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DATE News (chronologically)
03/16/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Symonds plays down chance of Renault pole
  • Sutil weighs into customer car argument
  • Singapore denies Melbourne GP steal
  • Protest won't reduce Sunday's GP grid
  • Wurz would be happy with tenth

Symonds plays down chance of Renault pole
Renault's engineering chief Pat Symonds on Saturday afternoon played down the prospect of securing pole position in the qualifying hour at Albert Park.

The Enstone based team has surprised many observers with its long-run and even its single lap pace so far in Melbourne.

Giancarlo Fisichella's best time was bettered only by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in the final practice session prior to qualifying at 2pm.

But Symonds told 'Premiere': "We are not counting on pole position. Our focus is on putting our cars in the first few rows and then having a good race.

"We are looking better than a lot of people thought. Perhaps second place is a little flattering, because Fernando (Alonso) made a mistake on his fastest lap -- and Ferrari is clearly ahead."

Sutil weighs into customer car argument
Spyker rookie Adrian Sutil could not resist weighing into the 'customer car' argument after Super Aguri's Anthony Davidson went an astonishing fourth quickest on Saturday morning.

His Dutch team owners are tipped to be backed by Williams in officially protesting the legality of the Aguri, Toro Rosso and Red Bull cars after qualifying.

Referring to Super Aguri's newly launched SA07, Sutil told 'Premiere': "I am not surprised that they are fast because it is last year's Honda with some new things on it too.

"It is really bad for us because they are our rivals."

Singapore denies Melbourne GP steal
The head of a visiting grand prix delegation from Singapore on Saturday denied that the Asian island-state is trying to steal the Australian grand prix from Melbourne.

"We're not trying to come here or anywhere else with a hatchet to knock out somebody else's race," Michael Roche said at Albert Park.

"We've come to learn because of the brilliant job that Melbourne's done.

"We'd rather be complementary than be an adversary."

It is rumored, however, that a possible Singapore threat has led Australian promoter Ron Walker to seriously consider F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone's request for a night-race -- the first of which could be seen in 2008.

Ecclestone, also in Melbourne to investigate the logistical possibility of lighting up Albert Park, said: "We lose a large proportion of our TV audience in Europe because of the time (difference).

"They (Australian promoters) should think about it."

Protest won't reduce Sunday's GP grid
Spyker's looming protest against the legality of rival cars is unlikely to result in a reduced grid for the Australian GP.

F1 supremo is at Albert Park this weekend and told American broadcaster Speed TV: "I don't think the stewards will decide.

"I think they'll decide it's perhaps a bit complicated, and send it to the World Council or something."

Ecclestone, 76, visited all the involved teams' garages in Melbourne on Saturday and reported that a last minute compromise is now unlikely to be found prior to the end of the qualifying hour at 3pm.

Wurz would be happy with tenth
Williams' Alex Wurz on Saturday expects to qualify about tenth for the Australian grand prix.

The returning Austrian logged very competitive lap times on Friday, but in the final pre-qualifying practice session today trailed the pace by more than a second.

"I think that is more like it," Wurz told us behind the pits at Albert Park.

"I would be happy with that (on the grid)."

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