redlightmeansstop.jpgMichael: “It’s easy, just repeat after me…red light means STOP”

Indianapolis GP is barely a few days away, and it is (supposed to be) prime Ferrari territory. Of the seven GPs staged here since 2000, Ferrari has won 6…though that has all been Michael Schumacher (well okay, he has won 5 and we all know what happened in 2002 with his half-baked photo-finish attempts). Indy has been particularly good these past years, not just because Schumi’s always managed to win here, not just because Indy 2003 nearly clinched the championship for Ferrari, not just because Indy 2006 was the turning point of the season for us and again not just because the race last year helped us get rid of McDonald-lover Montoya for good. No, not even just because Fernando “the grapes are sour” Alonso has never managed to finish more than in fifth place here. It’s a combination of all above-mentioned factors, plus the hope that Indy 2007 would be yet another turning point. Maybe this will be the race when Kimi realizes you are supposed to go forward during race starts and not backwards…or when Massa learns to “mind his environment” as Ra’s Al Ghul (of Batman fame) would say. Maybe even Ralf would finally realize it is easier to go around a barrier than through it…or is that too much to hope for?

Talking of Ralf, you know what they say about glass houses and throwing stones…which would be that people living in the former should abstain from the latter. So when Ralf said “Our basic level of performance is not high enough. Teams that were behind us at the start of the season are now in front, and that is a factor that has nothing to do with my qualifying statistics” a few days back, he was merely asking for it in my humble opinion. When Toyota is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on car development and getting overtaken by fledgling teams spending a mere pittance in comparison, the last thing they want is their own driver (a non-performing one at that) attempting to rub it in. It’s bad enough that they are forking out millions to the wrong Schumacher. “I hope he will show better performance soon” says Toyota vice-chairman Yamashina, refering of course to Ralf, “Unfortunately he did not get results so I’m sure he himself is pushing. But even if I push him, he’s the driver. I cannot make him faster”. Words of wisdom. “McLaren has a young driver who is getting results” points out Yamashina markedly, but you can’t go by that – STR has two young drivers who are definitely not getting any dashed results really. Ralf and Toyota would do well to have faith in each other – they are the best either can get currently.

Kimi Raikkonen wants to get back in contention for the championship. “I want to win in Indianapolis” he says, which is rather an odd coincidence because millions of tifosi would like him to win in Indy as well. Well, either him or Felipe, but for heaven’s sake, not another McLaren! “The last three races have not been what I expected,” says Kimi, “We do our best to get back to the level of the first three races. I really want to win, because that would help us a lot”. You bet that would help us a lot. Keeping fingers crossed. Oh, and Forza Ferrari.