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DATE News (chronologically)
05/03/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • McLaren unlikely to race radical wing
  • More rain likely for last day in Spain
  • McLaren forks out to 'inspire staff'
  • Vettel not guaranteed BMW seat in 2008
  • Mateschitz rejects Red Bull 'crisis'
  • Red Bull hunt for 'reserve' stand-in
  • Another famous son begins racing rise

McLaren unlikely to race radical wing
McLaren is unlikely to use its unique 'bridge' front wing design at the Spanish grand prix next week.

The Woking based team publicly debuted the innovation at the pre-race test at Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, and on Wednesday world champion Fernando Alonso got his first taste of the unique bodywork.

But the Spanish newspaper Diario As reports that 25-year-old Alonso did not offer promising feedback after using the wing - now painted red after originally appearing in carbon-fiber black - on the Barcelona layout.

"The extravagant and revolutionary front innovation did not work as the team had expected," the report added.

Alonso was fifth quickest in the MP4-22 on Wednesday; a full second off the pace of the dominant Ferrari steered by Felipe Massa.

'As' said Pedro de la Rosa will conclude McLaren's test on Thursday, with Alonso due to do an appearance for a sponsor.

More rain likely for last day in Spain
After torrential rain washed out day two of the crucial Barcelona test, the skies above Circuit de Catalunya brought a better day of weather on Wednesday.

Although some light rain interrupted proceedings for a short time around noon, warm Spanish sunshine mostly set the scene as Ferrari continued its dominance of the pace.

Having taken over the Finn's F2007, however, Felipe Massa trailed teammate Kimi Raikkonen's new unofficial circuit record by a few tenths.

A Williams spokeswoman, meanwhile, confirmed that Nico Rosberg was taken to the local hospital for tests after he crashed his FW29 at high speed without setting a lap time.

He was not injured.

Due to Tuesday's bad weather, the initially three-day test has been extended to include Thursday, but the risk of rain on day four is high.

Along with Williams, Toro Rosso, Super Aguri and Spyker all opted against staying around for the extra day.

McLaren forks out to 'inspire staff'
Some sections of the media dismissed a press release distributed by the McLaren team last week.

The headline 'Arts Council Collection teams up with the
McLaren group' led some to believe that the rest of the document would outline a typical sponsorship or promotional deal between the two parties -- hardly the stuff of a media scoop.

Team boss Ron Dennis, however, had revealed that he hoped displaying some of Britain's top sculptures around the huge and impressive Woking factory would stimulate workers' "individual creativity".

It also emerges that, unlike the traditional team-sponsor arrangement of money in return for promotion, the only party forking out the cash for this arrangement is McLaren itself.

The team says it wants to help the Arts Council "increase its already important support of the young and emerging artists working in Britain", while the English broadsheet newspaper The Guardian revealed that Dennis is an avid art aficionado and recreational collector.

The sum McLaren pays is unknown, but the Arts Council's head Caroline Douglas confirmed that the money "comes without strings and simply enables us to do more of what we've always done".

Vettel not guaranteed BMW seat in 2008
Sebastian Vettel has played down suggestions that he has already been guaranteed a race seat at the BMW-Sauber team for next year.

The 19-year-old German brought controversy to the garage of the Swiss based camp in 2007 when boss Mario Theissen insisted that he should appear in one of the race drivers' seats on the Friday before every GP.

BMW is now reviewing this questionable policy, but Theissen's affection for the youngster is well known and some observers wonder if the Vettel saga could be linked with Nick Heidfeld's wait for a new contract.

The news agency 'sid', however, insists that Vettel has not been guaranteed a 2008 seat, even though he seems to be setting up for a long future at BMW by recently moving his residence from birthplace Heppenheim (Germany) to a small house near Sauber's Swiss base.

The teenager himself is keeping quiet: "We will have to wait and see," Vettel, who is racing in the Renault World Series this year, said.

He insisted that it is too early to think about what will happen in 2008.

Blonde Vettel, who now sports a cropped haircut after years with a Beatle-style mop, added: "There has only been three races of this season."

Mateschitz rejects Red Bull 'crisis'
Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has rejected the description in the Austrian media of a 'crisis' this year for the two Red Bull outfits.

Much was expected of the first fully Adrian Newey-penned single seater this year, which is being used not only by Red Bull Racing but also Faenza based Toro Rosso, which is half owned by the Austrian mogul.

Neither outfit, however, is yet to open its points account for the constructors' championship, despite tussling in pace with rivals in the upper midfield.

"We are in not such a bad condition for a new private team in its third year," billionaire Mateschitz told the newspaper 'Welt'.

RBR's Mark Webber, meanwhile, was notably beaten for pace only by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen at the Barcelona test on Wednesday, as the Milton Keynes based team trial its new seamless-shift gearbox.

Mateschitz explained that the 2007 car hit the test tracks six weeks late in the winter, after both teams had to switch tire and engine suppliers at the end of last season.

He added: "And Adrian built a completely new car, where no screw is the same as last year.

"We also have a new wind tunnel which we discovered gave some incorrect numbers when we began to test the car."

Mateschitz, targeting fifth in the constructors' title this year, said he is convinced of Red Bull's foundations and insisted that the team's "potential is larger than other teams".

Red Bull hunt for 'reserve' stand-in
Red Bull are probably on the lookout for a stand-in 'reserve' driver for the upcoming Spanish grand prix.

It is reported that Michael Ammermuller, who usually fills the role in 2007 after last year's reserve Robert Doornbos headed to race in Champ Car, is currently nursing a fracture in his wrist.

One possible stand-in for 21-year-old Ammermuller is the Red Bull-backed and Renault World Series racer Filipe Albuquerque, from Portugal, who got his first taste of a formula one single seater recently when he performed a demonstration on the streets of Colombia.

German Ammermuller drives for ART in the GP2 category, but he is likely to miss next weekend's round in support of the Spanish GP.

Ammermuller may have aggravated the injury, sustained in an earlier clash with Kazuki Nakajima in Bahrain, by persevering at the wheel of his GP2 car without adequate treatment.

He has now undergone surgery in Austria to insert a titanium screw, and wrist specialist Andreas Priol commented that full recovery is likely to take several weeks.

Another famous son begins racing rise
Yet another son of a famous formula one driver is about to emerge on the single seater scene.

Adrien Tambay is the 16-year-old son of former McLaren and Ferrari driver Patrick Tambay, the Frenchman who won two grands prix in his 123-race career in the 70s and 80s.

Adrien, an accomplished karter, will make his car debut this weekend in the opening round of the Formula BMW Deutschland series at Oschersleben.

Part of BMW's exclusive Young Driver Scholarship Programme, Tambay will race in 2007 for JK Racing, the current champions who powered names including Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil to past title success.

The series' Nurburgring round in July will support F1's German grand prix.

Meanwhile, one of Adrien Tambay's rivals in karts last year, we have learned, was Bas Lammers, the son of Dutch former F1 driver Jan.

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