Latest F1 news in brief
- Spyker has mortgaged name to stay afloat
- Red Bull tester sits out another GP
- Alonso not worried about Massa clash repeat
- Hamilton pushes for McLaren team supremacy
- News briefs from Monaco: Thursday
Spyker has mortgaged name to stay afloat
(GMM) Spyker has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons on Thursday.
As the F1 single seater driven by Christijan Albers' ground to a halt in the opening practice laps in Monaco, news broke that the Dutch team's road car-making parent recently mortgaged its very name at the Friesland Bank as part of a credit agreement.
Spyker shares sunk after the Dutch newspaper Telegraaf published the original story, and Shareholders association director Peter Paul de Vries called the situation - a company risking its name - "the writing on the wall" for the financially embattled firm.
Another report in Forbes, following the departure of CEO Victor Muller, said Spyker was only staying afloat in the short term after securing new loans, but the company insisted that pawning a name is "common business practice and has no effect on Spyker Cars' ongoing operations".
Red Bull tester sits out another GP
(GMM) Red Bull test and reserve driver Michael Ammermuller will sit out another grand prix event this weekend.
The 21-year-old German injured his wrist during the GP2 race in Bahrain last month, and while he drove a Red Bull single seater in a demonstration after missing the recent Spanish GP, doctors have at the last minute advised him to avoid any competitive action for a little longer.
Ammermuller's wrist is currently being held together by metal screws, while the bone heals.
"I wanted to drive, but the Red Bull doctors said that the risk would be too large," he is quoted as saying by the news agency 'sid'.
Alonso not worried about Massa clash repeat
(GMM) After colliding with Felipe Massa in Spain, Fernando Alonso insisted that he is not worried about a repeat of the first-corner incident here in Monte Carlo.
"There are often accidents in the first corner," the Spaniard said in Monaco, "but that does not mean that anything is going to happen at the next race."
McLaren's Alonso also said that a collision is even less likely than usual in Monaco, simply because drivers do not risk trying an overtaking maneuver on the tight street layout.
He said he did not dwell on the Massa clash after Barcelona, despite saying at the time that he believed the Brazilian Ferrari driver had been too aggressive.
"I saw a replay after the race and then I saw it again on the news," Alonso revealed, "but by midday on Monday until now I did not think about it at all."
Hamilton pushes for McLaren team supremacy
(GMM) Unsurprisingly at the scene of the Monaco grand prix, McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and world champion Fernando Alonso both played down suggestions of a spiraling internal rivalry.
"We're professionals. Off the track we're friends," said Hamilton, F1's youngest ever championship leader.
Perhaps more tellingly, however, 22-year-old Hamilton laid out his case to be the McLaren driver with the most favorable fuel strategy going into Saturday's dash for pole here in Monte Carlo.
"I am sure that after practice and before qualifying, we'll have made a decision," he told reporters on a yacht in the harbor, where he was presented with a diamond-encrusted ring by a team sponsor.
Hamilton added: "But here (to win) you need to be on pole really –- I hope I get the opportunity to do that."
In Spain a fortnight ago, Hamilton was given the less aggressive strategy - with a heavier fuel load - by McLaren officials, as Alonso failingly bid for pole position at his home event.
But at Monaco, Hamilton arrives with more points than his famous teammate, and he has also won here on his most recent visits at the wheel of GP2 and F3 cars.
Alonso, on the other hand, won at Monaco for Renault last year, and went on to secure his second successive title.
"I think that as in every team, there's a little bit of rivalry there but that's only on the track," Hamilton said on Wednesday.
"We can talk, we're relaxed, there's no tension."
News briefs from Monaco: Thursday
(GMM) Honda driver Jenson Button showed off a new Earth-liveried, low-emission scooter in the Monaco pitlane.
A media statement said the machine reinforces "the team's aim to raise awareness of the environmental issues facing the planet".
The significance of a pitlane photo opportunity involving Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen and their F2007 car on Wednesday was lost even to seasoned observers.
But it turned out that the Italian marque has painted its single seater with a more traditionally deeper shade of red for Monaco, after a decade of more orange-like liveries in deference to the title sponsor Marlboro.
Ironically, Marlboro's trackside presence at Monaco - where nearby France's anti-tobacco advertising laws do not apply - is near-unprecedented, while Ferrari will run in full cigarette branding throughout the GP weekend.
Red Bull's famous floating swimming pool has reappeared in the Monte Carlo harbor. A year ago, team boss Christian Horner famously dove semi-naked into the impressive pool after betting that David Coulthard would not make it to the rostrum.