The DAFTAs for this week are;

Correct me if I’m wrong but who asked you for your opinion – of the week; Flavio Briatore spouts publicly about the future of F1.

Flav apparently gave an interview to Autosprint magazine this week, in which he lambasted his former business, claiming that it needs fixing if it is to offer a better show in future.

"F1 is very confused at the moment," said Mr Briatore. "There will be a push to change things because the way it is now, I don’t see it having a big future. The problem is a bit with everything; the lack of spectacle and unpredictability in normal conditions."

Is this not the same Flavio Briatore who was banned by the FIA from F1 for life for cheating at the Singapore GP in 2008, or am I just imagining things? If I’m somehow mistaken, well, then I’m terribly sorry about that Flav, I must have been hallucinating or something and got the wrong man. If that’s the case then carry on, don’t mind me – and the very best of luck with the new Parmalat contract.

Wimp of the week; the US road safety commission.

According to the US road safety commission, the NHTSA, "if the Porsche Panamera's front seats are adjusted towards an extreme position, it is possible that the function of the locking mechanism of the seatbelt mount can no longer be guaranteed. Therefore in the event of a crash the seatbelts may not provide adequate protection for the seat occupant, which may increase the risk of injury or death".

As a result, Porsche has decided to recall all 11,300 Panameras it has sold worldwide and make an adjustment to their perfectly-alright seat belts.

Just as well that the NHTSA’s testers didn’t discover what happens when you bury your foot in the carpet in second gear in a Panamera Turbo; because if they had, they’d no doubt have suffered instant cardiac arrest and got the thing banned from the USA with immediate effect – on the grounds that driving a Panamera Turbo ìcan cause serious psychological damage, especially if driven in the vicinity of a hard object or, worse still, towards a road with some bends in it on which SUV drivers may also be present.

Read more on the Panamera recall

Most relevant point of the week; that an Ultima GTR is, in fact, faster than – and therefore represents better value compared with – a Ferrari 599 GTOOnline contributor McKeith pointed out this week that an Ultima GTR720 weighs 0.65 of a tonne less than a 599 GTO, has more torque, more power yet costs over £100,000 less than the Ferrari. Therefore, suggested McKeith, the Ultima makes the Ferrari seem bloated and overpriced.

Thanks for putting us straight on this McKeith, thanks a lot. Next.

Read Steve's first drive of the Ferrari 599 GTO

We’ll just have to agree to disagree about this – of the week; the Aston Martin Rapide

You lot mostly seem to hate the new Aston Rapide, which is a shame because, despite its spacial flaws, it’s actually one of the most surprising cars we’ve driven this year. And that’s surprising as in; an awful lot better than we were expecting.

Ah well, there’s no accounting for preconceived, uninformed, gloriously single-minded opinion I suppose. It’s what makes the internet go round, after all.

Autocar's Aston Martin Rapide road test

Slipperiest customer of the week; Ferrari

A report in The Times last week claimed that leading health officials had called on British and Spanish governments to investigate the extent of Marlboro's involvement with Ferrari, how prominent the Marlboro-mimicking 'barcode' logo was on Ferrari's cars, and whether the barcode was a form of subliminal tobacco advertising.

This is what Ferrari stated on its website following the article: "These reports are based on two suppositions. That part of the graphics featured on the Formula 1 cars are reminiscent of the Marlboro logo and even that the red colour, which is a traditional feature of our cars, is a form of tobacco publicity.

"Neither of these arguments have any scientific basis, as they rely on some alleged studies which have never been published in academic journals. But more importantly, they do not correspond to the truth.

"The so called barcode is an integral part of the livery of the car and of all images coordinated by the Scuderia, as can be seen from the fact it is modified every year and, occasionally, even during the season. Furthermore, if it was a case of advertising branding, Philip Morris would have to own a legal copyright on it."

So, to translate that into something that makes sense, Ferrari is claiming that the barcode graphic on its F1 cars has absolutely nothing to do with fag advertising, subliminal or otherwise. And even if it did, it would be Philip Morris’ problem, not Ferraris.

Presumably then, the fact that the team itself is officially called the 'Scuderia Ferrari  Marlboro' also has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the promotion of tobacco; it’s just a pure coincidence that the word Marlboro appears in the team title while at the same time several squillion pounds also appear in Ferrari’s coffers each year courtesy of Philip Morris.

And shame on any one who has the nerve to think otherwise. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Read more on Ferrari deny subliminal adverts

So, until this time next week.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,