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DATE News (chronologically)
07/03/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • McLaren want Lewis to win - Alonso
  • McLaren flattered Ferrari, BMW agrees
  • DC pokes fun at Webber's charity event
  • Hats off to stressed F1 world - Theissen
  • Indy F1 talks still at stalemate - boss
  • Sack Albers, Lauda tells Spyker, FIA
  • Death of friend brings perspective - Alonso

McLaren want Lewis to win - Alonso
(GMM) Fernando Alonso has threatened to re-fire tensions with McLaren mere days ahead of the team's home British grand prix.

Lagging his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton by 14 points, the reigning world champion said his Woking based bosses would prefer if the British superstar won this Sunday at Silverstone.

"I think that, yes, they will prefer that and I don't think there will be any argument (about it)," Alonso, 25, said.

"We will be in England and we have a Spanish driver and an English driver and the Englishman is leading the championship.

"So if he wins it will help the team. The team wanted me to win in Barcelona and they will want Hamilton to win at Silverstone, but I hope things will get back to being how they were in Barcelona."

Despite McLaren's apparent wishes, however, Alonso vowed to be ready to pounce on any overdue misfortune experienced by Hamilton at his home race.

He added: "It will be a difficult weekend. Maybe it will be raining and I hope I can reduce the advantage."

But the Spaniard also admitted that Ferrari took a genuine step forward in performance at Magny Cours, which could complicate McLaren's quest for victory.

"They are the clear favorites for victory at Silverstone," Alonso is quoted as saying by Diario As. "In the Silverstone test and at the last race they were quicker than us."

McLaren flattered Ferrari, BMW agrees
(GMM) BMW's Mario Theissen has backed Ron Dennis' claim that McLaren "flattered" the performance of Ferrari at Magny Cours.

The team principal for BMW-Sauber confessed that Nick Heidfeld, who was spectacularly passed by Fernando Alonso during the French grand prix, would not have finished ahead of his McLaren rival if Alonso's team had selected a better strategy.

"For half the race he had to drive with full tanks and so he lost crucial time," Theissen is quoted as saying by Sport Bild.

"We were very surprised about it (the strategy), because it helped us more than it helped them."

Alonso also admitted that his strategy was not ideal, although it was worsened by the fact that he was confined to a starting fuel load that had already been determined prior to his gearbox problem.

The Spaniard also acknowledged: "And after the race it is always easier to analyze the things you could have done better."

DC pokes fun at Webber's charity event
(GMM) David Coulthard has aimed a gentle jab in the direction of his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.

Coulthard, the veteran Scot who at Silverstone will contest his 221st grand prix, derided Webber for organizing an annual sporting contest for charity.

"I don't feel the desire to want to promote me," he is quoted as saying by PA Sport.

Webber, 30, regularly organizes the Mark Webber Challenge, where he competes against fellow celebrities on foot, in kayaks and on bikes in Tasmania and gives the proceeds to charity.

But F1's oldest driver Coulthard said: "It's not like I do a David Coulthard Charity Challenge, which would be as much an ego massage for myself as it would be raising money for the charity."

Hats off to stressed F1 world - Theissen
(GMM) Mario Theissen has offered a 'hats off' to his formula one staff during the most hectic period of the 2007 calendar.

The sport is currently in the middle of a stint, which kicked off with the North American double header last month, that sees no fewer than four races staged within five weeks.

In between, the circus even squeezed in a three day test at Silverstone before another back to back sequence in France and Britain.

"It means an extremely heavy workload for every team member," BMW's team principal said.

"The stress is truly enormous and you have to take your hat off to them."

This weekend's race at Silverstone, incidentally, marks the halfway point of the season.

Indy F1 talks still at stalemate - boss
(GMM) Negotiations for another US grand prix at Indianapolis in 2008 or beyond are still at a stalemate.

The fabled Motor Speedway's chief executive Tony George is quoted by Autoweek as insisting that he will wait until the end of the July 12 deadline to decide if he wants to sign a new deal with his F1 counterpart Bernie Ecclestone.

The Detroit-based magazine claims that Ecclestone, 76, traveled to Las Vegas the week before Magny Cours to talk to, "among others, billionaire developer Steve Wynn about possibly staging a ... street race (there) in 2008".

George therefore described the chances of a renewal for Indy as "a coin toss".

Sack Albers, Lauda tells Spyker, FIA
(GMM) According to Niki Lauda, Dutchman Christijan Albers is lucky that his boss is not a red-cap wearing former triple world champion.

Winner of 25 grands prix Lauda, who led Jaguar Racing for a while before returning to his current role as a TV commentator, criticized Spyker for not sacking the 28-year-old race driver following an incident during a pitstop at the recent French grand prix.

The FIA fined Albers (US) $6,800 for recklessly driving away with his fuel hose still attached, but Lauda says F1's governing body should also have confiscated his Super License.

"I wouldn't let him start the next race," Lauda, 58, is quoted as telling the Dutch racing magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

"In all the years I have been around in formula one, never before have I witnessed something as stupid as that."

Even one of Albers's own bosses refused to back the struggling Albers, with Mike Gascoyne telling The Times that he was baffled by the error.

"I don't know why he did that," Spyker technical boss Gascoyne said. "He's an experienced driver, he should know what to do."

Death of friend brings perspective - Alonso
(GMM) Fernando Alonso says the death of his friend reminded him that motor racing is not everything.

The reigning world champion and Spaniard was a close friend of Emmanuel Longobardi, who was one of two F1-related people killed in a helicopter accident returning from the Magny Cours circuit to their hotel last Saturday evening.

McLaren's 25-year-old driver said he had been left "a little bit frozen" when he was told the bad news in France.

"I was with him on Saturday afternoon," Alonso confirmed to the Spanish newspaper Diario As.

"I have known him for years and we had a good friendship. He got on a helicopter to go to his hotel and we lost him.

"This sort of thing makes you think about what we do and what really matters. Really, the most important thing is to wake up every morning and be healthy."

Alonso seems also to have softened his tone regarding his situation in the world championship, after his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton ran away with a 14-point advantage in the first half of the season.

He told Sport Bild: "I have been thinking about this a lot.

"Ok, I am in a new team, I have a new teammate, I am getting used to the new tires.

"But still I have won two races so far. Under the circumstances I think I can be content, because one season ago I would not have counted on it."

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