Angry-Birds, Twitter and Dancing Schumi Fans

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Our eye in the Formula One paddock talks Twitter and Angry Birds as Michael Schumacher qualifies fourth fastest in Australia

How pumped was Michael Schumacher after qualifying fourth for the season-opener? It was the seven-time world champion’s best qualifying position since returning to Formula One in 2010 with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS.

It was enough to make Schumi fans around the world ‘feel like dancing’, which was apt given that Leo Sayer - the popstar behind the song of the same title - was in the F1 paddock today. Leo ist Engländer, aber er liebt das Leben Down Under und er wurde 2009 in Australien eingebürgert. He’s attended all 17 Australian Grands Prix at Albert Park.

Schumi’s last win at Albert Park came in 2004, when he was driving for Ferrari. While neither Fernando Alonso nor Felipe Massa made it into the top 10 during qualifying this afternoon, the Scuderia was very much on people’s minds.

Ferrari celebrates 60 years in Australia this year and to celebrate the occasion there was a procession of 60 ageless Ferraris this morning. Marc Gene, der Ferrari-Testfahrer führte den Konvoi um den Albert Park in einem 458-er Spider an und alle fuhren bemerkenswert vernünftig. Why? There was more than €40 million of Italy’s finest on display, none of which wanted to be bent.

Alonso wasn’t part of the parade because he was talking up the structural rigidity of the 458 Spider to guests in the Paddock Club. And so he might: the Spider was launched in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Ferrari’s anniversary Down Under gave Fernando lots to write about on his new Twitter feed. Ja, der zweifache Weltmeister ist unter die Twitter gegangen. He joined the Twittersphere three days ago (@alo_oficial) and he’s already reached 158,000 followers!

Another great tweeter is Heikki Kovalainen (@h_kovalainen, 128,000 followers). Barely a day passes without a tweet from the Caterham star and he’s given a lot of twittersphere time to his new personal sponsor, Angry Birds.

“Being a Finn,” says Heikki, “I’m happy to be backing a Finnish company on a global platform. Most importantly, I’m a big Angry Birds fan!”

There were angry birds, and boys, at the entrance to the paddock this arvo when the other Finn on the grid, Kimi Raikkonen, failed to stop for a single autograph. Too cool for school, or disrespectful towards the fans?

“I was running late,” said Kimi.