In an interview with magazine Autosport, Ferrari’s test and race manager Nigel Stepney has admitted he wants to follow Ross Brawn’s lead and take a year’s sabbatical from the team because he currently isn’t happy there.
Stepney joined Ferrari in 1992 and has been one of the key people in helping Ferrari find their impressive reliability. However, since the departure of Ross Brawn, he has been increasingly unhappy with the current technical department. He has stated that he wants to forward his career, but that isn’t happening. Although he would like to stay with the Ferrari team, he has admitted that if another team offered him a job, he would consider it. If Stepney does take a sabbatical, it will most likely be tied to Brawn’s, with both returning in 2008 to the team.
Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen is putting a brave face on Alonso’s storming pace. “I have not been paying attention to what our rivals have been doing, except for seeing their lap times,” he commented. Raikkonen seems to be struggling in the new car and has been three-tenths off the pace behind the two Renaults of Kovalainen and Fisichella, and the McLaren of Alonso. However he has insisted that that it is too soon to start making predictions and that he feels the car is good and his times will improve.
Far away from his old team, retired Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher has been snapped at the wheel of a race car again – although this time it was just a go-kart. Dressed in green overalls with his familiar red Ferrari helmet, Schumi was testing a Tony Kart near Lecce in Italy on the ‘La Conca’ circuit.