Ferrari have confirmed that Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello will be driving with totally new engines next year. Technical Director Ross Brawn, who has the backing of Shell, said that the Ferrari engine was no longer competitive.
Fans of Ferrari need have no fear that the team will not be fired up for next season's Formula 1 driver and team competitions. In place of the Ferrari engine comes the all new Skoda Mark III complete with sun roof and tinted windows, a first in Formula 1 racing.
Alberto Pavoncelli a mechanic with the Ferrari team, said they had met with their Skoda counterparts over the past few weeks. "It was interesting to see how they put their engines together. I was amazed to see that the Skoda has cup holders and a place for mobile phones. I'm sure Michael and Rubens will be thrilled.."
Pavoncelli did however admit to being sceptical about the air conditioning and the air bags. He said that if an air bag went off after a crash he would not like to be in the pits when Michael got there.
Another teething problem for Ferrari will be Skoda's shortage of engines. Each week Ferrari will be allowed 3 for practise and race days but Skoda will need them back for the rest of the week. Apparently they are used for learner drivers and the chairman's son needs one for College.
The Pit crew explained the difference in performance. "This year we use stop watches that can record one hundreths of a second, next season we'll be using our diaries to work in weeks and months".
Barrichello is believed to be very annoyed about the change. He told Vanity Fair that while has no axe to grind with Skoda he does get annoyed when other drivers bicycle past him during practice rounds.
When asked which course would best suit the Skoda Ferrari, he confirmed that that would probably be Augusta National, with the car parked well out of sight.
Bitterly he told us that this was the first Formula 1 car he had ever driven that goes 0 - 100 through Spring. "We've gone from being the Prancing Horse to the Mad Cow's Disease".
"Mike and I both agree that if by some miracle we land up in pole position it will be a disaster. Firstly we'll be in front of a whole grid of sniggering drivers and secondly we'll be killed in the stampede to get passed us!"
Asked if the Bridgestone tyre wouldn't give them an advantage, Barrichello said that it would help a bit because the engine wouldn't be strong enough to turn the wheels and they could retire every week.
"I can only imagine next season when the press ask me to talk them through a pre-qualifying lap. Monday I started out early and full of hope...blah blah blah, by Thursday I was nearing the second corner..."