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DATE News (chronologically)
07/19/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Winkelhock admits need for Spyker sponsors
  • More McLaren bosses named in spy scandal
  • FIA upset with opinionated F1 steward
  • Alonso could leave McLaren if team guilty
  • Heidfeld set to be a father again
  • Schu unsure about Ferrari role
  • Barrichello welcomes Honda's hiring spree

Winkelhock admits need for Spyker sponsors
(GMM) Reserve driver Markus Winkelhock says he can not afford to drive for Spyker beyond this weekend's Nurburgring race.

The 27-year-old has now been confirmed as Christijan Albers' European grand prix substitute, but a paying driver - either Christian Klien or Narain Karthikeyan - will take over for the final seven events in 2007.

"I am still the test and spare driver," Winkelhock explained to the magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

"Albers' situation means that I can sit in the car at the Nurburgring without a financial offering, but what happens after that, I don't know.

"You would have to ask Colin Kolles, but basically I need to find some sponsors."

Winkelhock also admits that completing a one-off drive alongside highly rated rookie Adrian Sutil, following less than three hours' private testing this year, is a hard task.

"Adrian is really very, very fast -- substantially faster than most could have predicted. He was regularly half a second in front of Albers," he said.

"So I will simply get into the cockpit and give the maximum from myself and from the car."

More McLaren bosses named in spy scandal
(GMM) More high-ranking figures of the McLaren team face being dragged into the 'Stepney-gate' spy scandal.

In his supposedly confidential sworn affidavit provided to Ferrari by English lawyers, the Woking based outfit's suspended chief designer specifically named 'F1 CEO' Martin Whitmarsh as well as engineering director Paddy Lowe.

According to apparently leaked details published in the Italian daily sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Coughlan also confided in Whitmarsh - who is outranked only by team boss Ron Dennis - and Lowe, and was told by both of his superiors to dispose of the nearly 800-page secret Ferrari dossier.

Team manager Jonathan Neale had already been flagged as being potentially involved both by Coughlan and Ferrari's Italian lawyers.

Even La Gazzetta dello Sport, however, had to admit that "we are into the realms of rumors and whispers".

Nevertheless, the revelation could turn out to have serious implications for McLaren, after the team vehemently declared on Monday that Coughlan's illegal possession of the material "was not known to any other member of the team prior to (3 July)".

Not informing the FIA of suspected espionage is also contrary to the rules.

F1's governing body will examine all of the evidence in an emergency meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in central Paris next Thursday.

"McLaren looks forward to having the opportunity to present the complete and accurate picture of events in the appropriate forum," the team's statement also said.

FIA upset with opinionated F1 steward
(GMM) F1's governing body is reportedly upset with an FIA steward for commenting to the media this week about the upcoming meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

Joaquin Verdegay, an FIA race steward, told a Spanish newspaper this week that he thought McLaren should escape penalty for allegedly possessing and using stolen material from Ferrari.

"Certainly what I hope happens is that (Ron) Dennis' team do not even get a reprimand, because it is almost impossible to prove anything," he had said.

But it emerges that, although Verdegay is not a permanent member of the World Council, he will be representing Spanish motor sport clubs in Paris next Thursday in the absence of Carlos Gracia, an FIA vice-president.

By commenting on the scandal, therefore, the FIA believes Verdegay has given away which way he will vote and potentially prejudiced the process, which will involve evidence and information that is not currently in the public domain.

Alonso could leave McLaren if team guilty
(GMM) Fernando Alonso could choose to leave McLaren if the Mercedes-powered team is penalized by the FIA next Thursday.

A clause in the Spaniard's three-year contract allows the agreement to be broken if his reputation or image is damaged through an action of the team, according to the newspaper Diario As.

Ron Dennis-led McLaren faces an extraordinary hearing of the World Motor Sport Council next week for, regarding the Stepney-gate spy scandal, allegedly breaching Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.

The Article relates to "any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally", allowing the FIA to apply penalties ranging from fines to disqualification.

Heidfeld set to be a father again
(GMM) For more reasons than usual, Nick Heidfeld is expecting a nervous home grand prix this weekend.

Although the race is in his native Germany, the BMW-Sauber driver actually lives near Zurich (Switzerland), where his partner Patricia is expecting to give birth to their second child within days.

"The baby is supposed to arrive on Tuesday, but you never know," the 30-year-old said.

"They come when they want to come!"

Heidfeld insists, however, that he will not sit out the Nurburgring event -- even if his new son or daughter arrives on Sunday.

"With the help of helicopters and private jets, I will just come home as quickly as possible afterwards -- and hopefully I will not be too late," he promised.

Heidfeld's first daughter Juni turned two earlier this month.

Schu unsure about Ferrari role
(GMM) Michael Schumacher says he is still not sure what form his advisory role at Ferrari will take in the future.

The retired multiple world champion, who will attend this weekend's grand prix at the Nurburgring, ruled out becoming a team boss or returning to competitive action.

"No. Fortunately I found the right time to stop," he said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild.

"I considered my decision for a long time but I got it right."

Schumacher, 38, reveals that after several visits to the paddock in 2007, he still has not found a more specified role to play within the formula one team.

"But I do want to help with the development of Ferrari's road cars," he insists. "That is a lot of fun for me and I do have something to contribute."

In terms of the Maranello based F1 team, Schumacher - who has put on three kilograms since ceasing his F1 training program - admits that how much he can contribute is limited.

He said: "Already I notice that I am a little bit out of date, and the only alternative is to always be around -- and I absolutely do not want to do that."

Barrichello welcomes Honda's hiring spree
(GMM) Rubens Barrichello has welcomed the bolstering of Honda's technical team.

The struggling Japanese team has been on a poaching spree of late; taking on BMW's Jorg Zander and John Owen, Williams' Loic Bigois and Francois Martinet, and others.

Even with a heavily revised car for the second half of the 2007 season, Brazilian Barrichello and teammate Jenson Button again failed to score points at the last race at Silverstone.

But Barrichello, 35, said: "If we keep working hard I'm sure that things will be different in the future, especially now that new people have been hired to focus on aerodynamic development which is our worst problem."

He said the RA107 car actually felt better for the British grand prix, even if the final results are not yet representing significant signs of progress.

"It's true that arriving in ninth, one position before the points zone, is not very nice, but that is the real situation of my car," Rubens admitted.

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