If you’re a sporting fan, then this Sunday is set to be a proper treat: both the brilliant British grand prix and the World Cup final!  And if you were wondering why Podium or Pits was a tad short last week, then scroll down as all will be revealed…

Badger meets Jenson Button, photo courtesy of McLaren.com

PODIUM.  Jenson Button –

Last Thursday POP was on a very important F1-related mission: to interview none other than Jenson Button! That’s right, POP and the F1 world champion Jenson Button, chatting one-on-one for an entire 15 minutes.  As expected, there is literally nothing bad to say about JB; he is a truly top bloke.

After spending a whopping 10 hours in McLaren’s state-of-the-art simulator back in Woking, JB arrived at the TAG Heuer

Badger's favourite: Jenson Button

boutique in London’s Westfield shopping centre all smiles and laughs.  At this point POP was desperately trying to conceal the pre-interview nerves by cracking a few jokes, but do you want to know what really makes Jenson nervous?  Not racing, not flying, not Eddie Jordan’s choice of clothing … instead it is, in fact, interviews.  JB held out his hand to show how shaky it was at the prospect of an interview, which is madness given that he regularly races at 200 mph without getting scared.  But you wouldn’t have guessed.

POP would liked to have recounted a bit more of the interview now, but sadly was too busy staring in wonder at JB during the interview to notice what his answers even were.  Sorry folks, you’ll just have to wait until the video is ready to see the full exclusive interview with JB!  He even signed BabyBadger’s autograph book.  POP would also like to thank TAG Heuer for organising everything and making sure things ran like clockwork.

PODIUM.  People Power!

Do you ever think to yourself, “wouldn’t F1 be better if …”?  What would you change?  Yes, of course Jonathan Legard would be canned immediately, but what other changes would you make to ensure the F1 spectacle is as exciting as possible?  Well now your ideas and opinions, both sensible and daft, will be considered at the annual Fans’ Forum organised by FOTA (the Formula One Teams’ Association).  The first one took place last Thursday, so that gives you a whole year to devise and formulate concrete proposals for F1.

PITS.  Ferrari –

Wait, wait, is that bitterness POP can smell in the air?  Or the pungent whiff of cheating, rivalry, and oil fumes?  No!  It’s the new Ferrari fragrance, ‘Scuderia Ferrari’.  Hilarious does not even begin to describe the accompanying advert…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61WD5Ph_7xM&feature=youtu.be

PODIUM.  Goodwood –

Last weekend the Badger team wandered down to the sunny Goodwood Festival of Speed to see what all the fuss was about, and

Adrian Newey

can highly recommend it to any F1 fans with a non-grand prix weekend to fill.  We saw Formula 1 cars old, new and current, as well as classic cars, the new McLaren road car … and many more.  At the risk of seeming an obnoxious bragger, POP also got a word with Adrian Newey, the supremely talented engineer who designed this year’s almost untouchable Red Bull car.  Newey even drove this year’s car up Goodwood’s hill climb route for the many excited fans.  Then POP noticed Red Bull boss Christian Horner too, and he confessed that he was “absolutely hoping” for a 1-2 finish at Silverstone this weekend.  Not if JB gets his way though!

Check out all the Goodwood photos from the weekend here.

PITS.  Michael Schumacher –

Now POP’s not normally one for betting, but has recently made a wager that Michael Schumacher will quit F1 (again) at the end of this season.  Why else would the talented Nick Heidfeld have accepted a ‘test driver’ role at Mercedes unless he knew there was a strong possibility of being able to take the race seat after a year?  Mark POP’s words, there’ll be another mystery ‘neck problem’ announced before the season is out.

Talking of betting, it also turns out that the odds of Schumacher winning the world championship this year is 150-1.  Now that’s just embarrassing.

Both in the PITS - Schumacher and his manager Weber

PITS.  Willi Weber

You may recognise the name of Willi Weber: he’s Michael Schumacher’s manager.  If you thought Schumacher’s week was going badly, then spare a thought for Weber because he’s facing a potential jail sentence!  Actually, don’t feel sorry for him, because he’s been charged in Germany for embezzling €1.2 million.  F1 hasn’t had any proper controversy for a while, so this does go some way to redressing that balance at least.

PITS.  Mark Webber –

Is there driver favouritism in the Red Bull team?  Yes there is, and POP has the evidence to prove it.  After Webber’s 200 mph crash at the European grand prix, the chassis was repairable but not ideal.  So he’s been given Sebastian Vettel’s cast-off chassis which was rejected by Vettel after Monaco because “something was not feeling right” with that chassis.  No-one wants a hand-me-down car, especially not a rubbish reject one.

But we all know that Webber is made of stronger stuff than most drivers; he’ll drive despite a broken leg, a scary 200 mph crash, and the worst luck in the history of F1.  With the odds of him winning the British grand prix only 4-1, he’s not a bad bet at all!

PITS.  Robert Kubica –

Surely it should be good news when a driver announces he’ll be staying with his team for the next 2 years?  However, POP has a nagging feeling that Kubica’s decision to stay at Renault will cost him his chance of a world championship.  Renault aren’t a bad team, but they’re certainly never consistently at the pinnacle of the sport like McLaren and Ferrari are (normally).  With Kubica staying where he is at least silly season won’t be as far-fetched and ridiculous as last year, so there’s one upside at least.

This weekend will of course see F1 hit Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. Like countless others Badger will be in attendance, and has organised a bit of a meet up for fans at the circuit to have a chat and maybe share a few beverages.

We’ll be meeting near the F1 Village (behind the grandstands) at around 4pm on Friday, and would love to see as many of you as possible. For more details check out the Facebook page– we look forward to seeing you there. for what will hopefully be a classic race weekend.