The Swiss politicians are rumored to be collectively frothing at the mouth a bit about their land being invaded by non-tax paying F1 world champions. For a country where motorsport is supposedly banned, the local population is finding it difficult to move a few yards without stepping on the toes of one of those F1 greats, and they are beginning to resent it. Now that it is confirmed Lewis Hamilton will be the latest addition to that ever-growing list of residents, it is not merely the Swiss who are a bit perturbed. We have already seen the effect of having both Alonso and Hamilton in the same team during the 2007 season, and let’s just say plaster is still falling from the McLaren ceiling. Now the very thought of the two probably becoming neighbors or living in close proximity is making even strong men tremble in their boots. It is rumored that Michael Schumacher, who lives barely a few miles away from the epicenter (Alonso’s home) is seriously contemplating relocation despite having just constructed a multi-million dollar castle with moat et al. He was overheard discussing the same with Kimi Raikkonen (a fellow Swiss resident) during the recently concluded Ferrari Finali Mondiali. Incidentally, Schumi was recently bestowed the 2007 Prince of Asturias Award for Sports. He had gone to Spain to collect the same, and we are told the cermony was riveting (pic above). Fernando Alonso was present too.
Max Mosley apparently doesn’t like the presence of any exceptional driver in the sport, and would prefer it if they were all just uniformly mediocre, and drove around slowly through tight corners with cars developed using a neglibigle annual budget and with no aerodynamic chance of overtaking one another. Did I mention permanent stewards arbitrarily deducting points from randomly selected cars? Quite the vision. “If Hamilton does the same thing next season as he’s done this, it will certainly have a big effect” says Max, “It will start to be negative because we’ll get the Michael Schumacher effect, where people start writing to me saying: ‘Can’t you do something to slow him down?'” Hmmm…not that Mosley didn’t try to slow Schumi down mind you, we all remember his bright ideas from a few years back surely – Reversing the qualifying grid, weight penalties for winning too much, driver rotation and what not. Now with the proposed 10 year engine freeze and all this talk about Green F1, it wouldn’t be long before our F1 drivers are racing chariots (Ben Hur anyone?). And the animal cruelty prevention group will no doubt step in, and then it would just be pedal karts. No thank you, Max. We like our share of great drivers, fast cars and genuine racing please, if it’s not too much trouble.
And then there’s Bernie of course, who thinks a world champion must be able to talk with supreme eloquence, perform magic tricks, juggle balls and do somersaults…and it is an added advantage if he can drive a bit as well. Bernie is apparently a bit disappointed with Kimi being champion because he feels Kimi has about as much eloquence as a lamppost, but really, what’s that got to do with driving a F1 car? Michael was no Cicero either, and the worst he could do off-track was topple refrigerators and race pickup trucks, while Kimi likes to wear gorilla suits and race snow-mobiles, and Alonso prefers pulling out doors, exchanging emails with de la Pink and hatching conspiracy theories jointly with the Spanish media. To each his own, I say, what’s more important is what they do on track.
Talking of Nando, we have reasons to believe he is stalking Ross Brawn. Well…maybe not stalking, but at least closely monitoring the teams Ross is negotiating with. As to whether this is making Ross nervous or not, we are not too sure at this stage, but a source who is rather close to Ferrari’s former technical director claims Ross doesn’t eat that many bananas these days, has lost some weight and looks rather worried most of the time. If the latest rumor doing the rounds in the paddock is true (and it seldom is), Alonso might join Red Bull or Toyota provided they get Ross on the payroll too, and this is a shade worrying because we like our Ferrari team members on sabbaticals to return to Ferrari. We will keep you posted as always. Forza.