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GP Week : Issue 137
n Newly-crowned double world champion Sebastian Vettel added to his fanbase in the post-race press conference with a few pithy comments about fellow German multiple champion Michael Schumacher. Embarrassed by a series of fawning questions asking what it was like to be the youngest double champion in Formula One history, Vettel reminded the media that his countryman was the youngest seven-time champion in the sport’s history. n The paddock was gripped with Bernie fever this weekend, thanks to some imaginative marketing from the Suzuka souvenir stalls. Ecclestone authorised the production of Bernie puppets – part of a series that included puppets of Kamui Kobayashi, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, and Takuma Sato – that were sold to raise funds for tsunami charities. The Bernie puppets were a smash hit with teams and media alike. The most common use? Putting on an Ecclestone voice and telling all and sundry they’d just been fired. n On the lighter side of the F1 news spectrum, Sauber driver Sergio Perez appears to be going through something of a gender identity crisis, if his Suzuka paddock behaviour is anything to go by. The Mexican driver was found in the ladies’ loos in the paddock on more than one occasion, to the extent that security guards started following him in so they could point him in the direction of the men’s loos. Short Straights MARK Webber has denied indicating that the world championship has passed him by. In the aftermath of the Singapore Grand Prix two weeks ago, Yahoo! Eurosport secured an exclusive interview with Mark Webber. The interview went viral, thanks to a quote attributed to Webber that saw the Australian admit he’d seen his last chance at the drivers’ title pass him by. “Yes, of course, I do think that last year was my last chance at being world champion,” Webber was quoted as saying. “But I’ve pushed very, very hard and done many, many things that other people could not have achieved so I’m very proud of what I did.” But the Red Bull driver now claims he said nothing of the sort. “I didn’t say that definitely – 100 per cent – that 2010 was my last chance ever,” Webber said in the Suzuka paddock this weekend. “Last year was exceptional. It’s not every year you fight for a title. It’s back to normal at the moment, but I want to try to get it to abnormal for the future. “Winning is a beautiful feeling, but obviously one guy has done too much of it this year, which hasn’t been great for all of us. “ This year the car has been very different, and Sebastian has done a phenomenal job. Next year we have some changes coming – nothing massive – but there’s some changes, and I have to go into it with positive thoughts. “It won’t be pretty for all of us if it’s the same as this year, but we have to be optimistic,” Webber concluded. Webber not giving up on WDC dreams 10