Welcome to Podium or Pits (or POP for short), your weekly dose of (fun) Formula 1 news!  This week we discover Heikki’s past-times, the romantic future of Lewis Hamilton, and the precariousness of Renault’s financial situation…

An incredibly subtle clue for the quiz below...

PODIUM.  Heikki Kovalainen –

[poll id=8]

If you picked A, then you’d be vastly over-estimating the interestingness of Heikki ‘Vanilla’ Kovalainen.  In fact, Heikki loves to do a bit of gardening when he gets a break from driving for Lotus.  However, POP loves a driver who bucks the trend, it’s so refreshing.  He doesn’t even have a trashy popstar/under-wear model girlfriend like the McLaren boys some drivers.  He’s engaged to British girlfriend Catherine Hyde, who studies sports pyschology.  Aww.

PODIUM.  Red Bull –

Joke presents are great, such as getting your aging grandmother some racing nuns for Christmas (always a winner), or giving Fernando Alonso a signed grinning picture of Lewis Hamilton.  Ace.  So when POP heard about Red Bulls ‘joke’ birthday present for 80 year-old Bernie Ecclestone, POP was both highly amused and very worried for the team.

Bernie enjoying his birthday present yesterday

Someone thought it’d be genius to give Bernie (who, as you all know, is the great puppeteer of F1) a personalised zimmer-frame, complete with racing steering wheel and front wing!  Hilarious … until Bernie starts diverting funding into the coffers of Ferrari & Co as punishment.

PITS.  Jonathan Legard on Twitter –

Inadvertant comedy gold.  Marginally better than watching paint dry….

Pitlane exit. Silverstone say no risk of flooding, no drainage issues cos new lake built to cope

Pitlane garages http://plixi.com/p/50580006

Drizzle in Mokpo, nearest city to Korea gp track. Meant to continue all night. Turn 16 was being repaired again tonight

Lotus announce building of wind tunnel at team base at Hingham

PITS.  Renault –

Despite recent on-track hiccups, Renault haven’t been too shabby at all (well, if you discount the “performances” of Petrov, that is).  But rumour has it that the Renault team have been forced to take out a loan from the amusingly-named ‘Snoras’, a Lithuaian Bank.  According to reports, Renault has lost £50 million in sponsorship in the last 12 months, largely in the wake of the race-fixing Singapore scandal revealed last year.  Not good.

PITS.  Stefano Domenicali –

“Woulda everyona pleasa staya calm for Stefano!!” Following Fernando Alonso’s win at the inaugural Korean grand prix, Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has urged his team to remain calm.  Good luck with that.  You try telling a bunch of hot-headed passionate Italians to calm down in the face of potential victory in the Drivers’ world championship.  Yeah, impossible.

PITS?  Lewis Hamilton –

The future Mrs Hamilton is very serious, ahem

How POP could have missed this bit of F1-gossip is beyond belief, but here it is anyway, albeit a couple of weeks late…  Lewis Hamilton’s girlfriend, Pussycat Doll singer Nicole Scherzinger, has been quoted as saying,

‘I’m really traditional – I’d want to be married before we have kids and that’s something we’ll hopefully be doing soon … I love kids and I’m feeling broody’ – Now that’s a proposal and a half.  Let’s just hope Lewis is also behind with the news …