In a look at the lighter-hearted side of F1 – what can to the outside world at times appear an overly serious and self-important sphere – two stories have emerged of late guaranteed to put a smile on the face.
After writing off his Red Bull Racing RB5 in a late-race coming-together with BMW-Sauber rival Robert Kubica in the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne twelve months ago, Sebastian Vettel baptised its replacement 'Kate's Dirty Sister' – because, he reasoned, she was faster and more aggressive than her predecessor 'Kate'.
Fond of apportioning female names to his cars, the young German had equipped his 2008 Scuderia Toro Rosso challenger with the moniker 'Julie', emblazoned across the dashboard, and now his 2010 on-track companion can officially be revealed – Luscious Liz. Vettel's real-life girlfriend is called Hanna.
“If I could design a superstar, Sebastian would be the result,” the sport's influential commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone told Auto Bild Motorsport
. “He is exactly what Formula 1 one needs – a young, super-talented driver who is intelligent but not arrogant, popular with the public and good with the media, normal but still very professional.”
Meanwhile, Vettel's compatriot Timo Glock has been having some fun-and-games of his own of late. After reportedly telephoning the local police station at Darmstadt to complain about some children throwing snowballs at his house, the 27-year-old's call was answered by an officer named...Michael Schumacher.
Both men refused to believe that the other was not, well, taking the Michael regarding their respective identities, and it was only when Herr Schumacher drove around to the Virgin Racing star's house, the Austrian Times
reveals, that all became apparent. And by that time, the errant schoolchildren had departed the scene.