Norbert Haug


helmut-markoRed Bull’s appropriately named Motorsports Advisor Helmut Marko has today go on record saying that Sebastien Buemi’s strong debut performance in the Australian Grand Prix, where the swiss youngster secured 7th place bringing home 2 valuable points, is vindication of Torro Rosso’s decision to give the youngster a Formula 1 drive alongside Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais (or as we like to think of him Sebastien Bad Day – due to his tempestuous F1 career to date).

According to Mr.Hard Hat, he had to fight hard to convince many skeptics that the Swiss Youngster was able to make the step up from the GP2 feeder series. Although this might come as startling news to some F1 pundits, who believe the main and solitary criteria for occupying the Torro Seat starts with “S” and ends in “ebastien.” never mind whether you can pedal a motor vehicle or not.

buemiThe Swiss youngster was keen to point out to any journalist within a 50 foot square radius (although that’s probably a contradiction in terms squares can’t be round), that those critics who said he wasn’t ready for the step up into the elite pantheon of the Motorsport Gods simply didn’t know the first thing about motor racing. Not that this factor has stopped a journalist before you understand, or anyone else for that matter when taken with the urge to spout forth.

By now all the Formula 1 teams will have arrived in Sepang, Malaysia and begun unpacking and setting up garage ahead of the second round of the F1 calendar which takes place this weekend.

The Ferrari team are keen to bounce back after the disappointment of Melbourne, and have reportedly been working hard to try and improve their performance and avoid an embarrassing repeat of last Sunday. (Perhaps Ferrari might want to remind Felipe not to repeat his 2008 Malaysian Experience, while they are at it).

It is understood the Maranello based team are investigating a relationship between the KERS system and the high rear tyre degradation rate they suffered at the Australian GP. Despite those concerns, the team will apparantly be using the KERS system again in Malaysia, no doubt to get off to a flying start at the first corner, only to have to pit at the end of lap one for a new set of boots.

Meanwhile Bridgestone have just made Ferrari’s week, by confirming that they are bringing soft tyres to Malaysia, a compound which has never previously been used at the Sepang circuit. According to those in the know, this is an FIA directive to “spice” up the show. Although we are a little concerned going by the results so far, if the tifosi can take much more “spice” without their heads imploding and creating an almighty mess on the pit straight.

While the teams and fans are mulling over what this latest turn in developments may mean in Sepang, especially with rain predicted this weekend, Williams Driver Nico ‘Britney’ Rosberg has revealed his lifelong fear of the dark.

flappy-blonde-maneAccording to the perfectly coifed one from Germany, Finland, Iceland, Bulgaria, Papua New Guinea or wherever he happens to live this week in his attempts to avoid partaking in the joys of National service, he is most alarmed about the increasing number of twilight races being scheduled into the Formula 1 calendar.

The Williams star claims that the visibility during this twilight period is dangerous, and highlights that during the Australian GP on Sunday he was unable to see the edge of the race track, which surely should come as little surprise considering he hasn’t seen a hairdresser in the best part of 10 years. We wouldn’t be able to see a darn thing with a great big yellow mane flapping about in our faces either.

According to the young Rosberg, driving when there are so many shadows about is very dangerous. Although we would have thought the current crop of F1 stars would be used to it by now, given that they all seem to have been born with sunglasses surgically attached to their faces.

the-fly1It is reportedly the norm on a Thursday afternoon to see the odd F1 pilot stumbling about the paddock completely disorientated desperately trying to find his way to the FIA press conference on time lest he gets fined $10,000 for not showing his face, but spotting an F1 driver not doing an impression of a Fly……don’t be silly.

Don’t worry Nico your secret fear of the dark is safe with us, we wouldn’t reveal it to anyone, pretty much like we didn’t reveal Felipe Massa’s fear of clean underpants, Fernando Alonso’s Hamilton-a-phobia, Jenson Button’s fear of razors or Norbert Haug’s fear of starving to death.

Sweet Dreams…

This week we have seen all ten Formula 1 teams in action at the same time at the winter group test at the Circuit de Catalunya, near Barcelona in Spain.

By and large testing is usually a pretty dull affair, (unless your one of those armchair experts who excitedly devours all the photographs like they are going out of fashion looking for all the latest updates and gizmos) with the most exciting event being when someone’s car has a technical hissy fit and forces the poor driver to abandon it and walk back to the pitlane.

michael-inspects-mclarenThat is unless you are the World Champion at McLaren and fancy parking it in a gravel trap, immediately causing former World Champions scuttling off eagerly down the nearest escape road to oversee proceedings whilst the track marshalls recover your car using your favourite crane. However, don’t worry Lewis, at least it is giving Michael Schumacher something to do in his spare time, when he isn’t falling off motorbikes, polishing his trophies or counting his handsome Ferrari retainer for standing about like a spare part in the Ferrari Garage and distracting the media, allegedly.

This weeks group test, has been quite interesting, for more than just this reason alone though.

Firstly we should mention that the former Honda Team, which has been saved from extinction by none other than former Ferrari favourite Uncle Ross (Brawn) has surprised the pants off just about everyone connected to the sport. Given that up until a week or so ago, nobody knew if the team would even make it to the season opener in Melbourne, you can imagine the surprise, eyebrow raising and head scratching going on that the Brawn GP has spent the entire group test soundly thrashing everyone including Ferrari, McLaren and co.

brawngpBoth Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello respectively topping the timesheets on subsequent days in the BrawnGP challenger. Sufficed to say this has caused a flurry of excitement, discussion, arguments and financial bets across internet forums, as the formula 1 fanbase are trying to work out if indeed Uncle Ross has managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat like never before or if the truth of the matter is that the former Honda team are in fact showboating in a desperate attempt to attract sponsors with more money than sense. Although given that Honda spent at least a year or two recently failing to attract any sponsors, we do wonder if perhaps that could be an entirely fruitless and pointless exercise if it is indeed the case as some may claim.

At this point in proceedings we should point out that controversy is already rearing its ugly head prior to the season opener in two weeks time, with several team bosses muttering furiously away nineteen to the dozen about the illegality or otherwise of several car’s difusers. According to some, the Williams, Toyota and Brawn GP teams are all running difusers which may need clarifying by the FIA. By which we take it to mean someone runs off to the FIA complains bitterly, and hey presto next week the FIA confiscates somebodies new toy and out the pram comes that rattle.

icklefelipe2Ferrari who have been consistently fast in winter testing (when their KERS system doesn’t keep breaking down) were last seen heading off for Maranello muttering that they thought they had the fastest car, and couldn’t quite believe they have had their thunder stolen by their former Technical Director. It is not all bad news however, we are to understand that ickle Felipe is pleased as punch with his new F2009 and hopes he will be go on to challenge for the World Championship with it, if only the FIA would agree to make F1 races a little bit shorter (one lap would do eh Felipe?).

We are a little less clear what the Kimblebot thinks of his new charger, aside from the fact we are still trying to decipher his mumblings, we understand he has been taking part in yet another artic event of some sort. It would seem the former Ferrari World Champion has been quite busy this winter entertaining himself at various events involving snow, but we are yet to work out how this fits into the bigger picture unless Ferrari have replaced horsepower with reindeers and skidoos, or are predicting an awful lot of snow during the season. Well you never know with this global warming malarkey or Ferrari‘s weather prediction systems.

McLaren meanwhile have been enduring a bit of a torrid time during the recent test at Barcelona, with their 2009 car consistently languishing down the timesheets leading to all sorts of speculation. Heikki Kovaleinen has informed us all that this winter he has in fact put on weight (which might account for why his car seems slower), but doesn’t really explain what has happened to the current World Champion’s, Lewis Hamilton. We can only presume McLaren spent too much time faffing about making vodaphone adverts about remote control cars and blackberry phones, and not enough time working on the damn car.

mclaren-boysAs per usual the McLaren PR department has been working like a perfectly oiled machine, with former team principal Ron Dennis declaring he is not worried about the pace of the MP4-24, but subsequently both Martin Whitmarsh and Norbert Haug have admitted they are concerned that they aren’t fast enough. Probably a good job Norbert isn’t driving the damn thing, we reckon. However, do not fret, the team claim to know what is wrong and are working even as we speak to resolve the problem.

Unsubstantiated rumours emanating from the F1 paddock from an unnamed source, have suggested some short-sighted bod at Woking has mistakenly popped the car axles on the wrong way round leading to the MP4-24 having no rear grip and in fact going backwards instead of forwards. We couldn’t possibly comment.

ferrarieye3Meanwhile, just to make life a little bit fairer for everyone else Ferrari have announced they will reintroduce their traffic light pitstop system for the 2009 season, yes the very one that caused all sorts of manic mayhem with refuelling rigs in Singapore and near traffic halting pitlane collisions in Valencia. We are to understand from Sporting Director Luca Baldisserri, that Ferrari have implemented a solution to prevent such errors happening again, which only leads us to consider what new debacles it might unexpectedly throw up for trigger happy head mechanics and overenthusiastic Finns. Mentioning no names of course.

Testing continues from today at Jerez for McLaren, BrawnGP, Renault and Williams, while the rest of the grid have shot back to their respective factories ahead of Melbourne for two weeks of frantic head scratching, swearing under their breath and car tinkering.

Stay Tuned.

ldm.jpgThis morning Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has unwittingly started an Internet frenzy, without knowing it.

In comments made to the Media released today, Luca Di innocently announced former 7 times World Champion Michael Schumacher as Ferrari’s 3rd Driver for the season.

Presumably this is for the purposes of allowing Michael to aid in the testing and development of the F2008 given his experience in driving without driver aids such as traction control.

However before you could say ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, a certain contingent of Michael/Ferrari fans everywhere have started plotting all manner of medical complaints and unfortunate bizarre scenarios to befall ickle Felipe. Apparently this would make way for Michael to make a comeback and challenge Ferrari’s current WDC ‘the Kimster’ to an on track duel (not the type with pistols and pointy swords – just for the record).

ickle-felipe-and-badoer.jpgWe only hope poor Felipe asked for a decent life insurance and medical care package as part of his terms of employment when he resigned contracts in October, and avoids walking under ladders, past black cats and over manholes at all costs.

Michael certainly hasn’t been helping matters of late; the German superstar was in attendance at the shakedown of the F2008 at Fiorano on Tuesday and made several comments to the waiting media about how beautiful the car was and how visually quick it appeared to be. This was just shortly after Michael had been spotted closely scrutinising the vehicle in the garage with a shiny gleam to his eye.

While Michael has been busy admiring the F2008, Ferrari’s Team Manager Luca Baldisserri has been talking Balls. What have spherical devices got to do with F1 I hear you ask….What indeed!

According to the pint-sized poppet, we should expect to see a lot of oversteer and opposite lock taking place in F1 at the beginning of the season due to the lack of traction control and other electronic devices.

And just when your wondering where I’m going with this, Baldo suggested that the drivers would need to have balls in order to be quick. The mind boggles, there doesn’t look to be an awful lot of room left in the F2008 once the driver is in it, so how they plan to fit some large round spherical devices in the cockpit we haven’t got the first darned clue.

mario-theissen.jpgIn other electronic news, Dr Mario Theissen, Team Principal of the BMW-Sauber team, has waded into the growing debate regarding those little black boxes known as the SECU or Standard Electronic Control Unit that seem to have got so firmly lodged up Jean Todt’s nostrils.

Apparently Mario (and what else would he be called with that moustache?) has commented that the move to the Standard Control Unit has been a mistake and has ensured that the team have incurred substantial additional costs.

In addition to the cost factor, Mario has also highlighted his concern that the unit is dispensed by a fellow competitor in the sport, that has the ability to review and look at the procedures of rival teams.

Mercedes Benz boss Norbert Haug has downplayed the issues being raised by Ferrari and BMW-Sauber, and suggested that their concerns regarding the involvement of a subsidiary company of the McLaren Group are unfounded.

Suffice to say this has gone down like a lead balloon at a party, given the spying scandal that took place last season and how Norbert Haug’s assertions of McLaren being whiter than white actually turned a rather dull grey colour as all the revelations slowly came out in the wash. If only they had borrowed some of Stepney’s detergent…

kimi-at-fiorano.jpgYesterday Kimi Raikkonen was the first man at Ferrari to get his mitts on the new F2008, putting it through its paces in an initial shakedown at Ferrari’s private racetrack Fiorano.

As is always the way with these things, the minute you plan a party or a barbecue or some such event involving plenty of people, the weather likes to come along and chip its two cents into proceedings.

And so it proved for the initial test, with the morning of the event proving to be rather cold, damp and foggy. Which is probably not so bad if your strapped into a car seat the size of a postage stamp. But probably means if your one of the many tifosi that loyally turn up to watch the inaugural performance, more likely than not you froze your brass monkeys off while trying to work out what exactly that red blob is that goes screeching past in the swirling mists.

As a result the Kim-bot could only get a feel of the F2008 on wet weather tyres, posting a best time of 1.00.897 on the longer configuration of the Fiorano racetrack. During the course of the day Kimi managed to take the car through 55 laps, and surprisingly despite the damp dreary weather, came out of the experience in a rather positive and cheery mood.

According to Kimi, first impressions of the car are positive and he doesn’t feel that there is any need to make any improvements at the moment, adding that they will see how the car behaves itself next week when the team relocates to Jerez for its first official test.

kimis-new-hat.jpgSince Kimi is not usually one for making long flowing verbal effusions about any given subject, it is always nice to know the car has made a positive impression at this stage, and it isn’t getting likened to a mangy canine with bad breath and three stumpy legs.

While the Kimster was answering a 1001 questions about the F2008, other members of Ferrari have been on hand to give us their insights and thoughts on just about every topic going, including the ECU, aerodynamics, steering wheel buttons and Lewis Hamilton’s prospects for 2008.

Usually very quiet and one to keep his thoughts to himself, Luca Baldisserri who has been freed from the constraints of being ever permanently glued to the pitwall with a colouring book and crayons and given the job of Team Manager instead, popped up yesterday.

According to the little poppet, one of Ferrari’s main rivals at McLaren, Lamppost Lewis, might not be making such a dramatic impression on the sport in his second season, due to the changes in regulations and the banning of electronic driver aids.

Apparently our Baldo thinks that although young Lewis drove in GP2 without traction control, he may struggle in F1 next season to get to grips with the loss of the driver aid in addition with trying to manage tyre degradation. Presumably not mentioning his inability at spotting obstacles in his path and walking into them, or the fact his car will be considerably heavier than everyone else’s on account of all his rapper friends permanently hanging off Lewis’s trouser legs.

jean-todt-fiorano.jpgNot keen to leave it there whilst having a pop at arch rivals McLaren, Ferrari CEO Jean Todt has popped up like clockwork to mention for the umpteenth time his concerns regarding the standard ECU.

Jean fondly mentioned that he feels the Electronic Control Unit that is supplied by MES (McLaren Electronic Systems) is providing an advantage to the Woking based team, and should be closely monitored by the sport’s governing body the FIA.

Here at FFN we can only point out that the Standard ECU didn’t do a very good job of controlling things at McLaren last year (Hungarian pitlane qualifying shenanigans spring to mind), but perhaps that is what Jean is worried about. Chaos spreading electronically like wildfire up and down the pitlane, with drivers demanding number 1 status, stamping their feet, throwing tantrums and bickering like small children.

We really don’t think Ferrari have anything to worry about on that score, especially since we can’t imagine Kimi being all that bothered to actually have an argument when there are for more important things to do like sleeping, watching ice hockey and sleeping. Although ickle Felipe does look like he could throw the odd tantrum or three if the occasion calls for it.

Meanwhile in Stuttgart, McLaren were officially unveiling their 2008 car, the MP4-23. (Does it play music videos? we would really like to know!).

Compared with the lavish production last year, this years launch at McLaren Mercedes was a rather subdued affair, even Ron Dennis not having much to say for himself for a change. Martin Whitmarsh and Norbert Haug took control of proceedings and inevitably the Motorsports Media all jumped to irrational conclusions regarding the future of the team as a result.

and-did-you-say-there-were-vol-au-vents.jpgAfter his rather tasteful Christmas Card, it was surprising to see F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone inside the Mercedes HQ for the event. Rumours have suggested that Bernie mistakenly read the invite as saying ‘McLaren Lunch’ and turned up enquiring where the free sausage rolls and cucumber sandwiches were. What you didn’t think he’d part with any money did you?

Like rivals Ferrari, McLaren have confirmed their new car will undergo quite a major transformation before the first race of the season in Melbourne. According to the McLaren Management the new MP4-23 will be faster than its predecessor. The Woking team has confirmed that most of the changes prior to Melbourne will be aerodynamic improvements. It’s a shame they couldn’t do a few on Norbert Haug’s suit while they are at it.

McLaren were quick to quash any suggestion of favouritism in their camp, Martin Whitmarsh telling the waiting media that both drivers will be receiving equal treatment, carrying on McLaren’s long standing tradition of equality and fairness. This is despite Lamppost Lewis suggesting not so long ago that he is looking forward to 2008 immensely, especially the prospect of becoming the lead driver and leading the team’s championship campaign. All singing from the same hymn sheet and that’s before the season has started, marvellous.

If reports are to be believed, on one of the few occasions that McLaren CEO Ron Dennis piped up during proceedings was to inform the waiting world that the reason why the car on display had a huge number 23 emblazened on it. According to Ron it was partially as a result of the car being named the MP4-23 and also partially due to the fact that January 7th (launch date) coincided nicely with Lewis Hamilton’s 23rd birthday.

Now call me an old cynic, but I was under the misguided illusion that the reason the McLaren’s were numbered 22 and 23 was due to the position they were classified in the constructors championship in the previous F1 season. But you know what they say never let the facts get in the way of a good story! We just hope Lewis was delighted with his new birthday present, although by the time he gets to Michael Schumacher’s age he might not want reminding of it.

mclaren-mp4-23.jpgMeanwhile McLaren’s new signing Heikki Kovaleinen is chugging along merrily, saying all the right things, and not being overly concerned with the equality issue that much, but is looking forward to doing everything to beat his illustrious team mate out on track.

Heikki commented that he looks forward to working with Lamppost Lewis whom he has known since their karting days, and will be hopefully pushing Lewis and the team…forward. We were hoping he was going to say off a big cliff, but you can’t have it all. (Just in case any McLaren fans have stumbled across FFN and are about to start complaining, we are pulling your leg in a good-natured way, honestly).

McLaren this week will embark on a 3-day private test of their new challenger at Jerez, we’ll keep you posted.

We have decided to introduce a new series in FFN titled…as you have rightly guessed…”The Pot Calling the Kettle Black”. Or alternately “Look Who’s Talking!” (accompanied by appropriate rolling of eyes and booing noises). The idea would be to highlight instances like, say, Ron Dennis accusing someone of being overly verbose, or Nigel Mansell wishing F1 drivers wouldn’t be so darned dramatic these days. Or how about Hiedfeld suggesting Jense should get a shave? Perhaps even Nigel Stepney worrying about increasing statistics of industrial espionage (or do they call it whistle-blowing these days)? Oh well, you get the general picture.

So this week, the focus is going to be on Nelson Piquet (sr. of course. Jr. is too busy trying to convince Flavio to give Fisi the boot and install him instead…not that Flavio requires too much of convincing given current performance). Piquet has apparently been interviewed advising the McLaren duo – Alonso and Hamilton (not Dennis and Haug though it would be equally appropriate) to shut up. “It is never good when you lose respect for your rivals” says Piquet. Yes, that would be the same man who was caught on video practising his karate chops on an unsuspecting Eliseo Salazar just because poor Eliseo (who never aspired to become the greatest racing driver) took him out while being lapped. And to think of the amount of fuss Spa ’98 generated just because Schumi took a friendly stroll to DC’s garage to politely enquire if it was DC’s intention to kill him for it certainly seemed so in the race. Anyway, here’s video proof of this week’s pot on global television. Hope you enjoy it, forza!

The Stepneygate Saga that has rocked F1 the last few weeks, just keeps getting more surreal and more bizarre.

nigelstepney.jpgThe man at the centre of all this cafuffle, our Nige, has reportedly flown back into Italy in the last few days and admitted he is surprised by the actions taken against him by Ferrari. Not as surprised as us Nige we can assure you. Whether this surprise stems from the fact he didn’t reckon on getting caught by Ferrari CCTV liberally dousing race cars in Daz washing detergent, or getting found out about handing out Ferrari Design Dossiers to all and sundry we are not entirely sure.

Still our Nige is convinced he has done nothing wrong, and that any legal proceedings will clear him of any wrongdoing. Meanwhile the Media (who are having a field day) are reporting that two other people are currently being probed in the investigation as well. As yet no names are forthcoming as to the identity of these so-called villains, no doubt though they have done nothing so very wrong either.

According to current Media reports, McLaren’s Mike Coughlan got ‘shopped’ to Ferrari for having his sticky mitts on their bedtime reading by…a shop assistant. Apparently (if rumours are to be believed) the keen-eyed shop moll spotted Mike trying to photocopy the secret documents and recognised the Ferrari Insignia. One has to wonder if the hapless dolt strode into the shop in full McLaren regalia brandishing the secret documents for all to see. Sometimes these top minds really do have absolutely no common sense. No doubt if he had gone in with a black curly wig, sporting a dodgy Italian accent and with a jar of Dolmio in hand, no-one would be any the wiser right now. But bravo to the eagle-eyed shop assistant, who no doubt by now has been promoted to the head of Ferrari’s newly formed Counter-spying and Espionage Department.

Rumours currently circulating, suggest that Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan had planned to abscond off to Honda together before a slightly lapse photocopying session landed them both in tepid water. One can only think there is no smoke without fire, and the pair might be happily together yet albeit as cellmates somewhere in Italy.

mclarenmotorhome.jpgMeanwhile McLaren CEO Ron Dennis has been nominated this year for an Oscar for best dramatic performance, for his stirling tear-jerking response yesterday at the opening of McLaren’s new Motorhome in the Silverstone Paddock. The Ronster apparently having to fight back tears (nothing to do with Norbert Haug’s underarm deodorant then?) while making a statement about his teams involvement in the Stepneygate Saga.

“It has been a difficult two or three days, especially for me,” said Dennis. “My personal integrity is very important to me and my company’s integrity is even more important to me. The press releases we have put out really say everything.

“We are in a process. We are working closely with the FIA and closely with Ferrari.
“This matter does not involve our company. Of course, that is not the way understandably everybody sees it at the moment. Some of you (the media) have been very supportive of McLaren, I think some of you have been a little harsh on McLaren.

“But I understand depending which country you are in, and depending on the information you have available to you, you are going to form opinions.” Ron said, sobbing like a schoolgirl.

rongraciousdennis.jpgNow here at FFN we are slightly baffled, according to Ron no-one else apart from Mike Coughlan has read the Ferrari Dossier, but McLaren are claiming they know for definite none of it has been used in their development programme. How would you know unless you know what it contains within? Maybe we should take some advice from Renault’s Team Boss Flavio Briatore, who kindly informed us during the FIA Press Conference in France that Ron knows everything….so who are we to challenge his statements?

Secondly if the integrity of his team is so damned important to him, how come Ron allows them to sneakily write to the FIA asking them if they too can use parts on their vehicle that other teams have adopted. Especially when they know very well it will result in the banning of said device? That doesn’t seem like integrity to us, more like ‘snitching’. But what would we know?

One thing is for certain; things will only get messier and more complicated as the sordid tale unravels bit by bit….

ournigeagain.jpgHave you heard of the Stepney-Coughlan joint car development collaboration? No? Neither had Ferrari, or McLaren for that matter (we hope for their sake) – which might be the reason behind all the chaotic developments that unfurled today. It started off with Ferrari firing Nigel Stepney, shortly folllowed by McLaren suspending a senior engineer suspected to be Mike Coughlan, and both teams releasing a bunch of statements on the supposed one-way flow of dossiers of sensitive information. Now the chaps at Maranello are not a demanding or picky lot, but if there is one thing they object to rather strongly – that would be their design innovations reaching the chief rival before their own factory floor. Of course there are some teams (which I will not name) where it wouldn’t make any difference even if a battalion of Ferrari engineers were to conduct daily tutorials using latest design blueprints, but there are also some other teams where leakage of any such information will result in Ferrari’s performance oscillating like a sine curve in comparison. McLaren would naturally fall into the latter category.

Now the inner workings of this supposed Stepney-Coughlan collaboration remains a mystery, but the rumor is that it isn’t really symbiotic. One possibility could be that while Stepney brings all the information and data to the table drawing from…erm…his organization’s expertise, Coughlan uses the same in a manner he deems fit without causing too many raised eyebrows. Of course all this is just speculation and nothing is confirmed yet, but if true, there is just one question I would like to ask – of all the ruddy teams on the grid that one could pass on information to, why choose McLaren? Mike Coughlan is (was) the chief designer at McLaren to boot.

As if the McLaren team doesn’t have enough problems on the plate already, someone’s set off Fernando Alonso and he has started all over again like a broken gramophone record on how Hamilton is British and McLaren is British too and the next race is the British GP. Odd coincidence, eh? Is that Haug that I see running down the paddock armed with a a stout stick searching for his 2 time world champion driver? Nando claims McLaren will want Hamilton to win in Silverstone, just like they wanted him to win in Barcelona. And just like Nando couldn’t win at Barcelona, we suspect Hamilton won’t have much better luck at Silverstone either given Ferrari’s dominant form. At least it will give Ron Dennis some time off from baby-sitting his drivers, which he can productively utilize for instructing his employees that they should not accept packages labelled “Confidential. Top Secret Ferrari documents” from relative strangers, however kindly they may seem.

Incidentally, the RBR charity program was a grand success, and they now have 30,000 faces (photographs of faces rather) to add to the car livery. After Adrian Newey threatened to cry bloody murder if they came anywhere near the front wing with the decal stickers, the team has reluctantly decided that the front and rear wings, and the leading edges of the car will be face-free. Just for your information. Forza.

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