Winter testing has been dominating the news of late, and some smaller stories have been sidelined by Alonso’s testing ban and Raikkonen’s drinking habits. But I thought I would take five minutes just to quickly skim through the other items that have made the front pages of Formula One websites this week…
…McLaren’s request for Renault to allow Fernando Alonso to test was denied by team boss Flavio Briatore. In a statement made to the press, the fiery Italian chief told reporters that McLaren should have sent the proposal to the correct address (instead of doing it via the media) and told the listening journalists that the lack of testing for Alonso won’t make a difference because Renault will beat him (and McLaren) anyway. Tough words from Briatore, but it is no suprise that Renault have reacted this way – why would they help a rival who ‘stole’ their man?
Ferrari don’t seem to care too much about Kimi Raikkonen’s inability to test before 2007 (again due to contractual obligations by his former employers, McLaren). In fact, it is thought that Ferrari haven’t even bothered to request an early release for Kimi. The icey Finn has been present at tests in Jerez – watching from the pitwall – and even conversed with Ferrari’s (second) golden boy Felipe Massa. Apparently the pair get along just about as well as most team mates do, which is good news for Ferrari and bad news for the tabloids.
Keeping with the Raikkonen-Ferrari relationship just a little bit longer, Ferrari have given the Finnish star permission to continue his drinking habits provided he keeps it away from prying eyes/cameras/recording devices. Kimi has managed to land himself with a reputation as a bit of a boozer at times, and this prompted questions from many as to how this will fit in with the super-professional Ferrari in the post-Schumacher era. Jean Todt went on record to French newspaper Le Figaro saying:
The Finns like to drink from time to time.
If from time to time he wants to have some drinks with his friends, we will kindly ask him to do so discreetly.
Everyone around Kimi’s pad for new years, then!
McLaren are open for double world champion and Formula One-retired Mika Hakkinen to test again for the team. Following his stint in the ‘silver car’, Mika was delighted and expressed a desire to do it again. McLaren have reported that a mentor role to Lewis Hamilton had been considered for Mika, but the Flying Finn wasn’t too keen on this role. If you ask me, Mika just wants to fling a decent racing car around a track every now then, rather than have any real responsibilities.
Prodrive – a new team for the 2008 season – is slowly building momentum. Team boss and once Benetton and Honda chief went on record as saying that the construction of the team is taking time, but that is just how he likes it. Richards believes that he shouldn’t rush the process and that his cars will probably not run until after the 2007 season, and more likely in January 2008.
Oh, and Max Mosley wants to turn Formula One into Football and introduce an insane relegation scheme which makes no sense whatsoever. Max wants to have a system in place that boots out an under-performing team’s second car and allows a promising up-and-coming team’s first car in. If the under-performing team do not improve then they will be completely cut from Formula One blah blah blah, same old trollop from the FIA…
…Surely it is now time for retirement, Max? Please.