Grapevine: News from the Paddock - Australia

Beach Battle

Grapevine: News from the Paddock - Australia

World Champion Michael Schumacher and his Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello headed down to St Kilda for what seems to have become a traditional Australian Grand Prix warm-up for the team's golden duo - a beach volleyball match with Australia's female Olympic champions. But while Schumacher was frolicking about in the sand with the bronzed bodied beach beauties in the Vodafone-organised event his brother Ralf was offered the less attractive proposition of an appointment at a Motor Show with his new Toyota team. Some guys get all the luck...

Slow Start

Schumacher and Barrichello were also dragged across town to another sponsors' do with oil company Shell. There is always an incentive to undertake these time-consuming events for the World Champion and his able accomplice were given a traditional offering in the shape of a didgeridoo. But there was much amusement as the event swung into action, even before the ill-advised musical efforts, when the world's fastest driver got stuck in traffic and was delayed by 30 minutes.

The Name's Bond...

BAR-Honda are never ones to miss a trick so they simply had to do something to celebrate the race debut of their sleek BAR 007. But with the new James Bond still yet to be named they were left in a bit of a pickle until four striking girls jumped into the breach - pop-charting string quartet Bond capitalising on their name to pose for photographers with the new machine. The group will also be performing as the main act at the Grand Prix Ball on Friday night and will play their hit single Explosive on the starting grid before Sunday's race.

Thursday Threshold

The opening day of the Australian Grand Prix event on Thursday, in which Williams test driver Antonio Pizzonia completed a few laps in a demonstration and several top support races began their weekend's competition, entered the record books this year. With free entry to general admission areas of Albert Park fans ensured first-day attendance reached an unprecedented level of 77,400.

Fastest Indian...

Narain Karthikeyan - "the fastest Indian in the world" - wasted no time at all in proving he is fast enough for Formula One as he took to the Albert Park track ahead of his race debut. Unfortunately, he did so in the pitlane and was fined a whopping $6,750 (US Dollars) for exceeding the pitlane speed limit in opening practice at a speed of 86.2km/h.

shares
comments
Schumacher off the pace
Previous article

Schumacher off the pace

Next article

Friday's Selected Quotes - Australian GP

Friday's Selected Quotes - Australian GP
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021