This week Podium or Pits talks sharks, Lady Gaga, Skippy the Kangaroo, and maybe a bit of F1 thrown in for good measure…

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO... it's Lady Gaga

PODIUM.  Heikki Kovalainen –

POP has already raved about the delights of Heikki Kovalainen’s Twitter feed.  If you’re not already a Twitter fan, simply signing up for his ‘classic’ updates will be worth it.  Gems include:

Seen a lot of comments about yesterdays race and how boring it was for spectators, I agree totally, we need to do something about it. Ideas?

Just met Mick Doohan at breakfast, he is a legend…

Going to see LadyGaga tonight with @KataHyde, should be a bit different to #Nightwish thunder that I’m more used to!

POP would pay good money to see Lady Gaga and Heikki Kovalainen become an item.  Officially the oddest potential celebrity couple ever.  Well actually, the oddest would be Lady Gaga and Bernie Ecclestone, but we wouldn’t want Bernie getting any ideas now, would we?

PODIUM.  Ferrari –

POP considers the Ferrari team to be, for lack of a better analogy, a lot like Marmite.  You either love the team with an Italian-fuelled ostentatious passion, or you literally see red whenever a Ferrari is out on track.  Regardless, this week it was trumpeted by Ferrari themselves that they are the most popular Formula 1 team IN THE WORLD.  They may be popular, but they sure aren’t modest.  According to the preliminary results of a FOTA survey, 30% of people selected the Maranello-based squad as their team of choice.  In case you’re interested, McLaren were 2nd with 19%, and ‘new’ team Mercedes were 3rd with 10%.  The survey also noted that 65% of fans want the races in HD.  POP suspects the nay-saying 35% don’t own a HD TV, and therefore should not be allowed to vote on such an important matter.  F1 in HD would make POP’s day, no, wait… year.  Or at least show it in HD for the Singapore night race, and maybe Monaco too.  For a sport at the cutting-edge of technology, it is frankly embarrassing that Formula 1 is not in HD.  Even football is.  POP rests its case.

PODIUM.  Sharks –

When you think of Australia, what animals spring to mind?  Skippy the kangaroo, koalas, crocodiles and now … sharks!  The F1 circus has reached Melbourne, Australia, and already they’re acting out their very own version of Jaws.  Here’s the story in the words of Force India test driver Paul di Resta, who was doing some PR for the team when he ran into an unexpected predator:

“It is the first time I have been to Australia, and the first time I’ve been to a beach here – and within two minutes I see a shark … I was the first one to notice it. Tonio [Liuzzi] said to me, ‘it’s not a shark, don’t be stupid’ – well about 30 seconds later you realise what it was. It swam for a good 10 minutes, and enough to call the police and get a helicopter in to see it!”

Hands down winner of the WEIRDEST F1 news story so far this year.

PODIUM.  New teams for 2011 –

New teams have until 15 April 2010 to register their interest in participating in the 2011 Formula 1 championship.  If you are good at blagging, but don’t have any drivers, technology, intelligence or money… never fear!  Just apply to the FIA by the deadline, and you’re pretty much sure to be granted an entry.  Fun times.  USF1 liked messing everyone around for this year’s entry so much, they’re going to apply again for 2011 just for kicks!

PITS.  Bernie Ecclestone –

Bernie calling Lewis yesterday

This week it was revealed that none other than Bernie Ecclestone, F1 supremo, was turned down for a job!  After hearing that Lewis Hamilton and his manager-father had professionally parted ways, Bernie was immediately on the phone to Lewis to take up the vacant position.  He’s left an answerphone message with his offer, but Lewis is playing it cool, “I have received a lot of applications but I’m not in a hurry to decide.”  Ouch.  To be fair to Lewis, would you really want a 79 year-old managing your affairs?  I think not.  So does this mean that Bernie has a bit too much time on his hands?  He partly owns football team Queen’s Park Rangers, negotiates deals on behalf of Formula 1, and has a constant presence at races.  He’s not a 79 year-old man… he’s a machine!  Calm down Bernard.  Take up golf, or bridge, like all normal pensioners.

PODIUM.  Monza Monza Monza!

Talking of Bernie and doing deals, this week he has secured the famous Italian circuit of Monza to host the Italian grand prix until 2016.  Hurrah!  It’s been on the calendar since 1922, which means that its practically a protected species.  Monza is also the proud recipient of a Badger Badge of Approval.  An honour indeed.

PODIUM.  Down Under aka Australia –

Embrace the land down under!  The land of boomerangs, Neighbours, Skippy the Kangaroo, Nicole Kidman, ‘barbies’/BBQs, and many other completely un-cliched things like that.  F1 is heading to Oz this weekend for the Australian grand prix at Melbourne.  Plus, there’s even a jazzy ‘down under’ song…