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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Bernie biography out soon
  • Money not my motivation - Ralf S.
  • Hamilton plays down French prospects
  • McLaren has not chosen champion - Haug
  • Webber would rather see Alonso win title
  • F1 stars face drug tests in France
  • 'I'm no ostrich' says Albers

Bernie biography out soon
(GMM) The inside story on Bernie Ecclestone will be released later this year, publishers Ebury Press have announced.

'Bernie' is written by Susan Watkins, the wife of the 76-year-old's personal friend and former long-time traveling doctor Prof. Sid Watkins.

It will reveal "the true struggle behind his fortune, the background to his relationships with politics and what reality, if any, there is to his detractor's accusations", the publishers said.

On the authorized biography's cover, meanwhile, the diminutive billionaire is quoted as recalling his request to the author that: "It must be open and it must be honest."

Money not my motivation - Ralf S.
(GMM) Ralf Schumacher has hinted that he may be prepared to take a pay-cut in 2008.

The end of the German's $20m a-year contract with Toyota this season has coincided with a conspicuous drop in form, but 31-year-old Schumacher insists to the magazine Sport Auto that "money is not my motivation".

"Fortunately I don't have to worry about that so much any more," Ralf said, adding that he is "100 per cent sure" that he will still be on the grid in 2008.

"My motivation is that I still believe I have something to offer. And I would not be content with my career if it were to end now."

He denied former boss Sir Frank Williams' recent claim that he has lost his passion for racing by saying: "It is not my style to just cruise to the end of the season and collect my pension."

Schumacher said hiring more "experienced people" would help Toyota's plight but played down suggestions that the Japanese giant's now six-year struggle means that its formula one foray has failed.

He said: "Even teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Renault have gone through their difficult times. Look at Renault -- they are the world champion and doing it tough this season.

"Those teams have been there forever and we are in our sixth year against them," Ralf added.

Hamilton plays down French prospects
(GMM) F1's rookie championship leader Lewis Hamilton has played down his chances of beating Fernando Alonso for a third successive time this weekend at Magny Cours.

Indeed, while reigning world champion Alonso won the French grand prix in his Renault in 2005 and finished second last year, his McLaren teammate's record at the circuit is less impressive despite ultimately racing to the '06 GP2 title.

Rookie Hamilton, 22, crashed in GP2's race one at Magny Cours last year, and finished just fifth in the second contest.

The Briton said this week: "It is all about consistency, so I don't have to win (this race). A second or a third would be great. As long as I get points, that is the key."

Hamilton also remarked that pole position is not as necessary at Magny Cours as it is at some other venues because both overtaking and creative fuel strategies due to the short pit lane are possible.

The Spanish newspaper 'Marca', however, quotes McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa as saying that pole could in fact be "the key" to winning in France this weekend, "because it is so difficult to pass there".

McLaren has not chosen champion - Haug
(GMM) Norbert Haug has denied rumors that McLaren-Mercedes chiefs have now decided which of the team's drivers will be backed to win the 2007 title.

In the days preceding the French grand prix at Magny Cours, it is whispered that team boss Ron Dennis informed Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton after the US grand prix two weeks ago that only one of them will from now on be allowed to charge for the drivers' prize.

But Haug, competition chief for McLaren's engine partner Mercedes-Benz, said in an interview with Deutsche-Presse-Agentur: "If that was right, I would know about it."

Hamilton, 22, leads the drivers' standings over his back to back world champion teammate Alonso by ten points.

Haug continued: "The truth is that there is obviously a huge demand for stories about Lewis by the English media and therefore things emerge that say more about the creativity of their author than they do about the facts.

"We are not so arrogant to think that we can pre-determine who is a world champion. Ron, myself, and every other team member would welcome any world champion as long as his car has a (Mercedes-Benz) star on his nose."

Playing down all the speculation about a 'civil war' in the driver line-up, then, Haug concludes: "Nothing is ever eaten has hot as it is cooked."

For example, the German tabloid Bild on Thursday published an entire article explaining how Alonso reacted angrily to claims that Dennis' wife Lisa cheered loudly when Hamilton eclipsed the Spaniard's lap time for pole in Montreal.

Webber would rather see Alonso win title
(GMM) Mark Webber admitted this week that he would like to see Fernando Alonso emerge from the 2007 season with his championship status in tact.

The Spanish newspaper Marca revealed that Webber, Red Bull's Australian driver, is "not such good friends" with Alonso's McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, who after seven career grands prix leads the drivers' standings by 10 points.

"I would rather if Fernando won," Webber admitted at the sponsor event at Bernie Ecclestone's Paul Ricard circuit in France.

F1 stars face drug tests in France
(GMM) A selection of F1 drivers will be randomly drug-tested at French GP venue Magny Cours this weekend.

The sport's governing body adopted World Anti-Doping Agency standards a couple of years ago but it is believed that this weekend's tests will be the first in 2007 so far.

Motor racing is perceived as a 'clean' sport, with the last transgressions involving former Prost racer Tomas Enge for marijuana use during the F3000 season in 2002, while a GT driver was suspended earlier this year after testing positive to cocaine use.

Sources have, however, suggested that substances like 'EPO' - which is difficult to detect - are more likely to be doing the rounds.

"Our experience is that drugs are not a problem in formula one," the Spanish newspaper El Mundo quotes FIA president Max Mosley as saying.

But an unnamed driver countered: "We are all well prepared physically, but it is a certainty that EPO would improve for example our concentration levels."

'I'm no ostrich' says Albers
(GMM) Struggling Spyker driver Christijan Albers has angrily hit back at criticism that he is too arrogant to own up to his own faults.

The Dutch racer, who entered formula one with Minardi in 2005, has been usually outpaced by his rookie teammate Adrian Sutil this year.

But Albers, 28, denied suggestions in the media that he is unlikely to get the bottom of his problems with the F8-VII single seater if he cannot admit that he is struggling alongside Sutil.

He told the magazine Sportweek that he does not have his head in the sand: "I do not need to be told what situation I am in.

"I am not an ostrich.

"I am not yet perfectly happy with this car -- in this car I am weaker than Sutil," Albers said.

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