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Latest F1 news in brief
  • McLaren 'humiliated' Ferrari - press
  • Davidson not thinking about future
  • F1 should open calendar in US - Haug
  • Alonso exit doesn't explain Renault decline
  • Briatore gets love letter for birthday
  • Floor saga did not slow Ferrari - Alonso
  • No bids for Spyker sponsorship

McLaren 'humiliated' Ferrari - press
(GMM) Fernando Alonso and McLaren "humiliated" Ferrari by leading a one-two victory at Sepang on Sunday.

That was how the Spanish newspaper 'Marca' described 25-year-old Alonso's maiden win for the Woking based team, despite the earlier dominance of the scarlet cars and Felipe Massa in the Malaysian heat.

Marca poked fun at Massa's "ridiculous" errors in letting both McLarens past at the first corner and then going off the track trying to re-pass the English rookie Lewis Hamilton.

Referring to Alonso, the newspaper wrote: "Nobody would have counted on a victory for the Spaniard."

Another Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, agreed that for Ferrari it was a "devastating" afternoon near Kuala Lumpur.

French daily sports 'paper L'Equipe chose to praise McLaren's new silver clad pair, after Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya and Pedro de la Rosa failed to deliver a single win in 2006.

"Should we now wonder if Fernando and Lewis make up the very best driving pair in formula one?"

'Le Parisien' agreed: "Alonso is back."

Davidson not thinking about future
(GMM) Super Aguri rookie Anthony Davidson says he is not yet thinking about retaining a seat on the formula one grid next year.

Three disjointed grand prix appearances aside, the 27-year-old Briton toiled as Honda's test driver for six years until he landed a full time seat at the Japanese squad's satellite team for 2007.

He famously struggled to the finish with back pain in Australia, and Sunday in Malaysia was again difficult for Davidson as he coped with the 'flu and trailed his Japanese teammate Takuma Sato.

Asked by the Times newspaper about his future, however, he said: "I'm not focusing on next year at all. It's just race by race.

"I know what I can do in the car, what I've done before and I've just got to do it again this year -- and as early as possible."

F1 should open calendar in US - Haug
(GMM) A season opener in the United States would make more sense for F1's annual calendar.

That is the belief of Norbert Haug, who argues that too many of the sport's core European viewers opt to stay in bed rather than tune-in to the first couple of races in Australia and Malaysia.

If F1 opened its season in America or Brazil, Mercedes' competition chief told the news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst (sid), Europeans would enjoy a prime-time race rather than a television slot in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

"In Germany alone, we would have perhaps 15 million spectators watching instead of just three million, who have to wake up so early," the German said.

Alonso exit doesn't explain Renault decline
(GMM) A boss of the French squad has played down suggestions that Renault's fall from grace in 2007 is simply due to the departure of world champion Fernando Alonso.

It is oddly coincidental that as the Spaniard switched as a back to back title winner from Renault to McLaren for 2007, the Enstone based team almost instantly struggled for pace.

McLaren, on the other hand - with Alonso on the top step of the podium - dominated Sunday's Malaysian grand prix, after failing to win a single race in 2006.

But Renault team manager Steve Nielsen denied that simply missing Alonso can explain the team's massive drop in performance compared to last year.

"If (the deficit) was two or three tenths, I'd say it could be that," Nielsen said, adding that Renault's deficit to the frontrunners is actually more like a second and a half per lap.

He insisted: "Fernando, good as he is, is not worth that much."

Renault chiefs have already admitted struggling to adapt to Bridgestone tires over the winter, but team principal Flavio Briatore suggested in Malaysia that the problem is lagging development in all areas.

He said Renault sacrificed crucial development time in preparation for this year by trying to beat Ferrari to the 2006 titles.

"Now we are a little bit late, we know that, and we need to recover quickly," the Italian said.

Briatore gets love letter for birthday
(GMM) Flavio Briatore will celebrate his 57th birthday on Thursday at the scene of the Bahrain grand prix.

The Renault boss' girlfriend, 27-year-old nude and swimsuit model Elisabetta Gregoraci, surprised Briatore this week with a novel present -- an open love letter published by the Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It is hard to know what gift to give you. Everything I think of, you have it already!" Gregoraci, professing her love for the Italian after a year of their relationship, wrote.

Floor saga did not slow Ferrari - Alonso
(GMM) The recent 'flexing floor' saga is unlikely to have tipped the balance in McLaren's favor, according to Malaysian GP winner Fernando Alonso.

After Ferrari dominated in Australia, McLaren sought a clarification from the FIA about the legality of the design of several rival teams' cars.

But even though the red team had to modify the F2007's underbody for Malaysia, new championship leader Alonso - who has already arrived in Bahrain ahead of Sunday's grand prix - played down the effect it may have had at Sepang.

"It is difficult to know," the McLaren driver is quoted as saying by Diario As, amid rumors that McLaren - along with Honda and Renault - also used modified floors in Malaysia.

Alonso said: "If Ferrari had been slower all weekend then I would say it is due to the floor. But on Friday and Saturday they were very fast.

"Only in the race it seems they could not show all of their potential."

The Spaniard admits that in Bahrain, where Ferrari dominated the winter test at the Middle Eastern venue, Ferrari could bounce back to demonstrate its former strength.

Another Spanish newspaper, 'Marca', claims that Kimi Raikkonen's problematic engine was de-tuned to as little as 17,500rpm on Sunday in Malaysia. F1's rev-limit is 19,000rpm.

Alonso said: "Bahrain is only four days after Malaysia, so no-one can change the cars very much.

"Ferrari were better than us at the (Bahrain) test so I can imagine it being difficult to beat them again."

No bids for Spyker sponsorship
(GMM) Spyker is yet to attract a single bid as the Dutch formula one team tries to land sponsorship via the auction website eBay.

The auctions kicked off on Saturday, with bidding for a logo on the car's front nose starting at 500,000 euro.

Prices increase to 3m for an engine cover.

At the time of writing, however, not a single bid had been logged. The auctions end next Monday.

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