What a year this has turned out to be for the Weekly Grapevine. No sooner had clocks turned their backs on 2004 than the first major surprise hit Formula One: Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo sold out the Italian team's medium-term future (until 2012) in Formula One for a few bags of immediate gold, worth an estimated $100m, from Bernie Ecclestone.
In the process Ferrari alienated themselves more than was ever thought possible, but that in itself was no surprise, for Ferrari had long been the only team marching in step when it came to operational activities.
What did, though, shock most observers was the abrupt manner in which the Rampant Stallion turned its rump upon political allies, then widely denounced them. Maybe it was not at all surprising, though, for this column had seven months before predicted the precarious financial situation Ferrari was to find themselves in, going as far as suggesting that a departure from Formula One could be on the cards. To their credit, Ferrari chose the lesser of the two evils...