kimi-at-monza.jpgSpeaking yesterday after the first day of testing at Monza in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix in little under two weeks time, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen appeared to be looking forward with some enthusiasm to Ferrari’s ‘home Grand Prix’.

Naturally we are just as shocked as you are, as up until now we were pretty damned sure he didn’t even know how to spell enthusiasm let alone act with it. And with all that Finlandia Vodka supposedly swilling around his gills, does he actually notice what country he is on any given day anyway?

But whatever Ferrari have been doing with their Kim-bot, the Flying Finn has reportedly mentioned on his website that he really feels the difference to the past, has a good relationship with the Italian fans and is hoping to be able to win at Monza and celebrate with the tifosi.

We can only hope his “celebrating” is going to be a little more enthusiastic compared to what we have witnessed so far this season. Which has mainly consisted of the same blank facial expression, guzzling the champagne like a goldfish and standing about on the top step with about as much liveliness as you’d expect from a rigid cardboard cut-out.

Presumably if he stands about like that at Monza for too long he risks getting carted off as a piece of track memorabilia by an over-enthusiastic Ferrari fan.

All joking aside, it is nice to see that finally Kimi seems to be warming to the team and it’s slightly mad-cap fanbase, well at least his face is going slightly red after each Grand Prix, so that’s something.

bananaman-brawn.jpgIn other news concerning the Maranello based squad, Ferrari CEO Jean Todt has reportedly put the kaibosh on Uncle Ross (Banana-man) Brawn coming back to the F1 team in the role of Team Boss. Shortly after the Turkish Grand Prix, the feisty four-foot Frenchman insisted that he did not feel ready to retire from the F1 team yet, and was hoping to keep going for a few more years at least.

Here at FFN we are pretty sure we heard Jean lamenting last year that he would have retired had he not got beaten out the door by the departure of Schumi and Ross in 2006. The Frenchman suggesting he stayed on out the goodness of his heart to ensure some continuity and stability for the Ferrari Team.

Jean has apparently pointed out that Bernie Ecclestone is 15 years his senior and still going at it (with all the sprightliness of a gold-digging power-crazy despot or three), and sees no reason why he can’t do the same. We do feel carrying on though until your being carted off the pitwall in a box is taking the concept of continuity just a tad far, but you know we aren’t brave enough to argue that with Jean in case he starts biting at our ankles instead of Ron’s.

It remains to be seen just what role Banana-man Brawn might come back in then, if at all for the Maranello Squad. Suffice to say if he can’t come to an agreement with Ferrari, he could always start advertising for Del Monte.

lewis.jpgMeanwhile McLaren’s golden-boy Lewis Hamilton has issued an ultimatum to the Media. According to Lewis, the press interest in his personal life (or lack of) needs to stop or he will be driven out of Britain for good. We would have thought having the ITV-F1 TV crew following you about night and day, fawning at your feet and gushing like lovestruck teenagers every time your name is mentioned would be enough to send Lewis scuttling off at high speed to Outer Mongolia already.

We can only assume the lure of owning a humungous house, being able to drive supercars about without fear of the police stopping you, avoiding the Inland Revenue’s sticky mitts and living someplace where people parade around in bikini’s instead of wellingtons and umbrellas 24/7 has really little or nothing to do with the fact Lewis is already thinking of escaping the British Isles. Honestly, Guv. (If you’re reading this Lewis – we will willingly carry your bags for you).

Someone else who seems to be packing his bags rather hurriedly is Spyker’s Chief Designer John McQuilliam. According to the latest reports, Spyker have suspended him and issued the following statement: “his position is being investigated by the team”.

The Spyker team will not be drawn on why their Chief Designer is getting the heave-ho, but as is always the way with Formula 1 rumours have already started flying left, right and centre.

While some point to the fact the new B Spec Spyker has failed the latest rear impact crash tests as the reason for John’s sudden departure, others are wondering if it’s divine justice for inflicting that horrific Day-Glo orange paint scheme on the unsuspecting public.

Meanwhile here at FFN we like to think its because John’s Italian is rubbish and therefore what he actually thought was a rather splendid 780 page top secret publication on how to build a Ferrari (courtesy of our Nige) actually turned out to be a recipe for Spag Bol.