четверг, 20 марта 2008 г.

McLaren Will Fix Embarrassing Glitch

McLaren will look into modifying its pitlane speed limiting system so that drivers do not lose time if they accidentally press the button during grands prix.In his first race for the British team last Sunday, Heikki Kovalainen let pursuer Fernando Alonso past at Albert Park when he wrongly pressed the steering wheel button while tearing off a helmet visor rip-off.

'I See Him Having A Really Hard Year'

Toro Rosso is a better place than Renault for a rookie to adapt to life as a formula one racer, Franz Tost insists.Following Renault newcomer Nelson Piquet's nightmarish debut grand prix in Australia, Toro Rosso's team boss told Auto Motor und Sport that he thinks the Brazilian can expect more of the same difficulties in 2008.

среда, 19 марта 2008 г.

'Hamilton Really Has To Be Wary Of His New Teammate'

Even though Lewis Hamilton won the Australian grand prix from pole, former F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck has warned the 23-year-old to beware of his Finnish teammate in 2008.Stuck, now a motor racing official for the Volkswagen marque, told the German magazine Sport Bild that McLaren newcomer Heikki Kovalainen was a noteworthy star of the season opener last Sunday.

'Hamilton Has Been Badly Advised'

Sir Jackie Stewart has hit out at Lewis Hamilton for refusing to join formula one's independent driver union, the safety-oriented Grand Prix Drivers' Association.The triple world champion, who still attends grands prix as a representative for Williams' sponsor RBS, fears that fourteen years after the last F1 fatalities at Imola in 1994, drivers like McLaren's Hamilton have become "complacent".

'When We Are Missing Members Like That It Weakens Us'

Pedro de la Rosa has suggested that it is no excuse for his McLaren colleague Lewis Hamilton to cite time constraints for refusing to join the F1 drivers' union GPDA.Hamilton, undoubtedly now the most talked about formula one driver globally, last weekend resisted pressure from GPDA chairman de la Rosa and director Mark Webber to join the safety-oriented body.

Concerns Raised About Night Racing

Toro Rosso team manager Massimo Rivola has called on F1 officials to revise the scheduled timetable for the inaugural Singapore grand prix later this year.The Asian city-state will host the sport's first ever night race, but Rivola is concerned that teams have only been afforded ninety minutes of floodlit practice before qualifying takes place at 8pm on Saturday night.

Toros Deny Russian Buyout

Team co-owner Gerhard Berger has played down speculation that Russian vodka magnate and billionaire Roustam Tariko is top of the list to buy Toro Rosso.Amid reports that the Red Bull's Faenza based junior team is now officially on the market, it was suggested that 42-year-old Tariko, owner of the successful Russian Standard brand, has rekindled his interest in joining the F1 circus.

Ferrari Suspects McLaren ECU to Blame For Australian Woes

With Ferrari-McLaren relations at an all time low, paddock gossip is inevitably doing the rounds that Ferrari is now unhappier than ever about tackling this season and beyond with the new McLaren-developed control electronics.Following the investigation back at Maranello this week into Ferrari's two failed race engines in Australia, speculation suggests that the Italian team has found that the design of the team's V8 power plant itself was not responsible for the problems.

Hamilton Compared to Sports Legends

Lewis Hamilton has recoiled at comparisons with legendary sports icon Muhammad Ali, but admits that becoming as great as the American boxer is the plan.Triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart this week said Hamilton, the McLaren driver who last Sunday won the first grand prix of 2008, has had a bigger early impact on F1 than Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost did, and compared him in global sports terms with golf's Tiger Woods.

'Kimi Raikkonen Did Not Seem Like The World Champion'

Ferrari's poor reliability in Australia was well documented, but former triple world champion Niki Lauda insists that the drivers were arguably the Italian team's weakest link at the 2008 season opener."Kimi Raikkonen did not seem like the world champion," the Austrian legend, in the Albert Park paddock, observed to the German newspaper Bild.

вторник, 18 марта 2008 г.

Vettel Moving to Top F1 Team ?

Team co-owner Gerhard Berger has played down reports that Toro Rosso might struggle to hang onto its highly rated German driver, Sebastian Vettel, in the future.It is suggested that Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz already have eyes on the 20-year-old newcomer, amid speculation that BMW might even have an ongoing contractual relationship with him.

'All It Is Going To Do Is Lead To Interminable Argument'

A leading figure of the Force India team has announced his opposition to the proposed budget cap for formula one next year.FIA president Max Mosley is determined to severely reduce spending in the expensive sport, with detailed talks about how to impose the cap due to take place during the new season.

Red Bull Survives Last Minute Crash Test

A Red Bull Racing spokesman has confirmed reports that the team's RB4 single seater passed its last FIA crash test late on Thursday.The news reportedly reached Melbourne, where the race team is set up in Melbourne, just hours before Mark Webber took the Adrian Newey-penned car to fifth place in morning practice.

'A Learning Experience For Piquet'

Renault rookie Nelson Piquet insists that a less than comprehensive preparation contributed to his disastrous formula one debut in Australia last weekend.The 22-year-old Brazilian was off the pace at Albert Park, qualifying second to last before logging slow lap times in the race and retiring with suspected damage to the rear of his car.

Mubadala Extends Ferrari F1 deal

The state owned Abu Dhabi investment company Mubadala has extended until 2010 its sponsorship of the formula one team Ferrari.It was revealed last year that Mubadala, having already bought a five per cent stake in the famous Italian marque in 2005, would inject additional funds so that its logos are featured on the red racers in 2007-2009.

'I Did Nothing Wrong'

A menacing David Coulthard turned the airwaves blue on Sunday after colliding with Felipe Massa in the Australian grand prix.Plenty of carbon fibre was shed throughout the field at Albert Park as the 2008 season kicked off, but Red Bull's Coulthard was clearly the most furious of the retirees as the media scrambled for live comments.

Ferrari Set To Get Faster ?

Ferrari could debut a radical solution at the front of its F2008 single seater at the Bahrain grand prix next month, reports say.It was rumoured in the recent pre-season period that the upcoming innovation was effectively an opening in the upper front of the car's nose; approximately where the Bridgestone 'B' logo is currently located.

'We're Not Far Off A Compromise'

Melbourne officials will discover later this year if the country stands a chance of retaining the grand prix at Albert Park beyond the looming expiry of its contract.Race bosses and F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone are at odds over a new deal, with the Australian chiefs recently ruling out meeting Ecclestone's demands for a night race.

понедельник, 17 марта 2008 г.

Pity Wurz Left Williams Says Keke Rosberg

1982 world champion Keke Rosberg says it is a pity that his son is no longer paired at Williams with his 2007 teammate Alex Wurz."Nico and Alex worked well together," the Finn, who now travels to all the races as a German-language commentator, told the Austrian newspaper Kurier, albeit admitting that Wurz's performances last year were often below par.

Dennis Skipping Sepang

Ron Dennis on Sunday pre-empted more inevitable speculation about his future by revealing that he does not plan to attend this weekend's Malaysian grand prix.Not long after rumours that the McLaren boss might call it quits before the 2008 season opener were proved wrong, the 60-year-old told reporters in Australia that a prior engagement will keep him away from Sepang.

Honda In No Hurry to Extend Button's Contract

Honda intends to secure the services of Jenson Button into the future, the Japanese team's CEO Nick Fry suggested in Melbourne on Sunday.Despite Button warning late last year that he needs to be "ruthless" about his career following a dire 2007, Fry told the British broadcaster ITV that the two sides are working towards a new deal for 2009 and beyond.

McLaren Fail to Fix Costly Mistake

Ferrari test driver Marc Gene says he is surprised that wrongly pressing the button for the pit lane speed limiter ruined McLaren newcomer Heikki Kovalainen's quest for fourth place in Australia.Kovalainen on Sunday said he accidentally pressed the button as he tore a rip-off from his helmet visor, which undid the effort of his daring overtaking manoeuvre on Fernando Alonso.

Glock Injured In Crash

Timo Glock left the Albert Park circuit late on Sunday afternoon wearing a bandage on his left wrist, after the violent crash that ended his race.The German, racing in formula one for the first time since 2004, also led criticism of the section of Melbourne track that launched his Toyota into the air after Glock ran wide at the high speed chicane.

Honda Points Eliminated

Stewards on Sunday disqualified Rubens Barrichello from sixth position in the Australian grand prix because the Honda driver ran the red lights at the pit lane exit.The news means that Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who otherwise had a nightmare first race as reigning world champion before stopping with a technical defect, moves into the points, as he was provisionally classified ninth and last.

Australian Grand Prix: Team-by-Team Summary

MCLAREN-MERCEDES It was a walk in Albert Park for Lewis Hamilton, who after his 5.4 second victory over BMW's Nick Heidfeld insisted that he could have gone quicker. "There is a long way to go and we never underestimate our competition," a cautious Ron Dennis said, referring to Ferrari's disastrous day. Heikki Kovalainen looked on track for second but was shuffled down to fifth when the timing of the last safety car spoiled his planned pit stop, and after passing Fernando Alonso's Renault he let the Spaniard back through when he accidentally hit the pit lane speed limiter.

'Then We Will See'

Flavio Briatore on Saturday laughed at suggestions that the morning practice session was an indication of what to expect in qualifying.Asked in the Albert Park paddock if he was buoyed by Fernando Alonso's third quickest lap, behind the fastest BMW Saubers, the Italian said: "Yeah, but this afternoon is qualifying," he said.

воскресенье, 16 марта 2008 г.

'Hamilton Lost This Opportunity'

Lewis Hamilton wasted his opportunity to learn from a double world champion, and lost the 2007 title because his inflated "ego" got the better of him.That is the assessment of team boss Flavio Briatore, who for 2008 has reunited his Renault team with Fernando Alonso after the Spaniard fell out with McLaren last year.

'I Looked At The Video And I Didn'T See Anything Too Bad'

Robert Kubica has explained his disappointment after achieving the highest grid position of his F1 career so far in Melbourne.The Pole's second place, along with teammate Nick Heidfeld's fifth, also constituted BMW Sauber's best ever Saturday afternoon result, but 23-year-old Kubica was still not smiling when he left the paddock for his hotel.

Stoddart Back to Formula One ?

Paul Stoddart on Thursday admitted that Max Mosley's continuing role as FIA president would make his return to formula one as a team owner difficult.The Australian, however, having sold his Minardi outfit to Toro Rosso (Red Bull) at the end of 2005, refuses to rule out buying into the pinnacle of motor racing again.

Ferrari Would Sign Hamilton ?

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has refused to rule out making a future bid for McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.The 42-year-old Italian, who has replaced Jean Todt in the Maranello based team's top job for 2008, praised Hamilton's rookie season last year but thinks this season will be a real test for the young Briton.

Kubica's Costly Mistake

Toyota team manager Richard Cregan was not surprised when BMW Sauber leapt into the front running action during qualifying at Albert Park.The German team had not featured in any of the pre-qualifying practising at the 2008 season opener, amid rumours that BMW chiefs had also sandbagged and concealed their true single lap pace in winter testing.

'This Is My Job'

Pedro de la Rosa turned down McLaren boss Ron Dennis' offer that he be allowed to stay home while the 2008 season kicks off in Australia this weekend.The Spaniard, who attends all the races as the British team's reserve driver, revealed that his wife is "very close" to giving birth to the latest addition to his family.

Practice Notes: Friday 1, Melbourne

David Coulthard completed just five laps in his Red Bull before his Renault engine began smoking in the pitlane.The Austrian team, meanwhile, only passed its mandatory frontal crash test at the eleventh hour, and it also emerged that Honda had a close call when it passed the front and rear FIA tests for its RA108 just days ago.

'It's Time To Say Goodbye'

Honda's long time chief mechanic Alastair Gibson will leave the Japanese team after next Sunday's Malaysian grand prix.The 45-year-old South African, who has been with the Brackley based outfit since its inception as BAR in 1999 also as pit stop 'lollipop' holder, said in Melbourne on Sunday morning that he has quit formula one to focus on his love of art.

суббота, 15 марта 2008 г.

'Every Moment, You Know You're Risking It'

Among Super Aguri's troubles in Australia this weekend is a lack of spare parts for its cars, struggling British driver Anthony Davidson says.The 28-year-old remained dead last in the pecking order by a wide margin following the qualifying session at Albert Park, where he has not coped as well as teammate Takuma Sato with a very limited number of practice laps.

'A Tremendous Boost For The Team'

Olympus, the former formula one sponsor for Ferrari, has switched camps to McLaren, the British team announced on Wednesday.The Mercedes-powered outfit said the company will be 'official supplier of photographic services' in 2008, with British snapper Jon Nicholson to spend the season in the McLaren garage to capture the on and off track action.

No Retirement Talk For Webber

Mark Webber has denied that, at the age of 31 and with six full seasons of formula one behind him, he might be beginning to think about retirement.Red Bull's Australian driver is yet to win a grand prix despite more than 100 race starts, but he reckons there are plenty of years left to achieve his goals.

Honda Focused on Honda, Not Super Aguri

Honda is to steadily withdraw its technical support for satellite team Super Aguri, Nick Fry revealed in Melbourne.F1 teams have agreed that customer cars will be totally phased out by 2010, but Honda CEO Fry told Reuters that - with new team ownership - Super Aguri will stand on its own feet "a long time before that".

'I'm A Bit Surprised By That'

Lewis Hamilton on Wednesday made it clear that he does not agree with quadruple world champion Alain Prost's criticisms of formula one.Frenchman Prost, who - behind Michael Schumacher - is the second most successful driver in the sport's history and also a former team boss, recently slammed the current format for not challenging the drivers enough.

McLaren Spy Out

Suspended McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan has now had his contract with the British team officially terminated, reports on Friday said.The Briton, who was central to the espionage affair last year alongside sacked Ferrari technician Nigel Stepney, reportedly could not be fired for legal reasons but is no longer part of the Mercedes-powered team, the reports claim.

'I'm Happy To Have Won The Championship But That's Got Nothing To Do With 2008'

The press has got it wrong in suggesting that 'iceman' Kimi Raikkonen is even more relaxed now that he is a reigning world champion, the Finn insists.Instead, the 28-year-old driver says his family members were "more excited" than he was when he wrapped up the title last October, and he thinks journalists have changed more than he has since then.

Vettel to Ferrari ?

Sebastian Vettel is so highly rated by Ferrari that the German youngster might get a chance to race for the famous Italian team this year.The German magazine Sport Bild reveals that, due to Toro Rosso's engine deal with Ferrari, the Maranello based team may have 20-year-old Vettel's name at the top of their list as potential reserve driver at grands prix.

пятница, 14 марта 2008 г.

'I Have No Comment To Make'

Ron Dennis has cast doubt on reports that, with the espionage scandal still bubbling, McLaren and Ferrari may have entered a better era of team relations.It was dubiously suggested earlier this weekend that, following the departure as Ferrari team boss of Jean Todt, counterpart Dennis and the Italian team's new chief Stefano Domenicali buried the hatchet on the verge of the 2008 season opener.

Was Webber Low on Fuel ?

Mark Webber on Friday insisted that, despite setting the second quickest time in afternoon practice at Albert Park, his Red Bull is not in the hunt for a podium in the Australian grand prix.To the delight of the crowd, the local driver sat atop the times for much of the second ninety minute session in the Melbourne heat, but Webber admitted afterwards that his RB4's performance was aided by a low fuel run.

Did BMW Hide True Lap Times in Testing ?

Arguably the hottest rumour on the eve of the 2008 season in Melbourne is that BMW Sauber sandbagged its way through the winter test period.Correspondents in the Australian city for authoritative European publications including Blick, Bild and Auto Motor und Sport claim that the Hinwil built F1.08 could even be a match for Ferrari and McLaren this year.

Arab Government Behind Super Aguri Takeover ?

The Dubai government is behind the takeover of the struggling Super Aguri team by the London based Magma Group, it has emerged.Financially embattled Super Aguri, run by Aguri Suzuki and with links to the Japanese carmaker Honda, announced on Monday that it will shortly be acquired by Magma, which is headed by former Maserati and Ford man Martin Leach.

'I Really Don't Care What People Say'

Ron Dennis on Thursday revealed that, despite McLaren's tumultuous relationship with Fernando Alonso last year, he will miss the Spaniard as a driver for the British team.McLaren and Alonso agreed to terminate their long term contract after just one season together in 2007, but speaking with reporters in Melbourne, team boss Dennis insists that he looks back with no hard feelings.

BMW Set to Surprise ?

Nico Rosberg on Thursday suggested that he does not agree that countryman Nick Heidfeld will be pushing for just fifth place in the Australian grand prix.Several specialist European publications have revealed that German driver Heidfeld's 2008-spec BMW Sauber is actually better than the team is claiming, having sandbagged at tests and not divulged the lap times of secret qualifying simulations.

'I Don't Think We Are Going To Be Challenging For Points'

Jenson Button has ruled out scoring points in Melbourne this weekend, but flagged a growing sense of optimism from within the Honda camp.The Japanese squad's new 2008 car was badly off the pace in recent group testing, but team members say a bodywork update at a subsequent Jerez session - where the RA108 circulated alone - delivered a significant performance gain.

'For The Moment The Priority Is Just To Start Better Than Last Year'

Heikki Kovalainen on Wednesday said his goal for his opening race for McLaren is not to win pole or even fight for "a top position".Many believe that, while Ferrari's F2008 might ultimately be the quickest car, the 2008-spec McLaren is set to run the Italian team close this year -- and may even have the edge over a single qualifying lap.

четверг, 13 марта 2008 г.

Raikkonen's New Tattoo

At his first grand prix as reigning world champion, Kimi Raikkonen strolled the Melbourne paddock on Thursday with a huge new tattoo in plain sight.Having gone over his small 'smiley' tattoo on his right arm with a big black patterned affair one year ago, the 28-year-old Finn's short sleeves on Thursday revealed a new tattoo on the inside of his left forearm.

'That Might Sound Worse Than It Really Is'

Anthony Davidson expects to fight only with his teammate to avoid being dead last on the grid for Sunday's Australian grand prix.Following a mere race for survival in the winter period, the Super Aguri team arrives in Melbourne for the first grand prix of 2008 having completed only three days of winter testing with Honda's abysmal 2007 car, that at Albert Park is equipped with the current gearbox of the parent team.

'Mclaren And Ferrari Are In Another World'

Jarno Trulli has poured cold water on speculation that Toyota could be set to spring a major surprise on the F1 world when the action kicks off at Albert Park this weekend.The Italian ended the final day of the last group winter test at Barcelona recently with the quickest time, but he denies that his TF108 is ready to lead the field at grands prix.

'Hamilton Is Faster, But He Often Loses Time By Making More Mistakes'

Nelson Piquet Jr will trail the battle for formula one's upper midfield when the 2008 action kicks off in Melbourne this week, according to Red Bull Racing's racing consultant, Helmut Marko.Marko said the French team is only likely to be able to challenge BMW Sauber, Williams and Red Bull for honours behind the Big Two teams this year because it has reacquired the services of Fernando Alonso.

Brawn on Board!

Like twelve months ago, he is still likely to pilot an uncompetitive Honda at Albert Park, but Jenson Button claims he will do so with a bigger smile on his face in 2008.The 28-year-old Briton told reporters on a Melbourne beach that the arrival of new team boss Ross Brawn has wiped away the despair of driving for a team that got itself into the mess of dealing with its abysmal 2007 car.

McLaren's Special Start System

Ferrari is believed to have ultimately the quickest car, but Nick Heidfeld reckons the red team's silver rivals might get off to a faster start when the 2008 season gets racing on Sunday.The German, who drives for BMW Sauber, has told the magazine Sport Bild that one of the most impressive revelations of the recent winter period for him was the speed at which McLaren's MP4-23 got off the line when its drivers were practicing race starts.

'It Is Easy To Forget That A Life Like This Is Also Incredibly Hard'

Formula one is not always as glamorous as it seemed at the Albert Park circuit and around the sunny Australian city of Melbourne on Wednesday, Nico Rosberg insists.As pitlane buzzed with activity, and trendy sunglass-wearing millionaire drivers either strolled the paddock with seemingly nothing to do or 'worked' alongside pretty girls at local beaches for PR events, observers taking in the last few days before the 2008 season opener would have been forgiven for envying members of the grand prix circus.

Hamilton 'Lucky'

Two of Lewis Hamilton's contemporaries and rivals have credited the young Briton's meteoric rise to 2008 title contention to talent and a healthy dose of luck.22-year-old Nico Rosberg is a highly rated driver for Williams, but he will commence his third formula one season next Sunday without having scored a single podium place.

среда, 12 марта 2008 г.

'I Have Always Arrived On Time To Get To The Grid'

He is only 20 and still a formula one rookie, but Toro Rosso driver Sebastian Vettel is one of the only racers on the grid that does not have a manager.The German news agency SID revealed that the former BMW Sauber test driver has always handled his own affairs at the pinnacle of racing.

'We Are In The Middle Of Talks On Different Subjects'

Super Aguri on Monday confirmed that it has entered into a partnership with Magma Group.The deal is expected to be completed over the next few weeks, but team boss Aguri Suzuki would not be drawn on the details other than to confirm that Honda will still be involved in the project going forwards.

'Piquet Will Be In Alonso's Shadow'

Juan Pablo Montoya has predicted a difficult rookie season in 2008 for his fellow South American, Nelson Piquet Jr.Montoya, the Colombian and former race winner for McLaren and Williams, says 22-year-old Piquet - a Brazilian who was actually born in Germany - faces a tough task at Renault alongside double world champion Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton Sez He'll Be 'Twice As Strong'

Lewis Hamilton has singled out reigning champion Kimi Raikkonen as his man to beat to the 2008 title.The Briton's McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen has been earmarked by experts as a dark horse for this season, and Brazilian Felipe Massa will this year drive the same Ferrari as that used by Raikkonen to defend his crown.

'It Doesn't Help A Lot'

Bernie Ecclestone has given a less than receptive response to Australian GP organisers' proposal this week to delay the start of next year's Melbourne race until late afternoon.The organisers' 5pm offer was delivered after the local Victorian government totally ruled out F1 chief executive Ecclestone's demand that Australia fund a floodlit night race to appease the key European television audience.

Coulthard's Undies Down Under Style

Forget gear ratios, horse power or tyre compounds, the first thing on David Coulthard's mind when he touched down in Melbourne this week was his diminishing supply of underpants.The veteran Scot told a news conference in the Australian city that his first stop-off after the 20-hour flight from Europe was to buy 40 pairs of smalls that can only be found Down Under.

Ron Dennis Expected to Stay As McLaren Boss

Following widespread speculation that Ron Dennis is preparing to step down as McLaren's team boss, it now appears that the 60-year-old Briton will actually stay in the role for the whole of the imminent 2008 season.Eurosport on Tuesday has quoted team equity partner Mercedes-Benz's competition chief Norbert Haug as revealing the management structure is "unchanged" for this year, while it is understood that Dennis - before departing for Melbourne this week - told staff at the Woking factory that he is not stepping down.

'That Is Speculation'

Bernie Ecclestone has refused to take McLaren's side over the espionage affair, or the British team's narrow failure to win the world championships in 2007.In an interview with Germany's Sport-Informations-Dienst agency, the F1 chief executive refused to confirm claims that Fernando Alonso last year attempted to 'blackmail' his McLaren bosses with the famous spy emails.

вторник, 11 марта 2008 г.

'It Is Almost Sensational When You Think About It'

Toro Rosso will be among the midfield fight in formula one this year, German driver Sebastian Vettel says.The Red Bull sister team, to commence the 2008 season with its older car before receiving the new single seater in a few races' time, logged lap times among teams including Williams and even Renault in the winter period.

FIA Claims Stepney Admits Passing Ferrari F1 Secrets

F1's governing body has advised motor racing organisations to not employ sacked Ferrari spy Nigel Stepney.In a press statement released late on Friday, after a meeting with the Briton, the FIA said it is not able to totally ban Stepney from international motor sport because he is "not a license-holder" of the Paris body.

'Why Don't We Have A Grand Prix At The Time That Suits Us?'

Patrick Head, the veteran co-owner of the Williams team, has indicated that he would not be willing to compromise with F1 officials over the night racing debate.Amid Bernie Ecclestone's threat to scrap the Melbourne race, Australian grand prix chiefs this week proposed to delay the start time from 2009 for the benefit of television viewers in Europe.

Glock Expects Trulli to Outperform Himself

Timo Glock is not expecting to upstage his experienced Toyota teammate Jarno Trulli when he makes his return to formula one racing in Australia this weekend.The 25-year-old German is the new reigning champion of GP2, but Glock warns that his ascent at motor racing's highest level will not be as meteoric as his predecessor Lewis Hamilton's was in 2007.

Toyota CEO Talking About First F1 Win

On the eve of the 2008 championship season, the biggest Toyota boss has asked the Japanese carmaker's F1 team to deliver its first race win.Despite having a front-running annual budget since the Cologne based outfit debuted in 2002, Toyota has in more than 100 grands prix so far failed to collect more than a handful of podiums and the odd pole.

'You Always Have To Learn From Things In Life -- Even The Bad Ones'

Pedro de la Rosa has revealed that there have been no recriminations within McLaren despite his role in the imposition of the espionage penalties last year.Email traffic between the British team's veteran test driver and his Spanish compatriot Fernando Alonso last year brought the spying affair back onto the FIA's radar, resulting in the $100m fine and championship exclusion.

'At The Moment It Is Impossible For Us To Win A Race'

Robert Kubica has described BMW Sauber's official target to win its first grand prix in 2008 as currently "impossible" with the F1.08 single seater.The German squad insists that, despite a less than perfect pre-season for the Swiss built car, the target of beating Ferrari and McLaren to the top step of the podium at least once this year still stands.

'The Basic Car Was Not Very Fast When We First Drove It, But It's Improving'

Jenson Button is confident that, despite fielding a slow car in winter testing, Honda can move forwards in 2008.Although the Japanese team did not appear to have turned around its disastrous 2007 form with the RA108 in the recently concluded pre-season period, Button says the big difference compared to last year is that the new car is showing signs of improving.

понедельник, 10 марта 2008 г.

Australian GP May Start Later

Organisers of the endangered Australian grand prix have offered to run the Melbourne race at 5pm from next year.The proposed compromise, announced at a news conference on Monday, comes after F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone warned that the only way Albert Park will be featured on the 2010 calendar is if the circuit is fitted with floodlights for a night race.

Stepney Smacks FIA Story

Ferrari spy Nigel Stepney says he is "delighted" with the FIA's recommendation to the motor racing industry that the Briton not be employed until mid next year.He points out that the advice, revealed to the press after a meeting with the governing body last week, is effectively the retraction of an earlier threat to totally ban him from international motor sport.

Webber Has Few 'Physical Niggles' Due to Lack of Test Driver

Mark Webber has admitted that an unusually arduous winter testing period left Red Bull's race lineup with "physical niggles" ahead of the first grand prix of the 2008 season.The Austrian owned squad appointed Swiss teenager Sebastien Buemi as its official test driver in January, but the team nonetheless opted to leave the pre-season's cockpit duties to racers Mark Webber and David Coulthard.

'Fernando Got The Absolute Maximum Out Of His Driving Style With Michelin'

Robert Kubica thinks F1 drivers like himself and former world champion Fernando Alonso are still struggling to adapt to life without Michelin tyres.The Polish driver, who races for BMW Sauber, told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo that the French supplier's withdrawal from formula one at the end of 2006 was "instrumental" in the shift in the balance of power last year.

New Markings For Formula One Wet Tires

Bridgestone in 2008 will mark its extreme wet compounds with a white line in the bottom of the middle groove, the official F1 tyre supplier announced on Friday.Throughout last season, at the behest of the FIA, the Japanese marque marked the softer of the two dry-weather compounds on offer at grands prix with a similar white line, and the practice will continue this year.

Ecclestone Demands Australia GP Must Race At Night

Australia's new prime minister has personally told Bernie Ecclestone that the country will not be funding a night F1 race."I've spoken to Kevin Rudd and he's told me it would cost too much to re-stage the race, so I guess that's it. We won't be going to Australia for too much longer," the F1 chief executive is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Berger Bags On Bourdias

Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger has revealed that Sebastian Vettel is likely to outclass his teammate and formula one newcomer Sebastien Bourdais in qualifying for the first race of the 2008 season next weekend.Bourdais, the reigning multiple Champ Car series champion, admitted recently that he has not yet come fully to terms with a grand prix single seater, and his Toro Rosso STR2-B, on low fuel and new tyres.

Formula One Testing Officially Resumes!!

The 2008 formula one season got into gear on Monday morning at the first major test of the new year.On a wet Jerez track, most teams began running; three of them - Ferrari, McLaren and Toyota - with their new cars.

воскресенье, 9 марта 2008 г.

'I Have Not Managed To Adapt The Car To My Driving Style, And The Speed Has Suff

Reigning GP2 champion Timo Glock has played down his chances of setting the formula one world alight with his Toyota in 2008.The German has pulled off the rare feat of resurrecting his grand prix career following an abortive debut with Jordan in 2004.

Will Or Won't Bahrain Ban Tobacco Ads ?

The Bahrain government has refused to clarify whether an anti-tobacco advertising ban across the island country will affect the grand prix there.It was reported on Monday that cigarette adverts relating to formula one will be outlawed in Bahrain by the government.

'This Is Simply A Toe In The Water'

1996 world champion Damon Hill's teenage son will contest the Ginetta Junior series in 2008.Josh Hill, 17, is also the grandson of double world champion of the 1960s Graham Hill, and therefore the British family's third generation to embark on a motor racing career.

Super Aguri Denies Rumors

Super Aguri owner, founder and boss Aguri Suzuki has denied that the team's current financial situation could spell an end to his formula one foray.Reports recently have revealed talks with potential buyers in India and possibly also Spain, Japan and Russia.

'Not Pessimistic, I Just Prefer To Speak The Truth'

If the Australian grand prix was held this Sunday, or even in two weeks time, Renault's newly launched car would not win, Fernando Alonso has admitted."I am being realistic," he told Sspanish reporters in the presence of his 2008 racer, the R28.

Japanese Driver Gets F1 Test As a Reward

Japanese driver Takashi Kogure will test with Honda at Valencia this week.The 27-year-old, who races in the Formula Nippon and Super GT series in Japan, will drive last year's car on Wednesday and Thursday, Honda announced in a statement on Monday.

'We Are Not Racing To Win'

Renault will not be "racing to win" when the 2008 season commences in Australia next month.That is the opinion of Nelson Piquet Jr, following three days in the formula one midfield at the final group test of the pre-season in Barcelona this week.

суббота, 8 марта 2008 г.

'We Know The Frustrating Time That Many F1 Fans Have Experienced'

Organisers of the Singapore grand prix have issued an apology over the bungled ticketing sales for this year's inaugural race.Sunday marked a third consecutive day of frustration for potential race-goers, as the system for selling the first 70,000 trackside vantage points again failed.

New Tester For Williams F1 Team

Spanish GP2 driver Borja Garcia is reportedly on the verge of being named as Williams' secondary test driver for 2008.With former second tester Narain Karthikeyan now departed, 25-year-old Garcia is in the final stages of negotiations for the role, the Spanish newspaper Diario AS said.

'I Am Hoping For A Boring World Championship, With No Courts Or James Bonds'

Luca di Montezemolo has this week continued his critical rhetoric about McLaren.After consistently making his feelings known about the British team's conduct amid the espionage scandal last year, the Ferrari president maintained his hard line as he attended the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday.

Williams Turned Hamilton Down

Williams and BMW turned down an opportunity to sign Lewis Hamilton, Patrick Head has revealed.In a Williams media lunch for British reporters, the team's veteran co-owner and engineering boss said the 23-year-old driver and his father Anthony Hamilton attended a meeting at Grove in 2004.

Prodrive Whines About Williams Challenge to Customer Cars

David Richards has hit out at chiefs of the long-standing British formula one team Williams for getting in the way of Prodrive's grand prix debut.Prodrive, already in world rallying with Subaru, was slated to enter the 2008 formula one championship after winning the FIA's twelfth entry.

'Our Main Problem Is Over The Longer Distances'

Toyota's 2008 race lineup, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, do not agree about the respective virtues and weaknesses of the new TF108.In fact, while GP2 champion Glock thinks the 2008 car is set to look fairly competitive over a single qualifying lap this season, Trulli is not so sure.

Briatore Wants Radical Change in Formula One

F1 stalwarts Flavio Briatore and Alain Prost have hit out at the current state of the sport.The pair, collectively with nearly half a decade of experience of the inner workings of the formula one spotlight, separately argue that grand prix racing has become boring and too easy.

'What We All Need Is To Regain That Lost Confidence'

Fernando Alonso says the missing element inside the Renault team garages at present is confidence.The Spaniard told the French sports daily L'Equipe that, with back to back world championships under his belt, he left a team at the end of 2006 that was "brimming with motivation and belief".

пятница, 7 марта 2008 г.

Bernie Loves The Idea Of a Paris Grand Prix

Bernie Ecclestone insists that formula one will not be returning to Magny Cours after this year's race.The F1 chief executive told Germany's SID news agency that he is busily trying to arrange for an event in Paris so that there can be a French grand prix in 2008.

'I Have No Doubt In My Mind That Heikki's Going To Be One Of The Quickest Guys T

Four time world champion Alain Prost has earmarked Heikki Kovalainen as a potential threat to Lewis Hamilton's stated ambition to win the world championship this year.Paddock speculation indicates that, after the departure of Fernando Alonso, Hamilton is now very much considered the McLaren team's de-facto 'number one' driver.

'It Is Nothing New That Mr Ecclestone Is Calling For'

The boss of motor racing in France has played down reports that the country's annual grand prix could be moved to Paris in 2009.F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said recently that he was pushing for a race in the French capital, after vowing not to return to current venue Magny Cours after this year's running in June.

USGP May Return to Indy

Talks between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and Bernie Ecclestone to resurrect the US grand prix may NOW have begun.Tony George, the famous Indy 500 venue's chief, told an audience at the IU business conference in Indiana this week that he is pursuing options to patch up the relationship with the F1 chief executive in time for the Speedway's centennial celebrations in 2009.

'We Still Have A Long Way To Go'

As Honda this week wrapped up its track preparations for the 2008 season with a private test session at Jerez, it emerged that two leading members of the beleaguered Japanese team are set to depart.Although scheduled to attend the Australian grand prix next weekend, Yasuhiro Wada - the chairman and general manager of Honda's motor sports division - is reportedly vacating his post at the end of March.

F1 Teams Refuse Night Test

Formula one teams have reportedly ruled out organising a European night test in readiness for the first floodlight grand prix on the streets of Singapore in September.After the MotoGP contenders recently tested under the stars in Qatar, it had been discussed among F1's Technical Working Group that allowing the F1 world to also get used to the new experience of operating at night might be a good idea.

'Let's See What The Future Brings'

Winter speculation that he was a contender to switch to a more competitive team was right, Force India driver Adrian Sutil has confirmed.The 25-year-old German driver told the SID news agency that, following an impressive rookie season in 2007, his management entered talks with McLaren and Williams about this year.

Irvine Slams Formula One

Former grand prix winner Eddie Irvine has slammed F1's governing body for turning the pinnacle of motor racing into "tiddlywinks".The 42-year-old Ulsterman, who nearly won the title for Ferrari before retiring as a Jaguar driver in 2002, accuses the FIA of dumbing down formula one to the point that it is no longer a true sport.

четверг, 6 марта 2008 г.

'In This Game There Is Only One Winner'

Damon Hill, Britain's last world champion, has tipped Lewis Hamilton to resist becoming a 'loser' in 2008 on the back of immense pressure to perform.Hill, the 1996 drivers' title winner for Williams, has been among the most vocal admirers of the 23-year-old's sensational rookie season for McLaren last year, when Hamilton won four races and nearly the championship.

'We Are In Talks With Various Drivers'

Another former grand prix winner could soon be racing in the novel stock car racing series Speedcar, reports in the German press suggest.Bild-Zeitung claims that 40-year-old Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who won three races with Williams and Jordan before leaving the sport in 2003, is in talks about joining the category that races in the Middle East and Asia.

UK Government to Debate Role of Motorsport

The government's role in British motor sport will on Thursday be debated in the House of Lords.Kevin Eason, the sports business correspondent for the Times newspaper, revealed in his column that the UK government will face questions by Lord Astor of Hever, who "wants to know how ministers will help Britain's ($2.5bn) motor sport industry to retain its world leadership".

British GP Pleads For FIA's Help

Damon Hill, boss of the British grand prix venue Silverstone, has called on the FIA to help convince Bernie Ecclestone that formula one needs the event on its permanent calendar.The British Racing Drivers' Club, led by 1996 world champion Hill, this week released computer rendered images of a proposed revamp of the ageing Northamptonshire facility, amid Ecclestone's demands for a better circuit and higher promotion fees.

British GP Pleads For FIA's Help

Damon Hill, boss of the British grand prix venue Silverstone, has called on the FIA to help convince Bernie Ecclestone that formula one needs the event on its permanent calendar.The British Racing Drivers' Club, led by 1996 world champion Hill, this week released computer rendered images of a proposed revamp of the ageing Northamptonshire facility, amid Ecclestone's demands for a better circuit and higher promotion fees.

'The Large Lap Time Gap To The Front Is No Longer There'

Exactly a week before he strolls into the Albert Park paddock, Nick Heidfeld has declared that BMW Sauber's 2008 car is no longer suffering from some of the problems that blighted its pre-season preparations.Shortly after the F1.08 single seater made its winter debut, the 30-year-old German expressed disappointment that his target of winning his and the team's first grand prix this year did not appear to be on track.

Williams Land Money Bags ?

British team Williams sets off for the Australian grand prix late this week with hefty involvement for the 2008 season by Baugur, an Icelandic investment group.Although recent rumours that Baugur was keen to buy a slice of the jointly Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head-owned team were apparently wide of the mark, the company's associated brands feature prominently on the newly-revealed livery for Williams' new car for 2008, the FW30.

Toyota Is Markedly Better

Jarno Trulli recently topped the final group test time sheet on a qualifying run, but the Toyota driver insists that the Japanese team's 2008 pre-season has not been all smoke and mirrors.Indeed, the Italian told Switzerland's Blick newspaper that the Cologne built TF108 is markedly better than last year's car.

среда, 5 марта 2008 г.

Driver Already Blaming the Car

Adrian Sutil has predicted another year of struggle for the newly renamed Force India team.The German racer delivered the sobering message following a period of sustained optimism in the press from team figures, after Vijay Mallya took over the ailing Spyker outfit and promised a bigger budget and better results.

'Formula One Championship Will Surely Be A Very Evenly Matched Struggle'

Kimi Raikkonen has played down any suggestions that, as reigning world champion and with Ferrari's rapid new F2008, he could be set to dominate the 2008 season.The Finn even dismissed the popular media claim that the upcoming title battle could essentially be a two-way duel between himself and McLaren's highly rated British driver, Lewis Hamilton.

'It's Just Numbers, Isn't It'

Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head have passed up the opportunity to get sentimental about their three decades at the helm of the Grove based formula one team.The British team has been celebrating the 30th anniversary, as well as its forthcoming 500th grand prix this year, with a series of special liveries over the 2008 pre-season period.

BMW Team Manager Survives Cancer Scare

BMW Sauber's long time team manager Beat Zehnder has survived a health scare since the final grand prix of last year.He is now looking forward to the 2008 season opener, but the Swiss newspaper Blick revealed that Zehnder was diagnosed with a tumour and had his right kidney removed -- a similar procedure undergone by Renault boss Flavio Briatore two years ago.

Super Aguri Saved My Mystery Investor ?

The financially embattled formula one team Super Aguri has been saved by a mystery investor, reports on Tuesday said.The German specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport is claiming that the Honda backed outfit, run by former Japanese grand prix driver Aguri Suzuki, will make the trip to Melbourne for next weekend's season opener after reaching a deal with the rumoured buyer.

'I Would Like To Stay at Ferrari For Life'

With ten days to go until the first grand prix of 2008, Ferrari's Felipe Massa has questioned suggestions that McLaren's new car moved ahead of the pack at the recent final group test of the pre-season.Previously, although Ferrari conducted some of its more recent on-track preparations away from the bulk of its opponents, the Maranello based team was widely acknowledged to have produced the fastest single seater.

Silverstone Reveals New Redevelopment Plans

The owners of the Silverstone circuit on Tuesday released images of the proposed redevelopment of the British grand prix venue's pit and paddock complex.The computer generated images depict the futuristic scene of the new start and finish area, pit garages and media centre, which would be located between the Club and Abbey corners, rather than Woodcote and Copse, the current turn one.

Hamilton Perdicts Easier Year

Lewis Hamilton does not agree that Ferrari will touch down in Melbourne next week as favourites to win the world championships again in 2008.Before jetting off to Australia to acclimatise to the time difference, the McLaren driver insisted that the British team's new single seater, the MP4-23, is a match for the Maranello built F2008.

вторник, 4 марта 2008 г.

'I Wince Every Time We Think About It'

Sir Frank Williams says he is not convinced that his Oxfordshire based formula one team could be set to become the sport's third force in 2008.Some sections of the press have lauded the performance of the new Toyota-powered FW30 in winter testing by suggesting that the car could emerge this season as the quickest after likely championship contenders Ferrari and McLaren.

'Nor Do I Intend To Be The Judas Who Knifed Ron In The Back'

Retired long time McLaren employee Jo Ramirez has questioned the wisdom of Ron Dennis' expected stepping down as team boss.The 66-year-old Mexican, who for 17 years until he retired in 2001 was McLaren's team coordinator, goes as far as to suggest that the Mercedes-powered team could go into decline without Dennis, who has manned the controls of the ultra-successful Woking outfit for nearly three decades.

'It's Not A Merger, It's The Death Of Champ Car'

Despite dominating Champ Cars in recent years, multiple series champion Sebastien Bourdais cannot expect to switch to F1 this year and be immediately at home, his new team boss Franz Tost insists.Indeed, the 29-year-old Frenchman admitted recently that, although fairly close to the pace of his Toro Rosso teammate Sebastian Vettel in winter testing, his early weakness in 2008 is likely to be the qualifying hour.

Prodrive Set to Cash In

Prodrive had to call off its 2008 F1 entry over the 'customer car' row, but David Richards' British marque could now be set to enjoy a monetary boost.According to documents filed by the specialist motor racing company, the Kuwaiti investment company IDC - which already part-owns Aston Martin with Richards - has the option of buying up to 40 per cent of Prodrive, the Independent newspaper said.

'He's Not Afraid To Spend Money'

Vijay Mallya is keen to use the example of Eddie Jordan's image and success to motivate the Silverstone based formula one team to repeat history in a new era.Although the Indian billionaire bought the beleaguered team from cash-strapped Spyker, it was founded as Jordan Grand Prix in 1991, earning a so-called 'rock'n'roll' reputation and reaching the unlikely success of multiple race wins in 1999 on a modest budget.

Force Spyker ?

The Dutch sports car maker Spyker on Monday revealed that the sale of the Silverstone based F1 team to Force India is not yet complete.The surprising admission was made in the form of a press release, in which it was made clear that Spyker had not yet "fully and definitively" passed the team to the consortium Orange India -- headed by Vijay Mallya and the Mol family.

'It Would Be Almost Impossible To Obtain The Necessary Approvals'

Bosses of Germany's two formula one hosts have played down speculation that a city street race in Berlin or Hamburg could ultimately replace Hockenheim and the Nurburgring on the grand prix calendar of the future.With the advent of events on the normal roads of Singapore and Valencia, and amid Bernie Ecclestone's desire to relocate the French grand prix to central Paris, it was suggested that the future of grand prix racing in Germany might also be away from the usual permanent circuits.

Alonso Sounds Warning About Formula One

Fernando Alonso has voiced his concern that the demise of key technologies in formula one could allow motor racing's lesser categories to catch up.F1's governing body has outlawed electronic driver aids including engine braking and launch and traction control for 2008, while the further reduction of downforce and engine capacity looms for future regulations.

понедельник, 3 марта 2008 г.

McLaren Slam Italian Police

McLaren has lashed out at Italian police for issuing a "grossly inaccurate and misleading" statement earlier this week.After the raids on the homes and offices of senior team bosses including Ron Dennis, the Italian authorities declared that evidence from which "clearly emerges the responsibilities of the management and some technicians at a high level" had been collected.

'Kimi's Weakness Is That He Is Not That Interested'

Lewis Hamilton is a better driver than F1's reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen, the boss of the British formula one team Williams has suggested.Sir Frank Williams told reporters at a media lunch in London last week that rivals McLaren will have some consolation this season if Ferrari's F2008 turns out as expected to be a quicker single seater.

'Why Would We Give Away The Crown Jewels'

Sir Frank Williams has admitted to turning down a handsome offer from McLaren for the services this year of Nico Rosberg.It has long been known that Ron Dennis was keen to prise the promising 22-year-old driver from the Grove based team to replace Fernando Alonso, but it was not known that McLaren had actually made a solid approach to Williams.

'There Were A Lot Of Teams I Saw Very Much On The Limit, But Not Mclaren'

Alain Prost has thrown his support behind his former employer McLaren, as the espionage scandal continues to tarnish the name of the British team.With the Ferrari saga and record $100 million saga now in the annals of 2007 history, quadruple world champion Prost spoke out about the situation as it continued to drag on last week with the raids on top McLaren chiefs including Ron Dennis.

Hamilton Not Worried About Departure of McLaren Boss

Lewis Hamilton says he is not concerned about the strengthening speculation that McLaren boss Ron Dennis is set to imminently step back from the helm of the British team.The 23-year-old driver has long been a protege of Dennis, who at 60 is understood to be on the verge of announcing that Martin Whitmarsh will succeed him after nearly three decades in control of the Woking based outfit.

McLaren Set To Confirm Dennis Is Out

An official announcement that Ron Dennis is stepping down as boss of the formula one team McLaren-Mercedes will be made in the middle of this week, an authoritative British newspaper claims.Citing 'sources', the Sunday Times - which last week received a private briefing from the 60-year-old Briton rejecting rumours that he is being pushed out of the role - now reports that Dennis "is determined to achieve a better balance between his family life, other McLaren businesses and the grand prix team".

'We Should Fight To Have A Night Race'

Mark Webber has urged Australians to fight to retain their grand prix.The Melbourne race is currently in serious doubt beyond 2010, with organisers of the Albert Park event unwilling to meet Bernie Ecclestone's demand for the grand prix to be held under lights.

воскресенье, 2 марта 2008 г.

Hakkinens To Divorce

Former double world champion Mika Hakkinen, who is 39, and his wife Erja, are getting a divorce, according to reports.The German national daily Bild-Zeitung said the Finnish pair, who have two young children (Hugo and Aina-Julia) and live in Monaco, are parting ways.

'Piquet Jr. Is Not A Hamilton'

Niki Lauda has rubbished Nelson Piquet Jr's chances of showing up Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso in 2008.Piquet, the Brazilian rookie, is - like reigning champion Timo Glock - among the latest graduates to formula one of the sport's main feeder category, GP2.

FIA Tax Increases on Drivers

The FIA has radically increased the price of obtaining a formula one 'superlicense'; the mandatory credential for participating as a driver in official sessions at grands prix.Previous to 2008, superlicencess cost just 1,690 plus 447 euros per point scored in the most recent world championship.

BMW Could Supply Engines to Second F1 Team

BMW on Monday reiterated its willingness to supply customer engines to a second formula one team.One year ago, The German manufacturer said that, like Renault, Ferrari, Toyota and Honda, it is "ready and able to supply a second team with an engine".

Vettel Excited to Try Out Future Toro Car

Sebastian Vettel says he was happy with the opportunity to test Red Bull's new car for 2008, the RB4, on Tuesday.The German youngster, called up to replace David Coulthard at Barcelona after the Scot trapped a nerve in his neck, completed 110 laps in the Renault-powered car.

'Perhaps He Should Have Known'

As reports emerge on Wednesday that Ron Dennis' position at McLaren could be in doubt, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that the espionage affair "damaged" the veteran team boss."He got all the stick, didn't he," Ecclestone, 77, told the Mirror. "That's how it is."

'For Fernando It Was A Team Problem Not A Hamilton Problem'

Flavio Briatore is convinced that the feud involving Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton last year is now over.The Renault boss says the animosity that developed between the pair in 2007 was the result of their competitive rivalry, the reaction of the British press, and bad management by McLaren.

суббота, 1 марта 2008 г.

'I Just Respond Honestly To Questions'

Fernando Alonso has downgraded his chances of winning a third world championship this year to just "30 per cent", but denies that he is being overly pessimistic."No, not at all," the former McLaren driver told Spanish radio Cadena SER whilst in Barcelona for the final test before Melbourne.

'It's Not Unusual For A New Driver Like Lewis To Struggle A Bit In The Second Se

Sir Jackie Stewart has predicted a potentially rough ride this season for 2007 rookie of the year Lewis Hamilton.The Scot and former triple world champion was a staunch admirer of the young Briton's feats for McLaren last year, but fears that 2008 could be a different story for the 23-year-old.

'He's Even Better When He's Pissed'

Bernie Ecclestone has defended reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen's reputation as a fast Ferrari racer who likes a drink."Every time I've been out to dinner with him," the F1 chief executive told the Mirror, "he has been as good as gold. And he's even better when he's pissed.

'There Is Nothing To Comment On'

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has refused to entertain speculation that McLaren last week bridged the apparent gap between the two teams.In Barcelona last Thursday for the penultimate pre-season test of the winter period, the 'big two' rivals shared the same track for the first time in a while.

'I Will Be A Little Calmer In The Future'

Keke Rosberg has joined a growing chorus who predict that Lewis Hamilton's second season in formula one in 2008 could be much more difficult than the first.Hamilton, now 23, earned widespread acclaim as he won four races for McLaren in 2007 and only narrowly missed making history as the sport's first rookie world champion.

Ron Dennis Fired ?

Ron Dennis has forcibly relinquished his role as team principal of McLaren, and will be replaced by deputy Martin Whitmarsh, a Spanish newspaper claims.The national sports daily Marca says the decision, compelled by the British team's engine and equity partner Mercedes-Benz, will shortly be confirmed by means of a press release.

'The Question Is Whether BMW Have Made It'

Nick Heidfeld is facing a big challenge to emerge as a grand prix winner in 2008, according to former world champion Keke Rosberg.The 1982 title winner says that while BMW Sauber's goals are ambitious for 2008, many obstacles are still facing the 30-year-old German as he prepares to start his ninth full season in F1.

Slick Tires To Return

Formula one teams will once again trial slick tyres when testing resumes at the Barcelona circuit in mid April.Following the first slick tests at Jerez in December, the sport's sole tyre supplier Bridgestone on Thursday revealed that teams will once again be provided with "experimental" slicks in anticipation of a rule change for 2009.

пятница, 29 февраля 2008 г.

Renault Expects Slow Start to Season

Flavio Briatore thinks Fernando Alonso was being "optimistic" when he declared a 30 per cent probability of emerging with a third drivers' title in 2008.The Renault boss, despite earlier expecting that the new R28 single seater was the French team's ticket back to the front, was even more downbeat about Alonso's chances for the upcoming Australian grand prix.

Toyota Working to Restore Honor

Toyota will work hard to restore its honour later this year after the shambles of the inaugural Japanese grand prix at Fuji.The circuit, which is nearly 100 per cent owned by the Japanese car manufacturer and F1 competitor, recently announced that it would better organise the race this October after traffic problems and substandard facilities cast a pall over the 2007 event.

Super Aguri Looking To Sell

The co-owner of Super Aguri insists the struggling team will be on the Melbourne grid next month, but also confirmed that talks to sell '100 per cent' of the outfit are going on.Team chief Aguri Suzuki was in Tokyo recently for crisis talks regarding the Honda-powered squad's financial problems, after the team missed nearly the entire pre-season series of track tests.

'If He Fails, He Will Be In Problems'

German duo Adrian Sutil and Timo Glock are facing make-or-break seasons in formula one this year, 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg has said.The former Finnish driver, who in 2008 will attend all the races for German television, observes that the presence of veteran Giancarlo Fisichella in the sister Force India car will be a true test of the promise shown by 25-year-old Sutil in 2007.

Police Confiscate Evidence From Ron Dennis' Home

Italian police have contradicted reports that no useful evidence was collected in the raids on the British homes and office of senior McLaren chiefs earlier this week.A statement issued by the authorities said the searches, believed to have involved the cooperation of up to fifty Surrey police officers, resulted in evidence from which "clearly emerges the responsibilities of the management and some technicians at a high level in McLaren".

Rumors Continue That Dennis Is Out at McLaren

Ron Dennis and his deputy Martin Whitmarsh have denied reports that the McLaren team boss is being forced out -- but speculation persists that Dennis' nearly three-decade reign at the helm of the Woking based outfit is close to an end.Dennis, who will turn 61 later this year, gave several private briefings to allies in the British media on Thursday, rejecting rumours that 40 per cent team owner Mercedes-Benz wants him sacked.

McLaren, Mercedes Say Dennis Not Fired

Spokespeople for both McLaren and engine partner Mercedes-Benz have denied reports that team boss Ron Dennis has been fired.A report in the Spanish press this week said Martin Whitmarsh was set to take over the British veteran's nearly three-decade reign because Mercedes, with a 40 per cent team stake, was angered about Dennis' handling of the spying scandal.

'Hamilton Has The Self Confidence And He Is Obviously Very Quick'

Despite describing his relationship with Lewis Hamilton as "non-existent", Fernando Alonso has flagged the possibility that the 23-year-old could be crowned world champion in 2008.While playing down his own hopes of winning a third drivers' title with Renault this year, Alonso told BBC radio's Five Live programme that his former McLaren teammate might win the championship at his second attempt.

четверг, 28 февраля 2008 г.

Rosberg Expects to Finish Behind BMW

German racer Nico Rosberg has played down Williams' hopes of emerging as the third force in formula one this season.The Grove based team has enjoyed a positive winter period with its new Toyota-powered FW30, but 22-year-old Rosberg doubts that the single seater is yet ready to take on BMW Sauber for the 'best of the rest' honours behind Ferrari and McLaren.

Police Raid Homes of McLaren Execs

Overseen by local police, the British homes of McLaren bosses including Ron Dennis were raided by Italian criminal investigators on Wednesday.The Mercedes-powered team confirmed in a statement that the private dwellings of "a number of McLaren executives" - four in total - were swept by the Italians as Modena magistrate Giuseppe Tibis continues to investigate the transfer of stolen information from Ferrari, otherwise known as the espionage scandal.

'We Will Only Know The True Balance Of Power At The Second Race In Malaysia'

With 17 days to go until Melbourne, triple world champion Niki Lauda believes Ferrari maintains a commanding lead at the front of the 2008 formula one field.The Austrian legend and former Ferrari and McLaren driver told his local daily Kronen Zeitung that, contrary to speculation that McLaren has closed the gap in recent days, the Italian team is between "0.5 and 0.8 seconds per lap" ahead of all comers in full race trim.

A Bit More Testing, Then Packing Up For Melbourne

The final group test of the 2008 pre-season concluded late on Wednesday afternoon, but the cry of formula one engines in Europe will be heard again before - and while - the circus travels to Australia for the opening grand prix.After Toyota's Jarno Trulli topped the times with a low-fuel dash in Barcelona, official Formula One Management freight - including the cars - is due to begin the journey to Melbourne next Thursday.

British Commentator Says Anti-Hamilton Actions Were Racist

Former formula one driver and commentator John Watson has defended Lewis Hamilton, a day after the British driver was accused by bitter rival Fernando Alonso of provoking the racism scandal.Alonso, 23-year-old Hamilton's acrimonious teammate at McLaren last year, pointed out that his Spanish supporters only abused F1's only black driver at a recent Barcelona test after Hamilton said he would use Alonso's behaviour in 2007 as an example of "how not to behave" as a driver.

Coulthard Back in the Car

David Coulthard returned to the cockpit of his Red Bull on Wednesday, as the final day of winter testing for most formula one teams kicked off in Spain.After Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel substituted for the Scottish veteran a day earlier, 36-year-old Coulthard had apparently recovered from a trapped nerve reportedly sustained whilst running at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday.

Red Bull's Budget

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has rubbished speculation that the team is currently enjoying one of the healthiest budgets in formula one.The Briton branded it a "myth" that the wealth of billionaire team owner Dietrich Mateschitz means that the Milton-Keynes based outfit can compete dollar-for-dollar with carmaker rivals including Mercedes and Honda.

среда, 27 февраля 2008 г.

Was Spanish Racism Exaggerated ?

Fernando Alonso says he is still not convinced about the recent racism scandal involving some of his fanatical Spanish countrymen and Lewis Hamilton.The Spaniard was asked by the radio station Cadena SER if he thinks the affair was exaggerated in the press following his falling out with his former McLaren teammate last season.

How Good is Force India ?

Adrian Sutil thinks Force India can race away from the back row of the grid this season with its 2008 single seater.The VJM-01, essentially last year's Spyker car with mainly aerodynamic developments, is being tested for the first time by the team this week in Barcelona, where so far it has posted midfield lap times.

'Inside Mclaren There Were So Many People That It Was Difficult To Know Who To T

Despite probably dropping out of the hunt for the world championship, Fernando Alonso insists that he is happy to have left the McLaren team.The 26-year-old has returned to Renault, the scene of his drivers' titles in 2005 and 2006, but a team that is not likely to have him in contention for the crown this season.

'It Is An Absolute Lie'

Michael Schumacher has slammed rumours that he could be set to make a sensational return to competitive racing on the saddle of a MotoGP bike later this year.It was reported recently that the retired seven time world champion, following his competitive tests for Ducati, could be seeking a wild-card entry for the Mugello round.

'You Can't Punish A Nation'

Vijay Mallya, the owner of the new Force India team, has questioned the FIA's reaction to the recent Spanish racism affair.The Indian billionaire roundly condemned the actions of the "oddballs" who taunted Lewis Hamilton at a recent Barcelona test, but reckons formula one's governing body was wrong to make too big a fuss about the incident.

Coulthard 'Expects' Red Bull To Battle With BMW, Williams

David Coulthard has confirmed paddock speculation by agreeing that Red Bull is likely heading for a competitive season with the new Adrian Newey-penned RB4 single seater.The Scottish veteran, who is sitting out Tuesday's testing at the Circuit de Catalunya with an apparent neck twinge, said he believes the Austrian-owned outfit will be among the fight just beneath big two competitors Ferrari and McLaren in 2008.

Coulthard Injured, Vettel In

Sebastian Vettel on Tuesday stepped into David Coulthard's 2008-specification Red Bull cockpit as the Scot sits out the Barcelona session with an apparent neck strain.Although a chipper Coulthard was spotted at the Circuit de Catalunya as the final test of the 2008 pre-season resumed, Vettel was asked to stand-in as the 36-year-old reportedly receives treatment for a light injury sustained whilst running in the RB4 on Monday.

'Montreal Does Not Need To Build The Taj Mahal Or Compete With Shanghai Or Bahra

Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will receive a facelift with the aid of state funds ahead of June's Canadian grand prix.The German news agency SID reports that the $4.5 million modernisation will come courtesy of the city and the Quebec province, involving a new media centre and updated pit lane and paddock.

вторник, 26 февраля 2008 г.

'I Sense Too Much Optimism About Ferrari'

Luca di Montezemolo has expressed concern about the excessive optimism surrounding Ferrari's forthcoming formula one campaign.With just over two weeks to go until the 2008 season opener, the widespread paddock perception is that Ferrari's F2008 single seater will be the car to beat -- even if McLaren seems to have closed the gap in recent tests.

Rosberg Hoping to Be 'Regularly In The Points'

Retired seven time world champion Michael Schumacher has named countryman Nico Rosberg as his personal standout of the 2008 winter.Even though 22-year-old Rosberg was on Monday outpaced by his Japanese rookie teammate Kazuki Nakajima at Barcelona, Schumacher has earmarked the driver as one to watch this season at the wheel of Williams' Toyota-powered new FW30 model.

Another New Formula One Track Set To Be Built

The former manager of formula one circuits in Austria and Bahrain has been appointed to oversee the construction of a F1-standard venue near Moscow.Hans Geist will lead the project that is to take place 80 kilometres west of Moscow, in the town of Volokolamsk, although it is not definite that the venue will bid to host a grand prix.

'We Want Mclaren And Hamilton To Be Comfortable'

The operators of Barcelona's formula one circuit on Monday admitted that security has been tightened since the racism scandal erupted three weeks ago.Lewis Hamilton seemed unperturbed as he drove to the top of the time sheets, but a Circuit de Catalunya spokesman revealed that much effort has been put into ensuring that the bigotry of some Spanish supporters is never again seen.

Struggling Super Aguri Missing Final Test

Struggling Japanese team Super Aguri has confirmed that it will sit out the final group test of the 2008 pre-season in Barcelona this week.As every other outfit got up and running at the Circuit de Catalunya on a damp Monday morning, word began to emerge that the financially embattled Leafield based squad has been forced once again to yield to its political problems.

Schumacher Predicts Battle Between McLaren, and Ferrari

Michael Schumacher felt optimistic about Ferrari's forthcoming formula one campaign after testing the F2008 single seater for the first time on Monday.Although the retired seven time world champion, as well as reigning drivers' title winner Kimi Raikkonen, narrowly trailed the pace of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren at Barcelona, 39-year-old Schumacher told reporters that Ferrari is ready to charge for wins beginning with the Australian grand prix next month.

FIA Boss Speaks Out Against Biofuel

Max Mosley has echoed Willi Weber's belief that Michael Schumacher would win a straight fight against F1's newest sensation, Lewis Hamilton.As the pair both test at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, the FIA president declared that despite the excitement surrounding Hamilton's rookie season, seven time world champion Schumacher would still be the racer to bet on had he not retired at the end of 2006.

'The Distance To Ferrari And Mclaren Is Very Large'

Jarno Trulli stands by his recent claim that Ferrari is set to dominate the 2008 season.The Italian driver, however, has clarified his earlier assertion that, so quick is the F2008, that F1 officials could hand the team the world championship trophy before a single racing lap has been completed.

понедельник, 25 февраля 2008 г.

Ozzy To Attend Formula One Opener

Rock legend and television star Ozzy Osbourne is set to attend the opening race of the 2008 formula one season.It is rumoured in Australia that the British former Black Sabbath singer, and his wife Sharon, will be in Melbourne that weekend to perform at the nearby Rod Laver Arena.

McLaren Wanted Rosberg and Vettel

Heikki Kovalainen was only McLaren-Mercedes' third choice to replace the departing Fernando Alonso ahead of the 2008 season, according to reports.Germany's Bild newspaper claims that both Nico Rosberg and Toro Rosso rookie Sebastian Vettel were higher on the silver coloured outfit's wish list, but both Germans could not be extracted from solid contracts.

Ferrari Worried About Odd Reliability Glitch

Ferrari's technical director has tempered expectations that the Italian team is set to utterly dominate the forthcoming Australian grand prix with its 2008 specification car.Maranello based Ferrari has undoubtedly been the performance standout of the winter period, even though McLaren seemed to have pegged back the gap as the top two teams tested head-to-head in Barcelona this past week.

Silverstone Profits

Although the running of the British grand prix beyond next year is in doubt, the operators of the Silverstone circuit appear to be in sound financial shape.According to the latest accounts for Silverstone Circuits, owned by the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), the venue recently made an after-tax profit of $2.5 million, compared with a $5m loss in the previous accounting period.

'It Is So Easy To Get It Wrong'

Pedro de la Rosa is happy to wait until the opening race of the 2008 season before predicting the pecking order of the competing teams.The Spanish test driver, who will again attend every grand prix this year as McLaren's official reserve, is reluctant to join speculation that Ferrari is set to dominate the season while Renault sits out another stint in the midfield.

'I Don't Believe Ferrari Have Already Won the Title'

Fernando Alonso says BMW Sauber could be set to give his former team McLaren a run for its money in the 2008 season.While the Spaniard agrees that Ferrari is marginally clear of the field for the forthcoming season, he points out that Swiss based BMW Sauber has made solid steps forward since it was recently revealed that the German team was struggling with its new car.

Schu To Go Head-to-Head With Raikkonen Today

Michael Schumacher will make his debut at the wheel of Ferrari's 2008 contender at the final group test of the pre-season in Spain next week.We have learned that the 39-year-old German, who retired from competition at the end of 2006, is scheduled to run in the F2008 on Monday, as reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen circulates in another of the Maranello based team's Melbourne-spec single seaters at Barcelona.

'I See No Reason To Change'

Kimi Raikkonen says he does not intend to change his paddock demeanour now that he is the reigning world champion.The Finn and Ferrari racer insists that he has always been shy, except when in the presence of his family and his closest friends.

воскресенье, 24 февраля 2008 г.

'Racism Not An Issue For Concern'

The racism scandal involving Lewis Hamilton was blown out of proportion, Spain's former double world rally champion Carlos Sainz insists.The 44-year-old told the Spanish news agency EFE that he thinks the controversy was overstated by the press because of F1's enormous popularity.

'You Must Be Innovative'

Former Jordan and Jaguar designer Gary Anderson has slammed Adrian Newey's new Red Bull single seater for 2008, the RB4.The Ulsterman observes that the new Renault-powered car is seemingly too similar to its predecessor, the RB3, which finished the 2007 constructors' championship in fifth place.

Webber 'Happy' with New Red Bull

Despite two breakdowns on the Valencia verges, Mark Webber on Wednesday declared himself "happy" with Red Bull's 2008 car, the RB4.The Australian driver finished last season twelfth in the drivers' classification, after Adrian Newey's first design for the team, the RB3, proved chronically unreliable.

Hamilton's Promise

McLaren's equity and engine partner Mercedes-Benz will fully support Lewis Hamilton's efforts to win the first title for the collaboration since 1999."We are determined to lead the field this season," Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche is quoted as saying by the Bahrain newspaper Gulf Weekly.

'The Less We Talk About It, The Better'

Fernando Alonso has played down the racism scandal involving his former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton and dismissed the FIA's response as "not needed"."Spain is not a racist country," the 26-year-old former double world champion was quoted as saying by the Spanish news agency EFE.

Jani Hopes for Formula One Ride

Neel Jani has confirmed that he is hoping his Indian descent will open a door for him at formula one's newest team.The 24-year-old, who formerly tested for Sauber and Toro Rosso, races under the flag of Switzerland, but his father was born in India.

Super Aguri Deal Hinges On Driver Decision

The sale of Super Aguri to an Indian consortium could be scuppered by a disagreement about the team's 2008 driver lineup.The small Japanese team's manufacturer partner, Honda, is not keen on the interested Spice Group's plan to put Narain Karthikeyan in the cockpit this year.

'I Am Probably Going To Stop Before People Tell Me To Stop'

Rubens Barrichello wants to wear a special helmet livery when he becomes the most experienced formula one driver of all time this season.At present, the statisticians are still split as to where exactly the 35-year-old Brazilian will surpass Riccardo Patrese's record of 256 grands prix.

суббота, 23 февраля 2008 г.

'Can't See Myself Getting Into Trouble Politically'

Heikki Kovalainen has vowed to make a mark at McLaren despite acknowledging that he is the team's new boy.To the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, the 26-year-old admitted that, in filling Fernando Alonso's recently departed shoes, teammate Lewis Hamilton undoubtedly occupies the high ground.

Button Happy with Progress at Honda

Honda figures on Thursday presented an upbeat mood about the 2008 season, despite lagging the field with its new car in winter testing.The Japanese manufacturer finished 2007 an abysmal eighth in the constructors' standings, scoring just 6 points for the entire season with the earth-liveried RA107 single seater.

F1 Dad Turns Journalist

1982 world champion Keke Rosberg will attend every grand prix this year as a commentator for German TV.The 59-year-old Finn, whose German born son Nico races for Sir Frank Williams' Grove based team, has been signed by the specialist broadcaster Premiere, the German newspaper Bild reports.

Toro Rosso Logistics Manager Dies

Walter Totschnig, the logistics manager for the Faenza based team Toro Rosso, has died.The 67-year-old Austrian, who was also an avid amateur rally racer and enthusiast, reportedly died at the age of 67 from pneumonia at a hospital in the Swiss resort town of St Moritz.

Super Aguri Bails on Barcelona Test Leaves Says 'So Sorry'

Super Aguri on Monday called off its planned round of Barcelona testing this week.The embattled Japanese team had already cancelled the scheduled launch of its 2008 car, but instead intended to run at the Circuit de Catalunya preceding the upcoming last group test of the 2008 pre-season.

Italian Criminal Prosecutors At It Again

Alleged Ferrari spy Nigel Stepney on Monday was questioned for three hours by Italian prosecutors.Michael Schumacher's sacked former chief mechanic, accused of attempted sabotage and passing reams of secret information to rivals McLaren, was "cooperative and thorough", Modena magistrate Giuseppe Tibis is cited as relaying by ANSA.

'If F1 Happens Then Good'

Narain Karthikeyan has indicated that talks about a race seat this year at Super Aguri are no longer taking place.It was reported recently that an Indian consortium, led by the telco Spice Group, was pushing for former grand prix driver Karthikeyan to be central to its planned buyout of the Japanese team.

More Bad Weather Expected For Last Test

After a few days of disrupted testing in Spain, the final week of the 2008 pre-season is also likely to be staged in inclement conditions.Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, also the scene of the final group test beginning on Monday, turned on better weather on Thursday, as four teams wrapped up the penultimate session of the winter.

пятница, 22 февраля 2008 г.

Super Aguri Survival At Stake

Talks in Tokyo about the future of Super Aguri will be crucial to the uncertain survival of the Japanese team, it is reported.The British newspaper The Guardian reveals that Aguri Suzuki, the struggling team's boss and owner and a former driver of 64 grands prix, travelled to Tokyo on Thursday for key talks with team backer Honda.

'We Are In The Group That Is Behind Ferrari'

Pat Symonds agrees that Ferrari is leading the formula one field at present, but the Renault technical boss does not think the Italian team is so far ahead.Some figures have expressed the view that Ferrari's F2008 looks set to dominate the new season, but Symonds thinks the car's record-breaking test at Bahrain recently should not be overestimated.

'There Are No Concrete Plans For A Schumacher Racing Comeback'

Michael Schumacher's manager has fascinatingly refused to dismiss wild rumours that the retired seven time world champion might contest a MotoGP race in the future.It was reported recently that the 39-year-old German was exploring the possibility of making a wild-card entry for the Mugello race, after impressing on the saddle of the Ducati in a couple of tests.

'I'm Not Saying That Hamilton Is Bad, But Schumacher Was In A Different World'

Michael Schumacher's manager says he does not see a lasting successor to the retired seven time world champion among the current generation of drivers in formula one.Willi Weber has told Germany's Bild newspaper that not even Lewis Hamilton, revered in the mainstream racing press as the sport's new golden boy, matches up to Schumacher, who retired after the 2006 season.

'I Don't Think I Was Physically And Mentally Ready Last Year'

Heikki Kovalainen admits he was not ready for formula one twelve months ago, but has now set his sights on beating his highly rated new teammate, Lewis Hamilton.The Finn had an appalling debut grand prix in Melbourne last year with Renault, but will return to Australia one year on hoping to give title protagonist Hamilton a run for his money at McLaren.

Piquet Will Skip Son's GP Debut

New Renault driver Nelson Piquet has revealed that his famous father, who won three world championships in the 80s, is not scheduled to attend his first grand prix in Australia next month."My father will be on business and has no plans to go to Australia," Piquet, 22, is quoted as saying whilst testing at Barcelona on Thursday by the Spanish newspaper Diario AS.

'The Most Important Thing Is To Continue In This Direction'

Technical boss Sam Michael says Williams is not yet ready to take on F1's Big Two teams for race wins.The Grove based outfit's new Toyota-powered FW30 has proved a standout of the 2008 pre-season, but technical director Michael counts Williams out of the hunt for the title.

четверг, 21 февраля 2008 г.

Fuji To Limit Formula One Attendance

Japanese grand prix officials intend to better organise the Fuji race for 2008 by reducing the number of spectators allowed at the circuit, it has emerged.Organisers of the inaugural 2007 event issued a statement to the international press late on Wednesday promising a smoother running of the grand prix this October.

Spyker Sponsors Stiffed New Team

The CEO of the Dutch sports car maker Spyker has indicated that he is relieved to have offloaded the Silverstone based formula one team to new owners Force India.Spyker spent much of its short lived participation on the grid amid speculation that its parent group was in financial crisis.

Better Weather for F1 Testing

After adverse weather affected the opening two days of this week's Barcelona test, forecasters are calling for better conditions for the final session on Thursday.Ferrari joined the action at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday, where four other teams are running ahead of the pre-season's last test at the same Spanish venue next week.

Ralf Rejects Michael's Warning

Ralf Schumacher has said the advice of his elder brother Michael to avoid DTM is an "added incentive" to do well in the German touring car series.Before 32-year-old Ralf committed to switching to the category with Mercedes-Benz in 2008, former seven time world champion Michael Schumacher - who is seven years older - warned him to stay away.

'We Are Not In A Position To Do Anything'

Three weeks before the formula one circus congregates in Melbourne for the season opener, Fernando Alonso has reported that his 2008-spec Renault is not in a position to compete for race wins.In fact, the former double world champion is quoted by the Spanish news agency EFE as suggesting that even podium places early this year are not likely.

So Much For Anonymous Sources...

A spokesman for the French formula one team, as well as Fernando Alonso, have rubbished claims that Renault will use a revolutionary rear wing at the Australian grand prix next month.Citing a source close to the Enstone based team, a Dutch website recently reported that the concept, nicknamed the 'W' wing because of its shape, would not be tested before Melbourne so that it is not copied by rival outfits.

BMW Boss Defends New Car

Willy Rampf has defended the risks taken by BMW Sauber in the design of its imperfect new single seater for 2008.Despite the German squad's intention to join the top two teams in the hunt for victories this year, the F1.08 has endured a troubled birth on the winter test tracks.

McLaren Sponsors Most Visible

Vodafone has overtaken Marlboro as the most visible sponsor in formula one, a report has found.The British mobile operator was ranked fourth in the table in 2006, when represented on the Ferrari livery, but tripled its exposure and climbed to top spot with its new title sponsorship of the Mercedes-powered team.

среда, 20 февраля 2008 г.

Ecclestoned Slammed For Stating the Truth

Lewis Hamilton is reluctant to comment on Bernie Ecclestone's playing down of the Barcelona racism affair.After McLaren driver Hamilton was racially abused by some Spanish spectators at a recent winter test, F1's chief executive earlier this week dismissed the FIA's subsequent promise of an anti-racism campaign as not "necessary".

'This Is Why He's Disappointed With Coughlan And His Contradicting Statements'

Alleged Ferrari spy Nigel Stepney has denied passing reams of the Italian team's secrets to McLaren co-conspirator Mike Coughlan.The Briton, formerly a key engineer at the Maranello based team, was this week interrogated by Modena prosecutors, where he reportedly admitted contact with Coughlan but denied giving the suspended chief designer the famous 780-page Ferrari dossier.

McLaren Losses Sponsor

Spanish sponsor Mutua Madrilena has finally ended its association with the McLaren team and will return to the livery of Renault's formula one car in 2008.The Madrid based insurance company switched with Fernando Alonso to McLaren for 2007, but reportedly had trouble breaking its long term contract in order to accompany the Spaniard back to Renault for the forthcoming season.

Alonso Could Be F1's Highest Earner in 2008

Fernando Alonso will be formula one's highest earning driver if he stays at Renault beyond this year, according to a report.The SportsPro magazine claims that the double world champion stands to make an average (US) $46 million per year, should he chose not to exercise a clause that allows him to depart the French team ahead of the 2009 season.

'I Think We Will Push Each Other'

Adrian Sutil believes having grand prix winner and formula one veteran Giancarlo Fisichella as his teammate this year will be good for his career.The 25-year-old German was already earmarked as a rising star of the sport last year, when as a rookie he proved more than a match for the occupants of the sister Spyker, including Christijan Albers and Sakon Yamamoto.

Toro Rosso Looking Forward To New Bull To Ride

Sebastian Vettel has essentially admitted that Toro Rosso is looking forward to getting its hands on sister team Red Bull's 2008 car later this season.The customer car issue is a controversial one in formula one, with the Faenza based team, as well as beleaguered Honda satellite Super Aguri, already being challenged legally by Force India over the legality of sourcing their cars from active competitors.

'It Was My Idea'

Lewis Hamilton's father has taken the blame for the PR disaster of the McLaren rookie's move to Switzerland last year.Many high earning formula one drivers enjoy the tax benefits of residing in the western European country, but 23-year-old Hamilton insisted that his decision to leave Briton was motivated only by the desire for a quieter life.

F1 In the Red

F1's corporate hospitality and advertising business is in the red, the London newspaper The Daily Telegraph has revealed.The sport's owner, CVC, made an after-tax loss of $3m in that division of the business, after having to pay $22.5 million in interest on its loans of $334m, the latest accounts reportedly show.

вторник, 19 февраля 2008 г.

'Hamilton Was Under No Pressure Last Year'

Bernie Ecclestone has predicted that Lewis Hamilton will find himself under more pressure in 2008, following his stellar rookie season last year.F1's chief executive concedes that, after the 23-year-old won four races and the runner-up spot in the 2007 drivers' championship, the difference for Hamilton this season will be the huge expectations.

Movin' On Up

Heikki Kovalainen has followed his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton's lead by choosing Switzerland as his adopted home.The Finnish driver, believed to have signed a more lucrative contract for 2008 after debuting last year with Renault, is reported to have bought a villa in picturesque Coppet, on the north shore of Lake Geneva.

Hakkinen Joins Group

Former double world champion Mika Hakkinen has been appointed a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.The 39-year-old Finn's election to the post, announced at the 2008 running of the prestigious awards ceremony in St Petersburg on Monday, means that he is now among the 45 fellow legendary sportsmen and women of the academy.

Ralf to DTM, Villeneuve out of NASCAR

Ralf Schumacher has now signed a contract to race with Mercedes-Benz in the German touring car series (DTM) in 2008, according to a German newspaper.Bild reports that 32-year-old Schumacher, who lost his Toyota seat at the end of last season, has travelled to Stuttgart to formalise the $1 million, one-year (with an option for 2009) deal.

Criminal Investigation Questioning McLaren Bosses Called Off, For Now

The questioning of McLaren officials by Italian prosecutors will no longer take place as scheduled on Monday.It was earlier reported that, as the criminal investigation in Italy relating to the espionage saga goes on, Modena magistrate Guiseppe Tibis had summoned Ron Dennis, Martin Whitmarsh and two other senior members of the Mercedes-powered team.

Hamilton Honored

Kimi Raikkonen on Monday was not awarded the prestigious Laureus World Sportsman of the Year plaudit in St Petersburg, but 2007 drivers' runner-up Lewis Hamilton did walk away with Breakthrough of the Year.Tennis' Roger Federer was at the Russian awards ceremony to receive the World Sportsman prize for the fourth year in a row. Hamilton, 23, also received his award in person.

Michael Schumacher To Race in MotoGP ?

Wild rumours are doing the rounds that Michael Schumacher could be set to make a racing return -- on the saddle of a MotoGP bike.The French sports newspaper L'Equipe seemingly began the speculation by publishing an article raising the possibility of the 39-year-old German, who retired as a seven time world champion in 2006, making a wild-card entry for the Mugello event this year.

'I Do Not Think It Would Be Good Business'

Brands Hatch boss Jonathan Palmer has ruled out the return of the former grand prix circuit to F1's annual calendar.Dr Palmer, a veteran of more than 80 grands prix in the 1980s, told the Kent on Sunday newspaper that staging the first formula one race there since 1986 would be "impossible" without nearly (US) $80m in improvements.

понедельник, 18 февраля 2008 г.

'I Think It's Going To Be Tough'

Anthony Davidson has predicted an uncompetitive start to the season for the embattled Super Aguri team.The Briton, who is yet to have his position confirmed by the struggling Japanese outfit for 2008 despite being "confident" about retaining his race seat, issued the warning after the Leafield based team sat out most of the pre-season with financial difficulties.

'All It Does Is Give Attention To The People Who Want Attention'

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has played down the FIA's response to the Lewis Hamilton racism affair as not "necessary".After Spanish spectators at the recent Barcelona test abused the sport's only black driver, the governing body reacted by vowing to launch a Motorsport-wide anti-racism campaign - called Racing Against Racism - at this year's Spanish grand prix.

Pre-Season Predictions Favor Williams

With three weeks to go until the opening race in Melbourne, the Swiss newspaper Blick has published a predicted 'form guide' about the relative performance of formula one's eleven teams.Unsurprisingly, Ferrari and McLaren occupy the top two spots on the ranking, which was apparently compiled based on the performance of the teams so far at winter tests.

'It Is Possible That We Are Witnessing A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing'

Second Ferrari test driver Marc Gene has added his voice to suspicions that Renault has been sandbagging in winter tests.The Spaniard explained to the sports daily Marca that, although countryman Fernando Alonso and the French team have not been standout performers with the R28, it is often misleading to rely on the pecking order of pre-season time sheets.

Mosley Loves Reading About Himself In Blogs

Max Mosley has issued a strong hint that he may not be ready to retire as FIA president by the time of the next elections in October 2009.The 67-year-old Briton, who in 2004 rescinded a decision to step down from the role, told the London newspaper The Times that he still sees work to do as the unpaid head of F1's governing body.

Stepney Eager To Face 'Ill-Formed Allegations'

Alleged Ferrari spy Nigel Stepney will shortly face F1's governing body to explain his role in the espionage scandal of 2007.Amid the controversy last year, involving the transfer of Ferrari secrets to McLaren's chief designer Mike Coughlan, the FIA warned that the British pair would be pursued by their legal department and possibly banned from international motor sport "for a lengthy period".

'Complete Chaos'

Potential spectators of the inaugural Singapore grand prix night race endured another day of frustration on Friday.70,000 tickets went on sale on Thursday, but the local New Straits Times described the performance of Singapore's ticketing procedures as "complete chaos", as fervent patrons in some cases tried several times to book a seat - by phone, internet and in person - before giving up.

Fire Blows Super Aguri Test

Super Aguri endured a miserable opening week to its 2008 campaign by completing just 10 uncompetitive laps at the Jerez group test.The small Japanese team's test driver James Rossiter had to abandoned his programme on Monday when the rear of his car overheated and caught fire.

воскресенье, 17 февраля 2008 г.

Reliability Continues to Plague Red Bull

Red Bull's new car for 2008 survived a scare on its installation lap before breaking down at the end of its first day of running at Jerez.The RB4 was launched at the Spanish circuit earlier on Wednesday, before David Coulthard put 54 laps on its odometer.

'Some People Are Bound To Say Drivers Are Not Real Men These Days'

Niki Lauda has slammed formula one drivers who fear the end of traction control in 2008.The triple world champion, who won 25 races during the 70s and 80s, told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper: "If they are afraid, they need to go back to driving school."

'T Would Be Very Foolish To Say That One's Got An Advantage Because Of The New R

Australia's Mark Webber has played down the fact that he ended the Barcelona test last Sunday with the quickest lap of the day.At the wheel of Red Bull's new car, the Renault-powered RB4, the 31-year-old went faster even than chasing McLaren, BMW and Renault rivals.

Rosberg Looking Beyond Williams

Nico Rosberg has given notice that he only intends staying at Williams beyond 2009 if the British team is in the hunt for victories.It emerged late last year that the 22-year-old German had extended his contract through to the end of 2009, with considerably improved financial terms.

Toyota Boss Slams Media Reports

Toyota team president John Howett has rubbished claims that the Japanese team could pull out of formula one as early as 2010 if rapid progress is not made. "The media reports of the squad withdrawing are pure, malicious scare-mongering," he told the British print magazine Autosport.Array

BMW Identifying 'Areas of Concern'

BMW-Sauber technical director Willy Rampf has played down the lack of early testing pace of the German team's new 2008 challenger.The F1.08 has usually been slower in head-to-head comparisons with its predecessor at Valencia this week, and Nick Heidfeld expressed concern about the car's handling problems.

Ralf Having 'Fun' In DTM

Ralf Schumacher declared himself happy with his maiden outing in a Mercedes-Benz DTM car on Wednesday.The 32-year-old is testing the black C-Class touring car at the former Portuguese grand prix circuit Estoril this week, ahead of a possible switch to the German race series in 2008.

Sainz Jr to Drive for Schu's Go-kart Team

Michael Schumacher has teamed up with two friends to put Spanish rally legend Carlos Sainz's son on the right track to formula one.The semi-retired seven time world champion has become a part-owner of the KSM go-kart team, which launched its 2008 campaign at the weekend in Bergheim.

суббота, 16 февраля 2008 г.

Front Wing Problem Caused Williams Crash

A Williams spokesman says the British team abandoned the Barcelona test on Saturday night because of a front wing issue.Reports from the Spanish circuit revealed that a mounting problem for the piece caused Japanese rookie Kazuki Nakajima to crash heavily with a failed wing on Friday.

'It Is Unrealistic To Talk About Podiums'

Before a single racing lap has been completed in 2008, Jarno Trulli has declared Ferrari as the near-certain world champions.The Toyota driver last week spent six days testing alongside the Maranello based marque in Bahrain, where the performance of Ferrari's F2008 seemed ominous for the other team teams.

Dutch Driver Hoping For F1 Test

Giedo van der Garde is hoping to secure a new contract to test with the Force India team in 2008.The Dutch 22-year-old was forced to the sidelines last year, after a contractual dispute between Super Aguri and Force India's predecessor Spyker meant he was unable to obtain an FIA superlicense.

GP2 Racer to Super Aguri ?

Andreas Zuber is expected to be confirmed as a Super Aguri test driver for the 2008 season, according to reports in Austria.The 24-year-old GP2 racer was disappointed to miss out on a young driver test appointment for parent team Honda, after recently testing alongside successful contenders Mike Conway and Luca Filippi.

Over 112,000 Expected for Valencia GP Debut

Organisers of the inaugural European grand prix at Valencia will make available 112,700 tickets for the August street race.The Spanish sports newspaper Marca reports that the tickets, which if all sold will make the event one of the best attended in formula one, will become available at the end of February.

'We Know We're Not The Quickest'

Mark Webber and his teammate David Coulthard have played down the fact that the Australian driver set the fastest lap of the day at Wednesday's Jerez test.Featuring its unique engine cover fin, the Renault-powered RB4 driven by 31-year-old Webber ended the particularly windy Spanish session atop the field of sixteen runners.

'It's Totally Controllable And We Can Get On Top Of It'

After the racial controversy of Barcelona, Lewis Hamilton's return to Spanish test action at Jerez on Tuesday went off without a hitch.Only a small crowd has gathered at the former grand prix venue in the country's south, where every team except Ferrari and Toyota this week continue their pre-season test campaigns.

McLaren Boss and Wife Split ?

According to a rumour from the paddock of the Jerez test in Spain this week, and reported by the Swiss newspaper Blick, McLaren boss Ron Dennis may have separated from his wife Lisa.The couple, who were spotted together at several grands prix last year, have three children; two daughters and a son.

пятница, 15 февраля 2008 г.

'It Will Be Hard To Stay Out Of The Bottom'

Giancarlo Fisichella is pleased with the testing performances of his Force India mount, and says the single seater should be even faster following an upcoming update."At the next test we will get the new aerodynamic package," he said, referring to the bodywork that will adorn the current test car in Melbourne next month.

Force India Continues Objection Against Customer Cars

Colin Kolles has confirmed reports that, even after the buyout of Spyker by Force India, the Silverstone based team will pursue arbitration against F1 rivals Super Aguri and Toro Rosso.In an interview with motorline.cc, the German boss said he still fervently believes that both the teams are using customer cars, which is not allowed in formula one.

Liuzzi Blames Others for Losing Formula One Ride

Vitantonio Liuzzi has pinned the blame for his departure from the formula one grid on Toro Rosso co-owner and former grand prix winner Gerhard Berger.With Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais taking his place at the Faenza based team for 2008, 27-year-old Liuzzi says he was pushed out because Berger, the Austrian veteran of more than 210 races, does not like him.

Singapore Taking Heat Over F1 Ticket Chaos

Potential Singapore grand prix night race goers endured a frustrating time on Thursday, as tickets went on sale for the inaugural event.The local New Straits Times describes the performance of Singapore's ticketing procedures as "complete chaos", as fervent ticket-buyers in some cases tried several times to book a seat - by phone, internet and in person - before giving up.

'It Is Obvious That The Cavillino Is In The Front'

Giancarlo Fisichella has confirmed the now common paddock sentiment that Ferrari is likely to dominate at least the early part of the looming 2008 season.Although the Italian team has been missing from the last couple of group tests as the F2008 circulated in Bahrain, Force India's Fisichella estimates that the Maranello based single seater maintains a margin over McLaren, the next quickest contender.

'Piquet's Gap To Alonso Is Shrinking'

Rookie formula one driver Nelson Piquet insists that, with each passing pre-season test day, he is closing the gap to his famous 2008 teammate, Fernando Alonso.At the beginning of the intensive winter period earlier this year, the 22-year-old - who now wants to drop the 'junior' from the end of his name - was often conspicuously slower than Spaniard Alonso, the French team's drivers' world champion of 2005 and 2006.

McLaren Add Ferrari-Style Wheel Covers

McLaren showed to have taken the aerodynamic 'wheel cover' concept to a new level as testing continued at the Jerez circuit on Thursday.Heikki Kovalainen's Mercedes-powered MP4-23 featured a new version of carbon fibre covers on the front wheels, and for the first time they include a piece that extends beyond the wheel rim and obscures part of the tyre wall.

Plans On Track for New Spanish F1 Circuit

Plans have now been finalised for a modern formula one-style circuit in the Spanish municipality of Alcaniz.The track, to be known as 'La Ciudad del Motor de Alcaniz', has been designed by the well-known F1 architect Hermann Tilke with the advisory input of McLaren's experienced Spanish test driver, Pedro de la Rosa.

четверг, 14 февраля 2008 г.

Senna Father Fined for Inhumane Treatment

The father of late triple world champion Ayrton Senna da Silva has been ordered to pay a fine for keeping workers in inhumane conditions, according to reports.The Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Milton da Silva, the wealthy Brazilian landowner and businessman, was accused of housing 82 employees in appalling living conditions.

Bahrain GP Rejects Need for Night Race

The general manager of Bahrain's formula one circuit has added his denial to reports that the race might in the future be staged at night.Organisers of the event at Sakhir have already played down chief operating officer Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa's recent claim that the circuit is "not opposed to the idea" of lighting the track.

'It Is Not Impossible That I Will Go Back There One Day'

Vitantonio Liuzzi has left Red Bull's formula one stable, but the Italian driver insists that his relationship with the energy drink company is not completely over."I still have links with Red Bull, and I still speak with (owner) Didi Mateschitz -- he thought it was okay that I leave Toro Rosso," the 27-year-old told the Austrian portal motorline.cc.

'The Last Step To Catch Up With Ferrari And Mclaren Requires A Lot Of Risk'

BMW Sauber has hit a speed-bump because of the "risk" required to make the final step to taking on F1's big two teams Ferrari and McLaren.That is the explanation of Nick Heidfeld, who recently broke the news that the German team's new single seater, the F1.08, had not been born with the same ease as its impressive 2007 predecessor.

'What Happened In Barcelona Was Not Typical'

Pedro de la Rosa says the behaviour of Spanish supporters at the Jerez test so far has been a perfect way to close the book on the Lewis Hamilton racism scandal.The Spaniard, who is a native of Barcelona, insists that the bad behaviour of a few Fernando Alonso fans recently does not mean that the region or country is generally racist.

FIA Launches Anti-Racism Campaign After One Incident

F1's governing body will launch an anti-racism campaign at the 2008 Spanish grand prix, the FIA confirmed on Wednesday.A spokesman for the Paris based body said the FIA feels compelled to act after witnessing the behaviour of some Spanish spectators at the recent Barcelona test, the same circuit that will host the Spanish grand prix in April.

'All Great Sports Men And Women Do Have Chinks'

Mark Webber has delivered a ringing endorsement of Fernando Alonso's return to Renault for 2008 -- and questioned whether Lewis Hamilton can have as good a season.Webber, who last year was often spotted in jovial conversation with former double world champion Alonso, recently wondered aloud if Hamilton, the Spaniard's 2007 teammate, was a "five-minute phenomenon".

среда, 13 февраля 2008 г.

Another New F1 Circuit

A new circuit in Portugal will be used for formula one testing, and the facility is also hopeful of capturing a round of the world championship.Two years ago, it emerged that a F1-style circuit in the Algarve, the southernmost region of mainland Portugal, was being planned with a budget of around 200m euros.

'It's Nice To Be In That Position'

As well as having seemingly the quickest car for the forthcoming season, Ferrari also boasts a particularly healthy financial outlook.The accounts of the Italian marque's manufacturer parent, Fiat, revealed recently that the famous Maranello sports car maker recorded sales of (euros) 496m last quarter, with a trading profit of 196m -- increases of more than 20 per cent.

'We Have Not Moved Closer To Mclaren And Ferrari'

Despite recent signs that BMW Sauber is making improvements to its 2008 car, the German team's drivers are not expecting to challenge Ferrari and McLaren for race wins early this season.As he began the penultimate test of the pre-season at Jerez on Tuesday, the Swiss newspaper Blick quoted Nick Heidfeld as predicting more time as F1's third force in 2008.

Ecclestone Protects McLaren

Despite finishing last in the 2007 constructors' championship, McLaren may this year avoid the indignity of occupying the last garage slot in the grand prix pitlanes of the world.As well as having the highest race numbers - in McLaren's case 22 and 23 in 2008 - finishing the previous year's teams' title last usually means having to take up residence in the farthest pit boxes at each circuit.

'Anyone Looking Remotely Like They Were Going To Cause Trouble Was Turned Away'

Two FIA transporters on Tuesday arrived at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain, giving rise to rumours that F1's governing body intends to conduct some anti-doping tests this week.It is also being suggested that the strong presence of the Paris based Federation at F1's penultimate pre-season test is a reaction to the racism scandal that broke out ten days ago at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

'You Might Have To Just Rise Above It'

Having declared last week that the racism controversy had saddened him, Lewis Hamilton on Tuesday was quoted as saying he intends to "rise above" the sort of abuse he faced ten days ago in Spain.For the first time since avid Fernando Alonso fans donned black makeup, scrawled abusive messages on banners and shouted racial insults at him in Barcelona, the McLaren driver on Tuesday resumed Spanish pre-season test duties at Jerez.

Bahrain Night Race Now Unlikely

Organisers of the Bahrain grand prix have backed away from reports that they are considering staging a formula one night race.The Sakhir circuit's chief operating officer Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa told the local Gulf Daily News this week that, unlike race chiefs in Melbourne, Bahrain is "not opposed" to the concept of lighting up the track.

'We Believe That Every Fan Will Behave As They Should'

For the first time since the racism scandal broke out in Barcelona recently, Lewis Hamilton will return to the Spanish winter test tracks on Tuesday.McLaren has scheduled three days of running for the 23-year-old at Jerez, in the south of the country, and Mercedes' racing boss Norbert Haug is not anticipating any more problems.

вторник, 12 февраля 2008 г.

Sauber F1 Cars Going to Auction

Fans of the grand prix team formerly run by Peter Sauber will soon be able to get their hands on one or more of the Swiss outfit's single seaters.It is reported by the German language news agency SID that several Sauber F1 cars will be up for grabs at Zurich's Kloten airport as of February 19.

Super Aguri To Start Season With Interim Car

Amid speculation about potential buyouts, financial trouble, test absences and an uncertain driver lineup, finally some good news about Super Aguri has emerged -- the team's 2008 car, the SA08, has reportedly passed the mandatory FIA crash and homologation tests.Japanese driver Takuma Sato said recently that the Honda-powered squad should be back in action at the upcoming Jerez test.