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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Honeymoon over for Hamilton in Britain
  • Spyker says 'B' car may still qualify last
  • Singapore GP work to begin next month
  • Briatore to marry model next year
  • Karthikeyan hopes for better Williams role

Honeymoon over for Hamilton in Britain
(GMM) Not yet five full months into Lewis Hamilton's formula one career, his so-called 'honeymoon period' with the British media appears over.

Fleet Street newspapers and paparazzi photographers have so far spent F1's summer break tracking the 22-year-old McLaren driver on a vacation in St Tropez, where he has been spending time with an unidentified 'brunette' beauty.

And after publishing photos of the championship leader riding a wave on a jet-ski, the Sunday Mirror wondered in a headline, "Er, Lewis.. should you REALLY be doing that?"

The reporter observed that Hamilton "had no safety features, crash helmet or medical teams on standby in case he crashed", and that his long-term girlfriend Jodia will also be "worried" by his jaunts.

The Daily Mail published long-lens photos of the Briton kissing and frolicking with the bikini-clad 'mystery brunette' on McLaren shareholder Mansour Ojjeh's 72-metre luxury yacht, speculating that Hamilton had "traded in" Jodia for a model more in line with his newfound fame and fortune.

The newspaper said Hong Kong-based Jodia "stood by him" when he was a "penniless go-kart racer", while Hamilton "has done little to spare her feelings".

It is also claimed that a team of property specialists are now scouring Monaco for a luxury apartment for their client, and that "only the finest hotel suites will do" now for Hamilton.

He does not "seem remotely fazed by the moneyed circles into which he has suddenly been catapulted. In fact, those on the inside of the sport say he has come to expect and demand nothing but the best," the Mail wrote.

Spyker says 'B' car may still qualify last
(GMM) Mike Gascoyne has moved to downplay expectations for Spyker's much-anticipated 'B' car.

The heavily updated single seater will appear for the first time in Turkey later this month, amid reports that it could be up to a second per lap quicker than the uncompetitive F8-VII model that regularly languishes at the rear of the formula one field.

But veteran Gascoyne, who is the Dutch team Spyker's chief technical officer, cautioned that he thinks the 'B' car has been built up too much in the press.

"Exactly," the Briton agreed. "If you could just suddenly chuck a car into the midfield, then everybody would be doing it. It's not that easy."

Despite trying to downplay expectations, however, Gascoyne admitted that the new car is a "reasonable step forward".

"It's a step forward, but only a small one, and we may well still qualify on the back row. But this time next year judge us by where we are," he added.

Singapore GP work to begin next month
(GMM) Work at the site of next year's inaugural Singapore grand prix will begin in earnest next month.

70 per cent of the part street-circuit is basically already in place in the form of existing roads, with work on the remaining 1.2 kilometres and the pit and paddock buildings to begin soon, the local news agency Bernama said.

"We have refined the proposed street circuit and submitted the plans to the FIA for its assessment and endorsement," the Singapore Tourism Board's Lim Neo Chian said.

Subject to circuit approval, the first Singapore race is scheduled for September 28 next year.

Briatore to marry model next year
(GMM) Renault boss Flavio Briatore will marry his 27-year-old girlfriend Elisabetta Gregoraci in May next year.

The Italian weekly magazine 'TV Sorrisi e Canzoni' reports that Briatore, 57 and thirty years his fiancee's senior, asked the former topless and 'Wonderbra' model to marry him as they vacationed on his yacht in F1's current August break.

He has reportedly already given her an emerald engagement ring that is worth "several hundred thousand" euros, according to the report.

Briatore has previously dated supermodel Naomi Campbell, and has a daughter with Heidi Klum.

Karthikeyan hopes for better Williams role
(GMM) Narain Karthikeyan's contract with Williams also covers the 2008 season, it has emerged.

The Indian, who joined the Grove based team as an occasional test driver after racing for a season with Jordan in 2005, told the Hindustan Times that he is hoping for a better role next year.

"I have got a contract with Williams for next year and am hoping to get behind the wheel as a driver," the 30-year-old said.

Williams' current lineup of Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz has not yet been confirmed for 2008, raising the possibility of a racing promotion for Karthikeyan.

Regarded as fast but erratic in F1 circles, Karthikeyan carries with him substantial sponsor backing from India, whose worth to Williams would be increased if he was to fill a race seat.

Karthikeyan would not elaborate about his chances, saying only: "If it doesn't materialize, I have got a commitment with the A1 Grand Prix (series) and would race in it."

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