In the second ‘catch-up’ post, I take a quick look at some of the more important news items that have happened in the previous six days. Formula One never stops, and although it is currently the off-season, there is still much to digest and discuss.
Peter Sauber, the once owner of the Sauber team, will make a return to the pitlane in 2007 as a reporter for Swiss TV. The cigar-smoking 63 year old will continue his advisory role at the now BMW Sauber team, but will also intersperse his role at the German marque with reporting from the pitlane. Of course, I’m sure his analysis during the Grands Prix will be biased towards his old stable, but it is nice to see Sauber continuing his relationship with Formula One.
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa went on record to say that he believes BMW are the team to beat in 2007. This could just be a little dig at the Scuderia’s nearest rivals McLaren and Renault by sugesting that they will be trounced by the Hinwil-based team, or this could be an interesting insight made by the Brazilian driver. BMW have been performing well in testing, and Heidfeld has done a sterling job alongside his younger team mate Robert Kubica.
The McLaren is the fastest car over a single lap, but as far as consistency is concerned the BMW is impressive even if maybe they don’t have the best reliability yet. For now I put them ahead of Ferrari and McLaren. Felipe Massa.
The retired Michael Schumacher has been offered a test in America’s closed-wheel series NASCAR, it was reported yesterday. After Schumacher stated that he really didn’t know what could have attracted ex-F1 pilot Juan Pablo Montoya to the series, Michael has been given an open invitation by Ray Evernham, Evernham Motorsports NASCAR team owner.
I’ll put him in a red car, a real good car, any time he wants to come over here and try it. Ray Evernham.
Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber has been doing some shouting this off-season, aiming much of it at his former employer Williams. It is no secret that the relationship between Mark and Williams deteriated towards the end of their collaboration, and Mark has now gone on record as saying that he believes Williams is now a Toyota ‘B-Team’. This is something that owner Frank Williams has been trying to dispell, insisting that his team is still a privateer entry and that he does not intend selling up. However, the engine alliance with the Japanese manufacturer comes after Williams almost sold out to BMW, a story that eventually ended up with the German marque buying Sauber out instead.
Of course Williams is a Toyota B team. There will be denials, but there is a feeling and a perception that a B team is actually how it is now. Mark Webber.
Ralf Schumacher has backed the recent comments made by Felipe Massa regarding the competitiveness of the BMW team. Schumacher also took the opportunity of listening people to suggest that his employers, Toyota, will also do well in 2007. Although Toyota certainly have a lot of money invested in their Formula One team, history suggests that they will rarely see the top end of the grid and will be lucky to score points on a regular basis.
I expect BMW to be strong – like us, they could be the surprise of the season. Ralf Schumacher.