Fernando never had this trouble…


Like a bird on the back of a buffalo, I am watching my little world move around me.

Life can be like baseball, or perhaps that should be cricket where I come from. You take what is thrown at you. And just when you think you’re on a home run…

It’s been a funny old week, both in real life and in motor racing. There I was, packing my bags for Sebring, when the family chief mechanic tells me he doesn’t like the look of something and packs me off to the workshop, where a very nice man takes it away and tells me to take it easy. I’m not very good at that.

Not a big deal, but no Sebring. So of course I tried to follow the race on the TV teletext service. Nothing, not a word, and ditto in the Sunday newspapers. But – having removed a sleeping cat from atop the laptop – the excellent Audi website brought news of a great victory for the new R15. That made my weekend, even though I missed a terrific race. Roll on Le Mans. Could be a cracker.

On top of all this both our cars failed the MOT test. My little Renault needs a new rear seat belt “receptor” and her bigger sister needs new brakes. New brakes? Have you ever heard of a modern car needing new brakes after 30,000 miles? No, nor have I. From here on in, Team Widdows is taking its Renaults to the local garage up the road. There we will find friendly mechanics and a lot less creative accounting.

On top of all this a Williams driven by Nakajima goes fastest on the last day of testing at Jerez. Can the car really be this good? Or are the others holding back? Tune in on Saturday to find out. And, just in case you can’t keep up with all the shenanigans, the World Champion this year will be the driver with the most points. And I think that’s a good decision. Meanwhile, how many teams will protest the new Brawn GP car once they get to Melbourne? All of them, probably.

Some things never change.

Hanging on the telephone earlier this week, listening interminably to that dreadful phrase “your call is important to us”, I realised that nearly a quarter of this year has gone by. Before we know it, we’ll have results instead of predictions. We will know what’s what and who, if anyone, has got the jump.

Win or lose, I wager that Fernando Alonso won’t need new discs, pads, hubs and heaven knows what else after a few laps. Oh yes, and they charge for washer fluid these days too. The coffee, taken in a deserted showroom, is free.

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