December 2007

After enduring a torrid season in 2007, struggling with a car that was as temperamental as a 14 year old and a stomach wrenching complexion to match, it would seem the Honda team have gone just slightly giddy.

we-are-going-to-win-arent-we-ross.jpgIf rumours are true, the Brackley based team is cock-a-hoop over the fact they have managed to snatch former Ferrari technical Director Ross Brawn from the clutches of Ferrari. (Let’s ignore for one moment the fact Ross has mentioned on more than one occasion he planned his escape from Maranello as far back as 2004 – perhaps he should have asked Nigel Stepney to smuggle him out it would have been quicker) Meanwhile Honda has now gone back to their old ways of counting chickens before they have hatched. 1,2, 3…

Honda CEO Nick Fry has gone on record recently as saying he sees no reason why the team will not be able to start off their 2008 campaign pretty much on a level with their performance at the end of the 2006 season. Theoretically there is nothing wrong with making such assumptions, but we can’t help wondering if Honda are putting foot firmly in mouth yet again by making the statements publicly before they have even got their new challenger out on the tarmac. After all at the beginning of 2007, they were predicting challenging for the championship…and look how that turned out. With Honda only managing to win one prize, that of most ridiculous paint job on a shopping trolley. If in doubt it’s best to stop crowing to all and sundry from the rooftops, as Ron Integrity Dennis will be able to tell you, lest you have to make a grovelling apology later on and really do look like a prize turkey (albeit a very bald one).

Here at FFN we can partially understand Honda’s enthusiasm at having Uncle-Cuddly-Bear-Banana-Man-Brawn whip them into shape, after all he did a decent job of sorting out those “irrational screaming hysterical Italians” down at Ferrari. But really we feel they would be better off concentrating on shaving off that alarming ginger bird’s nest that seems to have firmly ensconced itself on Jenson’s chin. After all that thing has got to have some negative effect not only on the car’s handling performance, but on the morale of the poor Mechanics that have to look at it weekend in and out. (At least Alonso’s raised a few giggles).

It remains to be seen if the Brackley team have finally got to grips with their wind tunnel gremlins and produced a better car for the 2008. One thing we can’t help pondering here at FFN, is whether some of Honda’s new found enthusiasm and cheery attitude could be a result of passing on their lame dog of a car for 2007 to the poor Super Aguri team, who will have to pay for the dubious pleasure. In which case we fully endorse Sato taking out just about every passing car he can in a destruction derby. We can only hope in the following days we may here some good news on behalf of the Super Aguri team, and hopefully find out if Ant Davidson has kept his race seat.

tadashi.jpgMeanwhile Ross Brawn apparently has a two-year plan for turning Honda’s fortunes around, which coincidentally is the same time limit Toyota’s Team Principal Tadashi Yamashina has been given before Toyota pull the plug and see their F1 plans go swirling down the toilet.

Despite the biggest budget of all F1 teams (most of which was presumably paid to the other Schumacher brother by mistake) the Toyota team have failed to impress in the 6 year history in F1.

Yamashina has confirmed that their efforts will be concentrated on improving in two areas: aerodynamics and operationally. According to recent reports, Toyota officials are claiming that their 2008 car will be 2.2 seconds faster – but they didn’t confirm if they meant faster than last years vehicle or faster than the warp speed in which the FIA slapped a libel law suit on an ill advised journalist for voicing his opinion. If FFN suddenly goes off air, please come and storm the basement of FIA headquarters in Paris – otherwise I could be forced to eat my own arm off.

Meanwhile Toyota’s Jarno Trulli has been quoted as saying that is he looking forward to driving against a challenging team mate for a change (Timo Glock). When asked if he was making a snide remark regarding his previous team mate Ralf Schumacher, the Italian refused to elaborate lest he incriminated himself. Rumours in the Schumacher camp are suggesing Ralfie is plotting a return to F1 in 2009 after a sabbatical (it didn’t harm Ross did it?) although we cannot ascertain if there is any truth in suggestions that Ralfie has petitioned big brother to buy him an F1 team just in case he can’t get in at Force 1 India.

Going back somewhat to the subject of toilets, Ferrari’s Nick Tombazis has recently moved to deny there has been any dissent in the Ferrari camp regarding their new Champ Kimi Raikkonen. According to Tombazis, there has never been any question marks over Kimi’s head (apart from when can he leave to get to the bar) and that Kimi although very quiet, when he does pipe up apparently says “significant things”. We only hope the significant things he is talking about include excellent technical feedback on the car and do not include detailed descriptions of his bowel habits, as mentioned some time ago at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2006.

a-vision-in-grey.jpgWorryingly, we have just heard some disturbing news regarding McLaren’s new charge Heikki Kovaleinen. The chirpy Finn has reportedly been seen with a pair of grey underpants on his head, walking around in circles in Woking, claiming that it was his “childhood dream to drive for McLaren”.

Additionally the poor mite is reported to be muttering about staying with the team long term and the possiblity of enjoying equal treatment to Lamppost Lewis. We really do hope this strange malaise lifts soon, otherwise we may be forced to send Professor Sid Watkins in to investigate…assuming he can fit inside McLaren’s tiny garages at the end of the pitlane of course.

Stayed Tuned….Part 3 coming soon.


imnotpisshhheeeeedddddd.jpgWith less than 48 hours to go before 2008 dawns on us all (depending on how quickly some of us recover from a Finlandia Vodka induced comatose vegetative state) naturally here at FFN we felt it was about time to pull our fingers out and turn our attention to the prospects for the formula 1 year ahead. And really had absolutely nothing to do with the persistent nagging that went on in some quarters for us to update, no honestly, it didn’t.

2007 was a year of over indulgence, gossip, treachery, scandal and surprises – and that was just what went on here at FFN, without taking into account the pantomime the F1 season turned into. But really we shouldn’t dwell on the past, as we have an exciting new shiny season just around the corner and much to look forward to….

So what exciting prospects do we have in store apart from the obvious ’round 2′ of Rookie versus Champion toys-out-of-pram Chucker?

According to recent reports in the media, Ferrari will be unveiling their new challenger on Sunday 6th January. It is believed that the 2008 car will have a shorter wheelbase than the previous year’s entry, while the rest of the grid have apparently opted to go in the other direction (well not literally but you know what I mean). De-ja-vu anyone?

Rumour has it that in 2009 Ferrari are considering sending Luca di Montezemolo out on track on a unicycle wearing a tutu – just to see how many teams down the paddock catch on to that one (as long as it’s not Flav in his speedo’s please!). Whether Luca would still be faster than a Honda remains to be seen.

Talking of the Ferrari President, it is understood from recent communications in the media that he is a great admirer of the McLaren F1 team and is eagerly anticipating the Woking based team to produce something very fetching with a high degree of red on, just to please him. Luckily for LdM he won’t have long to wait, as McLaren will unveil their car the following day in Stuttgart at Mercedes HQ. Presumably the 24 hour delay giving the McLaren boys just long enough to remove any made in Maranello stickers should the FIA’s beady little eyes swivvel in their general direction for the umpteenth time.

lamppost-lewis.jpgInitially the Woking-based team were not going to indulge in a lavish car launch, presumably on account that Max Mosley had stripped them of their pocket money for misbehaviour.

But we have subsequently learnt the reason why Ron Dennis has been so very quiet over the winter, he has been fastidiously baking home made vol-au-vents and sausage rolls inside Paragon to ensure Cinderella (aka Lamppost Lewis) can go to the ball after all. That’s assuming Lewis can find his way out of Switzerland without walking into any more inconviently placed street furniture.

Other news from the Scuderia sees Sporting Director Stefano Domenicali replacing Jean Todt as Team Principal, presumably though only on the days when Schumi is off playing football or performing in the race of champions and accidentally stalling on the start line like a true pro.

A Ferrari Spokesman has confirmed that Jean Todt’s role as team principal was only ever in an interim capacity, until the right man could be found for the job. And really has nothing to do with the fact Michelle Yeoh is reportedly sick to the back teeth of him being glued 24/7 to his desk wearing that ever-permanent red sweater (sweater being the operative word – eeewww). According to unconfirmed rumours Michelle was last seen behind the Gestione Sportiva jovially torching the afore mentioned red sweater in a burnt out Shell oil drum. Poor Jean, well Zorro wasn’t quite himself without his stupid face mask was he?

force1india.jpgMeanwhile in other news, newly renamed backmarkers Force 1 India will be employing the help of a renowned Bollywood actor in their launch and advertising campaign. Naturally this will go down a storm with the mechanics who instead of rebuilding a ‘Spyker’ on a Saturday evening will be enjoying a curry and some tiger beer, followed by a couple of men dressed in silly colourful outfits hamming it up for entertainment. All apparently paid for out of the $10 million sponsorship funds Fishyfella is bringing with him, allegedly, supposedly. What a kind chap. Nothing ever changes in F1, does it?

Tune in soon for more fakeferrarinews in 2008…