dennisatparishearing.jpgIt’s been an interesting couple of days to say the least. We have seen at least one of the ten commandments being rewritten from “Thou shalt not steal” to “Thou shalt steal by all means if you feel like it, just don’t leave evidence of usage”. Flavio Briatore claims he is baffled by FIA’s decision, and he can rest assured he is not the only one scratching his head in confusion – infact a substantial portion of the population is no doubt stymied by this one. It is not everyday that “Guilty, but no punishments…let’s all go home” verdicts are handed out by a deciding body. The FIA certainly moves in mysterious ways its gaffes to perform. I mean, if I am going to make a jackass of myself, I would rather do it discretely than to convene an extraordinary meeting and look silly before a global audience.

Some websites have been attempting to drown out the fact that McLaren didn’t suspend Coughlan till after the entire world knew about it, instead repeatedly harping on Nigel Stepney and buried bodies. You know what Nige said as to knowing “where the bodies are buried”….speaking figuratively of course, in case you go about getting other ideas. I suspect while these supposed ‘bodies’ might lead to a few sensational headlines along the lines of “Ferrari Shocker! The Truth about Jean Todt’s Red Jumper!“, “Has Ross Brawn ever really caught a live fish?“, “Did Schumi steal the pepper bottle from Ferrari cafeteria?” or even “Baldisserri caught wearing padded shoes to increase height” and “Is Byrne an alien from Krypton?“,  these are hardly likely to do Ferrari any permanent damage. “Nothing has changed. It is right that the world championship is won on the track” says Stepney, “I remain calm”. Well, if I were him, I wouldn’t be so dashed calm…things aren’t looking so great actually. And does ‘won on track’ include sneaking behind the employer’s back and sabotaging championship hopes?

Jean Todt is not terribly pleased with the current state of things, and that’s because he signed an agreement with McLaren for a better working relationship only a month back. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t seem to me right now that these two teams are on particularly chummy terms. But that agreement was signed before Ferrari came to know they would be sharing more than just goodwill with McLaren, and they certainly don’t remember agreeing to share all their design secrets. Jean Todt feels someone in McLaren ought to have warned him that Stepney was leaking like a sieve, and you can’t really blame Todt for feeling reproachful.

Meanwhile other team principals are livid that McLaren have gained an unfair advantage by taking a peek at the Ferrari documents. “We want to take a look too” demands a team boss who doesn’t wish to be named, “It is apparently legal to look at them or photocopy them as long as we don’t show our design documents to Ferrari. That way they ain’t going to be able to tell if we used anything”. You have to concede he has a point, so what’s the FIA going to do now? Montezemolo says “I just want to say to our fans, who are contacting Ferrari from all over the world and who are offended by the decision taken yesterday in Paris, that they can stay calm because this story doesn’t end here”. We certainly hope not. Forza.