Does Fernando Alonso know something we don’t?

According to reports in yesterday’s German Media (so have a liberal dose of salt to hand) the Spanish Double World Champion is seriously considering taking a sabbatical from Formula 1 next season.

hasnandopackedhisbags.jpgHere at FFN we can only think of three reasons why Nando would want to take time out of the sport for that length of time.

Firstly, he has been gazing into Mark Webber’s crystal ball… and has prior knowledge that the McLaren Mercedes F1 team will be enjoying a year long enforced holiday from championship chasing courtesy of the FIA Court of Appeal on September 13th for less than good sportsmanlike behaviour (e.g. absconding off with Ferrari’s top secret bible).

Secondly, that he has it on good authority that spending a year wading around up to your knees in mud and harrassing the local fish population immensely improves your popularity with British based F1 teams. (Well it worked for Ross Brawn!).

Or thirdly, that the trauma of having to spend the last 7 seven months squinting like mad to avoid the glare skimming out of the bottom of team mate Lewis Hamilton’s racing overalls has left the champion in dire need of lying down in a dark room for some respite.

Of course the prospect of Nando disappearing off the scene for a bit leaves us quite sad here at FFN, if nothing else he provides great entertainment and winds Ron up a treat.

On the back of the rumours concerning Alonso’s future, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive touting young Williams driver Nico Rosberg as the next big thing in Formula 1. (Well it was never going to be Bernie was it?).

sayittothehand.jpgWilliams Team Boss Sir Frank Williams has gone on the record today as saying that Nico could be just as big a sensation as Lewis, if he is given a front running car like the McLaren star. Isn’t that what they all say? (We presume Frank was actually talking about driving talent and not Nico’s boufant hair).

Here at FFN we’d be willing to bet a few jelly babies that a chimpanzee could win the world championship if it got given the right vehicle (Well Nick Heidfeld is doing rather well isn’t he?). We only hope that a certain ape known for swinging around the Ferrari Garage takes note and gets on with it.

Meanwhile a new row is brewing amongst the inhabitants of the Formula 1 paddock. Evidently bored with the discussion of customer cars, the F1 bods have now turned their attention to part of the 2008 season FIA regulations.

From next season (for at least 3 years) every F1 team will have to use a standard ECU (engine control unit) in their vehicles. The ECU apparently manages the engine, transmission and other complicated car related tasks, unfortunately it doesn’t control drivers quite so well, otherwise Ron would be shipping them in by the tanker load.

However a row has erupted over the tender, because the units concerned will be supplied by McLaren Electronic Systems (MES).

ecu.jpgMES apparently are part of the McLaren Group of Companies and just happen to share headquarters with a certain F1 team…..can you guess who yet? Although we are to believe that MES has nothing absolutely whatsoever in a cajillion years to do with Ron Dennis’s outfit. Riiiiiggggghhhhht!

BMW-Sauber, Ferrari, Honda and Renault are most displeased with this current turn of events, not least because they have all encountered serious problems when trying to incorporate the ECU into their cars. Presumably engines detonating left, right and centre….at least Kimi Raikkonen can’t be blamed on this occasion.

Rumours are also circulating that in order for MES to establish what the problem is, each of the teams involved would have to forward technical data from their car to MES in order to resolve the issue.

Suffice to say Renault Team Boss Flavio Briatore is not falling for that old chestnut! and has publicly spoken out saying “I’m not sending my secret information to that bunch of cheating scumbags” or something similar which no doubt he will be retracting tomorrow under threat of libel. Presumably Ferrari will be exempt from forwarding anything, on account Nigel Stepney has already gone to that trouble already on their behalf.