Valencia Day 1
On Monday two more F1 teams launched their respective cars for the upcoming 2008 season. This time it was the turn of Renault or Renooo as they are affectionately known, and Williams, both teams choosing to launch their challengers on track in Valencia Spain.
Although we are reliably informed Renooo will be having a shindig with buck fizz, canapés and a few corporate crusty old dudes standing about waxing lyrical about the car at a later date.
Unfortunately as is always the case in Spain, the weather decided to get the upper hand for the affair, as thick fog shrouded the track keeping Renooo’s prodigal son Fernando Alonso confined to the team garage for the morning. This evidently providing plenty of time for him to start work in earnest on his CV for the next employer he wants to fall out with then.
Although the thick fog was a little disheartening for the waiting F1 hacks who were eager to catch a glimpse of the R28, the local populace were apparently chuffed to bits they had been given a temporary reprieve from the impending retina-burning paint scheme that was about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting mankind.
At lunchtime the weather abated a little, allowing the much-anticipated R28 out of the garage for the first time. On initial inspection it was interesting for all to see that the Renooo had adopted a nose wing bridge configuration thingey, similar to that sported last year by the McLaren and now seemingly the last fad amongst the teams.
In fact so far this year we have notice how alike some of the cars look, all apart from McLaren who aren’t allowed to look like anybody lest they have to forego this years pocket money for being copycats.
Fernando Alonso then took the R28 out on its inaugural laps to see what it was all about and to decide whether it was a dog with three legs or a thoroughbred stallion on four wheels.
Monday also saw the launch of Williams car the FW30 (after Frank Williams – but we can safely assure you he isn’t 30 by a long shot). According to recent reports in the media, the name incorporates how many years Sir Frank has been in the sport or some such trivia (sorry I wasn’t paying attention Alonso’s tea cosy put me off).
The Williams team will be incorporating six different interim paint jobs on their title charger this season to commemorate some of the golden moments during the team’s history in the sport. We are wondering if Michael Schumacher’s assault on the car’s suspension in Jerez in 1997 is one of them.
At the moment the Williams car is sporting a midnight blue metallic effect, which looks rather nice, well anything will look nice in contrast to that hideous orange on the Renooo. Presumably with a few strategically placed star constellations slapped on, it will be very useful for sneaking up on rivals in night races, leaving them completely unaware of being lapped.
Newly appointed test driver Nico Hulkenberg (The Hulk) was on hand to put the Williams through its initial paces, because ‘Britney Rosberg’ was rumoured to be unavailable due to hair washing commitments.
By the end of the first day, the Rookie Monster (Nando) came out on top in front of his home crowd much to their delight. Strangely much ado was made about the fact that Alonso on his maiden day in the R28 had managed to beat a rookie with no more than a few hours experience under his school shirt. Here at FFN we are a little bemused to see that Alonso’s stock seems to have sunk as low as the titanic, considering they have to make a song and dance every time he beats any snotty nosed kid who has just fallen off a go-kart.
Valencia Day 2
The second day of testing at the Circuito Ricardo Torno witnessed the Ferrari duo of Felipe Massive and Kimster Iceman storm to the top of the testing tables with a dominant performance. And all before they had strapped on any of their new aerodynamic appendages if our eyes can be believed.
The Ferrari team apparently concentrating on reliability and various set-up options for the day. Not to mention checking if they had all their crayons in place ready for the racing to commence, and keeping their beady eyes skyward lest the Regenmeister had been at a loose end and been unwittingly unleashing havoc (and not just from his wardrobe).
The surprise star of the day went to Nico Rosberg, who with his newly washed flaxen locks, secured the third fastest time of the event in his new Shiny Williams. Raising more than a few eyebrows down the paddock, but not Alonso’s whose permanently look like two slumbering slugs.
The McLaren duo of Happy Heikki and Pedro Pinko could only manage 4th and 5th respectively despite completing over 207 laps. Is it any wonder…I think after two laps of going around in circles I’d fall over with a bad headache, let alone 200 odd. We hope the team had a medical professional on standby in case they experienced a case of the wobblies on disembarkation.
Renault’s Fernando Alonso could only manage a 6th place in front of 35,000 of his home supporters, despite a last ditch attempt on low fuel to snatch away the lead spot from old sparring partner ickle Felipe. Fernando was summarily rewarded with a technical glitch in the engine department for his troubles, and some poor Marshall had to hop to attention and get his hose out (fire hose just in case your wondering where my seedy little mind was going with that one).
For some strange reason unbeknownst to anyone but Honda, they sent out their newly appointed star test driver Alex Beanpole Wurz in last year’s planetary behemoth albeit after an ice age had its way with the map. Really is that any kind of way to welcome the new guy into the team? Will they be flushing his head down the toilet next for good measure? We can’t help but wonder if it would have been cheaper and quicker to send him around the local supermarket on a mobility scooter. No wonder the Austrian has reiterated his wish never to race again if that’s what he has to go on with. Poor man.
Apparently this testing malarkey continues tomorrow, where if I have recovered from the excitement of reading Max Mosley’s latest news and views, I shall continue to spout forth like Mount Etna.
Ciaooo for now.