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Latest F1 news in brief UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • F1 chiefs want new US venue
  • Comic relief by Speed at 'Ring
  • Button tells Lewis to forget spy saga
  • Renault would have Alonso back - Symonds
  • Hamilton annoys GPDA stalwarts New
  • Barrier annoys Schu's Swiss neighbors New
  • Kimi's manager shows interest in Hamilton New
  • Heidfeld to return to Zurich to see new son New
  • McLaren won't copy Ferrari wheels - Haug New

F1 chiefs want new US venue
(GMM) The bosses of carmaker-backed formula one teams have urged Bernie Ecclestone to reinstate a US grand prix as soon as possible.

F1's chief executive failed to conclude a new deal with his Indianapolis counterparts earlier this month, meaning that manufacturers including Honda, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz can no longer race within the boundaries of arguably their biggest market.

"We're very disappointed that we won't be at Indianapolis," Honda's Nick Fry told Reuters at the Nurburgring.

"It would be nice not only for it to continue but to add another grand prix in the United States."

Ecclestone is aware of the significance of America, but so far his unsuccessful negotiations for alternate events in Las Vegas or New York mean that the 2008 calendar will probably not feature a US grand prix.

Toyota team president John Howett added: "A decent street circuit or a very good race circuit close to a major city would be ideal."

Comic relief by Speed at 'Ring
(GMM) Scott Speed provided some comic relief at the dreary Nurburgring on Friday.

After a torrential storm washed out GP2 practice at the scene of the European grand prix, Toro Rosso's American racer revealed how he dealt with visitors to the team's motor home who kept using toilets that are reserved for the drivers.

"I got p-ssed with people using our bathroom so I made this cool notice and pinned it to the door," he said.

"It said: 'Are you one of the ridiculously good looking drivers of Toro Rosso? Are you a hot bird accompanied by one of the ridiculously good looking Toro Rosso drivers? If not, then this bathroom is NOT for you'.

"Actually, if anyone asks, I'm saying it had nothing to do with me, because the note is signed off, 'Management.' And I'm just the driver right?"

Button tells Lewis to forget spy saga
(GMM) Jenson Button at the Nurburgring advised countryman Lewis Hamilton to stop worrying about the outcome of the FIA's World Council hearing next week.

Of the four championship challengers at the Nurburgring, the McLaren rookie was the only one who this weekend has given quotable comments about the saga to the press.

Hamilton and his teammate Fernando Alonso face the very real prospect of having their title tilts dented by penalties for team espionage, but Honda's Button said: "There is no use Lewis worrying about it.

"He has just got to hope it sorts itself out. But you can't do anything about it, so there's no point working yourself up."

Tensions between Hamilton and world champion Alonso seem to have dampened in recent races, and so far at the Nurburgring they have been seen chatting happily at a sponsor event on the Nordschleife and in the paddock.

The press got a sniff of a verbal spat on Friday when Alonso declared championship leader Lewis as the favorite for the drivers' crown.

Hamilton retorted: "What does favorite mean? That's different people's opinions.

"For me, I've my own set of beliefs and I know what I can do. That's for me to keep to myself."

It has been calculated, however, that 80 per cent of mid-season championship leaders go on to lift the crown.

Mercedes' Norbert Haug told the newspaper Bild: "Hopefully this statistic is a good omen rather than a bad one."

Renault would have Alonso back - Symonds
(GMM) Renault would be happy to have Fernando Alonso back at the wheel of an Enstone-built car.

Engineering director Pat Symonds, instrumental in the Spaniard's back to back titles in 2005 and 2006, refuses to rule out a scenario where Alonso returns to the French squad.

"I bet he's glad he's not with us this year since we haven't come up with a car he'd want to drive," the Briton told the magazine F1 Racing.

"He is a damn good driver though and we'd happily have him back."

Symonds thinks Alonso, 25, might have decided to switch to McLaren primarily because of the speculation at the time about Renault's future in formula one.

"They were strong rumors so I absolutely don't criticize him for taking the decision to leave," he said.

But he added that "I know engineers who have left us to join other teams who have then come back saying it wasn't quite what they thought it would be."

Hamilton annoys GPDA stalwarts
(GMM) Some of Lewis Hamilton's more experienced on-track rivals are reportedly frustrated with the rookie championship leader.

According to the Spanish newspaper Diario As, the 22-year-old Briton has repeatedly refused to join the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA); the safety-oriented drivers' union.

GPDA stalwart David Coulthard last year admitted frustration with some of his fellow drivers who show reluctance to contribute to the sport beyond their team duties.

The Red Bull driver said the union "is the only route via which they can influence their sport and yet they don't seem to want to know."

Barrier annoys Schu's Swiss neighbors
(GMM) Michael Schumacher and his family may be enjoying their weekend at the Nurburgring, but trouble is brewing back at their home in Switzerland.

It is reported that the retired world champion's neighbors near Lake Geneva are annoyed that the Schumachers have blocked off a picturesque route with a barrier and 'Private Property' sign.

"It is no longer possible to get to the lake," a local resident told the Swiss newspaper '20 Minuten'.

It is understood that, although located on property owned by Schumacher, the barrier may be illegal because it blocks an access point to the banks of the lake.

German Schumacher, 38, did not want to comment on Saturday.

Kimi's manager shows interest in Hamilton
(GMM) One of F1's highest profile driver-managers has expressed interest in the Lewis Hamilton phenomenon.

David Robertson, who manages Kimi Raikkonen, said the McLaren rookie and championship leader is "transforming the sport" and could be set to break new records in terms of personal income.

"He's young, articulate and has great skill and the fact he's black makes you think he can earn (US) $100 million a year," Robertson told the Times.

Heidfeld to return to Zurich to see new son
(GMM) Nick Heidfeld will fly home from the Nurburgring after qualifying on Saturday to visit his newly-born second child.

Son Joda, who was scheduled to be born on Tuesday, arrived at 5.28 this morning.

With the help of private helicopters and jets, the 30-year-old BMW racer will then return to Germany after visiting the baby and his partner Patricia in time for the European grand prix on Sunday.

Heidfeld did not get much sleep overnight, as he confirmed that he received the first electronic photos of Joda shortly after he was born.

Patricia and Joda, who is 49 centimeters long and 3.4 kilograms in weight, are both well, he told reporters.

McLaren won't copy Ferrari wheels - Haug
(GMM) Mercedes' Norbert Haug on Saturday said McLaren were not considering copying Ferrari's controversial wheel cover innovation.

For the first time at Silverstone two weeks ago, Ferrari used the carbon fiber 'fairings' on both rear and front wheel rims. They are controversial because some believe they come close to what could be described as an outlawed 'moveable aerodynamic device'.

Toyota and Renault use a similar solution at the rear of their cars, but McLaren do not.

But "that is not the secret for why Ferrari are a tenth or two faster than us here," Haug insisted to the German broadcaster Premiere on Saturday.

"I believe it is part of an entire design philosophy. So if we simply put them on, I think nothing would happen."

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