Oh dear! You do still remember the FIA of course – they played a rather important role in the recently concluded Espionage saga – which led to McLaren losing all their constructor points and a 100 million dollars additionally to boot for having access to Ferrari secret information. As has been rumored, there are no secrets between Ferrari and McLaren now when it comes to car design – all knowledge is just common knowledge. So naturally, at the recent WMSC hearing held in Paris, there were no veiled references to design components or any beating about the bush, but just an open and amicable discussion on whether it was right that Fernando Alonso apparently knows more about the F2007 than Kimi Raikkonen does (whose knowledge is unfortunately limited to “it is red, it is nice and it goes fast”).
Of course what they weren’t all anticipating was that FIA would go about and release the uncensored transcripts on the internet, with the net result that everyone has access not only to Ferrari secret information, but also to McLaren secret information additionally. I bet Jean Todt and Ron Dennis are not exactly thrilled to bits about this new development. It’s always a bit fatiguing when you have spent nearly the entire season painstakingly collecting evidence that sensitive information is in the hands of a rival, only to find the same sensitive information being disseminated to all and sundry because some bungling muppet at FIA doesn’t understand the meaning of “Black out the secret stuff”.
There is also Ross Brawn…who took a temporary break from his attempts to catch at least a single fish before the year is through, just so he could fly all the way to Paris and emphasise on how important the Ferrari weight distribution information is to any strategist worth his salt. And now every member of the paddock (or non-member for that matter) not only knows the Ferrari weight distribution, but also Mike Coughlan’s salary, Alonso’s opinion on the Swiss climate and de la Pink’s know-how (or lack of it) of cylinders and springs. Not the ideal situation.
McLaren driver (at least as of now) Fernando Alonso, also fondly referred to as the in-house recluse by Ron Dennis, is being touted as a possible Ferrari driver for next year, and this is no doubt a bit concerning for the tifosi. Not that we have anything against his driving skills, but Schumi has spoilt us all rotten with all the vivid “happy and winning Ferrari family” imagery, and Nando does have this unfortunately tendency to bring the roof down if things don’t go his way. Felipe is friendly, Kimi is silent, and Fernando Alonso is apparently neither. Anyway, unless Ferrari can employ 3 drivers and let them take turns, I don’t see how this can be managed. The situation at Toyota seems a bit crowded as well with nearly half the grid being touted to drive for them next year – the latest addition to which is Felipe Massa. Very convenient for Alonso no doubt, but we see no reason why poor Felipe should be so unceremoniously packed off to Toyota when he has exceeded all expectations and matched Kimi in performance this year.
The only hitch is – if Alonso is not driving a red car, he will be driving for a rival – and we all know what a pain in the neck that can be as he is a rather goodish driver one must admit. An insider in Maranello tells us that Luca Colajanni will no doubt demand a hefty pay rise if Nando dons red next year, for he is likely to feel overworked with all the potential damage control. And poor Kimi deserves a break having had teammates like the rather destructive Montoya, and later de la Pink who no doubt plagued him with emails attempting to explain brake balance systems and what not. Anyhow, it will be interesting to observe how this year’s silly season plays up. Hopefully Ferrari will make the right decisions. Forza.