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Latest F1 news in brief UPDATE Updates as noted below.

  • 'Too early' to confirm 2008 contract - Rosberg
  • 'Number two' Hamilton would quit McLaren
  • Midland not worried about Spyker F1 debt
  • Stewards investigating Webber 'brake test'
  • Barrichello says not ready to retire
  • McLaren 'pulling away' from field - rivals
  • Webber escapes penalty for 'brake test' New
  • 'Private' Schu stays silent in Canada New
  • Alonso says situation 'uncomfortable' New

'Too early' to confirm 2008 contract - Rosberg
(GMM) Nico Rosberg has refused to confirm reports that he will definitely stay with the Williams team beyond 2007.

Team boss Sir Frank Williams has already indicated that the impressive German youngster is set to retain his seat next year, but it is understood that there are some conditional clauses to be met in Rosberg's contract to also make it valid for 2008.

It is also rumored that Rosberg's manager-father Keke has been making enquiries about next year with other teams, following his son's impressive start to his second season in F1.

"I think that I am staying here," Rosberg is quoted as saying by the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "but it is way too early in the season to say anything for sure."

He also refused to confirm suggestions in the media that he is driving as well as formula one sensation Lewis Hamilton this year.

"No, I would never say that," Rosberg insisted. "Hamilton is driving really sensationally.

"My job is to do a good job in my car and hope that at some point I also have the equipment to drive right at the front."

'Number two' Hamilton would quit McLaren
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton on Friday said he would quit McLaren if he ever felt too subordinate to his world champion teammate Fernando Alonso.

The rookie Briton sparked a furor after the Monaco grand prix when he suggested he was ordered to settle for second place because he is "the number two driver".

F1's most unambiguous 'number two' in recent memory was Rubens Barrichello, who in 2002 famously had to move over for his Ferrari master Michael Schumacher within sight of the Austrian GP checker.

"I hate the situation Rubens was in," Hamilton told reporters in the McLaren hospitality area in Montreal.

"If that was ever the case for me I would not be there much longer."

Hamilton, 22, said his performances so far this year demonstrate that he deserves to be "at least equal to" Alonso.

But he admitted to learning a lesson in Monaco's post-race FIA press conference -- don't give too much away.

"Maybe next time I might watch what I say," he explained, "but I just said what I felt. I'm only human.

"Sometimes your feelings need to be expressed and everybody knows how you feel.

"It's alright putting a big smile on your face but maybe next time I might control it a little better."

Midland not worried about Spyker F1 debt
(GMM) A spokesman for the F1 team Spyker's previous owners say they are not concerned that the Dutch outfit seems to have run into money trouble.

Spyker took over from the Russian steel company Midland last year, but the $100 million price-tag was agreed to be transferred in three installments -- with the second only due later in 2007.

Spyker's supercar-making parent, however, has been making headlines recently as it struggles under financial strain, sparking concern that it might not be able to settle its F1 debt.

"We are up to date with what is going on with Spyker," Ron Fine, a spokesman for Midland's former billionaire owner Alex Shnaider, told the magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

"Are we worried about the money that is owed to us? The clear answer is no."

Stewards investigating Webber 'brake test'
(GMM) F1 stewards were on Friday evening looking into Mark Webber's alleged 'brake test' that led to a collision with his Red Bull stable-mate Scott Speed during practice for the Canadian grand prix.

Toro Rosso's Speed expressed amazement and anger that Australian Webber would perform the outlawed move, but Webber told reporters that Speed had been 'asleep' in the closing stages of the afternoon session.

On the run to turn eight, Red Bull racer Webber said Speed "braked 100 meters earlier" than on the previous lap, causing him to nearly hit Speed's rear at high speed.

"I managed then to get my stuff together and get down the inside of him. And I went around the next corner quite slow," Webber admitted.

Asked if going 'quite slow' meant that he had indeed brake-tested Speed, Webber told reporters: "Anyway, (let's) move on."

Barrichello says not ready to retire
(GMM) Rubens Barrichello in Montreal insisted that he is not looking to walk away from formula one at the end of the year.

The Brazilian is the most experienced driver on the grid, but he expressed recently that he did not want to challenge Ricardo Patrese's long standing record of 256 grands prix starts.

But even though Honda's 2007 car is not competitive, Barrichello - with more than 240 races to his name so far - explained in Canada that he is actually enjoying this year more than last.

The 35-year-old struggled enormously with the handling of the 2006 car, and was undoubtedly unhappy, but in the RA107 'Earth car' he is now generally quicker than his highly rated teammate Jenson Button.

"I am very relaxed," Rubens, whose two-year contract runs out at the end of 2007, said on Friday.

"I feel that I still have something left to give, so I am not thinking about stopping; not at all."

McLaren 'pulling away' from field - rivals
(GMM) A couple of their nearest rivals think McLaren is now beginning to "pull away" from the front of the field in 2007.

The Mercedes-powered outfit surprised most observers by totally dominating Friday practice for the Canadian grand prix, as Ferrari were expected to return to form at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve following a trouncing to championship leaders McLaren in Monte Carlo.

Renault and BMW are working hard to close the gap to the quicker two teams, and Renault's Pat Symonds said in Montreal that "particularly McLaren" are starting to look insurmountable this year.

"They really are showing class on every sort of track," said the French squad's senior engineering chief.

BMW-Sauber's technical director Willy Rampf agreed that the task of closing the gap to the leading teams is proving difficult, "and McLaren is even pulling away a bit".

Webber escapes penalty for 'brake test'
(GMM)  Mark Webber has escaped penalty after stewards looked into Scott Speed's allegation on Friday that he was 'braked tested' by the Australian driver in Montreal.

The specialist publication Auto Motor und Sport described the stewards' decision at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as akin to "shutting both your eyes", after the clash left both Speed's Toro Rosso and Webber's similar Red Bull damaged.

Even RBR's team boss Christian Horner is quoted as saying that Webber, who is a director of the safety-oriented Grand Prix Drivers' Association, must have reacted badly to a dose of "adrenaline" after thinking Speed had driven recklessly in the closing minutes of the afternoon practice session.

Horner said: "The impact damaged the rear wing and the underbody, and we only have one spare (underbody) here.

"If the new one is broken on Saturday morning, then we would have to wait until Sunday morning, when a new spare one arrives."

'Private' Schu stays silent in Canada
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher's spokeswoman has defended the Ferrari 'advisor' after he again refused to talk with the press on Friday.

Retired seven time world champion Schumacher now regularly appears in an official role at grands prix, but - despite appearing for a media huddle in Barcelona last month - he emulated his Monaco policy on Friday by turning down all the press' requests in Canada.

Asked by the newspaper Bild why he is once again refusing to speak at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said simply: "Because he enjoys his private life."

Alonso says situation 'uncomfortable'
(GMM)  World champion Fernando Alonso has expressed frustration at the press' fascination with the McLaren driver lineup in 2007.

The Monaco winner twice outpaced his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton in the practice sessions at Montreal on Friday, whereafter a scrum of reporters asked if his sterling pace might be a reaction to the recent 'team order' saga.

After Monaco, mostly British journalists suggested that Alonso had dominantly won only because Hamilton was ordered to settle for second.

"I have approached today exactly the same as I usually do," Spaniard Alonso was quoted as saying by the newspaper Diario As.

"It is an uncomfortable situation at the moment.  If I am seven tenths in front of Hamilton I have to explain myself.  The same is true if I am behind."

Championship leader Alonso also suggested that the 'uncomfortable' situation is unlikely to get any better on Saturday.

"If I use less fuel for qualifying the British press will complain," he said, "but if Lewis has less fuel, it will be you (Spanish reporters) who are complaining," he predicted.

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