Welcome to Podium or Pits, your weekly (fun) F1 news review!  A grand prix in Spain last weekend, and the Monaco grand prix this Sunday… Formula 1 is truly spoiling us this week!

Image credit: silverstone.co.uk

PODIUM.  Silverstone –

The British grand prix is under 2 months away, and the new layout for the Silverstone circuit has been unveiled!  By royalty nonetheless!  His Royal Highness the Duke of York was there to cut the ribbon and officially open the revamped track to the racing world.  “This is a very proud day for Silverstone Circuit and the BRDC,” commented Damon Hill, the President of the BRDC (British Racing Drivers’ Club, the owners of the circuit).  With the British political system gone completely topsy turvy, at least we can say that Silverstone is in good shape.  POP is very proud too.  Follow Silverstone on Twitter by clicking here.

PODIUM.  Mika Hakkinen –

POP often likes to wander over to the Science Musuem in London, primarily because it houses Mika Hakkinen’s 1999 McLaren.  Mika is only a couple of months older than Michael Schumacher, but sadly he won’t be returning to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car anytime soon.  So why the ‘Podium’?  Since 2008 Mika has been involving himself in driver management, and this week POP has caught the whisper that Mika, two-time world champion, will very soon become the manager of another world champion.  Any guesses?  They’ve both featured in a string of rather-amusing videos promoting responsible drinking, they both raced for McLaren, and both have won world championships … still no clue?  Mika Hakkinen is soon to be the manager of Lewis Hamilton!  Brilliant news for Hamilton and Hakkinen fans everywhere.

PITS.  Michael Schumacher’s reputation –

The sparkle is back” said Nick Fry, Mercedes GP CEO, when asked to comment on Schumacher’s impressive 4th place in Spain last weekend.  POP is trying desperately to fend off images of Schumacher as a little glittering, sparkling fairy, or as a 6 year-old girl dressed all in pink waving a magic wand.  Sparkle?  Even a cliched F1 pun would have been more suitable… ‘Michael moves into the fast lane’, ‘Schumacher is back on track’, ‘He’s finally got into gear’ etc etc.  Nevermind, it certainly made POP giggle for a good 12 minutes.

PODIUM.  Lewis Hamilton –

At the grand old age of 25, has Lewis finally grown up?  After the catastrophic failure of his tyre in the last few laps of the Spanish grand prix, the old Lewis probably would have sulked off, but the New-Improved Lewis Hamilton made this level-headed assessment of his misfortunes:

“It was great points for me but I’m absolutely blown away that it was the last two laps of the race that something happened, but this is motor racing and you just keep your chin up and look forward.”

POP cites many reasons for this recent display of maturity: getting rid of his father as his manager, having Jenson Button for a team-mate, ditching his Pussycat Doll girlfriend, and picking the legendary Mika Hakkinen as his potential manager.  Whatever the reasons, this is exactly the kind of attitude that will set Lewis on the path to another world championship.

PITS.  Ferrari –

The team have been fined £13,500!  POP bets that on hearing the news of the fine, Ferrari bosses laughed out loud, before returning to their world domination planning.  The team unsafely released driver Alonso into the path of Nico Rosberg in the pitlane near the end of qualifying for the Spanish grand prix.  POP thinks that the stewards and the FIA should get creative when handing out penalties.  What about forcing Ferrari to put the words “We’re Sorry” across the blank space on their car where the disputed barcode used to be?  That would clearly be much more effective in preventing future unsafe releases from the pitlane.