The new FIA president, Jean Todt, has said this week that it’s ok if the new teams miss a few races at the beginning of the season. No big deal. I mean, it’s not like we’re here to race or anything… It’s a bit like someone hiring you for an amazingly cool job, and then you phone in ‘late’ for the first couple of months. Or worse… will we ever actually see a ‘Campos’ car or a ‘USF1’ car race in Formula 1 at all? Apparently the new teams will be able to miss the first three races without penalty, so that takes us until April 16th when the Chinese grand prix gets underway.
No, the scots aren’t getting their own grand prix. Although, now come to think of it that would be pretty damn brilliant. There’s a small circuit just north of Edinburgh called Knockhill, and you’d be pretty much guaranteed rain whatever time of year you chose to hold the race. Perfect! Aside from POP’s imaginings, this has been a good week for those North of the border. Paul di Resta has been signed to Force India as there reserve driver. Now POP knows what you’re thinking, ‘Di Resta’ doesn’t exactly sound very Scottish, does it? POP doesn’t know about Paul’s family tree in detail, but apparently his aunty and grandfather own a sex-for-sale sauna and a lap-dancing bar! Fancy that! Paul himself is the boss of the West Lothian nightclub ‘The Twig’. On the race track Paul beat the likes of Sebastian Vettel to the to the European Formula Three Championship in 2006, which Hamilton himself won the year before. Mercedes have got their eye on the young Scot too, so it won’t be long before he’s snapped up for a race seat.
It’s a bumper Jean Edition of POP this week! He’s come out to say that Max Mosley’s lengthy tenure as FIA president was a bit longer than is sensible, “16 years at the helm are too many, it’s crazy.” You’re telling us! Who knows how much longer Mosley would have dragged out his presidency were it not for the shinanagins of last season’s breakaway. Todt himself has confirmed that he will only stay for one term as president because otherwise he “wouldn’t have time to do other things anymore”. Max found plenty of time to do things, in Mayfair especially, so POP doesn’t know what Todt is talking about frankly.
After POP’s car bonanza of last week, it seemed only right to mention the Red Bull RB6 unveiling. At testing in Jerez yesterday morning Mark Webber said of the longer 2010 spec car, “It’s a limousine! We had to make it longer.” The prospect of Webber driving a limousine around Spa is too hilarious for words, perhaps with Bernie in the back as he’s only light, and with the champagne out before they even reach the podium. But the car itself doesn’t look far off last year’s pace-setting RB5. Hell, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The team have even had the sense to keep their driver line-up stable in the form of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Adrian Newey, the chief Red Bull designer, revealed yesterday that the team were extremely close to switching to Mercedes engines, and that contributed to their delay bringing the cars to the track for testing.
Just as Red Bull unveil their new wings, the rain in Spain begins to spoil the party. Nico Hulkenberg, who is in Jerez testing for Williams, said on his Twitter that the “Rain in Jerez is getting worse and worse…” The Ferrari of Fernando was fitted with some extreme wets and sent out, but returned within 10 minutes to the safety of the pits.
You may well have heard of Nelson Piquet Jr. He was a Formula 1 racing driver once. Let’s just say it didn’t end well. Anyway, Piquet has left us F1 fans for pastures new… over the pond in the USA! This week he was racing in the ARCA racing series at Daytona. Want to know what he did? He only went and drove Danica Patrick off the road! She recovered her car impressively, but sadly the same cannot be said for Piquet’s reputation. It’s official: Piquet really is a worse driver than a girl. Don’t know Danica? She’s a woman, a racer, and she does raunchy magazine covers. Calm down everyone! There’s a video snippet of the Daytona race below…