Legend has it that when Mika Hakkinen was asked by the priest at his wedding: "Mika, do you take Erja to be your lawful, wedded wife?", the laconic Finn paused for a very long time, scratched his chin and said: "That's a very difficult question".

Mika's equally tight-lipped countryman Kimi Raikkonen is due to face the same interrogation on Saturday, when he goes up before the altar to tie the knot with the lovely Jenni Dalhman. The current favourite with the bookies is "I don't know, I just drive the car. You had better ask the team" although this is a slightly longer sentence than we are used to hearing from "The Iceman".

I have a theory that one of the reasons that F1 hacks mock Kimi's reticence is that they are jealous. They would happily swap their ability to string together more than two words for the chance to be a millionaire racing driver who is about to marry a leggy beauty, even if she is twice their own height. Let's face it, you don't need to be a good chat-up merchant when you trouser a massive salary and are a star in the most glamorous sport on the planet. The girls come to you.

Still, I did feel sorry for the Kimi the other day when the rear wing fell off his McLaren. I cannot claim to have crashed a car at 180 mph, but in my time I did flip a rally car at about half that speed and then crashed another into a very solid tree. On both occasions, I discovered that I had no inclination to discuss my feelings with anyone, nor did I wish to have my picture taken by pesky photographers. Alas, that is part of the job.

It seems, however, that we are now going to have to change Raikkonen's nickname to "Rocky-nen" because at Hockenheim "The Iceman" melted and Kimi did an impersonation of Sylvester Stallone and tried to deck some of the photographers at the crash scene. We have all felt the need to punch the snappers on occasion, but at the same time perhaps we should be happy that Kimi finally showed us that he has feelings. Perhaps a few more big accidents will turn him into a wildly charismatic figure.

The "Rocky-nen" shunt was not the only bit of excitement we were treated to last Sunday, the German GP offering plenty of that thing called overtaking, which was once a much bigger part of the sport. The nicest thing of all was to see two drivers passing and re-passing one another without feeling the need to drive the other man off the track, a concept of good sportsmanship that we thought was long forgotten. It was great, although it did bring to mind that extraordinary speech made a few years back when FIA President Max Mosley tried to convince the world that the anticipation of a potential passing move was a bigger thrill than the real thing. That is a bit like saying that sniffing a great wine is better than drinking it or that hiding in a wardrobe watching another man pleasuring your wife is better than doing it yourself.

Anyway, there was a real buzz of excitement in the semi-temporary Media Centre in Germany (Bernie never mentions this structure when he complains about Silverstone) rather than the usual snooze of tedium and the big question amongst the deluded hacks was what Jenson Button might have done if he'd been allowed to start from his rightful third place on the grid. The answer is that Michael would driven a little bit faster and would still have won but that is not nearly as interesting as speculating otherwise. Such is Michael's domination that if his helmet straps had started choking him he would not have done what Button did and held his helmet down on the straights, he would have steered with his knees for a couple of laps, while removing his gloves, fixing the visor and adjusting the straps.

Down at BAR there was much celebrating despite the fact that Jenson did not win the race and as team members hugged one another in delight poor old John Button, Jens's Dad, got a big gash on his cheek when one of the team member's spectacles collided with his face.

As a lifelong wearer of specs (it was a painful birth for my mother) I know only too well the embarrassment that a pair of glasses can cause. Go to the dentist or barber and you are asked to remove your specs and the world suddenly becomes a blur. I become convinced that the dentist is about to attack me with a welding torch and so I babble endlessly, firing off stupid questions to draw replies that allow me to work out which blobs in the room are actually people and which are hat stands. This makes it rather difficult for the blobs to work on my teeth.

And with the summer holidays now upon us, I will soon be facing the annual terror of stumbling around on a beach with no visibility, walking into the sea and not seeing the waves until they've knocked me over and returning to lie down next to my wife only to discover when I try to kiss her that she is in fact a sandcastle or, far more dangerous, the spouse of a bodybuilder with a hair-trigger temper brought on by heavy steroid abuse.

I think I'd rather take my chances with Rocky-nen.

Print Feature