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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Speed 'not released' from contract - manager
  • McLaren fume at spy case appeal
  • Silverstone agrees on $50m British GP upgrade
  • Spy appeal 'not good' for FIA image
  • Ape-like Kimi relaxes with beer

Speed 'not released' from contract - manager
(GMM) Scott Speed is yet to comment after being dropped by the Toro Rosso team.

Faenza based STR announced in a statement on Tuesday that former BMW test driver Sebastian Vettel would instead drive the number 19 car alongside Vitantonio Liuzzi for the balance of 2007, but made no mention of the contractual situation involving Speed.

The 24-year-old from America has not so far been reached for comment following the Vettel news, but his manager Glen Hinshaw replied to an email enquiry from the newspaper LA Times.

Hinshaw said Speed "is not released from (his) contract" and that further details "regarding the team and driver ongoing relationship" would be announced after Sunday's race in Hungary.

McLaren fume at spy case appeal
(GMM) McLaren expressed anger but also confidence after it emerged that the FIA's espionage case against the Woking based team would now be appealed.

Ron Dennis' team in a statement expressed cynicism that Max Mosley only decided to send the case to the Court of Appeal "following a thoroughly misleading press campaign by Ferrari and pressure from the Automobile Club D' Italia" (ACI).

The appeal will be heard in late August or early next month, according to sources.

Mosley, the FIA president, wrote in his letter to the ACI on Tuesday that - although McLaren were not punished by the World Council last week - there are "a number of suspicious elements" to the team's defense.

At the same time, Ferrari's board of directors met in Maranello and gave the green light for more legal action, this time presumably against McLaren.

"The Board gives its full authority ... to initiate and continue any necessary legal action ... in addition to those legal actions already underway in every legal, civil, criminal, administrative (and) sporting jurisdiction, be it in Italy or abroad," a statement read.

Silverstone agrees on $50m British GP upgrade
(GMM) The future of the endangered British grand prix took a step in the right direction on Tuesday.

At a meeting at the ageing Silverstone circuit, members of the race's promoter - the BRDC - voted in favor of doing (US) $50m in upgrade work so as to secure another grand prix contract beyond 2009.

"We can only continue to develop exciting young stars like Lewis Hamilton if we have the best facilities at which to nurture such talent," BRDC president Damon Hill said.

80 per cent of the BRDC members voted for the so-called 'masterplan', which includes plans for new grandstands and better pit and paddock facilities.

Spy appeal 'not good' for FIA image
(GMM) An FIA vice-president has questioned Max Mosley's decision to send the espionage investigation involving McLaren to the Court of Appeal.

Carlos Gracia, who is president of the Spanish automobile federation (Real Federacion Espanola de Automovilismo), told the newspaper Diario As that he was surprised when he heard Tuesday's news.

"The truth is that I had hoped that the FIA would not question the decision of the World Council, but I would like more details from Max Mosley before announcing an opinion," he said.

"What is clear is that all of this controversy is not good for the image of the organization."

Ape-like Kimi relaxes with beer
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen has proved that the espionage scandal involving Ferrari and his championship rivals McLaren is not getting to him.

The relaxed Finn, who has won three races this year but retired from the recent European grand prix with a broken Ferrari, seemed to be enjoying himself when he turned up on Saturday at an event in Finland called the Hanko Poker Run.

For the speed boat race in Hanko, a southern port city, 28-year-old Raikkonen arrived with a few of his friends -- disguised in a full gorilla suit.

He was also photographed drinking a bottle of beer.

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