Podium or Pits is Badger’s weekly guide to what’s hot and what’s not in F1. Stay tuned for Mika coming back, two old favourites, noise issues and a heartfelt thank you.

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Mika Backinen – This incarnation of POP loves Mika Hakkinen. It’s not just a mild liking for the double World Champion or a high esteem born of his talents behind the wheel of a car. No, dear POP-ites, it’s love.

However, before this becomes a paean to the great Finn, let’s get on with why he’s reappeared in our lives.

Thanks to Autosport, we know that he’s returning to racing. Tick. He’s going to be competing in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup at Zhuhai this weekend and, even better, he’s been interviewed by David Couthard about it. A very enthusiastic David Couthard in fact; it’s a bit weird. Have a look below.

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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren in the post-race press conference. Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday 6 July 2008.
Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix in 2008. We want this Lewis back. World © Bumstead/Sutton

No, please, not again – After POP made the bold claim that Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Sherzinger’s relationship would never darken POP again, they promptly went and broke up. Maybe that was the reason? Who knows.

Anyway, now the celebrity section of the MSN website (no, us neither) is reporting that Lewis Hamilton has stepped out with a “mystery woman”.

Honestly, if we  have to endure this kind of nonsense until he finds himself another long-term girlfriend then the world might stop turning. Can POP take this any more? Doubtful.

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Health, with Tamara – You know it wouldn’t be an edition of POP without an Ecclestone sprog story and you’ll be pleased to hear this one is no different.

Tamara’s been in the Daily Mail chatting about her health. Presumably the health only money can buy.

Best bits include:

Biggest phobia? I’m scared of birds. Their beaks, their feet, their wings petrify me…though I have no idea of the roots of my fears.

Like to live forever? Bring it on. If there was a pill to provide eternal life, I’d take it without hesitation.

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L-R: Samir Gaur (IND) Jaypee Sports CEO and MD with Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) CEO Formula One Group (FOM). Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Race, Sunday 30 October 2011.
"I'll be having that..." Bernie in India, 2011 World © Sutton

Witnessing with Bernie – Yeah, that’s right – witnessing. It’s a word.

According to the Guardian headline “Bernie Ecclestone paid German £27m to ‘keep him quiet and peaceful'”. If only POP had a spare £27 million hanging around, we might be able to stop our neighbours from playing loud music at ungodly hours. That, or Lambeth Council. One or the other.

Also according to the Guardian article, Bernie’s the son of a trawlerman. Set that one to music, Dusty Springfield.

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And finally… POP thinks we can all get together and give a great big fat podium to the Lotus teams (Lotii?) for finally settling their dispute.

About time.