Behind the scenes at the Brazilian GP

Formula 1 is very good at wishing its life away and even before the end of this season – just two races to go now – the main topic in Sao Paulo was next year’s calendar. It looks as though it’s going to be the same but longer, if that does not sound too strange. Basically, there will be the same nineteen Grands Prix as in 2005, but the season will be much longer, running from early March to the finale in Brazil on 5th November.

The reason for this is that the teams have told Bernie Ecclestone that the only way they will stick with 19 race weekends is if there are less of the back-to-back races that sapped the energy and enthusiasm out of everyone over the summer. A longer race year is nothing new and in the late Eighties, early Nineties, the sound of F1 engines only faded around mid-November when the season closed in Adelaide. A full list of 2006 dates is expected to be published in October.

Last Sunday turned out to be a day for crowning champions: apart from Fernando Alonso in Formula 1, Valentino Rossi secured his seventh Motorcycle title, the fifth at the top level of the sport and in the States, Dan Wheldon won the Indy Racing League Championship.

They say that Formula 1 is only a sport for a couple of hours of Sunday afternoon and a business for the rest of the time, but at least there were plenty of sportsmanlike gestures in Sao Paulo after Alonso’s title win. The entire crew of McLaren mechanics turned up in the Renault garage to congratulate their colleagues, while Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn also paid them a visit.

Michael Schumacher’s cleaning lady back home in Switzerland is probably delighted she will have one less trophy to polish, now that the German hands over the Drivers’ crown for the first time since 2000. He’s owned it for so long, we suggest Alonso checks Michael did not leave anything inside it, like an old library ticket, a baby rattle, a pen without a refill and one of those special keys for bleeding the heating radiators. In fact, Michael was one of the first to go and see Alonso, but he had to wait for a moment as the Renault driver was on the phone to someone who had not lost his crown – the King of Spain!

If the McLaren drivers were disappointed to have missed out on the title, they soon found a way of cheering themselves up as Raikkonen and Montoya were just two of the F1 drivers who turned up at the Sunday night Red Bull Party. It was held in the Unique Hotel, one of the most famous in Sao Paulo and the rooftop venue offered fantastic panoramic views of the city for the 450 or so guests. Red Bull Racing

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :