Discontent is Brewing. It’s a little bit shocking when one wakes up to the news that 80% of the employees from Europe’s Best Place to Work (known as Ferrari to you and I) have been on strike, creating picket lines outside the factory and chanting “We want to see Cordero driving a tractor!”. Doesn’t really stand out as a good omen for the rest of us does it?
So what is all the cafuffle about? apparently the employees of the Road Car Division decided to take industrial action after they were fined for disturbing a tour of high profile journalists around the Ferrari factory, added to the fact the disgruntled masses were not at all impressed with their latest pay rise and working conditions. We are not quite sure where the Tractor and Cordero fit in (Luca Cordero Di Montezemelo Ferrari President) to the grand scheme of things, but we are now starting to wonder if actually he has been a very busy man of late personally filling out the 1000 employee questionnaires that saw the title of ‘Best Work Place’ fall into his mitts, and therefore has been too busy ignoring the growing threat within. Here at FFN we feel the minions of the Road Car Division should be lauded for their approach, as taking the mickey out of journalists and generally annoying them is one of our favourite sports and should be encouraged at all times.
Luckily for the F1 championship, none of the Gestione Sportiva (Race Car Division) were involved, but then we suspect with Jean Todt at the helm they were either too frightened of getting their ankles bitten, or hadn’t actually stepped outside the doors for a month as they beavered away in the contest to beat the pants off rivals McLaren.
It seems discontent breeds discontent, and trouble seems to be spreading like wildfire. This week BMW-Sauber’s test driver Sebastien Vettel (yup thats the little one that looks about 14) has been bitterly complaining about the third driver rule, which has seen young drivers who usually test for the teams on the friday ahead of a grand prix being sidelined. You may remember a few weeks back BMW-Sauber’s Quick Nick Heidfeld complained to the boss, suggesting that there was no reason to allow the test drivers to take up valuable track time that he and Robert Kubica could be using to get themselves into better race trim.
If rumours are to be believed, it was a cunning move by Quick Nick to stop Vettel getting his jam-covered hands on his race seat next year, it is widely believed team boss Mario Theissen favours Vettel and Kubica above our Nick. However, Vettel has stopped short of finger pointing at Nick and says the testing regulations are actually to blame. Quite honestly though, when is it not the FIA’s fault? seems they are to blame for most things and make a convenient scapegoat.
However here at FFN we feel young Vettel should remain patient, after all at just 14 years old he has plenty of time to get his driving license and get a job when he has finished school….and there may be an opening at Toyota when they come to the realisation they have signed the wrong Schumacher by mistake.
Two wind tunnels or not, things are not looking happy at Renault. Despite bringing updates to their car at the Barcelona test it would seem the Enstone team are still suffering woefully from a lack of grip and heavy understeer in fast corners. Roman poppet and driver Giancarlo Fisichella has been lamenting the fact that the team still have alot of work to do in trying to understand where they are going wrong.
“The rear end of the car is most difficult under braking, we do suffer from heavy understeer in high speed corners. We lack so much grip that it is hard to maintain the speed to do a good quick time.
“In the last race we were 1.5 seconds behind, which is so big. It is not something we expected, whatever it is, it’s is not right. We just have to work harder to solve it.” the down-trodden Fisichella commented trying desperately to put a brave face on things.
The team have finally come to the conclusion the problem is not related to the Bridgestone tyres, as rival team McLaren also swapped from Michelin to Bridgestone and have one of the fastest cars. Which leaves two possibilities, either its the car or the drivers….and if its the second there could be tears by tea-time.
One final snippet of news, Super Aguri who seemed to have made some dramatic improvements in pace at the last test in Barcelona have revealed a curious secret. When asked what developments the team had brought on the SAF1 (hope that’s not Takuma Sato’s Car Registration), Chief Designer Peter McCool has revealed that the team had brought a new floor, chimney, T-Wing, new wear ring package and….a Chicken. The mind boggles what relevance a farmyard animal has to an F1 car, mind you it seems there are a few of them strutting about the paddock these days pretending to be ‘experts’…..