This week in Podium or Pits … POP agrees with Lewis (shock, horror!), Rob Smedley does his bit for charity, Schumacher is flying, and Felipe Massa has a problem with his nuts…
Lewis Hamilton – finally! Something Lewis and POP can agree on. When a driver has the same nationality as his team, the national anthem is only played once. So when Lewis or Jenson win it’s one glorious rendition of God Save the Queen. But when Fernando wins, it’s the Spanish national anthem followed by the seemingly endless Italian anthem (seriously, it does go on a bit).
This week, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has said that the anthem should be longer. “When I stand up there and Felipe Massa has won, Brazil’s anthem is like 10 minutes long. Ours is less than half a minute” said Hamilton. The eagle-eyed readers among you will notice the glaring error in Hamilton’s statement. Yes, that’s right, when does Massa ever win anyway!? Oh, and the Brazilian anthem isn’t 10 minutes either. Despite Hamilton’s factual inaccuracies, the basic premise is spot on – the Brits in British cars deserve more podium time to savour their glory. That’s only fair. Perhaps a rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain for good measure?
Rob Smedley – Felipe Massa’s engineer is so involved in the race that he may as well be re-named Massa’s “co-pilot”. He’s the one reassuring Massa when things go wrong, and the one kicking him up the butt when he needs to do some overtakes. They say that behind every great man is a great woman. Well, behind Felipe Massa is Rob Smedley (not that he’s a woman, it’s just that he’s great!) Anyway, Rob Smedley is unequivocally on the podium this week for his charity work: he’s going to be a guest speaker at an F1-themed charity event for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice. Smedley and his wife lost a baby in 2007. “This is a very small way of using Formula 1 as a platform to give something back” said Smedley. Top bloke.
Michael Schumacher – 8th in the last race. Well. But life’s not all bad for the former world champion: he has his own plane! Michael Schumacher: living the dream.
Felipe Massa – it’s a Felipe Frenzy this week in Podium or Pits! It has been revealed this week that Felipe may have lost a place at last weekend’s German grand prix because of … a nut. He may be Brazilian, but a Brazil nut isn’t the issue here folks. Ferrari introduced a new “speedy” wheel nut design for the German race, but sadly it disconnected from the wheel gun on Felipe’s final stop, costing him crucial time in a race won and lost in the pit stops. Overall the new design was quicker, but with such unreliability with the system it perhaps may not be worth it for the team. Smedley – sort it out.