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GP Week : Issue 82
GPWEEK OPINION >> e chequered ag when BMW made the late announcement it would quit. He wasn't given the serious consideration he merited by McLaren and Mercedes, for whatever reason. Rumours of him being on Ferrari's shopping list have raged since 2007, but they wanted Alonso more. And this is what is making Robert and his manager, Daniel Morelli, cautious about signing for the Scuderia. He doesn't want to be Fernando's bitch. Boullier spoke this week of Kubica and the team having "the perfect relationship. That is a couple of tenths that are not predictable." The power of human relationships can harness performance like nothing else. Well, I'm not suggesting teams dump their supercomputers in favour of rounds at the pub, but you know what I mean. I mean the team is greater than the sum of its parts when everyone is working in the same direction, and a happy driver is a faster driver. That is why Mark Webber won't go to Ferrari either. He and Red Bull Racing are like peas in a pod. I believe Mark will see out his career there, whether his contract is renewed for one year or five years. Kubica wants what Mark has. And it looks like he's found it with Boullier and Lopez' Renault. Next year he may well find himself where Mark was standing on Sunday --just a metre to the right. hottest property steadfast throughout. It's no coincidence that the world's Press generally tag the adjective 'popular' onto his name. It's shorthand for saying we all like him. Because in a group ranging from PR-terrified automatons to churlish egotists, with everything in between, Nicky stands out as a genuine nice guy. But it's more than his good manners, his transparent honesty, his genuine interest in other people, and his cute street-slang humour. Nicky's approach to racing is what really defines him. He may not agree, but he's not one of those riders who surfs gaily along on pure talent. He simply doesn't have the vast natural gift that shines so strongly in Rossi. Where Nicky really excels is in application. Nobody works harder at racing. This year, so far, it's paying off. Ducati have rewarded his application and responded to his input, and built a bike that allows him to stop working so hard and start enjoying riding it. Two strong fourth places followed, and at Jerez he beat team-mate Stoner into the bargain. There's a third man too: Colin Edwards will be keen to remind everyone he's still around and still from the US. American riders dominated in the last golden age. It's good to see them back. 21