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DATE News (chronologically)
05/17/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Ferrari boss slams F1 points system
  • I could fix Button's Honda woes - Jordan
  • McLaren, Williams, link with teen stars
  • Alonso exit cost Renault tenths - Symonds
  • Ferrari 'content' with Raikkonen - Montezemolo

Ferrari boss slams F1 points system
(GMM) Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has hit out at F1's points system, arguing that scarlet-clad driver Felipe Massa should be leading the championship.

"In a serious championship, which properly rewards winning, we would be ahead," the Italian is quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The actual leader of the drivers' standings after four races in 2007 is Lewis Hamilton; who has been consistently on the podium but is yet to win a race.

Ferrari's Massa, in comparison, won in both Bahrain and Spain, but had a less shining start to the season.

The points system was changed at the end of 2002, allocating a smaller advantage to the winner of a grand prix.

Under the former regime, where second place earned six points instead of eight, Massa would be leading McLaren's Hamilton this year by one point instead of sitting also behind Fernando Alonso in third.

Hamilton, meanwhile, would be third.

26-year-old Brazilian Massa referred to the situation as "unusual" in his official blog.

"After three poles and two wins in a row, I am still only third in the championship," he added.

I could fix Button's Honda woes - Jordan
(GMM) The eponymous former team owner and F1 boss Eddie Jordan has joined a growing chorus of experts who think Jenson Button should quit Honda.

At an event to launch his autobiography on Thursday, the 59-year-old - who at the end of 2004 sold his Silverstone-based outfit that is today known as Spyker - predicted that Button would be doing an even "better" job than the sensational rookie Lewis Hamilton if he was at the wheel of a McLaren in 2007.

"Someone, somewhere at Honda has seriously screwed up," Jordan told reporters for British newspapers, referring to the Japanese squad's abysmal 2007 car, the RA107.

Briton Button's teammate, Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, was brought into the sport by Eddie Jordan.

"One of the saddest things is to see a couple of great drivers floundering around where they are on the grid, scrambling for points –- it's ridiculous," Jordan added.

He speculated that the problem at Honda's Brackley base - and at Toyota as well - is that they lack a "real racer" at the helm.

"If I could regenerate some of the Jordan fire and have use of the Honda budget and the quality of the engine then I think I could win.

"I could be persuaded, given the resources they have," Jordan continued.

"If I was Jenson's manager I'd be having very hard discussions about what their plan is. He must feel terribly let down, but he must have seen it happening.

"He has to look carefully at his position," Jordan said.

McLaren, Williams, link with teen stars
(GMM) McLaren has set the wheels in motion to possibly recreate in the future the making of formula one sensation Lewis Hamilton.

It was announced on Thursday that the Woking based team led by Ron Dennis had signed up a 14-year-old British karting star -- Oliver Rowland, who has been described as the world's best junior kart driver.

"We are pleased to confirm that Oliver Rowland is part of the McLaren and Mercedes-Benz Young Driver Support Program," a statement issued by ZipKart.com said.

F1's youngest ever championship leader, Hamilton, was famously signed by McLaren as a junior karter in the mid 90s, and is credited as being arguably the best-ever prepared formula one rookie.

Nick Heidfeld and Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta were also groomed throughout their junior careers by McLaren and Mercedes-Benz.

Meanwhile, Williams gave another rising 14-year-old star his first taste of grand prix power this week -- at the wheel of the Oxfordshire-based team's high-tech driving simulator.

Malaysia's Jazeman Firhan Jaafar, who is backed by Williams' new sponsor AirAsia, clocked a virtual lap of the Sepang circuit that was within two seconds of Nico Rosberg's real thing, according to local reports.

Jaafar, who met Sir Frank Williams whilst touring the Grove factory, currently leads the Formula BMW Asia series.

He said: "This was not about securing any deals. It was just an invitation to try out the simulator. What's important is that we started a relationship."

Alonso exit cost Renault tenths - Symonds
(GMM) F1's beleaguered world champions Renault have calculated the loss of Fernando Alonso this year at about 0.3s per lap.

The French squad's veteran engineering director Pat Symonds refused to wholly attribute the reason for the disappointing 'R27' to the Spaniard's defection to McLaren in 2007, but he did admit that Alonso would probably be driving faster than the current duo Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen.

"You can evaluate it, and we have evaluated it," the Briton said.

"It's a statistical process, and you can say there is three-tenths of a second there."

Symonds, however, said the real problem is an aerodynamic one -- and one that Enstone based Renault does not yet fully understand.

He explained: "That investigation is still going on, but I think right now we can say that we are very confident we've identified the areas of the problem ... and I think we're well on the way to understanding which bits we need to alter to fix the problem."

Ferrari 'content' with Raikkonen - Montezemolo
(GMM) Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has given the Maranello based team's new driver for 2007, Kimi Raikkonen, a public vote of confidence.

The 27-year-old Finn has struggled to match teammate Felipe Massa's pace so far this season, despite earning significantly more money and being signed by Ferrari to effectively succeed the team's undisputed 'number one' Michael Schumacher.

Instead, however, even the usually loyal Finnish press is beginning to dish out criticism of Raikkonen's form in 2007.

The major newspaper Ilta Sanomat declared this week that, following the first four races so far, the German born Nico Rosberg - whose famous father is Finnish - "is now our number one".

Raikkonen left the Circuit de Catalunya mid-race last Sunday, after his F2007 broke down with an alternator failure.

He was later quoted as saying that his bosses gave him "permission" to hastily depart, despite the fact that it created the anomaly of the widely circulated post-race team photographs featuring Massa, boss Jean Todt, and even Michael Schumacher -- but not Kimi.

Montezemolo told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "We are content with Raikkonen. His retirement in the grand prix on Sunday was our fault.

"If his car had made it to the finish, he would be much higher in the driver classification than he is now."

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