As the Formula One circus heads to the Sepang circuit to prepare for a testing session prior to the Malaysian Grand Prix, tongues are wagging since the climax of the Australian Grand Prix just a couple days ago. Much of what has been said relates to the new cars, their performance in Melbourne, and whether or not they’re legal. And of course, there are a few choice quotes from Renault team boss Flavio Briatore. Here is a quick round up of who said what and to whom.
The Spyker legal team are still busy working away and the situation regarding the legality of the Super Aguri’s is still up in the air. Super Aguri are apparently using a car that has been slightly modified from the 2006 Honda, which goes against the rules stating that each team must design and build their own chassis. Toro Rosso are also using a car that looks remarkably similar to the Red Bull, and the team freely admit that aerodynamicist Adrian Newey worked on both along with some Red Bull technical experts. However, Toro Rosso aren’t making the headlines as Colin Kolles focusses his efforts on the Aguri squad.
We have a constructors’ championship. It says constructors’ championship… you have to manufacture your car. This qualifies you to be a constructor. Bernie says that only constructors belong in this championship. Colin Kolles.
Ferrari were also in the news after the race but it wasn’t all because of Kimi Raikkonen’s dominant win. Ron Dennis has hinted that he is not happy with ‘a team’ possibly using a movable floor device. Ron refused to state which team he was talking about, although it has been widely reported that Ferrari are at the forefront of his mind. Ron, team principal at McLaren, said he will wait until the next two races before officially bringing this up, but the jist of his grunt is that he believes Ferrari are using a floor on their car that can be moved by the team. If the floor lowers it will reduce the centre of gravity, and it could possibly aid grip by forcing the car even further onto the track. It could be exactly this that caused Felipe Massa’s damage in qualifying, as the Brazilian driver clipped a kerb quite hard and was forced to resign himself to qualifying in 16th.
We will see how things are in two or three races. There is a whole range of things that come to light in the first race and you go and you say what is legal and what is not legal. Most teams are given that current race to enjoy the benefit of the doubt. I think there will be a rationalisation of some aspects of some cars that would close the gap if no one did anything. Ron Dennis.
Michael Schumacher is about to move into his Swiss mansion situated on a private beach on Lake Geneva, which has been several years in the building. Schumacher has been waiting for his big move for a long time, but the delay will only bring further enjoyment to him as his new abode boasts a 20 seater cinema, a private petrol station (the Swiss allowed this?), a medieval tower, a heated underground car park, a helicopter pad, a climbing wall and a 63 metre trophy room. It is estimated that Michael’s new home set him back in the region of $30m.
Flavio Briatore was critical of Heikki Kovalainen’s drive in Melbourne, stating his disappointment in his new drivers performance around the Albert Park circuit, which saw the Finn struggle to stay on the track and keep his Renault pointing in the right direction.
Everybody saw it on TV, there’s no point trying to defend him.
But after calming down with Heikki, Flavio got worked up again, this time over his lead driver Giancarlo Fisichella. Despite Giancarlo qualifying in sixth, the Italian managed to move forward and he eventually finished in fifth. However, this wasn’t enough to avoid the acid tongue of Briatore.
By the second half of the race Giancarlo was already in the hotel.
Can someone give Flav a lollipop please, before he has another tantrum!