The Maranello team is back – clearly the chap who mended the carpet in the Ferrari wind tunnel knew what he was doing. A Ferrari 1-3 on the starting grid is not quite the same as a Ferrari 1-2, but then one can’t have everything. Now all we need is for Kubica, Fisichella and Kovalainen to all make really bad starts tomorrow, and Kimi might even hold his position through the first corner. It’s all looking pretty good you have to agree – provided rain doesn’t intervene and reverse the grid, what with our silly safety car rules and all that…plus Felipe’s on pole, and we all know he isn’t too fond of driving in the rain.

schumiandzidane.jpgBut first things first. The day started off with Michael Schumacher driving Zidane around in his FXX for a couple of laps around the Magny-Cours ciruit, and according to reports – “Both Schumacher and Zidane were requested by Ferrari chief Jean Todt not to answer any questions on their sports during a news conference following their demonstration laps” – which is a bit strange. I don’t see why the deuce Todt should object to poor Zidane talking about football, and Michael’s been acting like a particularly reticent trappist monk of late anyway. Speaking of the latter, Niki Lauda is most displeased with Schumi for this self-enforced code of silence. “It is sad that Michael is not willing to speak about formula one” says Lauda, “For many years he brought much joy to a lot of people and helped to shape the sport. To then come back and say nothing (and provide no entertainment), I think, does not quite fit”. Clearly the strain of being the only one around jabbering on and on to the media is getting to Lauda (plus he is running out of doomsday prophecies), and he is on the lookout for another former world champion to share the burden. This non-cooperation from Schumi must be most annoying.

McLaren has not been having the best of weekends thus far, with two reliability issues in two practice sessions, and a gearbox failure in Q3 to boot. Now this is more like the McLaren we all know and love, but Fernando Alonso doesn’t seem too thrilled with the emergence of this happy familiarity. He will be starting from tenth position in the grid tomorrow, being the victim of the above-mentioned gearbox failure, and it is never pleasant to lose one’s gears unless you are Michael Schumacher and can finish on the podium despite being stuck in fifth gear for most of the race. Nando says he will “pray all night that for the race it will be raining”…and in case you were wondering about this rather sudden love for precipitation, he clarifies – “When you are quicker in the dry, you are maybe two-tenths quicker than the guys in front. When you are quicker in the wet, it can be maybe two seconds. So you can gain a lot of places. I really hope it is wet”. Uh oh…we really hope it is not.

With a resurgent Renault and BMW holding most other grid positions in the top 10, it might not be too foolish to hope for a good, competitive race tomorrow. Will Felipe be able to keep Lewis behind him? Will Kimi spring to life and continue his Indy form? Will it finally be the darned Ferrari 1-2 that we have been hoping for since I don’t know when? Keeping fingers crossed for the race tomorrow. Forza Ferrari.