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

  • Haug defends Hungary points appeal
  • Fry hits back at Button bashing
  • 'Arrogant' Lewis buying own hype - Irvine
  • Ferrari vows to fight on with spy case
  • Hakkinen rules out McLaren return rumors New
  • Spyker names defaulting Albers sponsor New
  • Albers nears deal for new manager New

Haug defends Hungary points appeal
(GMM) Norbert Haug has justified McLaren-Mercedes' decision to proceed with its appeal against its confiscated constructors' points for the Hungarian grand prix.

The competition director for the Woking based team's carmaker partner, Mercedes-Benz, stated last Sunday that his personal position was "quite clear that we should drop it".

McLaren is going through a tumultuous period; engulfed in the espionage scandal, trying to handle spiraling ill relations between its drivers, and locked in the battle with Ferrari for the world titles.

But it emerged on Wednesday that McLaren had decided to press on with the appeal against the Hungarian stewards' verdict, after they ruled that the team should not score any points in Budapest for its involvement in Fernando Alonso's controversial qualifying pit stop.

If successful with the appeal, the Ron Dennis-led outfit stands to gain a further 15 points to its lead over Ferrari in the teams' chase. Conversely, the International Court of Appeal could also increase McLaren's penalty.

Haug said in an interview with the Cologne newspaper Express: "Should those 15 points in the end make the difference between places one and two in the constructors' world championship, this would mean the loss of many millions of dollars, in addition to the title itself."

Fry hits back at Button bashing
(GMM) Honda team boss Nick Fry has hit back at criticism of the Japanese squad's British driver Jenson Button.

Countryman and 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell was this week quoted by the BBC as saying 27-year-old Button had wasted his opportunities to win races by under-performing and indulging in a too-glamorous lifestyle.

"He had the opportunity and didn't take it," Mansell said. "There won't be any more."

Britain's 1996 title winner Damon Hill, meanwhile, attacked under-performing Honda for "totally wasting" Button's talent.

"He's wilting away there," Eurosport quoted Hill as saying. "Honda just aren't a front-running team."

The Brackley based outfit's principal Nick Fry reacted by admitting that the current Honda car is "not particularly good" but said Button is still a future world champion.

And to Mansell's criticism about Button's nightlife, Fry told the Daily Mail: "People forget that Jenson made his F1 debut at the age of 20 -- but he's now 27.

"I've worked with him now for five years, and his increasing maturity, and the way he has changed his lifestyle is extremely noticeable."

'Arrogant' Lewis buying own hype - Irvine
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton's true arrogance is now beginning to emerge from a "cleaner-than-clean" media image, according to former Ferrari and Jaguar racer Eddie Irvine.

The Ulsterman and winner of 4 grands prix, who retired from the sport in 2002 after failing to secure a seat at the Jordan team, accused McLaren rookie Hamilton of harvesting an untrue reputation through the press.

"Lewis is playing a particularly polished and clever game when it comes to appearing cleaner-than-clean but his arrogance is starting to come out now," Irvine, now 41, wrote in his column for Virgin Media.

He described as "unbelievable" the disrespect shown by Hamilton to his mentor and team boss Ron Dennis in his foul-mouthed attack on the radio during Hungarian grand prix qualifying.

During the same session in Budapest, 22-year-old championship leader Hamilton also repeatedly ignored a team order which is understood to have triggered Fernando Alonso's pit stop delay tactics.

Irvine said: "Success is starting to go to his head. The way he behaved in Hungary is beyond belief."

Irvine's own maverick image in formula one was hardly angelic, but he says he has "no respect for people who disrespect their team managers and Lewis is rapidly beginning to lose mine".

Irvine also saved some disapproval for reigning world champion Alonso, comparing the qualifying incident for which he was penalized by stewards to Michael Schumacher's widely-condemned move on Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997.

He said: "I can't condone cheating, but if you must do it, there's got to be a subtler way!"

Ferrari vows to fight on with spy case
(GMM) Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo on Thursday said he was more determined than ever to pursue championship rivals McLaren in the ongoing espionage saga.

The case will be heard by the FIA's International Court of Appeal in mid September, after the Italian motor sport federation disagreed with the unanimous decision of the World Council.

"We will go on with great determination and deep conviction right to the end," Montezemolo is quoted as saying by the Mirror.

"This is of unheard seriousness."

Hakkinen rules out McLaren return rumors
(GMM) Mika Hakkinen has this week dismissed wild rumors that he could be part of the solution to McLaren's current driver discord.

The Finn, who since retiring from F1 in 2001 has returned to competition in Germany's DTM touring car series, was the Woking based team's last world champion.

He even tested a Mercedes-powered single seater in the 2007 pre-season at Barcelona, but on Thursday was quoted as rejecting speculation that he would be the ideal replacement for disgruntled fellow double world champion Fernando Alonso.

"I enjoyed my career in formula one but the right time arrived for me to stop and find something else," Hakkinen, who is 38, told the Spanish news agency EFE at an event in Caracas, Venezuela.

He added: "By all means there were rumors, it is true that I did a test and it was a great experience that I do not regret.

"But that was it. That was the end."

Hakkinen, still linked with McLaren as an ambassador for the team's sponsor Johnnie Walker, said he did not really want to comment on the current "difficult" situation between teammates Alonso and rookie Lewis Hamilton that reached crisis point last weekend in Hungary.

As a double world champion, though, he speculated that rookie and championship leader Hamilton had caused a significant "headache" for Spaniard Alonso this year.

"I can imagine it is difficult for him to accept; he was the number one and the champion.

"For Ron Dennis the situation is troublesome, but he is absolutely the right person to be able to deal with it."

Hakkinen said 26-year-old Alonso was clearly not counting on Hamilton being so competitive in his rookie year in formula one.

"But whoever wants to participate in a race must respect the idea of 'fair play' and be honest," he stated.

Spyker names defaulting Albers sponsor
(GMM) Dutch formula one team Spyker has for the first time essentially admitted the identity of the defaulting sponsor responsible for Christijan Albers' F1 exit.

The 28-year-old Dutch driver was forced to vacate his race seat last month, and speculative press reports at the time suggested that Mingya European Resort, a Chinese real estate developer with Dutch links, had failed to pay its multi-million dollar bills.

Spyker Cars B.V, the Silverstone based team's sports-car making parent, has now formally confirmed that Mingya began to go into default at the beginning of this year.

The carmaker said Spyker's predecessor, Midland, initially signed the sponsorship deal with Albers' backer last year.

"As of the beginning of 2007 Spyker has formally notified Mingya about its default to pay the installments due under the sponsorship agreement," a statement read.

Spyker added: "All parties involved were aware of the payment default of Mingya."

The outfit also addressed rumors in the Dutch language newspaper De Pers that financially embattled Spyker planned to delist from the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Spyker said that, in fact, "a delisting might be a consequence" of a current refinancing process, but that currently the carmaker "has no concrete plans" to do so.

"Finding itself in a very early phase of the review process, it is too early for Spyker Cars B.V to anticipate the outcome of the strategic review and its refinancing operation," Spyker added.

Albers nears deal for new manager
(GMM)  Axed Spyker racer Christijan Albers is edging towards a deal to be managed by Didier Coton.

Frenchman Coton, whose most famous clients are double world champion Mika Hakkinen and Williams' Alexander Wurz, is reported to have already met with the Dutchman, who split this year with his long time manager Lodewijk Varossieau.

The Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report said initial contact between the pair was made at the recent DTM race at Zandvoort.

"I had a meeting with Coton," Albers, who is 28, confirmed.

"Nothing is fixed yet, as neither of us are in a hurry.

"I have known him already for some time, but before one signs a contract, one should develop a little mutual confidence and learn a bit about one another."

Albers added: "But he is a real professional and I respect him greatly."

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