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DATE News (chronologically)
08/08/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

08/08/07
  • FIA books September date for spy appeal
  • Liuzzi says STR freeze 'possible'
  • Haug denies Alonso released from contract
  • Drivers to enjoy August break
  • Ferrari deal for Alonso unlikely - colleague New
  • Confirmed - McLaren proceed with points appeal New

FIA books September date for spy appeal
(GMM) As expected, the appeal against the World Council's espionage saga verdict will be heard by the International Court of Appeal in the second week of September.

F1's governing body, the FIA, booked the McLaren case for September 13, it confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.

"In the interests of transparency the hearing will be open to members of the press," it read.

In addition, "All of the teams competing in the 2007 (championship) have been given the opportunity to make written submissions ... and have been invited to attend the hearing to supplement their submissions with oral presentations."

Liuzzi says STR freeze 'possible'
(GMM) Italian driver Vitantonio Liuzzi has admitted the "possibility" of being officially frozen out of Toro Rosso's 2008 lineup with an announcement on Wednesday.

Swiss reports late on Tuesday said confirmation of multiple Champ Car title winner Sebastien Bourdais' move to the team and formula one is now imminent.

The Frenchman would for 2008 join at the Faenza based team the already-confirmed Sebastian Vettel, who recently replaced Liuzzi's former teammate Scott Speed.

Asked by the Italian website f1grandprix.it if the Motorsport Aktuell report was true, Liuzzi said: "I don't know.

"Anyway, I knew this possibility and I'm negotiating with other teams, so it's not a big change for me."

Liuzzi said it was "quite clear" even before the start of the season that both he and Speed had fallen out of favor with team bosses Franz Tost and Gerhard Berger.

He added: "That's why I decided to look elsewhere and Scott did the same. Now we are at this point.

"The atmosphere inside the team wasn't the best one, because many times the drivers were accused unfairly to hide the problems of the car."

Liuzzi, who turned 25 on Monday, would not reveal the identity of his alternate employers but f1grandprix.it said Williams was one possibility.

It is also believed that Sir Frank Williams' Toyota-powered outfit is strongly pursuing Renault test driver Nelson Piquet Jr as a potential new teammate for Nico Rosberg next year.

Liuzzi, meanwhile, dismissed German 20-year-old Vettel's debut alongside him at Toro Rosso in Hungary as "nothing special".

Referring to his bosses, he added: "Maybe they thought they will put him in the car and he would be half a second faster than me.

"Instead it was quite clear it was the contrary."

Haug denies Alonso released from contract
(GMM) Norbert Haug has dismissed British media reports that claim Fernando Alonso has been told by his McLaren-Mercedes bosses that he "can leave" at the end of the year.

Spain's reigning world champion joined the Woking based outfit on a three-year contract in 2007, but he has fallen out of favor with his British teammate Lewis Hamilton and team boss Ron Dennis.

"They're so fed up with him," a 'well-placed source', referring to 26-year-old Alonso's bosses, was quoted as saying by The Times after the tumultuous Hungarian grand prix.

Team carmaker partner Mercedes-Benz's Norbert Haug, however, insisted to the Bild newspaper on Wednesday that Alonso wants to stay at McLaren.

Asked if he would bet on it, the German answered: "This question did not even arise. We have a valid contract, so why do I need to bet?"

Haug denied that Dennis has freed the driver from the constraints of his binding contract, even after Alonso in Hungary refused to commit to the team for the full three-year term.

Haug continued to the German newspaper Stuttgarter Nachrichten: "We have now begun the summer break so for the next three weeks it is necessary for the media to write something.

"I know this very well and for that reason I am calm," Haug, who used to be a journalist, added.

He admitted, however, that McLaren's fractious team players - including Alonso, Hamilton and Dennis - will sit down for crucial talks prior to Turkey.

The F1 correspondent for Spanish newspaper Diario As, Carlos Miquel, also contradicted the Times article by claiming that "even Dennis does not have the power" to unilaterally cancel Alonso's watertight contract.

The only scenario in which releasing Alonso would be unconditionally allowed is if Alonso "fails to fulfill his obligations" to the team.

And "at the present time, only a strong sanction for McLaren in the Court of Appeal (espionage case) could release Alonso due to the damage to his image," Miquel added.

Drivers to enjoy August break
(GMM) After the raucous of the espionage scandal and a tumultuous Hungarian grand prix, Fernando Alonso has returned home to Switzerland for the well earned summer break.

With formula one now in the deliberate three week calendar gap that ties in with a summer test ban, Spain's reigning world champion told Sport Bild that he planned to simply relax "with my wife Raquel and friends".

His teammate and rookie championship leader, Lewis Hamilton, also plans to stay at home near McLaren's Woking base, as does BMW-Sauber racer Nick Heidfeld, whose partner Patricia recently gave birth to their second child in Zurich.

Williams' Nico Rosberg will use the August break to spend time with girlfriend Vivian, who is 21, and a group of friends at his famous father Keke's vacation house on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza.

Toro Rosso rookie Sebastian Vettel plans to be busier, visiting family in his birthplace of Heppenheim (Germany) before returning home to Geneva (Switzerland) and spending time at the STR factory in Italy.

BMW team principal Mario Theissen said: "More than anyone else, the mechanics and engineers are glad to at least be able to enjoy a few days of peace and quiet following the strenuous past weeks and months."

Most factory-based F1 personnel will, meanwhile, keep working throughout the break.

Ferrari boss Jean Todt said in Hungary that although testing is banned, "we can still work in the wind tunnel and with the simulation facilities".

Ferrari deal for Alonso unlikely - colleague
(GMM) A veteran formula one engineer has cast doubt on speculation that Ferrari could be a real option for Fernando Alonso in the future.

With rumours intensifying by the hour that the reigning world champion might quit McLaren, it is suggested that the Maranello based Prancing Horse might be his first choice because it is the only other current winner in F1.

But fellow Spaniard Joan Villadelprat, who worked with Alonso when he drove as a rookie for Minardi, said the Ferrari option probably disappeared for his countryman six years ago.

"He had reached a deal to go to Ferrari for five years," Villadelprat, who also worked for Benetton, Ferrari, McLaren, Tyrrell, Benetton and Prost during his career, said of Alonso, referring to 2001.

"Their agreement was final and his agent had even reached a verbal agreement with a handshake.

"One week later they signed with (Renault's Flavio) Briatore without (Jean) Todt's consent, guaranteeing that he would never be a driver for Ferrari," he told the Spanish newspaper Diario As.

Villadelprat also commented that he would have publicly shamed Alonso's McLaren teammate, the rookie championship leader Lewis Hamilton, for famously disobeying a team order during qualifying in Hungary.

"If I was in charge at McLaren I would have made his sanction public," he said, "because, like in any other business, if an employee disobeys his boss, you get punished."

Confirmed - McLaren proceed with points appeal
(GMM) McLaren has decided to proceed with its appeal against the stewards' decision to dock the team of points from the Hungarian grand prix.

The news was confirmed both by the Woking based team and F1's governing body, the FIA, on Wednesday.

Late on the night of Hungaroring qualifying last Saturday, race stewards, led by permanent member Tony Scott Andrews, ruled that the Mercedes-powered outfit should be penalized for its part in Fernando Alonso's now-infamous pit stop delay of his own teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The 15 potential points accrued on Sunday by Alonso and Hamilton were then listed as provisional, and a representative of the team was not invited onto the podium to receive a constructors' trophy.

Despite reports on Sunday that McLaren was considering not proceeding with its right to appeal, a spokeswoman for the team on Wednesday confirmed that the British motor sport authority had indeed lodged the request on the team's behalf.

And "The International Court of Appeal has received confirmation of McLaren's appeal from the national sporting authority in the UK," a spokesman for the FIA said.

It means that the Hungarian controversy is the second current case involving McLaren set to be heard by the FIA Court, alongside the espionage appeal in mid September.

The team, meanwhile, was not able to appeal Alonso's separate penalty that moved him back from pole position to sixth on the grid.

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