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Latest F1 news in brief UPDATE Updates (new items) shown in red below.

  • Indy wants deal, Bernie says US 'not vital'
  • Ralf dislikes Indy, but carmakers need US
  • India bags preliminary deal for F1 race
  • Lewis wins over Woods, not Letterman
  • No more crashes, Spyker warns drivers
  • Kimi predicts tough times for Hamilton
  • Now Rosberg slams new safety car rules
  • Hot and probably dry weather for US GP
  • Toyota fix suspension part - Trulli New
  • Asphalt slowed Ferrari in Monaco, Montreal - Massa New
  • BMW stronger than Ferrari - Heidfeld New

Indy wants deal, Bernie says US 'not vital'
(GMM) Organizers of the Indianapolis race want a long-term deal but Bernie Ecclestone said this week that formula one can live without the US.

Associated Press reports that the famous Motor Speedway's boss Tony George will meet with F1 supremo Ecclestone this weekend, as the race's current contract is set to run out.

"I think uncertainty is tough for everybody and more importantly for the fans, from a business standpoint. I think now is the time for discussion of a longer term agreement," said Joie Chitwood, the Indy circuit's president.

A mere one year contract to cover 2007 was signed last year, as the fallout of the farcical six-car grand prix in 2005 was still being felt.

76-year-old Ecclestone, meanwhile, hints constantly that he has other options even within the United States, and it is probably no coincidence that India is now boasting about having a grand prix deal for 2009 even though no contract has been signed.

"The problem is that in the States we don't have that many sponsors, there are no teams and only one driver," Bernie said.

"There is no mainstream TV coverage and only four races are shown live. Of course F1 would like to be in the United States, but it is not vital. There are bigger markets in other parts of the world."

Ralf dislikes Indy, but carmakers need US
(GMM) Ralf Schumacher says he doesn't like the F1 layout at Indianapolis and would be happy if he no longer had to race at the current venue for the US grand prix.

The German has never scored a point here and has twice been injured following heavy crashes on the famous banked curve.

"I think formula one does not belong to an oval or kind of oval," the newspaper Indianapolis Star quoted him as saying at a golf function on Wednesday.

Even 31-year-old Schumacher, however, does not go as far as Bernie Ecclestone in reckoning that F1 can live without the US.

Ralf drives for Toyota; a global car manufacturer for which there is a huge market in the States. The majority of the luxury sports cars built at Maranello by Ferrari, meanwhile, are bought by Americans.

Mercedes-Benz has also declared its strong desire to stay in America, and BMW's Mario Theissen said this week: "The US grand prix is of key importance in so far as the United States is our biggest market.

"We sell more cars here than in Germany and also have our biggest production sites outside Germany."

India bags preliminary deal for F1 race
(GMM) India has now sealed a deal to bring formula one to the populous country in 2009.

The news has been publicized in the days prior to Sunday's US grand prix, coinciding with Indianapolis organizers' desire for a new long-term contract and Bernie Ecclestone's apparent nonchalance about keeping his sport in the States.

But the Indian Olympic Association says it is in full agreement with the F1 supremo, with the preliminary deal contingent on the availability of a suitable venue in New Delhi.

"We have received a letter in this regard from Bernie Ecclestone," the IOA's Suresh Kalmadi announced in a news conference on Thursday.

He suggested that details like financing and land for a circuit have not yet been settled.

"Once we move ahead, a regular contract would be signed," he added, ruling out a street race.

Lewis wins over Woods, not Letterman 
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has won over Tiger Woods but not famous talk show host David Letterman, it emerged ahead of his first US grand prix.

F1's sensational rookie championship leader Hamilton has often been referred to as the 'Tiger Woods of motor sport', and Woods this week heralded Hamilton as a "terrific role model".

"I've been following his progress pretty closely -- without a doubt, he is one of the most exciting talents to hit the sporting scene in recent years," American Woods, who was the first black superstar in the world of golf, told The Sun.

Letterman, meanwhile, co-owns an Indycar team and is a renowned formula one fan but his late night television show reportedly turned down McLaren's request for Hamilton - who was in New York earlier this week - to appear prior to his first visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend.

"Scotland's Dario Franchitti was a guest after winning last month's Indy 500 and show bosses did not want another racing driver on so soon," UK tabloid The Sun said.

No more crashes, Spyker warns drivers
(GMM) Bosses of the Spyker team have issued a clear ultimatum to their 2007 driver lineup -- stop crashing or else.

They were furious after the chaotic Canadian grand prix because a potential points finish for the struggling Dutch squad went missing when both Adrian Sutil and Christijan Albers crashed.

Team principal Colin Kolles said afterwards that the mistakes must stop.

"Exactly," he clarified this week. "The retirements were avoidable and we know that."

Kolles said both he and technical chief Mike Gascoyne spoke to the pair in Montreal "and explained how we could not accept another situation like this".

Kimi predicts tough times for Hamilton
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen says F1's new sensation Lewis Hamilton will eventually taste the sport's more bitter side.

Ferrari's Finn has struggled to get up to speed in 2007 after switching from McLaren; his employer for the previous five seasons.

Hamilton, meanwhile, stepped up as the reigning GP2 champion to fill Raikkonen's Mercedes-powered seat and in his opening six races has never failed to make the podium.

Raikkonen, 27, lags a full 21 points behind Hamilton, the new and youngest ever leader of the drivers' championship.

But "I'm certain that there will be difficult moments even for him," Kimi said prior to Sunday's US grand prix.

Raikkonen finished just fifth last Sunday after another difficult race, but amazingly he did close his points deficit in Montreal to teammate Felipe Massa and also Fernando Alonso.

Now Rosberg slams new safety car rules
(GMM) Nico Rosberg has joined a growing chorus of formula one players who think the FIA should scrap or modify its new Safety Car rules.

As well as Fernando Alonso, Williams' racer had to serve a race-damaging stop and go penalty in Montreal for pitting when the pit lane was closed following the deployment of the Safety Car.

Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella, meanwhile, were disqualified altogether for exiting the pit lane under the red lights.

But, also like Alonso, Rosberg - who could have ended on the podium but ultimately even dropped out of the points - said he had no option but to pit or risk running out of fuel.

His teammate Alex Wurz, meanwhile, who has been outperformed by Rosberg all season, did finish the race on the podium.

"It's a bit strange," the German told Speed TV afterwards, "that I get penalized so badly for that situation.

"It doesn't really make sense. Why did I deserve that? What am I doing wrong?

"It really was a good performance in the beginning, and circumstances that were not under my control destroyed my weekend."

Hot and probably dry weather for US GP
(GMM) A hot weekend is expected at Indianapolis for the 2007 US grand prix.

Weather forecasters are predicting up to 34 degrees for Indiana's capital city throughout the event, with the hottest day to be Sunday.

The skies, however, may not be entirely clear, but the chance of rain is pretty small. Coincidentally, the highest probability of rain is also for race day; albeit only a miniscule 10 per cent chance.

Toyota fix suspension part - Trulli
Jun.14 (GMM)  Toyota has redesigned the offending front suspension piece that caused havoc to the team's preparation at the recent Canadian grand prix.

Jarno Trulli suffered two identical failures in Montreal last week, forcing his Japanese crew to make setup compromises to ensure the car's safety for the remainder of the event.

At the Cologne factory, meanwhile, designers have engineered a solution, even if it may not be available for the US grand prix, staged just six days after the Canadian race, which is also a long-distance 'flyaway' event for the European-based series.

"The part has been redesigned and we'll get it soon," Italian Trulli, who rode into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, said.

Asphalt slowed Ferrari in Monaco, Montreal - Massa
(GMM)  Felipe Massa said on Thursday that Ferrari's lack of performance at Monaco and Montreal may have been the result of the kind of asphalt featured at those venues.

The two-time winner in 2007 pointed out that his Maranello based team finished first and second in Indianapolis last year, and hopes to perform a similar turnaround on this trip to the US.

Ferrari's championship rivals McLaren won dominantly at the last two events, but Brazilian Massa, who is 26, said engineers suspected that an unique type of asphalt might have slowed the F2007 single seater down.

He told reporters at Indianapolis: "This race is a good race to see if it was really related to that type of asphalt, or if it is really related to something else.

"But I am really confident that we still have a great car."

Massa is 15 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

BMW stronger than Ferrari - Heidfeld
(GMM)  BMW has momentarily pulled away from 2007's early championship favourite Ferrari, Nick Heidfeld said at Indianapolis on Thursday.

The German finished ahead of the only running Ferrari, driven by Kimi Raikkonen, in Montreal last weekend, and he now trails the Finn's points tally by just a single point.

"Ferrari have gone a little bit downhill, if you regard their results, their speed; their whole performance," 30-year-old Heidfeld told reporters, also revealing that he did not celebrate after finishing on the podium in Canada.

He said: "On the other hand you can never write them off, but for the moment we are stronger."

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