Here are some quick sound bites that have come about this week. In a busy seven days for Formula One, Ferrari, BMW and McLaren have launched their cars and ran them on circuits, with most teams concentrating in warmer climes in Spain – Jerez and Valencia. Renault also ran their new R27 with both drivers completing laps in the interim-liveried car. Although they suffered some electrical problems, both drivers managed to complete a fair few laps, and were bouyant about the cars potential.
Ron Dennis has apparently gone on record as saying that he feels there is no reason for his drivers to drink alcohol during the course of the 2007 season.
We don’t see why drivers need to have even one drink in the course of a season. Ron Dennis.
Ironically, McLaren are sponsored by Whiskey producer Johnnie Walker, whose F1-related slogan this year is “Be a champion. Drink responsibly.” This little bit of press is probably no more than quick jibe at Ferrari, who stole Kimi Raikkonen – the talented Finnish driver – from McLaren. Ferrari have stated that Raikkonen is allowed to drink, but he is to do so away from prying eyes and cameras. I suspect Dennis’s words are really no more than just words, especially if the MP4-22 turns out to be good and Fernando Alonso is able to win in it.
At a time when green F1 is on the tips of everyone’s tongue, the Australian Grand Prix organisers are revealing they intend to drain the Albert Park lake (located in the centre of the circuit), decreasing its level by 15mm.
The organisers state that this is because they need the water to soften the grass verges surrounding the circuit – something which they say is vital to provide safe run-off areas and to reduce the amount of dust and debris which could find its way on the circuit. However, Australia is currently dealing with the worst drought in a hundred years, but the organisers state quite clearly that in the past, they would use locally sourced drining water for purposes other than drinking. The fact that they are using excess storm-water to irrigate the circuit is better than using water that could be used for drinking.
We would like to stress that this water is storm water run-off and has not been sourced from Melbourne’s drinking water. Tim Bamford, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
Ferrari have altered their testing program slightly, moving from the Mugello circuit to Vallelunga near Rome. The change has occured because snowfall is expected in Northern Italy and would obviously disrupt the running of the cars. Kimi Raikkonen is expected to attend, but will apparently take control of the old Ferrari initially, while Massa continues in the new F2007. Both drivers are expected to be present from Tuesday onwards.
The FIA Institute Safety Summit currently taking place at the Paul Ricard circuit in France have announced the creation of the FIA Institute Medical Faculty (FIMF). The idea behind the new Medical Faculty is to join together medical experts in the field of motorsport safety from around the world.
In the first instance the aim of the FIMF is to improve the level of training of all doctors involved in motor sport.
It will also seek to better the recruitment process of high standard medical professionals at race circuits and in national and international championships. Professor Sid Watkins, FIA Institute President.