Today 7 times World Champion Michael Schumacher will finally get his hands on the F2008 in a much publicised test session at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.

the-return-of-the-schu1.jpgAs is always the case with the Schu, the prospect has created quite a stir amongst the F1 fanbase, as the German Superstar will be testing alongside Ferrari’s current WDC Kimbot ‘Flu-riddled’ Raikkonen for the first time in the same car.

The Ferrari team have been quick to point out that the duo will actually be completing different parts of the F2008 program as to avoid the prospect of anyone making direct and possibly unflattering comparisons between the two champions (and to save any blushes for the loser). Like that is actually going to stop anyone!

Suffice to say F1 internet buffs everywhere are already rubbing their hands together in delight at the prospect of pouring over the timesheets like a bunch of complete anoraks to ascertain who is actually the fastest of the two.

We can only wonder which WDC will be going home with a rather large dent in their ego tonight, and which will be going home in another hideous fashion statement. Just kidding (about the ego not the shirts) and we haven’t honestly the faintest notion who will come out as the cream of the crop.

Meanwhile another WDC who has been in the beady eye of public scrutiny just recently is Renault’s Double World Champion Fernando Alonso. The reclusive Spaniard (who barely speaks two words together during the course of a season if we are lucky, according to Ron Dennis) has this week spoken out about his forthright opinions on the ongoing ‘race row’ that has dominated the sport in recent weeks.

nando.jpgWe can only presume that we are not talking about the same man as Mr. Dennis, as the one that comes to our minds is the one that spews forth with greater alacrity and garrulousness than Mount Etna the minute he is within 3 square feet of a microphone.

The ‘race row’ in question should not be confused with the usual ‘race rows’ that envelope Formula 1, whereby a lot of brake-testing, impeding rivals, red flags, spats across the garage, dodgy parking and ending up in the gravel trap go on during the course of the average weekend in the sport, much to our delight.

Indeed Nando has been speaking out in defence of his countrymen in response to allegations thrown at them by the British Media. According to the King of Spanish Public Relations, the Spanish are not racist and the whole incident at Barcelona a few weeks back whereby a few individuals took it upon themselves to lob objects and vocalise their appreciation for Lewis Hamilton was a one-off incident. We can only presume then the other incident in China mentioned by Max Mosley, was a figment of someone’s overactive imagination.

Nando went on to dismiss the need for the FIA to involve themselves in the whole affair and suggested that an anti-racism campaign was not desirous. According to the Renault Star, he too has been on the receiving end of some verbal abuse on occasion, with Niki Lauda reportedly calling him a “dog” during the course of the 2007 season. Nando quite rightly pointing out that the FIA didn’t rush and launch an anti-canine campaign on his behalf.

Just for future reference we think someone should point out one minor trivial and inconsequential detail to the Double World Champion, that our four legged furry friends are actually considered a ‘species’ and not a ‘race’. Otherwise he could end up not doing so well at the ‘Science and Nature’ questions when he plays that board game Trivial Pursuit.

smiling-stepney.jpgOver in Italy this week disgraced former glorified Mechanic Nigel Stepney was seen putting in an appearance at the public abode of the Modena Magistrate, Giuseppe Tibis.

Steppers spent around 3 hours having a “discussion” with the Italian magistrate regarding the ongoing legal action being brought against the Brit by the Ferrari team.

Judging by the photos of the Brit smiling as he left the Magistrates Office, we can only conclude it was a civilised affair with glasses of champagne and some rather tasty hors d’ouvres thrown in for good measure…and disappointingly no apparent toenail extraction to expediate matters.

Either that or Steppers is rather masochistic in nature and enjoys a good interrogation as well as the notoriety gained from being Public Enemy No.1.

Meanwhile, just in case any of us were in danger of being completely overshadowed by the size of McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton’s ego (which is not likely unless you happen to live in Switzerland) Willi Weber has benevolently stepped into the fray to save us all, how kind of him.

willi-weber.jpgThe German best known for being Michael Schumacher’s Manager, and for spending 15 years constantly printing out World Champion T-shirts whether his man won or not, has commented in the Media that he sees no current replacement in the sport for the majesty of his former Star.

According to Willi (which we think is an apt name for him if ever there was one) F1’s latest golden boy Hamilton is good but not that good. The German went on to suggest that if Michael Schumacher were still driving today (well he is, isn’t he?) he would easily knock the British sensation into a cocked hat, or something similar.

We can only hope that Michael manages to pull out a good qualifying performance today in Barcelona and beats the Brit, otherwise Mr Weber could be going home embarrassingly with egg all over his face, Although that would be a vast aesthetic improvement to our minds.

Of course we can only come to the rather startling and cynical conclusion that the real reason behind such comments is that Mr.Weber isn’t making a single Euro out of the British Star, Bah Humbug.

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