BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIXVIEW Unfortunately, Italian Air Traffic Controllers were on strike again last December, so Father Christmas was unable to deliver a new Formula 1 car to the Faenza factory in time for the start of the season and we went to ...
BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIXVIEW
Unfortunately, Italian Air Traffic Controllers were on strike again last December, so Father Christmas was unable to deliver a new Formula 1 car to the Faenza factory in time for the start of the season and we went to Melbourne with the old 2007 car. To save money on sign-writing on the car and on driver overalls, we advertised for a new team-mate for Sebastian Vettel, the only condition being that he too should be called Seb. We found a multiple Champ Car champion called Bourdais. Vettel was angry at no longer being the only Seb in the team and went on a go-slow protest, only completing 39 laps in the first four races of the season. Bourdais meanwhile would have finished fourth in his first GP in Melbourne and was eventually classified seventh after his car let him down in the closing stages. But the result still meant we had some points right from race one.
We had to wait until Monaco to get some more points, courtesy of Vettel's fifth place. The street race also marked the debut of our new car, the STR3, which Bourdais qualified 13th. It should have appeared a fortnight earlier in Turkey, but it got "broken" in a testing accident. The team might have been for sale this weekend or maybe not, it's hard to remember.
In Canada, Vettel was still sulking about having another driver called Seb in the team, refused to go to the grid, but was eventually persuaded to start from pit lane, to bring home another point for eighth place. This weekend the team was going to be bought by a consortium of Nigerian Banks. All we had to do was send them one hundred dollars and all our bank details and they would send us millions by return.
At the French Grand Prix, the whole country was in party mood as Red Bull was officially on sale in France for the first time. President Nikolas Sarkosi offered to buy our team out of gratitude: "It is only because I drink Red Bull that a beautiful woman like Carla Bruni would even look at a short man with platform heels in his shoes," he said (allegedly.) Out of politeness to the French, as Red Bull Racing uses Renault engines, Ferrari-powered Seb and Seb let Webber and Coulthard finish ahead of them at Magny-Cours.
From Europe to China, our Sebs stepped up a gear, with both men getting into the Top Ten on the grid every time, apart from Bourdais in Singapore. And apart from Shanghai, we scored points at every venue. Did something happen at Monza? Oh yes, Gerhard Berger's memory was even worse than usual and for some reason, he walked onto the podium at the end of the Italian Grand Prix. Fortunately, Vettel quickly ran up and brought him down again. He was given a nice big trophy for his quick thinking.
Paying great attention to detail, Franz Tost insisted that, in preparation for the Singapore night race, the team be kept in the dark and only allowed out at night. For our Communications Department this was normal procedure at every race.
Giorgio Ascanelli did not come to Fuji. Worried about another potential Air Traffic Controller's strike preventing Father Christmas from delivering a 2009 car, our technical director decided to stay at home and make his own.
Going into the final race of the season, Scuderia Toro Rosso has one win and 34 points. Last year it scored a total of 8.