Paddock Postcard from Magny-Cours 01 Jul 2007
A quick guide to who's who in the French pitlane this weekend
Several notable stars from other sports graced the paddock in Magny-Cours, among them football superstar Zinedine Zidane and Welsh rugby internationals Jonathan Davies, Hugh Williams-Jones and Anthony Buchanan, and the games French legend, Jean-Claude Skrela.
The latter were part of a rugby scrum competition organised by the FFSA on Friday evening, in which the Toro Rosso and Red Bull teams emerged victorious over representatives of McLaren and BMW Sauber.
Zidane, meanwhile, was taken round the track in a Ferrari FXX by Michael Schumacher and they also represented the ICM (Brain and Spinal Cord Institute) in a press conference with Dr Gerard Saillant and Jean Todt.
In the first GP2 race there was disaster for the iSport team when their two front-row cars of Timo Glock and Andi Zuber collided getting off the line, while another very nasty accident on the first lap saw Venezualan returnee Ernesto Viso hospitalised after his car vaulted over Michael Ammermuellers and rolled along the top of one of the tracks concrete walls. Miraculously he did not suffer serious injury, while two marshals had lucky escapes too. Victory eventually went to Giorgio Pantano from Luca di Grassi and Bruno Senna.
There has been a slightly wistful air to proceedings here, with the continued speculation that this year could mark the final appearance of Formula One racing at Magny-Cours, and the last French Grand Prix (the oldest Grand Prix of them all) until 2009.