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.