This is all very distressing of course. First, it is rumored that all is not quite well with the Ferrari wind tunnel – apparently a steel belt gave way at high speed, and it would suffice to say the engineers are still rumored to be picking out shards of steel from the ceiling in their spare time. And it happens to be the only wind tunnel around, as someone decided to save a bit of money here and divert it to the Raikkonen salary fund. Assuming the only way Ferrari could have continued development would have been to stick bits of aerodynamic appendages into the car and wait for feedback from our driver pair, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why we have fallen behind. We do hear McLaren has an excellent wind tunnel setup, but we can scarcely ask Ron Dennis permission to borrow it for a few days I suppose, so there.
Then there is also this other rumor that aerodynamicists are leaving Ferrari in droves, no doubt bored of twiddling their thumbs and waiting around for the wind tunnel to become operational again. To top it all off there is Nigel Stepney, who is a good and lovable man except when he is making off with top secret design documents and distributing the same to all and sundry, or so they say (sugarpuff has provided us with the details in her post). With the super-assistant using his elaborate virtual network setup at home just to play backgammon online with his Ferrari pals, and Ross Brawn on a sabbatical causing a serious dent in fish population in the southern hemisphere, not to mention Rory Byrne running a scuba diving equipment rental (or some such thing), the dream team is sorely missed. Add to this Jean Todt’s impending retirement, and you know the reason why the tifosi have been gritting their teeth and thinking violent thoughts.
McLaren on the other hand is suffering from an abundance of riches. Not only do they have two excellent drivers (who stop promptly at red lights and are never caught napping at starts), they also don’t have steel belts causing mayhem or the odd employee participating in a healthy information exchange. Infact their only current problem seems to be how to keep Fernando Alonso silent without using cotton and sticky tapes, and for this they have hit upon a brilliant solution. They have the drivers on a pact of silence, that one wouldn’t mention the other in his absence, and unless Lewis Hamilton can magically teleport himself into Spanish radio stations it looks like the journos will be out of soundbites for a while. Ron the spoilsport.
Meanwhile Felipe Massa has squashed the Michael Schumacher comeback rumors, attributing the same to our highly creative pals in the German media growing a bit restless with all the Lewis Hamilton – Fernando Alonso battle of words, and longing to create a diversion. Anything to make everyone shut up about Lewis Hamilton for a while seems to be the idea, and you have to agree with them there. “For sure I think I know Michael quite well” says Felipe, “When he decides something he decides it”. So if you want to see da Schumi race again, it would have to be at Wembley for the Race of Champions this year. We hear the tickets are already getting sold out.
Ciao for now, tune in later for more!