Paddock gossip from Spa-Francorchamps




Rubens Barrichello competed in his 300th Grand Prix in Belgium. On Thursday, there was a party attended by team members, journalists, specially invited guests and fellow F1 drivers - in fact, the only star name missing was that of Michael Schumacher... Cosworth commemorated the occasion with the gift of an electric bicycle. Presumably not to contest the next 300 races on.

Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger are getting really serious about each other. "We're both in the mood for babies," she confided to a girlfriend. Part of the plan includes Lewis turning off his mobile phone at the dining table. Also, Nicole wants to cut down on professional engagements to make sure the relationship lasts.

Triathlon mania is spreading through the F1 paddock: Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi will be in Monte Carlo next Sunday for the TriStar111 Monaco Race, a relay event. Di Grassi will swim one kilometre at the start of the race and run the final 10 kilometres, while Senna tackles the 100km cycling stage in between.
Sebastian Vettel's summer holiday on Sardinia was marred by the antics of the paparazzi who took photos of him and his girlfriend Hannah on a private beach. Now Vettel's lawyers are trying to stop the pictures being published. He would have no objection to posing for the camera on the podium this Sunday, though...

So the Korean GP is due to go ahead after all. In the paddock, however, there is a distinct lack of enthusiasm. TV commentator Niki Lauda told fellow pundit Christian Danner: "I think I might suddenly become indisposed just before they ask me to go to Korea..."

As Sebastian Vettel steeled himself for a grilling in front of the cameras following Sunday's race, he at least had the sympathy of one person there: Michael Schumacher walked up to Seb, tweaked his ear encouragingly as if to say "It'll be all right, mate" before being interviewed himself.
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