoward age-related road safety incidents. David shook his walking stick, fumbled with his grizzled beard and bemoaned the fact the stewards immediately dished out the penalty instead of letting him carry on, but there was the safety of a small principality to think about.

DC will start in 13th spot, just one spot ahead of the man he blocked…so we could be witness to some interesting fisticuffs during the race. Rather worrying really that this man is one of the principle figures in the GPDA and lobbying for driver safety on one hand, while single handedly causing all sorts of mischief on the other.

Nico Rosberg from Williams claimed fifth spot and DC’s team mate Mark Whingebag Webber secured the sixth grid slot. Quite honestly I would love to tell you more, but some cheeky scamp in my household conveniently borrowed my scart lead while I was recording the Qualifying and well….I haven’t got the first darned clue what went on, I could make it up as usual or just shut up for once.

qualifyingtimesheetmonaco.jpg With the prospect of rain looming over this afternoon’s race, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Will Kimi fight his way through the pack to score points? can Lewis beat Alonso off the line? Can Ferrari outwit McLaren at the pitstops? and who will be the first into the barriers? and will Jean Todt ever rumble who stole his humbugs? all of these burning questions will very soon be answered…..just under six hours to go….

Some things in Formula 1 are a given, you just know that as night follows day these things will inevitably happen. Flavio Briatore will have a least one tantrum a year, Ferrari will get reported to the FIA for something ‘illegal’, Takuma Sato will take someone off the race track, Bernie “Midget” Ecclestone will spark a political storm, Michael Schumacher will inadvertently cause a controversy (even when he is retired), and Ron Dennis will be in a good mood *cough*.

rondennishappychappy.jpgYesterday true to form the McLaren CEO was in extremely good spirits as he climbed aboard his soapbox and let rip. What then this time has got up Ron’s broom handle? A multitude of issues it would seem. Ron started off lambasting the media for being so called ‘experts’ who seem to think they know better what is going on inside McLaren than Ron does. Many rumours have been circulating in previous weeks that tension is building in the McLaren camp between drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

The Ronster was quick to dismiss the rumours as tripe and suggested that while there was healthy competition between the McLaren Mercedes driver pairing, there was no truth in rumours that it’s man-bags at dawn across the McLaren Garage. In future Ron insisted these so-called experts would be better off minding their own business. Which really kind of defeats the main purpose of these people… which is to stick their nose in, get the wooden spoon out, and make up something preposterous if you can’t find out anything remotely newsworthy. Here at FFN we can’t help thinking the Ron could do with a few tips from Ferrari’s Luca Colajanni on how to handle the press, which is to listen to all the stupid rumours, say absolutely nothing and have a jolly good hysterical laugh about it all behind closed doors.

Not content to limit his ranting to just the Media, Ron then turned his attention to the RED BULLETIN, a light-hearted publication that is circulated in the paddock which pokes fun at F1 and it’s inhabitants. When asked by journalists why the publication had been banned from the McLaren Communication’s Centre, Ron replied “I think its a piece of rubbish” (not into having a sense of humour then we take it) “I feel that if we all focused on humorous magazines that criticise the other teams, I think the likes of Ferrari, with the support of Marlboro, could spend alot of time writing humorous things about other teams and individuals within the sport. I have a simple view that if people want to come and enjoy the hospitality of McLaren, they should respect the fact that I don’t particularly like what I consider a controversial document coming into our facility”.

We can only assume the queue of sour-faced humourless slightly retentive paddock inhabitees reaches right round the block as they queue up for some fun at the McLaren Communications Centre. Secondly why would Ferrari and Marlboro need to detract their energies from racing and waste time writing a load of humorous old rubbish, when here at FFN we do it for free on a daily basis? I won’t be camping out by the letterbox awaiting a special warm-hearted invite from Ron just yet then. Thirdly just what has any of this got to do with Ferrari? we haven’t got the foggiest considering the publication Ron maligned is in fact produced by Red Bull..but you know Ron never one to let the facts get in the way of a good backstab at his rivals.

lewistinpothat.jpgWhile Ron was chuntering away like a grumpy old man from the local retirement home, a stampede was apparently ensuing amongst the British contingent of media hacks in the paddock at the prospect of an exciting expose. Rumour emerged yesterday that British sensation and McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton was at the other end of the paddock showing off his Helmet (as you do), which led to the British Media getting slightly over-excitable as they charged down the paddock like a herd of elephants. I might be slightly cynical but I really don’t see how a tin-pot hat with some silly paint and a few baubles encrusted on it can really cause a bunch of grown men to nearly wet themselves in excitement. Perhaps these journalists really need to get a life and get out a bit more.

Finally F1’s serial crash-meister Takuma Sato is apparently undecided on his future, which will no doubt cause consternation amongst his rival back-markers and a lot more work for the UN road safety awareness contingent. The Japanese star is not yet sure if his future remains with Super Aguri, but has denied rumours linking him to Toyota.

Although why Toyota would want to replace one guy who serially underperforms (Ralf) with a smaller slightly excitable kamikaze version is a complete mystery. Perhaps Toyota is on a cost cutting mission after frittering away millions of pounds with no success, or perhaps Ralf’s head has got too big for the Toyota garage, and that’s why they are looking at recruiting the Japanese Hobbit.

michaelinmonaco.jpgAnd just when you thought Michael Schumacher might actually get to grips with the fact retirement means you stop turning up at your place of work, he has popped up again in the Ferrari Garage in his capacity as ‘advisor’.

This time apparently the German Superstar will not be talking or engaging with the media…but keeping behind the scenes with the rest of the team. Michael still managed however to have a shed load of journalists excitedly following him about like a flock of sheep, despite his supposed low profile.

If this is the press furore he causes when he isn’t trying we’d hate to see what chaos he could muster when he puts his mind to it.

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