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GP Week : Issue 138
n Ah, the trials and tribulations that come of being a racing superstar, and the youngest double world champion in Formula One history. Sebastian Vettel is either being imitated by a chancer or having his name taken in vain by a psychological coach, according to reports in Germany. An Austrian woman has been doing the media circuit claiming that her coaching played a vital role in Vettel’s success. The only problem? No one in the Vettel camp has heard of her. The coach claims to have been in email contact with the Red Bull driver, but when told the address in question had nothing to with Vettel, she admitted “Maybe I’ve been misled by a charlatan.” n F1 regulars have noticed a change in the FIA this season. Our dealings with the press delegate have been simplified, thanks to a new attitude of openness and approachability. But what few expected was proof of a sense of humour, courtesy of a press release issued by Head of Formula One Communications Matteo Bonciani to celebrate the birthday of Pat Behar, photographers’ delegate. “ Today there has been a breach of Article 15/10.11 Clause 2 of the International Sporting Code. A representative of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, who has reached the age of 63, is in contravention of the regulation limiting employment to a maximum age. If you see this individual in the paddock (dark-skinned, well-built, military haircut, loud voice) please apprehend him immediately and take him to the FIA Head of Communications as quickly as possible. Or simply wish him (Pat Behar) a Happy Birthday.” n Jenson Button may find himself racing at Le Mans in the not too distant future. “I’m not sure I’d be allowed, but I’d love to. I tried to do a 24-hour race back in 1999, but the car broke down before I got in it!” Button said. “But yeah, I’d love to give Le Mans a go, although I don’t know how happy [McLaren] would be about that. And I’ve heard when you are in a GT car it’s probably the worst experience at Le Mans because you are just looking in your mirrors the whole time with these things [prototypes] coming past you like you are stood still. I don’t know, but it’s something I’m very interested in.” But based on comments made by McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, the team’s Le Mans ambitions are long-term (to say the least). “ We don’t plan to have a McLaren next year, but we’ll go back there one day because we have happy memories of being in Le Mans, and one day in the future [Button] might be doing that,” Whitmarsh said. Short Straights TORO Rosso test driver Jean-Eric vergne made his Formula One debut this weekend, but the conditions left a lot to be desired. Vergne was given his first chance to impress behind the wheel of Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso in free practice on Friday morning, but the sodden track on offer at Yeongam Circuit hardly presented the Frenchman with opportunities to shine. While Vergne’s F1 debut may not have seen the junior pilot dominate all and sundry, he acquitted himself well in nine short laps of track time. He finished 13th – out of only 18 men to put times on the board – and his best timed lap of 2.07.541s saw him finish comfortably ahead of more experienced drivers including F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello. More impressive still, Vergne kept the STR6 on track for the duration of the session, despite a slippery track that saw spins and offs from the likes of Michael Schumacher, the Regenkönig or Regenmeister of old. Rain ruins Vergne’s Friday show-off chances 10