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DATE News (chronologically)
05/22/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Agathangelou to join Honda
  • Alonso also struggling with tires - Raikkonen
  • Wurz's wife expecting third child
  • Bahrain GP date safe, says boss
  • Sutil to stay at Spyker in 2008
  • F1 inks 'Sky' TV deal in Italy
  • Spanish fans remain loyal to Alonso
  • F1 cars fetch $6m at Ferrari auction
  • BMW 'fancy chances' for Canada - Theissen

Agathangelou to join Honda
(GMM) Ben Agathangelou will shortly join beleaguered F1 team Honda to head its aerodynamics department, after recently leaving Red Bull.

The 35-year-old, previously Red Bull's head of aerodynamics, chose to leave the Milton Keynes based squad after a technical reshuffle by Adrian Newey left him with a demotion.

The reshuffle left Peter Prodromou in charge of Red Bull's aerodynamics department.

It is understood, however, that Agathangelou can only join Honda following a period of so-called 'gardening leave', although he may not have to sit out the entire balance of his contract.

Agathangelou is no stranger to Honda, having been part of the Japanese carmaker's stillborn formula one chassis project ten years ago.

His appointment is thought to be the first in a major revamp of Honda's technical department, after the team's disappointing start to the 2007 season with the RA107 car.

"These things don't happen overnight," Honda team principal Nick Fry said, "but we certainly need to strengthen the team in some areas."

Alonso also struggling with tires - Raikkonen
(GMM) Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has suggested that both he and reigning world champion Fernando Alonso are suffering with the same problem in 2007.

The highly rated pair have been conspicuously outshone by their junior teammates in recent weeks, leading to the bolstered profiles of Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton.

But Finn Raikkonen, who is 27, said ahead of the Monaco grand prix that the switch to the single tire formula with Bridgestone this year has been difficult, particularly for those drivers with notably aggressive styles.

Moreover, both Alonso and Raikkonen ran on Michelin boots last year, unlike Massa who was already at Ferrari, and the GP2 champion Hamilton.

"These tires are very different to what I was used to," Raikkonen told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

"And from what I heard and read, Alonso's comments have basically been the same as mine."

The designer of Raikkonen's car this year, Aldo Costa, backed the view by revealing that Kimi had to "soften" his aggressive style this year.

Robert Kubica (BMW), Heikki Kovalainen (Renault) and Christijan Albers (Spyker) have also struggled to adapt their styles to the new tires.

Kovalainen told the specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport: "I used to drive the Renault in the same way as Alonso did.

"But I have had to change back and as a result I have got closer to the way Giancarlo (Fisichella) drives."

Albers, meanwhile, said the situation has flattered rookies, like his rookie teammate Adrian Sutil.

"He didn't have to adapt," said the Dutchman, "and I think it's been the same for Lewis."

Wurz's wife expecting third child
(GMM) Alex Wurz's wife is expecting their third child.

The Austrian driver already has two sons -- Charlie and Felix.

"Julia and I both want a large family, so with number three on the way we are naturally very happy," 33-year-old Wurz, who races in formula one for Williams, is quoted as saying by motorline.cc.

In the interview, Wurz also rebuked countryman Christian Klien for recently suggesting that six years in test seats has affected his aggression on the race track.

Wurz fired: "Is he talking about himself or about me?"

Bahrain GP date safe, says boss
(GMM) The boss of the Bahrain grand prix has rejected rumors that the Sakhir race could be relocated down the formula one calendar in the near future.

Reports recently suggested that Abu Dhabi is likely to open the grand prix calendar in 2009, before the circus moves on to Australia and then Europe.

If true, both Malaysia and Bahrain would be displaced, despite traditionally occupying early race dates each season.

"That is contrary to what was discussed at the time of the press conference when they announced Abu Dhabi would have an F1 race," the Sakhir circuit's general manager Martin Whitaker told the newspaper Gulf Daily News, adding that he believed the 'silly season' of unsubstantiated rumors had kicked off early.

He added: "Bernie Ecclestone himself said the race in Bahrain was going to be in the beginning of the year and Abu Dhabi at the end of the year.

"That is what we have been led to believe and nothing has changed."

Sutil to stay at Spyker in 2008
(GMM) Impressive rookie Adrian Sutil says he will stay at the Spyker team next year.

Despite being new to formula one in 2007, the 24-year-old German has so far outperformed his experienced teammate Christijan Albers.

In an interview with Kicker magazine, Sutil said his goal for this season was to continue to set the pace for Dutchman Albers and then rise into a top team "at some point" in the future.

But he explained: "I have a long term contract with Spyker and next year I will still be here."

Sutil boasted that, with his performances hidden at the rear of the grid, he does not believe that his close friend, former F3 teammate and fellow rookie Lewis Hamilton is a better driver.

He said: "I am not jealous, but in F1, 70 per cent of your performance comes from your car.

"And if I was driving the McLaren, I am certain that I could show that I am just as fast as him."

F1 inks 'Sky' TV deal in Italy
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has concluded a three year agreement with the pay-channel Sky Sports for formula one coverage in Italy.

The sport will still be broadcasted in the country by the state owned network Rai, but more comprehensive coverage is to be immediately available on Rupert Murdoch's Sky, the sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

Spanish fans remain loyal to Alonso
(GMM) F1's Spanish fans are remaining loyal to their world champion, despite Felipe Massa's recent claim that Lewis Hamilton might be the more "dangerous" threat in 2007.

A poll of more than 15,000 readers of the newspaper 'Marca' shows that, although rookie Hamilton currently leads the drivers' standings by two points, Fernando Alonso's countrymen still think the double title winner can triumph for a third consecutive time this year.

Of the 15,000 readers, more than 10,000 - or 70 per cent - think Alonso will emerge from 2007 ahead of his new McLaren teammate. The remaining 4,500 think 22-year-old Briton Hamilton is the better driver.

"I have not had the results I have wanted at the previous two races," Alonso acknowledged this week, "however I have kept scoring good points and we have continued to develop the performance of the car."

He won the Monaco grand prix in 2006; as did Hamilton, in the GP2 series. The year before, Hamilton won the Monte-Carlo round of the F3 Euroseries.

Hamilton said: "I am going to the race again this year with the intention of fighting for the win.

"However we do have to keep being realistic; this will be my fifth race in formula one and I am still developing."

F1 cars fetch $6m at Ferrari auction
(GMM) The sale of four modern formula one Ferraris contributed a further $6m to the Italian team's budget at the weekend.

The famous marque held a Sotheby's auction at its Maranello headquarters on Sunday, where the more expensive of the red race cars - the last single seater raced by Michael Schumacher in 2006, a 248 F1 - fetched just under $2.3m.

Schumacher's 2003 machine went for a little more than $2.0m, a 1997 Ferrari sold for a million, and a single seater from 1983 fetched more than $560,000.

In total, the auction netted about $50m for Ferrari.

The auction made history by producing the highest ever price for a single Ferrari car. The Le Mans-winning 1962 330 TRI/FM Testa Rosa Spyder was won by an anonymous telephone bidder for an incredible $9.28m -- just shy of the most expensive road car ever, a 1931 Bugatti Typie 41 Royal Sports Coupe that was sold in 1987 for $11m.

Among the other lots were a 2005 steering wheel ($85,000), a 2004 V10 engine ($62,000), an autographed Schumacher helmet ($30,000), a Schumacher racing suit ($28,000), two GP trophies ($14,000), a 2004 engine cover ($12,500) and a 2006 front wing ($6,500).

A racing suit worn by Kimi Raikkonen this season fetched $8,500, meanwhile, and even a set of Massa's under-clothes sold for $775.

BMW 'fancy chances' for Canada - Theissen
(GMM) BMW-Sauber's Mario Theissen is already looking ahead to the upcoming Canadian grand prix.

The F1 calendar's next stop is at Monte Carlo, but the German team principal suggested that expectations are a bit low for the famous street circuit.

"We're heading now for the extremely slow race in Monaco," Theissen told the Credit Suisse e-magazine.

He added: "After that comes the very fast one in Montreal, and we fancy our chances there."

Theissen, though, said it was "certain" that BMW-Sauber would remain the third force for the foreseeable future in 2007.

He also enthused about McLaren's impressive rookie and the youngest ever drivers' championship leader, Lewis Hamilton.

"That's really quite something," said Theissen.

He said: "You do of course need a bit of luck, because the four drivers fighting at the top are all producing a similar standard of driving.

"But the fact that he's up there as a newcomer is remarkable."

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