Formula one is so much quieter in the off-season don't you think?

...Okay - don't attack me for stating the bloody obvious! I'm not alone! Try Jenson Button's recent comment on F1's new event in the Middle East next year: "It makes a change to have a Grand Prix in a desert region like Bahrain as most of the races are in Europe."

Thanks for that Jense, I bet you also think Ferrari, McLaren and Williams will be the top teams next year! Only teasing JB!

Actually, a really good question to ask anyone would be: 'Who is the mystery aerodynamicist, working for Toyota, that is being interviewed by German Police regarding allegations that he had stolen information from Ferrari which was subsequently used in the design and development of the TF103?'

Hmmmm... quick message to Ferrari: Lighten up boys, you've won! Really. Honest to goodness. Yeah I know Japan seems like ages ago but check the trophy room - look for the big gold thing with '2003 world champions' inscribed on it. Yeah, I know it pays to be cautious and, in a weird way, I did understand your desire to melt Michelin mid-season because you thought the tyres they supplied to McLaren and Williams were three nano microns too wide for at least 200 metres during one of the races. But bringing in the German police after the season has ended?!

Come on - tell me, what gave you the clue that someone at Toyota might be copying your stuff? Was it the red paint work? Must have been! Let me save you some time - Toyota aren't a threat. Trust me. Check the lap times. Have a look at the points chart. If someone has used your information then they either (a) forgot a really important bit of it, (b) their Italian language skills need serious help or (c) they tripped over on the way to the drawing room, dropped the files and then rearranged them in the wrong order. However, maybe someone actually did take the data but then cleverly covered their tracks by making the Toyota a couple of seconds slower so nobody would guess.

But what I don't understand about all this just yet is: is the allegation that, Ferrari's ex-employee took information in the form of hard data over to Toyota? Or are they saying that this person has now used the things he learnt while in Italy? Well, hard data probably has some copyright issues... but, if the information's in his head! What are they going to do? Maybe Ross Brawn could develop something like the neuro whatsit thing as used by "Men in Black" and bring any departing employee into his office and say 'Just look in to the torch please' then POW! A blue light wipes their brain clean and they can't even remember how to eat an ice-cream let alone airflow and pressure figures.

I do know one thing; I wouldn't want to be in the suspect's shoes at the moment. That phrase: 'Interviewed by German Police' worries me! 'Interview' normally means heavy questioning rather than 'Hey, welcome to headquarters buddy. We're looking to employ someone who can help generate more down force on our pursuit cars' If you're reading this Sunshine, here's a quick tip - if they let you go and bid farewell in English, don't answer back 'Goodbye!' It's a trap... they'll know you're a spy.

Anyway, Toyota is also in the news for something else after it announced an end to its sponsorship of ITV's Formula One television coverage two years early. Now, it's either doing this to save ?12.5 million or they've been forced to stop while German Police investigate claims that they're ruthlessly associating themselves with races that Ferrari are winning in order to sell more cars.

Nonetheless, the Japanese car giant seems happy with its involvement to date after a statement by them noted:

"A recent study revealed that Toyota is now one of the brands most closely associated with F1 on television, outperforming more established manufacturers in the sport such as BMW, Jaguar, Renault and Mercedes-Benz."

Guess it'd be cruel to add "but only up to the point when the race starts!"

But to be fair, they have been getting their act together and in my book their driver Cristiano da Mata was certainly one of the stars of the season. But I sure hope he's good in hot weather because it's going to be very, very warm when F1 hits the Middle East! Yes sir! This is a place where even the Camels say 'Gee, I'd kill for a cold beer!'

The fact is, even though the Bahrain track has cost ?90 million to build, the circuit keeps with tradition and is still open air and not air-conditioned. But while we're on that subject, is it actually tradition or is something else going on behind the scenes? Many experts have claimed that the Bahrain track bears a striking resemblance to other race circuits. The surface is tarmac, it has a pit lane, some straights and several corners. I personally believe there may be several related factors here that could be of interest to the German Police.

I wonder how the 'interview' is going? 'One last question mien aerodynamicist; Have you or any members of your family been to Bahrain in the past six years?' 'No? Oh ok... you can go. Goodbye.'

'Goodbye... arggghhhhh shi...!!!

Keep smiling - all the best,

Perry.

PS. Haven't checked out my website yet? What you waiting for? Go to: www.perrymccarthy.com - or else I'll send the German police round to 'interview' you!!!

 

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