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.

'I Have Not Fully Understood What Went On'

Felipe Massa has played down the racism scandal involving Lewis Hamilton as an overblown war between the British and Spanish press.The Brazilian driver, who did not attend the Barcelona test because Ferrari was preparing to run for six days in Bahrain, told La Gazzetta dello Sport that the reported instances of racial abuse against Hamilton by spectators was "ugly".

'Issues With The Front Wing Mounting Have Been Resolved'

Williams' 2008 contenders on Monday did not encounter a repeat of the front wing mounting problems that marred the British team's running in Barcelona a week ago.Before most other formula one teams commence running at the southern Spanish circuit at Jerez on Tuesday, Oxfordshire based Williams - with two FW30s in action - and Red Bull began the test on Monday.

'Basically We Have To Make The Car Faster'

Pedro de la Rosa has praised McLaren's new car for 2008, but admits that engineers are busily trying to make the MP4-23 go quicker.It is widely reported that Ferrari currently possesses the fastest of the newly revealed 2008 grid, and de la Rosa - McLaren's veteran Spanish tester - agrees that the only missing element to his team's new racer is a mite more performance.

'There Are Teams That Have Not Shown All Of Their Cards'

Pedro de la Rosa believes some formula one teams are yet to display their true level of competitiveness in pre-season testing -- and Renault could be one of them.The McLaren test driver agrees that the Mercedes-powered team and Ferrari are a step ahead of the rest with their 2008 machines, but thinks winter testing so far has not told the full story about the likely pecking order in 2008.

Bahrain to host big F1 names for Forum

Bahrain's formula one circuit will host the first Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East on April 1 and 2 -- the week of the grand prix in Sakhir. Team principals for McLaren, Honda, Red Bull, Williams, Force India and possibly Ferrari, and 500 delegates, will be there, organisers said.It will be the first time the annual event takes place outside of Monaco.

Melbourne Australia's Only Grand Prix Option

Bernie Ecclestone has poured cold water on claims that the interest of rival city Sydney could rescue the beleaguered Australian grand prix.Melbourne chiefs have made it clear that they will not bow to the F1 chief executive's demands for a night race, which could mean that, in 2011, Australia could be without a championship round for the first time since 1984.

понедельник, 11 февраля 2008 г.

FIA Boss Sez Spanish Grand Prix Could Be Pulled

The racial abuse of McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was not a one-off, his father and manager has told the president of F1's governing body.Following the controversial events of the recent Barcelona test, Max Mosley, FIA president, revealed that Anthony Hamilton told him that his 23-year-old son was also taunted by Spanish supporters at the Chinese grand prix last year.

Bahrain Not Opposed to Night Race

Bosses of the Bahrain grand prix are discussing the possibility of following in the footsteps of Singapore and Malaysia in organising a formula one night race.The Sakhir circuit's chief operating officer Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa told the local Gulf Daily News that, unlike race chiefs in Melbourne, Bahrain is "not opposed" to the concept of lighting up the track.

'Honestly That Was Never An Option For Me'

Giancarlo Fisichella has confirmed rumours that he turned down the chance to become a test driver for top teams in 2008.Even though the Roman veteran is determined that Force India will not have the slowest car this season, many paddock observers believe Fisichella, 35, should have retired rather than fall to the back of the grid with one of F1's smallest teams.

Fast F2008 To Get Faster ?

As Ferrari, and particularly Kimi Raikkonen, already display an apparently obvious level of dominance, the Italian team's 2008 car could be set for some radical treatment as the final test days before Melbourne draw near.It is reported in the Italian magazine Autosprint that, before the F2008's Australian grand prix specification is finalised, an unique solution at the front of the red single seater will be tested in Spain.

F-India Seeking Legal Action Against Super Aguri, Toro Rosso

Even after the sale of the Spyker team to Force India, team boss Colin Kolles is determined to press ahead with a legal claim against F1 rivals Super Aguri and Toro Rosso.Almost one year ago, Kolles announced that he would pursue the teams in arbitration for the alleged illegality of their 2007 single seaters, arguing that they are nearly direct copies of cars designed and built by their parent teams.

Ecclestone Ready to Drop Australia For Russian GP

Bernie Ecclestone is determined to scratch Australia from the F1 calendar so as to make room for a Russian grand prix in the near future, according to reports.After Melbourne GP chiefs ruled out bowing to the F1 chief executive's demands for a night race beyond 2010, the British tabloid Daily Mirror claims that 77-year-old Ecclestone will now travel to St Petersburg to discuss holding a race in the Russian city in 2010.

'The Team Won't Be Panicking Any More'

Ross Brawn has revealed that he is unlikely to get involved in orchestrating Honda's strategic calls at grands prix in 2008.The Japanese outfit's new team principal is renowned for his brilliance on the pitwall and in the engineers' rooms during his time as Ferrari technical director until 2006.

воскресенье, 10 февраля 2008 г.

Barrichello, Beckham Partnership

Rubens Barrichello is involved in British football star David Beckham's newly unveiled 'David Beckham World of Sport' complex in Brazil.The luxury resort near the north eastern city of Natal will include the Rubens Barrichello Driving Experience, complete with a go-kart track and a racing scholarship programme.

FIA Boss May Retire

Max Mosley will decide whether to seek re-election as president of F1's governing body, the FIA, in October this year.October 2008 is twelve months before the Paris-based body, made up of motor sport clubs from around the world, is set to decide on its new chief.

Raikkonen Talks About Retirement

2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen suspects that he will never again be a feature of the formula one driver market.The 28-year-old Finn has told a Spanish newspaper that he will more than likely end his career with Ferrari, either at the close of the 2009 season, or beyond.

'We Have Understeer And Oversteer, And Too Much Of Both'

Nick Heidfeld has gone into more detail about the problems facing BMW-Sauber's newly launched F1.08 single seater in winter testing.Despite the German squad targeting a maiden victory this season, the 2008 car has usually been outpaced by its predecessor, the F1.07, on Spanish test circuits so far.

Massa Refuses to Admit Raikkonen Is Better

The only missing ingredient in Felipe Massa's championship campaign last year was luck, according to the Brazilian Ferrari driver.Massa, 26, surprised the formula one world by matching the performance of his highly rated new teammate Kimi Raikkonen early in 2007, before ultimately supporting the Finn's successful title charge.

Record Crowds Gather for Valencia F1 Test

Fernando Alonso's countrymen flocked in unprecedented numbers to the Spanish test circuit at Valencia on Tuesday.Local newspapers said the crowd tipped the scales at 38,000, who gathered on a public holiday to see the former double world champion and ten formula one teams prepare for the 2008 season.

F1 Spies Beware... BANISHMENT!

Max Mosley has warned that the next formula one team found guilty of espionage could be thrown out of the sport. "Next time, whoever it was, I don't think they would stay in the championship," the FIA president said in an interview with F1's official website.

суббота, 9 февраля 2008 г.

Alonso More Comfortable This Week

Flavio Briatore on Tuesday seemed unperturbed after Fernando Alonso took Renault's new 2008 challenger to just sixth place on the Valencia test time sheets.As the pre-season action at the Spanish circuit hotted up in front of 38,000 of Alonso's countrymen, the ever impressive Ferraris locked out the pace.

I Own a Mansion And I'm Looking For a Yacht

Hot on the heels of his new multi-million dollar McLaren deal, Lewis Hamilton has been spotted shopping for a luxury yacht.The British tabloid The Sun on Monday published photos of the 23-year-old McLaren driver perusing the deck of a 'Sunseeker 90' at the London Boat Show.

Alonso Back In Action With Renault

After a one year absence, Fernando Alonso returned to the wheel of a Renault single seater on Tuesday at Jerez.In dry conditions at the Spanish circuit, the 26-year-old former double world champion joined the action at the first major group test of 2008, in a 2007-specification R27.

Coulthard to Debut RB4 on Wednesday

David Coulthard will have the honour of giving Red Bull Racing's new car for 2008, the RB4, its maiden track outing at Jerez on Wednesday.Mark Webber, the Scot's Australian teammate, will continue driving the team's 2007 car after the launch at Jerez, in the sherry-producing south of Spain.

Super Aguri Rumors Run Wild

Another potential bidder for the embattled Japanese team Super Aguri may have emerged, according to reports.The website of the American broadcaster Speed TV cites rumours suggesting that a Russian consortium has entered the frame as the team run by Aguri Suzuki struggles to prepare for the 2008 season.

The Schumacher's Happiest Celebrities

Michael Schumacher and his wife Corinna are the most happily married couple in Germany, a survey in a women's magazine has found. Almost ten per cent of the 1000 respondents in the magazine Frau im Spiegel voted for the pair over 49 other celebrity couples, also including actors and politicians.

South African Media Slams Renault F1 Sponsorship

South Africa's Gauteng province on Monday had to reject criticism that its formula one sponsorship of the Renault team is a waste of taxpayers' money.It was announced recently that the French squad had entered a one-year partnership to promote Gauteng and increase tourism, job creation and the economy.

пятница, 8 февраля 2008 г.

McLaren Supplied ECU Causing Honda Problems

Leading figures of the formula one team Honda admit that their challenger for the 2008 season, the newly launched RA108, is not performing strongly in its initial testing phase.The white and green single seater, albeit reliable, spent the entire weekend at Circuit de Catalunya among the slowest test runners.

'To Drive A Car Like This F2008 Is Fantastic'

Reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen has delivered a cheerful assessment of Ferrari's new car for the 2008 season.After an impressive display for the Italian team so far in winter testing, including a frightening turn of speed this week in Bahrain, the 28-year-old Finn heralded the F2008 as a "really quick" racing car.

Force India Another New Livery

The formula one team Force India on Thursday presented its livery for the 2008 season in Mumbai.The gold, silver, red and white design, adorning a version of the team's Dutch predecessor Spyker that has been renamed VJM01 for this season, was unveiled in a glamorous affair in front of the famous 26-metre Gateway of India monument on the seafront.

The Honda Bonus Plan!

Honda has promised its hundreds of formula one staff a $2000 bonus should Jenson Button or Rubens Barrichello win a race in 2008.The move, that would cost the Brackley based team in excess of $1.5m per victory, would apply not only to mechanics and engineers but also to the cleaners of the Brackley factory, according to the team's HR director John Marsden.

'We Wanted to Have a Laugh'

A Spanish fan at the centre of the racism storm involving Lewis Hamilton insists he did not intend to offend the McLaren driver or trigger an international furore.Toni Calderon, one of the Fernando Alonso supporters who donned black boot polish on their faces and wigs in the Barcelona grandstands last weekend, has told a Spanish newspaper that the stunt was meant to be funny.

McLaren Bosses Summoned For Questioning By Prosecutors

Leading figures of the British formula one team McLaren have been summoned for questioning by Italian prosecutors, as the criminal espionage investigation involving Ferrari continues.Even though F1's governing body has drawn a line under the affair from a sporting point of view, the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that magistrate Guiseppe Tibis wants to speak with Ron Dennis, Martin Whitmarsh and two other senior members of the Woking based team, on February 18.

Ecclestone Complaining Again About Silverstone

Bernie Ecclestone has taken the wind out of reports that the future of the British grand prix this week took a turn for the better.It emerged on Tuesday that South Northamptonshire council's cabinet committee has adopted the British Racing Drivers' Club's plans to significantly improve the facilities at Silverstone.

четверг, 7 февраля 2008 г.

Williams May Base Test Team in Spain

British formula one team Williams is to base its test team near the Valencia circuit on the eastern Spanish coast, it is reported.The newspaper Diario AS says an agreement has nearly been reached with the local authority, the Generalitat Valenciana, in exchange for giving young Spanish race drivers the opportunity to test Williams' F1 cars.

A1-Ring Major Renovation Called Off

The proposed redevelopment of Austria's defunct formula one circuit, formerly known as the A1-Ring, has again been scrapped.Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz's original $800m project at Spielberg had to be axed, but new plans were subsequently devised to redevelop the circuit after the grandstands and pit buildings were demolished following the last grand prix in 2003.

New Aero, and Mechinical Parts 'Clearly Improve the BMW'

Polish grand prix driver Robert Kubica says BMW-Sauber is getting to the bottom of the early handling problems experienced with the team's new car for 2008.The 23-year-old's veteran German teammate, Nick Heidfeld, revealed recently that despite hopes that the F1.08 could net BMW's maiden victory this year, the car had a tough birth on the winter test tracks.

We Can Steer The Car Much More Accurately Now

Nick Heidfeld has backed teammate Robert Kubica's claim this week that BMW-Sauber is making progress with the performance of its new car for 2008, the F1.08.Shortly after the car made its test debut last month, 30-year-old Heidfeld expressed concern that the handling was not as good as its predecessor, the F1.07, which powered the team to second in the 2007 constructors' title.

F1 Rookie Lands Private Plane

Five weeks before his debut grand prix in Australia, Brazilian rookie Nelson Piquet Jr has taken delivery of a private jet.The 22-year-old, who is the son of triple world champion and namesake Nelson Piquet, received the keys to the plane on Wednesday from Rui Thomaz de Aquino, the president of the Brazilian airline TAM, according to the German news agency DPA.

Hamilton in Grenada

Just days after the Spanish racism storm, Lewis Hamilton has travelled to the country of his paternal grandfather's origin -- Grenada.The McLaren driver, taunted as a 'p--- negro' (f------ black) and 'negro de m-----' (black s---) by spectators at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya last weekend, appeared in the Caribbean island nation to celebrate its 34th anniversary of independence from Britain, reports said.

Report Claims Renault Will Run Radical Wing

Renault will introduce a radical new rear wing concept when the 2008 season kicks off in Australia next month, a source close to the French team has said.The anonymous source told the Dutch website f1today.nl that the French squad has decided not to use the wing in pre-season testing so that rival teams cannot copy it.

BMW Names Testers

Christian Klien has signed to become BMW-Sauber's main test and reserve driver in 2008.The Austrian 24-year-old, who tested for Honda last year, will be supported in the role by Estonian rookie Marko Asmer, who has signed to become a second junior test driver, the German squad announced in a statement.

среда, 6 февраля 2008 г.

Renault Adds Former F1 Driver As Tester

Renault on Monday announced that Sakon Yamamoto, the 25-year-old Japanese who has raced for Super Aguri and Spyker, has been signed as a test driver for the 2008 season.He will conduct development work and play a role in the French team's 'Roadshow' programme of demonstration events, Renault outlined in a statement.

Renault Testing at Menorca with di Grassi

Renault on Tuesday began conducting straight line tests on the Spanish island of Menorca, but speculation suggesting Fernando Alonso would be in action proved wide of the mark.Instead, the French team's test driver Luca di Grassi piloted the R28 single seater up and down the Mahon airfield runway, testing the car particularly under heavy acceleration and braking.

Mercedes Boss Downplays Ralf's Transition to DTM

Ralf Schumacher is this week back in action for Mercedes-Benz, increasing the likelihood that the former grand prix winner will race in the German touring car series (DTM) in 2008.According to publications including Cologne's Express and the German national Bild, the 32-year-old's latest three-day run at the Estoril circuit, concluding on Thursday in Portugal, was intended to be secret.

Alonso Resigned to Fighting For Podiums

Fernando Alonso has reignited speculation that his future lies at Ferrari by suggesting that he would already like to be piloting the Italian team's newly launched F2008."At the moment they have the best car and that is why everyone wants to be in the places of Kimi and Massa," the Spaniard said in an interview with the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell.

'We Are Still Far From Where We Want It To Be For The First Race'

Kimi Raikkonen continued to set a blistering pace on Tuesday as formula one testing continued in Bahrain.After on Monday beating the pole position time set at the Sakhir circuit last April, the Finn and reigning world champion on Tuesday went nearly two more seconds quicker for an unofficial circuit record at the wheel of Ferrari's new F2008 during a qualifying run.

Spanish Racists Continue Attack Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton will return to Spain for two more pre-season tests in February, despite the continuing racist abuse directed towards formula one's only black driver."We will monitor events very closely at the forthcoming formula one tests," a spokesman for the governing FIA told The Guardian on Tuesday, in anticipation of Hamilton's upcoming run at Jerez and, late this month, back at Circuit de Catalunya.

'It Was Always Clear That We Would Not Be Letting Him Go To McLaren'

Williams team co-owner Patrick Head has acknowledged that the Grove squad stands to lose Nico Rosberg if the young German is not given a front-running car to race.Rosberg, 22, recently inked a new contract to keep him at the Toyota-powered outfit until the end of next year. He warned that if he is not firmly a front runner by then, he will search for an alternative employer.

Politicians Take Sides Regarding French Grand Prix

Formula one has emerged as a leading topic in the French municipal election campaign in Versailles.The French national daily Le Figaro on Monday ran a page-two article titled "(F1) in pole position in the campaign", outlining how efforts to move the country's formula one race to the wealthy Paris suburb is now a central debate by political candidates.

вторник, 5 февраля 2008 г.

Super Aguri Expected to Return to Track Next Week

Super Aguri may soon be back in action at pre-season test circuits, the team's Japanese driver Takuma Sato suggested on Monday.The 31-year-old told his official website that although the small Honda-powered squad has been grappling with "financial difficulties", it is scheduled that Super Aguri will be in action for the first time in 2008 at Jerez early next week.

Barcelona Circuit Implementing New Procedures To Protect Hamilton

Spain's motor racing federation (RFEA), and the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, have condemned the racist abuse of Lewis Hamilton by spectators at the formula one test at the weekend.The statements come after the sport's governing FIA warned of possible sanctions, including threats to the status of Spain's two grands prix, at Barcelona and the port city, Valencia.

British, Spanish Media Hurl Insults At Each Other Over Racism Coverage

The formula one racism scandal involving Lewis Hamilton has turned into a media slanging match between Britain and Spain, as both accuse the other side of wielding the more serious prejudices.English tabloid The Sun published photos of spectators at the Circuit de Catalunya wearing black makeup and wigs, while the Times accused the Spanish media of "overlooking" the vile incident.

Sydney Trying To Lure Formula One ?

The premier of rival Australian state New South Wales has expressed interest in poaching the embattled Australian grand prix from Melbourne.Victorian premier John Brumby is believed reluctant to pen a contract to keep the race at Albert Park beyond 2010 on similar terms, as F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone warns that other countries are likely to occupy Australia's annual calendar slot in the future.

Raikkonen Faster Than 2007 Pole In Testing

Ferrari's rivals should tremble at the "lightening" speed shown by the Italian team's 2008 car as a long winter test kicked off in Bahrain on Monday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.The Italian sports daily reveals that, on two runs, reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen - circulating as per this season's rules without driver aids - went quicker than teammate Felipe Massa's pole position time set at the same Sakhir circuit last April.

UK Minister Questions Whether Spain Should Host a Grand Prix

UK sport minister Gerry Sutcliffe has promised to widen the Lewis Hamilton racism scandal by writing to his government counterparts in Spain.Britain reacted with horror to the translations of foul language and banners directed at F1's only black driver last weekend, and angrily published photos of Spanish test spectators - also accused of throwing rubbish at the McLaren team - at the Circuit de Catalunya mockingly wearing black makeup and curly wigs.

FIA Demands Explanation Regarding Hamilton Abuse

F1's governing body has demanded an explanation from its Spanish counterparts after Lewis Hamilton was racially taunted at the recent Barcelona test.Publications on Monday reported that Spain's motor racing federation, the RFEA, has been instructed to produce a full report into the events at Circuit de Catalunya, where Hamilton and his McLaren team were treated as hate figures by a large partisan crowd.

Beemers Not Satisfied With Lap Times

BMW-Sauber boss Mario Theissen on Sunday admitted that the team is still working to extract the full potential of the newly launched 2008 car. "We are not yet satisfied with the lap times," the German told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper as the Swiss based outfit tests at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.-

понедельник, 4 февраля 2008 г.

Red Bull Gets Radical

Red Bull tried a radical bodywork innovation on its new 2008 car, the RB4, as the three day weekend group test at Circuit de Catalunya kicked off on Friday.Photographed while circulating in the hands of Mark Webber, the prominent rudder-like fin extends the rear of the car's engine cover towards the rear wing.

Nakajima Unhurt In Spearing Crash

Williams stopped German driver Nico Rosberg's test programme on Friday after his Japanese teammate Kazuki Nakajima crashed heavily in the team's 2008 car.Nakajima was unhurt when his Toyota-powered FW30 speared at high speed into the barriers at turn one of the Circuit de Catalunya, the venue for a three day weekend test outside Barcelona.

VW Won't Enter Formula One Because Of Unstable Rules

Volkswagen's motor racing representative Hans-Joachim Stuck on Sunday ruled out the Wolfsburg-based marque entering formula one within the next four or five years. The 57-year-old former grand prix driver said the sport was not attractive to the world's fourth largest car manufacturer because of F1's current period of "rules instability", according to the German news agency SID.

Australian GP Downplays Ecclestone's Threats

Australian grand prix chief Ron Walker has played down Bernie Ecclestone's warning about the dubious future of the Melbourne race.Ecclestone, F1's 77-year-old chief executive, was on Saturday quoted as suggesting the sport may move away from Australia after 2010 because the Victorian government, sponsors and manufacturers would prefer if the annual calendar spot was instead filled by Russia, India or Korea.

FIA Surprised At Abuse Directed At Lewis Hamilton

F1's governing body on Sunday night said it will not tolerate a repeat of the racial abuse directed at Lewis Hamilton by Spanish spectators at the recent Barcelona test.A spokesman for the Paris based FIA told publications that it had noted the events of the three-day session at Circuit de Catalunya, during which supporters of Fernando Alonso threw rubbish at McLaren personnel and screamed abuse at Hamilton.

Spanish Banners Target Hamilton's Race

Spanish formula one supporters at the Barcelona test this weekend hurled rubbish and insults at McLaren, and racial abuse at 2007 championship runner-up Lewis Hamilton.Extra security guards were called to the Circuit de Catalunya venue and temporary barriers erected, abusive banners were removed from grandstands, and circuit officials called for calm, following a series of events as eight of the sport's eleven teams prepared for the 2008 season in Spain.

F1 Boss Ready to Kill Another Tradition

Formula one is not likely to return to Australia after the expiry of the current contract in 2010, the sport's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has said.After the country's first world championship round was held in 1985 in Adelaide, subsequently switching to Melbourne in 1996, the 77-year-old told News Ltd. that the lure of attractive alternative destinations like India, Russia and Korea is too strong to ignore.

Montoya Still Winning

Juan Pablo Montoya on Sunday secured his second consecutive Daytona 24 hour race victory.Alongside teammates Dario Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, the former Williams and McLaren racer is one of only three drivers ever to win major events in sports cars, American open wheelers, F1 and NASCAR.

воскресенье, 3 февраля 2008 г.

Hamilton Still Whining About Alonso

Lewis Hamilton says he will use Fernando Alonso's behaviour at McLaren last year as an example of how not to behave in formula one.The 23-year-old Briton started his career alongside Alonso last year, before the double world champion and Spaniard became alienated from his colleagues and bosses.

Massa Happy with Quiet and Smooth Preseason

Felipe Massa says Ferrari's preparations for 2008 are proceeding "smoother" than on the eve of the successful previous campaign.So far in pre-season testing, the Italian team's new F2008 single seater has been a standout performer, even though Heikki Kovalainen set easily the quickest time at Valencia on Wednesday.

Barcelona To Be Resurfaced

Circuit de Catalunya officials have announced that a series of minor changes will be made ahead of the F1 and MotoGP races in 2008 on request of the respective series' governing bodies. These include resurfacing, asphalting in some run-off zones, and tyre barrier, kerb and artificial grass improvements.Array

More F1 Team Sale Rumors

Dietrich Mateschitz has once again denied claims that Toro Rosso is on the verge of being sold.The Austrian billionaire owns Red Bull Racing and he also took over Minardi at the end of 2005, re-branding it Scuderia Toro Rosso before countryman Gerhard Berger bought a 50 per cent share.

Alonso Not Worried About Loss of Traction Control

Fernando Alonso has distanced himself from some drivers' fears that the ban on traction control is set to make formula one more dangerous.David Coulthard has been the most vocally opposed to taking away driver aids that make racing in conditions like last year's Japanese grand prix safer.

'The Less That Is Talked About It The Better'

Fernando Alonso has finally returned fire at his former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton.The former double world champion, who left the British team after a tumultuous single season alongside rookie Hamilton in 2007, made clear to English-speaking media on Thursday that he would not be talking about those shattered relationships.

Photo Leak Reveals New Williams Livery

A new sponsor of the Williams team has apparently accidentally revealed the British team's tweaked livery for the 2008 season.The Oxfordshire based outfit intended to make public its new paint job just prior to the Australian season opener, after opting against a formal launch for the FW30 single seater.

'A Good And Promising Start'

Nico Rosberg is delighted with the early progress of Williams' new car for 2008, the FW30.The Toyota-powered single seater made its track debut this week over four days at Valencia, and Rosberg and his 2008 teammate Kazuki Nakajima spent the balance of the test not far from the leading pace.

суббота, 2 февраля 2008 г.

'Our Target Is To Have The Race At Night Next Year'

March's Malaysian grand prix is likely to be the last race at the Sepang circuit to be held in sunlight.The chairman of the circuit located outside Kuala-Lumpur told the local newspaper New Straits Times on Tuesday that he is investigating the possibility of a floodlit night race for 2009.

Minor Changes to Bridgestone F1 Tires

Bridgestone will this year supply to formula one teams essentially the same tyres as in 2007.Although the Japanese marque was the only tyre company in F1 last season due to the withdrawal of Michelin, 2008 marks the official beginning of Bridgestone's three year tenure as the sport's mandatory sole supplier.

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GP2 Driver Disappointed After Honda Snub

Mike Conway and Luca Filippi have been handed 'Young Driver' status by the Honda formula one team.The news means the pair, from Britain and Italy respectively and both active GP2 racers, will test for the Japanese squad in 2008, as the testing agreement allows for addition mileage for inexperienced drivers.

Hamilton Slammed For Mixed Messages

A Spanish newspaper has slammed Lewis Hamilton for sending out mixed messages about his attitude to former McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso.In recent days, the 2007 championship runner-up expressed doubt that Alonso, the Spaniard and former double world champion, would be able to single-handedly bring Renault back to the front this year.

Super Aguri Needs Pay Driver, Honda Won't Approve

Super Aguri and parent team Honda have reportedly clashed over Super Aguri's deliberations about its 2008 driver lineup.Leafield based Super Aguri is yet to name its drivers for the forthcoming season, amid rumours that it is considering dropping Anthony Davidson to hire a driver with links to a potential buyout consortium.

McLaren Boss Commited to Driver Equality

Ron Dennis has confirmed that McLaren's 2008 driver lineup, Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen, will be treated equally this season.The British team's principal and chairman made the comments following speculation that Hamilton would be 'number one' at the Mercedes-powered outfit, in the wake of double world champion Fernando Alonso's premature departure.

Villeneuve, Manager Split Up

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has split with his long time manager Craig Pollock.The pair have been friends and associates for decades, from his formative days in America's open wheeler scene, through their collaboration with the formula one team BAR, and most recently as Villeneuve, 36, forges a new career in NASCAR.

'Knowledge Of Details Of Another Car Has Only Limited Value'

Despite being a recurring figure of the espionage scandal last year, Ross Brawn has played down the gravity of spying in formula one.The former Ferrari technical director was cited by Nigel Stepney last year as having triggered his desire to leave the Maranello based team and collate information with Mike Coughlan.

пятница, 1 февраля 2008 г.

Kubica Makes Top Earnings List in Poland

Robert Kubica has emerged with a podium finish on a ranking of Poland's highest earning sports stars.The Polish newspaper Super Express found that with an annual income of 5.5 million Zloty (US $2.2m), the 23-year-old from Krakow earns less than countrymen Jerzy Dudek (football, Real Madrid), and Artur Boruc, the goalkeeper for Celtic.

Hamilton Won't Credit Alonso If Renault Revives

Lewis Hamilton has echoed predictions that Fernando Alonso's return to Renault in 2008 will not necessarily bring the French squad back into contention for the world championship.To the German news agency SID, the 23-year-old McLaren driver predicts that his Woking based employer and Ferrari are likely to again set the pace this year.

Former F1 Driver to DTM ?

After leaving Honda and missing out on a Force India vacancy, Christian Klien is still without a drive in motor racing for the 2008 season.The 24-year-old Austrian has confirmed that he has not yet concluded a deal to race in the DTM series this year, after testing recently for Mercedes-Benz at the Estoril circuit.

'Hamilton Was Not Happy At All Where He Was'

Bernie Ecclestone has accused McLaren of last year fouling countryman Lewis Hamilton's attempt to become F1's first ever rookie world champion.The sport's chief executive said it was the British team run by Ron Dennis, rather than 23-year-old Hamilton himself, that spoiled the young Briton's chances to succeed Fernando Alonso as reigning title winner.

'There Is And Has Never Been A Timeframe Associated With Honda's Involvement'

No executive deadline has been set for Honda to succeed in formula one, according to the team's British chief executive, Nick Fry.After embarrassingly becoming the sport's least competitive works manufacturer in 2007, Fry said Honda chiefs in Tokyo have not imposed a timeframe by when the team must be back at the front of the field.

'There Is Nothing In The Contract, Nothing Strange'

Flavio Briatore on Thursday refused to formalise speculation that Fernando Alonso has been promised 'number one' status by the Renault team in 2008.As the French team's new car, the R28, was unveiled outside Paris, talk quickly turned to former double world champion Alonso's McLaren spat last year, and how Renault might handle its driver lineup differently this year.

Di Grasssi To Conduct Majority of Renault's Development Work

Lucas di Grassi will be Renault's primary test driver this season, the French team confirmed on Thursday.At the launch of the outfit's 2008 campaign in south-west Paris, it emerged that di Grassi, the 23-year-old Brazilian who finished second in last year's GP2 championship, will "conduct the majority of the team's development work" alongside racers Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr this season.

FIA to Pressure For Quick Stewards Decisions

F1's governing body decided to shake up the stewarding system for 2008 to speed up the trackside decision-making process, Max Mosley told reporters in London on Monday.It emerged recently that the FIA would not in 2008 nominate a replacement for outgoing permanent race steward Tony-Scott Andrews, who commenced the role just two years ago.