Adrian Sutil


Courtesy of http://www.TheRatter.com

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Everyone Disqualified from Australian GP except Adrian Sutil

….. is an outcome of the 2009 Australian Grand Prix which is entirely possible according to The Ratter™.

Nothing has changed in Formula 1 for this season – you still have to wait until the Thursday of the week following the race to find out who was on the flippin’ podium, and even then that might not be the final race result.

lewiscamYes, today’s news is that Britain’s Lewis Hamilton™ and McLaren have been disqualified from the Oz race result because they “……acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards at the hearing on Sunday 29th March……” , which is the longest translation of the word “fib” that we’ve ever seen here at The Ratter™ offices. Who’d have thought it…….McLaren……….caught fibbing…….. tch!

Well we won’t explain it all here because to be honest we don’t understand it yet and besides, Autosport will do it more concisely, accurately and seriously anyway, but – given that the decision as to the legality of other cars’ diffusers is currently pending (unless it gets disqualified too) , there is a real possibilty that Adrian Sutil could be the eventual winner of the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.

Here’s our reasoning…….

aussie-gp-classification

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oz-gp-go-go-goNo doubt as you are probably aware by now (given the inordinate length of time it has taken me to dispose of the FFN cat off my laptop keyboard to sit down to write) that this weekend past was the opening round of the 2009 F1 season in Melbourne Australia.

Albert Park located just a few kilometres south of the city of Melbourne, had the auspicious task of hosting what turned out to be a fairytale and nightmare all rolled into one.

The BrawnGP team (formerly Honda), who once were on the receiving end of more than their fair share of stick for building cars that made wayward supermarket trolleys seem a drivers dream, got off to a dream start by not only securing pole position during Qualifying but then going on to dominate the race with a fairytale 1-2 result. Englishman Jenson Button securing only his second ever race win ahead of teammate Rubens ‘Did I tell you I hate Ferrari’ Barrichello.

Sufficed to say, the team couldn’t quite believe it, and neither could the rest of the paddock who immediately shot off to their garages to think up imaginary complaints to the FIA. Not that there were many left to make after the deluge that poured through the FIA’s letterbox by the end of Qualifying.

In fact the governing body taking the strange action of only announcing the official starting grid for the race 1 hour before it was due to take place, presumably it taking them that long to wade through the neverending and increasingly ridiculous retaliatory complaints submitted by teams.

sam-michael-williamsIn fact by the end some teams were submitting then retracting complaints, because they couldn’t even remember what they were protesting in the first place. We understand though that Williams strongly objected to Ferrari for eating Pepperoni Pizza on Friday night, and objected to Red Bull for putting too much taurine in their popular soft drink. But in the interests of the sport they retracted the complaint, although they hoped the FIA would pop over to Ferrari and investigate what Pasta they would be serving Sunday Lunchtime.

The race result itself for BrawnGP was particularly remarkable when you consider they had a semi-bungled pitstop in the dying laps of the race, Rubens Barrichello taking an impromptu nap off the startline and letting half the field past, followed by his penchant for spending the rest of the afternoon trying to drive through other F1 cars and not around them.

a-victim-of-the-barrichello-brawlThe BrawnGP driver took out an impressive four rivals cars in the first corner alone, leaving Mark Webber, Happy Kovaleinen, Nick Heidfeld and Adrian Sutil all scuttling back to the pitlane for repairs or retirement and all without incurring the slightest penalty from the Stewards. Even Maestro Michael Schumacher himself would have been in awe of that one.

We can only presume Rubens who is now the oldest member of the F1 driver fraternity, has taken over the mantle from its previous encumbant David Crash-Magnet Coulthard. The little Brazilian it would seem is firmly intent on winning a title now that he has a decent car, in fact any title, and from what we have seen thus far we can only presume he is gunning for the world record in dodgem racing.

Ferrari were unfortunately handed a masterclass on a plate by their previous Technical Director Bananaman Brawn, the Maranello squad were left with red faces (blending in seamlessly with their red shirts of course), after a disastrous start to their Championship challenge.

Things all started out well enough, with both of the Ferrari driving duo getting off the start grid well and gaining places on their rivals thanks to the KERS system and the soft tyres. Initially all went well, and it looked like Ferrari had pulled off a strategic masterstroke with Felipe Massa up into 3rd place and Kimi chasing down BMW-Sauber’s Robert Kubica from 5th place.

felipe2However, within a few laps it all went horribly wrong, the degradation on the tyres on the Ferrari’s being such, that the Scarlet clad chargers became strongly reminiscent of an ambling tortoise. The Ferrari pitwall were embarrassingly forced to pit both drivers way to early to change the troublesome rubber rings located on the corners of the car.

Williams Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima even selflessly attempted to even things up a bit in Ferrari’s favour, by unexpectedly parking his car at high speed into a barrier at turn 3, eventually tempting the safety car out once it’s designated driver had finished the crossword in the Times and enjoyed a round of Ham and Cheese Deltoids (sandwiches).

The emergence of the safety car allowed the field to close up behind Jenson Button who had reportedly been not far off finishing the championship, enjoying his champagne and buying himself a yacht with his winnings.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa meanwhile was evidently sick to the back teeth of his tyres misbehaving, the usually sunny little Brazilian doing his darnedest to flat spot them and get another 4, unfortunately more of the same awaited him back in the Ferrari Garage. Mores the pity.

piquetAfter the safety car had peeled off and the race was back on, Renault’s Nelson Piquet improved his pitlane reputation no end by tussling with Williams Nico Rosberg and unceremoniously sliding straight off track into the nearest gravel trap. According to the Brazilian his brakes failed at a vital moment leaving him floundering in the kitty litter (hope there were no unmentionables), although here at FFN we strongly suspect you could replace brakes with the word ‘brain’ and you’d not be far wrong.

As if the lack of performance and tyre degradation issues were not enough to be going on with at Ferrari, a rather baffling 3 stop strategy which we can only presume was to trim Felipe’s ferocious facial fuzz, pretty much put paid to the afternoon’s proceedings. Adding insult to injury, a broken suspension in the dying laps of the race meaning Felipe was out of the race and out of the points in Australia for the second year in a row.

Rumour has it Ferrari’s team boss Stefano Domenicali had to keep frantically double checking the date on the pitwall calendar to reassure himself it wasn’t 2008 all over again, either that or Groundhog day. Still Stefano should thank his lucky stars his alarm clock didn’t get rather confused over British Summertime and drag him out of bed to watch the Grand Prix at 4am instead of 6am really.

By the end of it all, really was it any wonder the usually unperturbable Kimbot had enough and decided to try and retire himself from proceedings, clipping the barrier and damaging his differentials, which I can’t help thinking sounds a tad on the painful side. Unfortunately for Kimi, even that didn’t go according to plan leaving the Finn doing his best impression of Mark Webber (sorry, bad joke) and limping around at the back of the pack for the remainder of the race.

the-semiautomatic-machine-gun-goes-hereWe understand that Ferrari chief car designer, Nick Tombazis was last spotted storming at high speed into the Ferrari Motorhome, allegedly the talented Greek was overheard muttering about incorporating Challenger Tank Tracks and a gun turret into the 2010 car instead of having to endure another season of being bested by those pesky round black Bridgestone affairs.

A few laps later, back on track BMW-Sauber’s Robert Kubica had caught up with Red Bull’s Sebastien Vettel, both drivers seemingly so intent on securing 2nd position and not yielding an inch, they took each other out of the race in spectacular fashion.

Unconfirmed rumours have suggested that it wasn’t really Sebastien Vettel’s fault, despite the fact the popular little German skipped off to BMW-Sauber to politely apologise, bless his cotton socks. Was it purely coincidental that the Red Bull starlet was spotted earlier in the weekend wearing what can only be described as 7 times World Champion Michael Schumacher’s shorts?

schumachers-undercrackers1All these years Ferrari Legend Michael has been on the receiving end of some particularly unfair flak from the British Media for his on track ruthlessness, win at all costs attitude and apparent arrogance, when all the time it was a pair of chequered undercrackers that were evilly masterminding the punting off of rivals willy-nilly in championship title deciding moments. Poor Michael, just goes to show you never really know a man. There is hope for Lewis Hamilton yet then.

Anyway before we start whittering away nineteen to the dozen about current paddock fads and fashions and global domination, we should conclude that predictably the BrawnGP duo led home a dominant dream 1-2 result, much to the delight of the flaxen haired and toothy new team sponsor Virgin’s Entrepreneur Richard Branston Pickle, and to the obvious relief and delight of Uncle Ross Bananaman Brawn.

Much to the dismay of everyone else of course, as subsequently the BrawnGP team have admitted there is much more to come (heavens forbid), and presumably every other team in the paddock is having to work their socks off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to remotely keep up.

One does have to wonder though just exactly what the FIA race stewards were doing on Sunday afternoon, as we strongly suspect they weren’t actually watching the race at all.

After failing to give Ruben’s Barrichello a good rap over the knuckles for his numerous avoidable incidents, and demoting Jarno Trulli from 3rd place effectively handing the trophy to McLaren’s World Champion Lewis Hamilton (who we grudgingly admit drove a stellar race from the rear of the grid to claim a handful of points), rather puzzlingly the FIA saw fit to punish little Sebastien, but not for dispatching Robert Kubica onto the grass verges minus a wheel.

The FIA slapped the German with a 10 place grid slot penalty and a 50,000 euro fine for not getting his car off track quickly enough after the initial incident. According to the FIA regulations it was a breach of safety, which does beg the question what the one-man-demolition-darby who also goes by the moniker of Mr.Barrichello is classed as.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and the FIA are well….I’ll leave you to figure that out.

As suspected, Thursday morning of the opening weekend of the Grand Prix season in Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia was a flurry of activity.

catwalk-model-kimiWhile the drivers were chatting away merrily in the FIA press conference or happily getting their official photo taken (fetchingly demonstrated by stunning catwalk model Kimi Raikkonen inset), BMW-Sauber, Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault were frenetically submitting official protests to the sports governing body the FIA over the controversial and innovative design of the diffusors on rival teams’ cars, notably that of the Williams, Toyota and BrawnGP.

Within minutes BMW-Sauber’s protest was thrown out on the grounds they did not submit it within one hour of scrutineering, presumably because Nick Heidfeld’s new best friend kept eating the paper and hiding the pencils and generally aping about much to the annoyance of Super Mario.

However Renault, Red Bull and Ferrari all got their own way, leaving the poor FIA technical delegation crawling around on the garage floor like children at kindergarten for half the afternoon, inspecting the rear ends of the cars in question.

It seems the protests though have amounted to nothing, as just a few hours ago, the FIA threw out the protests and confirmed that as far as they were concerned the devices were perfectly legal….but then haven’t we been here, done that and bought the t-shirt when it came to mass dampers? And we all remember how that saga ended.

scrutineeringIt is presumed that the teams protesting will not be happy to leave matters there and may protest the race result on Sunday (if either BrawnGP, Toyota or Williams win) taking the matter to the FIA Court of Appeal (at least they provide a nice spread of cucumber sandwiches, sausage rolls and fizzy pop no expense spared).

Former Ferrari favourite Uncle Ross (looking resplendently grey in his new Henri Lloyd ensemble) was quick to point out that the only reason Ferrari have protested is because they have fallen out of bed in shock that someone is quicker than them, and also intimated they wouldn’t be in this mess if they had actually learned to read the regulations for themselves. Saucer of Milk at table two. Sufficed to say Uncle Ross might not be quite so popular as previously thought in Maranello this week.

In Ferrari’s defence we do feel that the lengthy FIA rules and regulations are in fact the perfect cure for insomnia if ever there was one, so really is it any wonder the Italians nodded off over their hot chocolate before ever getting to the end.

vision-in-greyScurrulous circulating rumours in Melbourne have suggested that Ferrari are so incensed by the whole debacle they have sent a formal notice down the pitlane to the BrawnGP garage, asking Uncle Ross to return his official limited edition Ferrari Parmesan Cheese Grater and Vintage 2006 bottle of balsamic vinegar.

Meanwhile Ferrari’s Felipe Massa has been sharing his little gems of wisdom with the media in the official FIA press conference, discussing such subjects as KERS, the new front wings, his chances for the season and who he thinks will be lining up to driver for the Scuderia next.

One journalist asked the Brazilian poppet how he would feel sharing a garage with Lewis Hamilton, who we understand has set tongues wagging by announcing that he would pleased to learn if rival teams were interested in him.

As is always the case in F1, a simple innocent statement flies around the paddock three times, and before you know it Lewis Hamilton has packed his bags, bought a Villa on Lake Como and declared a penchant for Pasta Pillows all based on the rumour of an alleged performance deficit at his beloved McLaren.

hamiltonWhat may come as a little bit of a shock to the McLaren star, is that there is a lengthy list of drivers ahead of him in the queue for a seat at the Scuderia, not withstanding his good friend Fernando Alonso, Robert Kubica, Nico Rosberg, Sebastien Vettel and anyone else that has ever shown a fancy for wearing red, today Felipe let slip that his father may even be in the frame for the job. Although we do think it might be a tight squeeze getting him into the cockpit of Kimi’s car (especially with the Finn sleeping inside). Perhaps Ferrari might consider employing Felipe’s mum as Chief Designer and kill two birds with one stone while they are at it.

They do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and to this effect it seems that former World Champion and Renault star Fernando Alonso seems hell bent on following in the footsteps of Ferrari President Luca Di Montezemolo. The Spaniard has been spotted waving his arms around and talking rather animatedly in the paddock, anytime the merest mention of Bernie Ecclestone is uttered.

According to reports, the Double World Champion has insisted that it is about time the Formula 1 Supremo, got off his soapbox and actually listened to those involved in the sport before running off half-cock with stupid and ill-advised rule changes to the FIA. Our dear friend from Asturias in recent times seeming to have promoted himself to the role of ambassador for sport, in the absence of any sense emitting from anyone else aged over 25 in the paddock.

nicks-new-friendWe can’t help wondering however if Fernando might have more luck selling ice to Eskimos or even encouraging Nick Heidfeld‘s new best friend to compose the entire works of Shakespeare on a manual typewriter, given that Bernard has reportedly admitted this week “Everything I have done, I have done for myself or for the company I run. I have never done it thinking it could be good for somebody else”.

Has the world of F1 finally gone to pot? Why the deuces is Force India’s Adrian Sutil figure skating up and down the pitlane like Peter Pan? Will Mark Webber ever defrost in time for Sunday? Will Ferrari’s Team Principal Stefano Domenicali ever succeed in getting that grubby stain off Felipe’s chin? Will FFN ever write a serious and intelligent article? Stay tuned to find out more….

3 days and counting…..

This week has witnessed the Ferrari Team upping camp and relocating to Madonna di Campiglio in Northern Italy, for the annual Wrooom event. Generally the event seems to be grown men larking about like a bunch of schoolboys up a mountain.

serious-stefano.jpg The Ferrari boys indulged in a little bit of skiing, a bit of snowboarding, the odd press conference, shoving snowballs down Felipe Massa’s sweater and crashing a few FIAT 500’s into each other in the snow for good measure.

Not forgetting to mention of course the important business of projecting a serious, responsible and grown up public image when you have just been crowned F1 team boss, is that not so Mr Domenicali?

We are not entirely sure what the real purpose of the event is, but it is good to see the team having some fun before the serious business of F1 racing gets underway in March. Naturally we are just jealous we don’t get to muck about in the Alps at the expense of our boss.

In light of some comments we made several days ago, we are glad to report that Ferrari’s Official Spokesman Luca Colajanni has been found alive and well. Mr Colajanni magically popped out the woodwork less than 24 hours after we were wondering what Ferrari had done with him, and reportedly told Finnish Publication Turunsanomat that he is delighted that their new world champion Kimi Raikkonen now talks more to the media than he used to.

ferraris-3rd-driver.jpgPresumably Ferrari are still struggling understand a word his Mumbleship mutters, but at least it means Mr Colajanni is not having to make up comments on Kimi’s behalf and stick them through babelfish to get the right effect.

Other news emanating from the Scuderia, comes this week on the back of President’s Luca di Montezemolo’s earlier comments that retired star Michael Schumacher has been given the role of Ferrari’s 3rd Driver.

Mr Schumacher has clarified that his role within the team will actually be to help develop cars, both in the road car division and to help the F1 team where he can. When asked if this meant he would be making a Grand Prix comeback should anything untoward happen to one of Ferrari’s regular drivers (mentioning no names), Michael confirmed that this was not a possibility. Thereby dashing the hopes of many tifosi, but no doubt delighting Felipe Massa who had probably been considering hiring two beefy bodyguards for his own protection from the fanbase’s madcap scheming.

Elsewhere in F1, Force 1ndia has unveiled their driver line-up this week in Mumbai. German star Adrian Sutil and Italian Giancarlo Fisichella have been confirmed for the race seats, with Tonio Liuzzi being hired as the test driver. The curious launch of the line up saw the threesome dressed in a rather curious ensemble, with a leather-looking tunic and a pair of jodphurs.

curious-outfits.jpgObviously looking a little bit concerned at having to wear the get-up, no doubt Sutil and Fisichella were wondering if they would actually be getting F1 cars for the 2008 season, or having to go about on a pair of old nags. Perhaps new team owner Vijay Mallya has misunderstood the concept of horsepower.

Here at FFN we have come to the conclusion that Renault must put something in their ex-driver’s water on the way out the door, as apparently within days of being announced at Force 1ndia, Fisichella has already upset his team-mate. Which has to be a record, at least Fernando Alonso took a few months before upsetting the apple cart at McLaren.

According to some reports in the Media, Fissy announcing “I’m the reference point, the number one driver, thanks to my experience. Sutil comes after that,” to Italian Publication Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Naturally all this talk of Number 1’s and 2’s has come as somewhat of a nasty surprise for Sutil, who had been reliably informed he was going to be driving at the back of the grid not the front. The German Star has reportedly retorted to Fisichella’s comments, along the lines of, “we will worry about that when we are fighting for podiums” and silently adding “which will be when you have long retired old man”.

spa-francorchamps.jpgAfter a year out from the F1 calendar while revisions were being made to the track, F1 racing finally returned to glorious Spa Francorchamps last weekend.

The week leading up to the Grand Prix had been dominated with the legal wranglings taking place in Paris at the WMSC, with the pitlane on tenterhooks as to what decision if any the FIA would take against McLaren. Who you probably know by now if you have a head, a brain and all the usual limbs etc saw McLaren take a bit of a drubbing, but lucky to escape with a humungous fine, no constructors points and a big arrow above their heads pointing in a southerly direction saying “cheats”.

So it came as great relief to the fans, engineers, drivers and everyone concerned that finally things could move on, the men in grey suits could be banished back into their broom cupboards and we could finally get back to what the sport is ‘supposed’ to be about motor racing.

After a dismal showing at their home grand prix a week previously Ferrari were determined to redress the balance and finally give their fans something to be cheery about, but could their arch rivals stop them?

Securing the first Ferrari front row lockout of the season, things were certainly looking up for the Maranello squad. But it remained to be seen if Kimi and Felipe could manage to go a whole race keeping their McLaren counterparts behind them and without any more mysterious collisions into tyre walls, damper failures (whatever they are when they are at home) or any short term memory loss on the pitwall regarding refuelling.

the-race-start.jpgAs the five red lights went out, both of our boys were wide awake for once and made a great start down into the first corner, with the McLaren duo battling it out behind them. As his team mate drew level with him going into La Source, Fernando Alonso decided he was having none of it from the star rookie and was going to teach him a bit of a lesson as only pushy Double World Champions with a penchant for brake-testing and tantrum throwing are want to do. Nando forced his team mate to go wide at the exit to La Source and the pair ran side by side down into Eau Rouge, but Fernando was determined not to give an inch let alone a mile to his team mate forcing young Lewis to back off or end up as tyre wall fodder.

Apparently this manoeuvre upset the Englishman, but considering he has been carrying out Schumacher-esque chops all season on just about everyone, is he really in a position to complain? Really one cannot expect much better from certain Spaniards who think nothing of cheating, lying, blackmailing his team and shopping them to the governing body really.

At the end of the first lap BMW-Sauber’s Robert Kubica had moved up from 15th to 13th place after being demoted down the grid post qualifying for an engine change. He may have a head shaped like a parsnip but he certainly knows how to drive which can’t be said for some people in F1.

As the second lap was under way Austrian beanpole Alex Wurx spun his car in the bus stop demoting himself right to the back of the pack. Meanwhile Antipodean Mark ‘Whingebag’ Webber (who we should mention has been remarkably quiet of late) seemed to be a man on a mission and stormed past Renault’s Gardening Expert Heikki ‘Grassmower’ Kovaleinen into 6th place. It remained to be seen though if the Red Bull could manage more than a handful of laps before the gearbox gremlins set in.

Out front the Kimster was scampering away having built up a 1.7 second lead in just two laps over teammate Felipe Massa, with petulant Spaniard Fernando Alonso just 1.4 seconds behind him on track.

Proving that his birdnest beard is no hindrance to aerodynamic efficiency bratwurst munching and all round sparkly personality Nick Heidfeld meanwhile was scrapping it out with Grassmower for 7th spot.

Meanwhile Parsnip-chops Robert Kubica was charging up the field and showing one of the “top 3 drivers in F1” Ralf Schumacher a thing or to, by making short work of him on track and snatching away his 8th place.

sutil-v-coulthard.jpgIt would seem Spyker’s B spec car was a bit of an improvement on their usual day-glo eyesore of a shopping trolley, with German Star Adrian Sutil up into 12th spot. The talented pianist and pitlane totty (according to some) was by this stage in proceedings all over the back of David Coulthard’s Red Bull like a bad rash. Whether Mr Magoo noticed or not, or was too busy grooming his grizzly little excuse for a beard in his wing mirrors who can say.

Meanwhile poor little poppet Sebastien Vettel (with slightly frightening shaved head) had come into the pits, gone out again and decided to retire. The 12-year-old lookalike sat patiently in his car in the garage while the mechanics removed the nose cone and poked about the car.

Out front the Kimster and ickle Felipe were scampering away, while Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovaleinen were scrapping it out at La Source. In the Bus Stop Kubica left his braking later than the Finn and shot past like a rocket or at the same speed you’d expect from Kimi had a bottle of Finlandia Vodka been up for grabs.

On lap 14, the first of the pitstops began with Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Vitantonio Liuzzi all pitting. The following lap championship contenders Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton came in for the first of their pitstops, and wonders will never cease Ferrari managed to remember all four tyres, fuel and everything. Bravo! It’s amazing what they can do when they have new crayons on that pitwall.

Eventually Adrian Sutil in the Spyker pitted, much to the relief of Mr Magoo in the Red Bull, who then had to fight off the challenge of Robert Kubica in the BMW-Sauber. However, DC managed to use his cube shaped head to his advantage and managed to resist the challenge from the ‘divinely’ inspired and Vatican favourite Pole.

scampering-away.jpgBy the end of lap 20 the Kimster was leading ickle Felipe by 2.3 second and Fandango by 11.8 seconds, so much for the drubbing McLaren were going to dole out in response to their slapped hand at the WMSC courtesy of arch rivals Ferrari then.

A few laps later further pitstops taking place, with Jense (once loved by the British Media) Button and Liuzzi coming in, and a lap later Mr Magoo coming in releasing Kubica out on track.

On lap 31 the Kimster decided to come in presumably because he had run out of Roll-Mops and Vodka, and incidentally took on some fuel, new tyres and a Spiderman comic to read on his way round to the chequered flag. Meanwhile poor Cube-head Coulthard retired in the Bus stop due to a technical failure on the Red Bull, oh well if he waited long enough presumably some public transport would drop by and pick him up. Well it must be called ‘The Bus Stop’ for a reason!

The following lap ickle Felipe came into the pits for a second time, meanwhile out on track Takuma “suicidal move” Sato managed to pass Jense Button in the Honda, the Honda B Team still spanking the Honda A team good and proper. Haven’t Honda recalibrated that blooming wind tunnel yet?

By lap 33 Alonso had come in for his second pitstop releasing his teammate Lewis Lovechild up into 2nd spot, However 3rd placed ickle Felipe has already pitted and Lewis hadn’t meaning that it was only a matter of time before the Ferrari front position lock out was back on again.

A few laps later Hamilton came into the pits for his second stop, while Jense retired down at Honda…well what can you expect from a car that has about as much mechanical grip as an oiled haddock on a skating rink and all the aerodynamic efficiency of a 1970’s style afro.

Out front the Kimster was now 14 seconds ahead and rumouredly having to receive electro-convulsive therapy every few seconds from race engineer Chris Dyer to keep him from slipping into an afternoon nap as he is want to do on occasion.

With two laps remaining both ickle Felipe and young Lewis both started putting pressure on their respective “No.1” team mates, the McLaren rookie nearly losing it at Pouhon, but fortunately the tarmac run off area allowed him to continue, no doubt if a gravel trap had maliciously intervened there wouldn’t have been enough time for a crane to come out and rescue him before the race had finished.

the-race-winner.jpgThe Kimster then lead home a much needed Ferrari 1-2 much to the delight of the tifosi and the team, and even managed a rare show of emotion by doing a donut in his F2007 before entering the pitlane prompting everyone to wonder just who had been driving the Ferrari that afternoon. He even managed to crack a smile on the podium…we are deeply concerned…what have Ferrari been doing to him?

Meanwhile Nando Alone-so was looking increasingly uncomfortable during the podium celebrations, no doubt because he was out numbered 3-1 by Ferrari men even if he did know their brake balance, weight distribution, wives shopping habits, favourite meals and bank balances.

So now just 9 days to go until the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, and the fight is on for the World Drivers Championship, with just 2 points between the McLaren duo and the Kimster 13 points behind. All it needs is a Banana in the odd McLaren tail pipe and let battle commence! That’s unless McLaren decide to appeal their conviction and end up even deeper in the mire with the WMSC.

Forza Ferrari!

Calling all FFN readers!

Here at FFN we would like to sincerely thank everyone who has visited our blog since we began back in December 2006, your feedback and continued support is much appreciated.

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Identify a subject/subjects you want to write about
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We will then read your post, check that we aren’t about to be thrown in a Guatemalan jail for publishing it and all be well and good, we will publish the best ones for everyone to read.

You never know you could end up writing for us all the time and save mankind not to mention poor FerrariFan from having to read my dreadful mad old ramblings on a daily basis!

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Considering you can’t usually shut us up here at FFN, you may be wondering why it’s taken this long for us to sit down and write anything on Sunday’s European Grand Prix. Well we have no excuses really, just that we have been lying down with our Ferrari embroidered flannels on our foreheads trying to come to terms with all the excitement and drama.

ahappyscene.jpgUnless you have been vacationing on Mars, no doubt you will be aware that McLaren’s Fernando Alonso stole victory in the closing laps of the race from the sticky mitts of Ferrari’s poor little poppet Felipe Massa in one of the most exciting races in years. Although the result was not what the Tifosi were quite expecting, the weather and ensuing chaos ensured that for once F1 wasn’t about cars going around pointlessly and endlessly in circles with nothing much happening in between.

All began well enough, with the boys from the Scuderia lining up in 1st and 3rd places on the grid respectively, with Fernando Alonso sandwiched in between. Due to his unfortunate high-speed tête-à-tête with the barriers during qualifying, championship leader Lewis ITV-Lovechild Hamilton was languishing down in tenth spot on the grid. The prospect of Ferrari maximising on this fortunate turn of events, not to mention the prospect of Lewis actually having to overtake someone other than a back-marker for once had us all rubbing our hands in glee.

As the grid formed up for the red lights to go out, Spyker’s rookie Marcus Winkelhock lined up to start from the pitlane. Not that usually that would make much difference as the Spyker’s seem to be permanently glued to the back of the grid…so I doubt it caused many raised eyebrows.

goodstartfelipe.jpgAs the race got under way, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa got a great start and managed to swipe 2nd place from the hands of Fernando Alonso, while Lewis Lovechild got off to another of his demon starts making up five places on the main straight. As the rest of the pack were swarming around the track Quick Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica seemingly forgot they weren’t at the fairground playing dodgems and drove into each other, collecting Lewis’s rear tyre causing a puncture. One has to wonder if Lewis was becoming sick to death of those black round things on the corners of the car, as he wasn’t having much luck with them all weekend.

At this point the rain decided to intercede in events, meaning that the track was too slippery on the dry weather tyres. At the end of the first lap the vast majority of the field decided this was a good time to pit for intermediate tyres, with the exception of the Kimster. Kimi presumably thought he’d have some fun aquaplaning across the pitlane entrance and go around for another go like a kid at Waterworld. While Felipe was leading proceedings in the pitlane, the Kimster had a slightly surreal moment as Marcus Winkelhock in the Spyker passed him on his lap. Yes a Spyker taking a Ferrari…. Just imagine! I bet Kimi decided to give up on the Finlandia Vodka there and then (just means more for me then).

interestingparkinglot1.jpgAt the end of the second lap apparently Kimi got a call from the pitwall to stop larking about and to come in, and as he did so utter carnage began in turn 1. Jenson Button started it all sliding into the barriers which is probably what the Honda deserves, and he wasn’t long to be outdone by a few other drivers. Lewis ended up in the gravel yet again, but this time managed to save himself from being closely acquainted with the tyre wall, shortly followed by Adrian Sutil who slid in backwards narrowly missing Lewis.

At this point we assume Race Director Charlie Whiting must have decided to pop the safety car out, as you can’t have much of a race if everyone is parking up in the first turn like you would at the supermarket. Just as the safety car was deployed, the Race Marshalls rushed into action, digging out all their expensive cranes and diggers to try and remove some of the hapless beached victims. STR’s Tonio Liuzzi as ever decided it was boring having his race car pointing in a forwards direction and decided he would have a go at sliding into the side of a tractor for fun. Unfortunately the tractor was considerably bigger than his car and was always going to come out the winner in that one.

Meanwhile young German rookie Marcus Winkelhock in a Spyker was leading the Grand Prix which must have been slightly surreal for a car used to being stuck behind just about everyone on four wheels including Jarno Trulli on roller-skates. Cunningly Lewis had managed to keep his car going, and once the crane had lifted him out of the gravel trap he was able to get back on track and go around for some more fun albeit a lap down on the leaders.

redflagged.jpgAfter four laps the race became red flagged due to the weather conditions, well that’s the official story and the FIA are sticking to it. Personally I think the Safety Car guy threw a wobbly at having a Spyker so closely behind him (given their reputation for driving into just about anything) and couldn’t take the pressure anymore. The cars then had to reform on the grid once more, the sun broke out and the teams were forced to await the restart while getting a spot of sunbathing in.

After half an hour the race was back on again under the safety car. McLaren meanwhile were disputing that Lewis was in fact a lap down on everyone else, (presumably conveniently forgetting Lewis’s short sojourn in the gravel, but then McLaren do like to dispute just about everything including the fact they haven’t really seen secret Ferrari documents). However, Lewis had to basically unlap himself and form up at the back of the grid ready for the race to begin in earnest.

However for some silly reason just as he had unlapped himself Hamilton came into the pits to take on a set of dry tyres despite the fact the track was still very wet. Subsequently as the race started again, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were able to get past race leader Marcus Winkelhock on the extreme wet tyres, compared to the rest of the field being on the intermediate ones.

The McLaren decision to pop Lewis on the dry tyres appeared to have been a bit of a gaffe as Lewis spun the car yet again but luckily managed to keep it going. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before Lewis was getting lapped again…and we thought it was him supposed to be doing the overtaking.

Meanwhile the Kimster was all over fellow flying Finn Heikki ‘Grassmower’ Kovaleinen like a bad case of the chicken pox, and it wasn’t long before Kimi got past, but Heikki was not having any of it and immediately took the position back off the Kimster again. Those Feisty Finns.

kimihuntsdownalonso.jpgFerrari then decided to bring Raikko in to go out on some dry tyres, a move that would later prove to be very wise as Kimi was able to get up into 3rd place and start hunting down Eyebrows Alonso in the McLaren.

On the next lap race leader Felipe Massa lead a stream of cars into the pits for the switch to dry tyres, leaving Red Bull’s Mr Magoo to lead the race for one lap. Meanwhile Spyker’s star rookie of the day Marcus Winkelhock unfortunately had to retire due to a hydraulics problem, the German later admitted to having thoroughly enjoyed his 10 seconds of glory…and strangely for a Spyker driver it didn’t end up in any of the barriers for a change much to the relief of the Mechanics.

The top three drivers, Felipe, Fernando and the Kimster meanwhile were within less than four seconds of each other and Kimi seemed to be catching Alonso at a rate of knots, leading us to wonder if Kimi has been using his Finlandia Vodka for rocket fuel instead of drinking it.

Shortly after Renault’s Heikki Kovaleinen was able to get past the Williams of Alex Wurz, while Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher and BMW-Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld were battling it out for eighth place. Quick Nick again seemed to be struggling to see through his voluminous beard and managed to punt Schumacher off track. Once out of the car Ralf seemed to be visibly annoyed and looked like he wanted to hot foot it across the track after Heidfeld. Unfortunately a Marshall decided to unwisely intervene and try and encourage Ralf away from the danger of the racetrack and got a good shove Raikkonen style for his troubles.

A few laps later Ferrari’s flying Finn seemed to be struggling to keep up with Alonso, and it later became evident there was a serious problem with his car as the engine began to cut out. It was later to be confirmed by Ferrari that Kimi’s car suffered hydraulic problems, which put him out of the race. Kimi must be wondering just what he has to do at the Nurburgring to stop his cars falling apart on him. Perhaps purchasing some industrial strength gaffer tape would help?

kimiretires.jpgWith Kimi out of the race, Red Bull’s resident handbag slinger Mark Webber was promoted up to third place for his dogged drive.

Before this turns into a feature length life-sapping essay of the sort of proportions that only McLaren CEO Ron Dennis can provide (and yes I’m slipping into a coma and I’m writing it), perhaps we should try and sum up what happened for the remainder of the race.

In short two further rounds of pitstops ensued, followed by more rain. During the final round of pitstops Nando attempted to squash ex-team mate Fisichella’s Renault between his car and the pitwall as they raced side by side down the pitlane for the exit. No doubt Fissyfella was not “very ‘appy” but unfortunately this time we were not party to his colourful radio transmissions.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa managed to just avoid driving over what appeared to be a stray ‘Ferrari Frisbee’ lying out on track, and with the rain once more in play Fernando Alonso managed to catch up and overhaul the remaining Ferrari. Not without some exciting wheel banging race action taking place first, which really should be compulsory in just about every race.

Unfortunately Ferrari confirmed after the race that Felipe’s car was suffering from vibrations due to the last set of tyres, and this is why he apparently lost time to the McLaren of his rival. And really, honestly, had nothing absolutely whatsoever to do with the fact Felipe is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard when it comes to driving in the rain, bless his cotton socks.

pantomimedameinaction.jpgNot content to however have stolen the victory from the Brazilian in the final laps of a thrilling yet chaotic race, Fernando couldn’t quite help himself when he got out of the car in Parc Ferme. The Spaniard making a theatrical show of demonstrating to the watching media the scratched paint along the side of his car. If he ever decides to quit F1, he has no fear of being bored and not having anything to do like a certain Mr. Schumacher. No indeed here at FFN we would bet our money that Fernando Alone-so has a ready made career treading the boards as a theatrical pantomime dame…and we like to think he’d look quite good in a dress.

As the top three drivers made their way up to the podium, Fernando and Felipe were involved in a polite exchange of opinions. From our lip-reading expert we can garner that the main gist of the conversation was:

Fernando: “Next time I do insist after you sir!”
Felipe: “No after you!”
Fernando: “No, no I must insist dear Felipe after you!”
Felipe: “Fernando you are just too kind”

What a polite bunch these F1 drivers are. We only wish the same could be said for Team Bosses. McLaren’s CEO Ron Dennis (as you will know by now I’m a particular fan) made a complete public spectacle of himself on the podium after receiving the constructors trophy from one Mr. Schumacher of 7 World Championship Fame.

fia.jpgRon was seen gesticulating and pointing to the back of Michael’s head like a badly behaved six-year-old (let alone 60). Quite what it was all about we have no idea, perhaps it was motivated by follicle related jealousy, after all our German friend has plenty of luscious Loreal locks unlike Mr. Slaphead.

Whatever the reason, maybe someone ought point out it doesn’t do to take the mick out of someone who has just given you a trophy on the winners podium. Not least because these people are usually presidents and prime ministers and usually have a decent arsenal of nuclear warheads at their disposal should you upset them. Michael may only have a ‘Schloss’ in Switzerland, a bizarre wardrobe of clothes and a big collection of pots, but we do hear he has a good collection of vehicles in which he could decently run you over with Ron.

It matters not, Mr. Dennis might be laughing on the other side of his face come Thursday afternoon. We live in Hope. Forza Ferrari.

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