It was a big weekend for Queanbeyan as Mark's classmate from schooldays, Brad Haddin was hitting up a century at Cardiff at about the same time as Mark was qualifying - Mark being glued to the TV watching the test match before stepping into the car.
Anyway, it seems to me that Mark certainly has his head screwed on the right way whether it's F1, mountain bike riding or arranging his finances that he's applying himself to. Switching his driving contract from US dollars to Euros is a good example. His 8 or 9 million dollar deal is middle of the road for Formula 1 I believe. Maybe it'll go up next year. Mark realises that the career of an F1 driver is short (like a footballer) so he is into saving. He no doubt thinks about the tough times in 1996 when he first moved to the UK. Van Diemen recruited him from Australia but in order to race he had to find his own sponsopship. His road car then was a very secondhand 1.1 litre Ford Fiesta. These days he doesn't need to buy his own road car, he is supplied with a Renault Megane Renaultsport 230 Team R26.
He does own a motorbike though, a Yamaha. This is despite his dad, who owns a motorbike shop, declaring that while he's alive Mark's not to get a motorbike. He doesn't want him to hurt himself. I've been through that when one of my boys got his first motorbike despite my protests. His comment - "Dad, you had some pretty good bikes when you were my age". My answer - "Well, that's different". Not a very good argument is it?