The Reuters global sports blog
Giancarlo Fisichella and Ferrari would appear to be a marriage made in heaven, as well as good box office for Monza next week.
The little Roman gets to live out the dream he thought would never come true while Ferrari get a driver who is demonstrably quick as well as being a safe and completely loyal pair of hands.
Fisichella is already fired up after the race of his life in Belgium last weekend, where he started on pole and finished second for Force India.
Ferrari know he will be a team player, committed to the cause as both fan and patriot and his loyalty cemented by a testing contract for 2010.
For 20 euros you can buy a Michael Schumacher ‘Comeback’ cap from the official Formula One merchandise stands at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The longed-for return will not happen this season, with the retired seven times world champion thwarted by a neck injury from replacing injured Brazilian Felipe Massa at Ferrari, but his manager Willi Weber never misses a trick.
Who will replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari?
The question was asked in the immediate aftermath of the Brazilian’s life-threatening crash in Hungary last month and is now being asked again.
Luca Badoer got the nod for Valencia at the weekend but unless the 38-year-old Italian stand-in pulls something big out of the hat in Belgium this weekend the tifosi will be clamouring to have him out of the car before Ferrari’s home race at Monza.
A disappointing day for fans of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, with news that the German has had to call off his proposed F1 comeback.
As the seven-times world champion said on his website:
“Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I’m not able to step in for Felipe (Massa). I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn’t work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.
Just wondering why people clap like mad every time a golfer taps in a two-inch putt? Are these the same people who break out in applause when a plane lands? Aren’t both these things suppose to happen?
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Best thing I heard on the golf course this week: “Instead of reading the greens you have to read the currents out there,” joked former U.S. Masters champion Mike Weir at the rain-hit Canadian Open.
Second best I heard on the golf course this week: “Let’s go watch someone who wants to play.” — A disgruntled spectator to a friend at the Buick Open after watching Rocco Mediate miss twice from three-feet at the par four 12th at Warwick.
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You have to love a tournament like the Buick Open where the trophy looks like a hood ornament.
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Best joke I heard: England midfielder David Beckham was fined $1,000 by Major League Soccer for confronting unhappy fans following his return to the LA Galaxy during AC Milan. That works out to 1/250,000th of Beckham’s reported five-year $250 million deal that brought him to the United States to spread the soccer gospel.
Just seeing Michael Schumacher back in an F1 car, especially a Ferrari, will be enough for most motor sport fans.
But the chance to watch him race against young guns Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel is something very special.
As Ferrari have just confirmed, Schumacher is poised to make a comeback after Massa fractured his skull in an accident at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
With seven times champion Michael Schumacher seemingly in no rush to come out of retirement to stand in for his friend and former team mate Felipe Massa, Ferrari will have to resign themselves to looking elsewhere.
Massa appears to be on the mend, thankfully, but it has to be doubtful whether last year’s overall runner-up will race again this season after the serious head injuries sustained in Hungary.
One month on, and it appears to be all over. Ferrari won. In the war of the brands, it was no contest. And, in the end, it was Bernie Ecclestone who saw the writing on the wall for F1, too.
After a Paris breakfast with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo on Wednesday, he told FIA president Max Mosley it was over. No more crusades, no more rows over rules and no more daft outbursts. Ecclestone had to save the F1 brand, protect the investment of CVC Capital and his own interests, and make sure his old friend and ally knew what to expect: Game Over, Max.
I asked Max Mosley at a lunch before the start of the Formula One season whether there was anyone masochistic enough to want to take on his job. He laughed.
“Maybe that’s the qualification, that you’ve got to be into that little world…” the FIA president chuckled.