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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Max, Bernie, clash over 'standard car' idea
  • Renault's Ghosn bins 'Alonso factor' theory
  • Kimi has 'Schumi syndrome' - reports
  • F1 steward, Bernie, disagree about McLaren conduct
  • Ferrari "favorites" for next races - Alonso
  • FIA toughens tests for bendy rear wings

Max, Bernie, clash over 'standard car' idea
(GMM) Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone are believed to have clashed over the FIA president's latest radical idea for the future of formula one.

The specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport claims that Mosley - to complement his vision for road-relevant and environmentally friendly V6 engines in 2011 - is looking into introducing a standardized chassis to further get costs under control.

Mosley's apparent vision is that individual teams be allowed to modify the standard car, both mechanically and aerodynamically, so that the talent of race winners and champions is truly obvious.

But F1 supremo Ecclestone is quoted as reacting: "That (idea) has nothing to do with formula one."

Mosley said: "I can remember when 30 or so of the 33 cars in the Indy 500 were built by March, and that didn't bother anybody."

Renault's Ghosn bins 'Alonso factor' theory
(GMM) Chief executive Carlos Ghosn insists that Renault's trough in 2007 can not be attributed solely to the departure of back to back world champion Fernando Alonso.

With the young Spaniard at the wheel, Enstone based Renault soared to the drivers' and constructors' titles both last year and in 2005.

After five races this season, however, Giancarlo Fisichella and rookie Heikki Kovalainen have delivered only enough points for a distant fourth in the teams' battle.

But Ghosn told the specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport: "If you are 1.5 seconds per lap behind, you can not talk too much about an 'Alonso factor'.

Ghosn told reporters in Monaco last weekend that the carmaker remained committed to formula one but only if Renault ultimately returned to a more competitive position in the future.

He said: "As the double world champions we cannot be content with the current situation.

"But the (team's bosses) have assured me that the problems will shortly have been fully identified and repaired."

Kimi has 'Schumi syndrome' - reports
(GMM) A respected German newspaper has speculated that Kimi Raikkonen's struggle at Ferrari this year could have been worsened by a simple and very famous factor.

A writer for Die Welt reports that the former McLaren driver and Finn appears "paralyzed" every time the retired multiple world champion and team 'advisor' Michael Schumacher strolls into the garage wearing a red uniform.

Italy's authoritative sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport headlined its own story about the same issue by wondering if Kimi can be diagnosed with 'Schumi Syndrome'.

Raikkonen, 27, struggled to climb through the field in Monaco after a qualifying crash, and two weeks earlier was also outperformed by race winner Felipe Massa in Barcelona before a car failure.

At both events, Schumacher was present, and former quadruple world champion and Ferrari driver Alain Prost is quoted as speculating that Raikkonen is "still not completely integrated" within the Maranello team.

Another former Ferrari driver, Eddie Irvine, told the Irish broadcaster Setanta: "I don't know what it's all about but he's going to have to get his act together or stop drinking because if he's not winning he can't be drinking."

F1 steward, Bernie, disagree about McLaren conduct
(GMM) FIA steward Joaquin Verdegay says McLaren should not be penalized for employing allegedly illegal 'team orders' in the weekend's Monaco grand prix -- but F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone does not agree.

The Woking based outfit led by Ron Dennis is currently under investigation by F1's governing body, after Fernando Alonso and teammate Lewis Hamilton were asked to safely finish in that order in the Principality last Sunday.

McLaren's tactics have already been defended as "wise" by triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, while Spaniard Verdegay told the broadcaster Telecinco: "For me, there is no irregularity (that needs to be punished)."

Verdegay, who was involved in the decision last year to penalize Michael Schumacher for 'parking' his Ferrari during qualifying at Monaco, said any team order issued by McLaren would have been "minor", in order to ensure that neither driver recklessly crashed on the way to the finish.

A writer for the Spanish newspaper Diario As, meanwhile - Carlos Miquel - offered a third opinion in support of the beleaguered McLaren team.

Referring to the decision to investigate Dennis' team, he wrote: "With the exception of some Britons, there is not a single person on the planet who can see the (FIA's) logic in this."

Countering Verdegay and Stewart, however, F1 supremo Ecclestone reckons McLaren should indeed be punished -- and the maximum possible penalty is total exclusion from the sport.

Recalling Ferrari's $1m fine after the Austrian GP in 2002, the 76-year-old told the Daily Mail: "If there were orders, they would be getting off lightly if they get the same sort of fine as Ferrari.

"A fine for McLaren, with its money, would not have the same effect as docking points."

Ecclestone, whose opinion is also shared by 1996 world champion Damon Hill, added that McLaren - if found guilty - would have committed a "more serious" offence than Turkish officials last year, who got a record $5m fine for politicizing the podium ceremony.

A decision is expected to be reached in advance of the next grand prix, which takes place in Canada on 10 June.

Ferrari "favorites" for next races - Alonso
(GMM) Championship leader and dominant Monaco winner Fernando Alonso says Ferrari are the "favorites" for F1's upcoming trek to North America.

The Spaniard pointed out that while his Mercedes-powered team slaughtered the opposition on the streets of Monte Carlo, Ferrari's recent record - particularly at Indianapolis - means that the red team could soon be back on top.

"We hope it can be different this year," Alonso told the newspaper Diario As, "because we now all go there with the same tires."

He insisted: "But Ferrari usually win at Indianapolis and so I believe that they go there starting as the favorites -- and the same for Canada."

Indeed, while Ferrari have not triumphed in Monaco since 2001, the Maranello based team has won the United States grand prix for the past five years running.

After Monte Carlo, Ferrari lie 20 points behind McLaren in the constructors' championship standings.

FIA toughens tests for bendy rear wings
(GMM) As reported last Wednesday, the FIA has responded to Red Bull's apparently flexible rear wing by further intensifying the scrutineering tests.

We explained last week that, after viewing the footage from David Coulthard's rearward-facing camera in the Spanish grand prix, the governing body's technical delegate Charlie Whiting had ordered that new static tests be devised to ensure that teams are complying with the spirit of the rules.

Auto Motor und Sport said last week that the implementation of revised tests had been delayed until Canada, where the long straights at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could again give overly bendable wings an unfair straight line advantage.

The specialist German magazine now says that the FIA has not intensified the load tests as much as originally planned, due to the limitations of the scrutineers' existing equipment.

What will change from Canada onwards, however, is the allowed tolerance for static wing flexibility; Whiting on Monday informed all the teams that rear wings may only now deflect a total of 2mm rather than 5mm.

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