Paddock postcard from Barcelona 08 May 2005
Who's who in the Spanish Grand Prix pit lane?
In Spain, besides Fernando Alonso in Formula One racing, or Moto GP, tennis usually features highly in sporting interests.
Earlier this week tennis stars Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Andy Murray joined BMW Williams drivers to learn to drive Formula BMWs at the BMW Driving School in Valencia. They then reciprocated as Mark Webber, Nick Heidfeld, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jacques Villeneuve, Felipe Massa, Marc Gene, Alexander Wurz and Enrique Bernoldi joined Sanchez-Vicario, Murray and other professional tennis players to contest a charity doubles tournament at the Sanchez-Casal Open Tennis Academy in Barcelona immediately prior to the Spanish Grand Prix.
Other sporting faces included Samiel Etoo, centre forward for Barcelona and Cameroon, who visited Ferrari with his young son; former Moto GP racer Randy Mamola, and cricketer and Formula One super-fan Sachen Tendulkah, who of course is great friends with Narain Karthikeyan. From the movie world, Godfather star James Caan was a guest at Jordan.
On the racing front supermodel Jodie Kidd raced to 15th place with co-driver Ivan Capelli in the Trofeo Maserati Vodafone race. Alberto Cerrai won, with New Zealand former F3 racer and base guitarist Rob Wilson finishing third. 250 cc Moto GP star Harada didnt get a run after his co-driver GianMarino Zenere was involved in a shunt at the start.
The GP2 series was much stronger after its Imola debut, with some rule changes significantly improving the spectacle. Former Minardi racer Gianmaria Bruni won the long race on Saturday from Scott Speed after a race-long battle, with Heikki Kovalainen recovering from a low grid position to complete the podium. Imola winner Adam Carroll completed a canny race seventh, which puts him on the front row for the second race this morning. Briton Ryan Sharp was denied a great podium finish after a strong race when his Dave Price Racing Dallara ground to halt with nine laps to go.
In the second race, Jose Maria Lopez fulfilled his promise with victory ahead of Nelson Piquet Jnr, who scooped second place only after a controversial last-lap collision with original occupant, Carroll. Carroll recovered to finish sixth, behind Lopez, Piquet, Scott Speed, Nico Rosberg and Neel Jani.