As the final French Grand Prix gets under away at the Magny Cours circuit in Nevers, many of Formula One’s elite have spent the last week or so in the headlines. Unfortunately, much of the news passed me by as I spent a lot of time at work, so I apologise for the lack of recent updates. But everything is returning to normal, and below are some of the highlights of what has been happening in F1.
Ferrari have made a complaint against one of their key members of staff, Nigel Stepney. Widely reported in the media, the Scuderia filed a complaint regarding the Britons behaviour, but are yet to divulge exactly what the issue is. Stepney was holidaying in the Philippines when the story broke, and many were led to believe he had fled Europe to avoid the fallout from this. However, since the initial outburst of media interest in the story, Nigel has appointed a lawyer, who spoke to the press last Sunday.
Nigel didn’t flee and neither he is untraceable. He is in the Philippines with his family and with his daughter. They are on vacation. He didn’t run away anywhere. He learned through the Internet of this matter involving him against his will and he immediately got in contact with me.
Nigel claims to be totally unconnected with this issue; he has nothing to hide nor fear, so much so that in the first days of July he will come back to Italy as scheduled and he will be at the Modena District Attorney’s disposal to answer for all the accusations moved against him in the formal complaint. Sonia Bartolini.
Robert Kubica, who missed the US Grand Prix because of a huge accident he had in Canada, has passed the mandatory fitness test in France, and will race his BMW over the weekend. Sebastian Vettel, the young BMW protege who replaced Kubica at Indianapolis, may be racing again this weekend though, as lead driver Nick Heidfeld is experiencing back pain, caused by a small injury sustained at the recent Silverstone test. BMW have until later this evening to make a decision to the race stewards in France.
Staying with BMW, British World Champion Nigel Mansell will demo the F1.07 at the teams Pit Lane Park at the British Grand Prix next weekend. proving very popular with race fans, the Pit Lane Park hosts interactive features for guests, including a chance to see an F1 car up close as it runs up and down a 100 metre asphalt track. Sebastian Vettel will also drive the car, but I’m sure it will be Mansell who pulls the biggest crowds, as the victor of 31 races still holds a special place in many a British fans heart.
David Coulthard has slammed fellow F1 driver Ralf Schumacher following their clash at the Brickyard two weeks ago. At turn one on the opening lap, Schumacher ploughed in the Red Bull of Coulthard, forcing the Scot to retire from the race. When asked by reporters what happened, Ralf stated that he wasn’t sure what happened or who was to blame, and put the incident down to a simple racing accident. However, to thousands of viewers the world over, it was clear that Ralf simply overcooked his entrance into the corner. According to Coulthard, Ralf has privately apologised to him, but hasn’t publicly.
It hacks me off when people aren’t man enough to say the same thing to your face as they say when you’re not there. David Coulthard.
And finally, Bernie Ecclestone’s official biography is due for release later in the year, Ebury Press have announced. The book has been written by Susan Watkins, the wife of Professor Sid Watkins whom Bernie is close friends with. Ebury Press have stated that that the book will reveal “the true struggle behind his fortune, the background to his relationships with politics and what reality, if any, there is to his detractor’s accusations.” Should make for a good read.