Grapevine: More News from the Paddock - Italian GP

Schu Leave Him Alone

World Champion Michael Schumacher always explores all options for victory but he is unlikely to have orchestrated the meeting of his wife, Corinna, and arch rival Juan Pablo Montoya, in the paddock on Saturday evening. After her husband had just pipped the Colombian to pole position, Corinna ran into Montoya outside the Williams motorhome as she made her way to the Ferrari motorhome. They hugged and before engaging in chit chat, Corinna told Montoya not to spoil it "this time" for Schumacher and said she hoped the two had a good battle. "But no touching," replied an amused Montoya. "Well if you want no touching, you tell HIM that." "Oh, I always tell him," she responded. "Really I do..."

Colombo 500 Not Out

After the much-celebrated 'coming of age' of British journalist Mike Doodson, who completed his 500th race at the Austrian Grand Prix, Italian photographer Ercole Colombo became the latest member of the exclusive club when he clocked up his 500th in Italy this weekend. Colombo became the ninth official member joining celebrated names such as Doodson, Jeff Hutchinson, Frenchman Jabby Crombac, one of Autosport's first writers, Austrian television presenter Heinz Pruller and Italian technical writer Giorgio Piola. Once again, Toyota marked the occasion with the customary champagne celebration in their motorhome and many members of the team joined in the fun.

Denso Girls

The paddock at Monza is generally full of glamorous models, many of whom could be considered lacking something in the upstairs department. But journalists were taken aback when Toyota issued a notice claiming that they were planning to "have a couple of denso girls in the paddock" on Sunday. Fortunately, the word denso is not Italian for dense or stupid but actually the name of one of Toyota's sponsors, who were keen to promote themselves this weekend.

Holy Tour

The media centre filled with people on Friday lunchtime as the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, turned up for a flying tour. He followed that up with a stroll down the paddock, accompanied by a flock of around 30 journalists and photographers, and visited numerous team motorhomes including a stop-off at BAR-Honda, where he decided not to take advantage of their free pasta lunch. According to the organisers, his presence was aimed at offering "a sign of proximity of the Church in this delicate and varied professional and private life." Others suspected it was to bless the track in the hope that Ferrari could win.

BAR Bible

BAR-Honda produce a handy little booklet for every race and Monza was no exception. But the once-reliable guide, which offers stats from past races and all the season's results as well as background on the track and the latest news in Formula One and at BAR, seems to have struggled in recent races. In fact, the literacy in one story was so bad that it was incomprehensible. "Stirling Moss's win at the 1956 Italian GP," it stated, "started an incredible sequence in which all bar one of the 15 preceding races were won by an English-speaking driver." Erm...What?

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