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DATE News (chronologically)
08/14/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Massa predicts 'war' at conflict-ridden McLaren
  • Jones 'loves' McLaren teammate squabble
  • Ramirez advises Alonso to stay at McLaren
  • Spy scandal is good news for F1 - Surer
  • Honda wind tunnel 'wrong' - Barrichello

Massa predicts 'war' at conflict-ridden McLaren
(GMM) Felipe Massa says he is relieved that Ferrari is not grappling with the kind of internal conflict that is currently polluting his championship rivals at McLaren.

The Brazilian driver, who is more than 20 points behind in the battle for the drivers' crown, rubs salt into McLaren's wounds by insisting that all is comparably well with his own teammate, Kimi Raikkonen.

Tension between McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton hit an all time high in Hungary recently, when their mutual mistrust and fierce competitive rivalry spilled into a sequence of on and off-track incidents.

"Seeing what is happening within McLaren makes me really value the relationship I have with Kimi," Massa told the Spanish newspaper Marca.

The 26-year-old said it is possible to be professional even when formula one teammates do not particularly like one another.

Referring again to the aloof Finn Raikkonen, Massa said: "We are not friends but we behave like two professional drivers who try to do the best thing for our team.

"Honestly I feel very lucky to be able to work at Ferrari where I have no problem at all with my teammate.

"We have a great atmosphere for working well together."

Massa also said he expected the situation between Spaniard Alonso and British rookie Hamilton to worsen even more over the next few races.

"War starts when harmony ends," he said.

Jones 'loves' McLaren teammate squabble
(GMM) 1980 world champion Alan Jones has refused to condemn McLaren's driver lineup for becoming embroiled in a bitter spat as they battle for the 2007 title.

The 60-year-old Australian, who similarly clashed with his Williams teammate Carlos Reutemann nearly three decades ago, said he enjoyed the on-track incidents and verbal battles waged between the pair at the recent Hungarian grand prix.

"I loved it," Jones told the Observer newspaper, albeit advising team boss Ron Dennis to get his drivers back under control.

Jones did not even criticize Alonso for deliberately holding up his teammate and championship leader Hamilton in the now infamous qualifying pitstop in Budapest.

"The only thing that surprised me about Alonso's tactics was that he didn't pretend to stall the car," he said.

"Then they couldn't have done a bloody thing to him.

"I'd be applying all sorts of tricks, psychological or otherwise. By doing what he did in the pit lane, Alonso might have taught Hamilton a bit of a lesson."

Jones said he would advise Alonso to sit down with Hamilton so that at least they are clear about where they stand.

He said the Spaniard should tell his teammate, "'Mate, you're leading the championship.

'If you'd like me to bugger that up for you a bit more, you keep going'."

Ramirez advises Alonso to stay at McLaren
(GMM) Jo Ramirez, who for 17 years until 2001 was McLaren's team coordinator, says the crumbling relationship of the Woking based squad's current driver lineup reminds him of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

The 66-year-old Mexican recalls the late 80s, when Senna and Prost's hostile rivalry and intense dislike of each other ended in famous on-track collisions for the titles.

"With each passing race it is more and more like that," the Mexican told the Spanish newspaper Diario As, adding that he sees world champion Fernando Alonso as the instigator of the row with rookie championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

"Fernando is struggling to accept that McLaren is not like Ferrari where preference is given to one of the drivers.

"I have told him that he must to learn to co-exist with his teammate and win over the team. At the races I have gone to I see him in his own corner with his father and his friends -- they are not trying to co-exist at all."

Ramirez, meanwhile, does not criticize Hamilton for disobeying a team order during qualifying in Hungary, which Alonso said triggered the famous qualifying pit stop delay.

"Sometimes a driver has to make his own decisions," he insists.

"It is true that Lewis basically owes his career to (team boss) Ron (Dennis), but he has also demonstrated that he is a winning driver who must defend his own ambitions."

Ramirez said he hopes the drivers' deteriorating relationship does not drive Alonso out of the team.

"Anyway, where can he go?" he wondered. "BMW, or back to Renault?

"If I was Alonso I would stay where I am because McLaren has the best car and probably still will have next year."

Ramirez also doubts reports that say Dennis is willing to release Alonso from his contract at the end of 2007.

"If you release a driver from a contract you are effectively handing him to your competitors," he said. "It is a difficult one.

"For example if Fernando goes to BMW, it is very possible that next year they could become a real threat and another rival for McLaren."

Ramirez said: "At the end of the year Dennis will have to weigh up the situation and decide."

Spy scandal is good news for F1 - Surer
(GMM) The ongoing 'spy scandal' between McLaren and Ferrari this year is good for the sport, according to an observer.

Marc Surer, a Swiss commentator and veteran of 87 grands prix in the 80s, said anything that rouses interest in formula one should be welcomed, even if the current scandal involves espionage, betrayal and bitter legal action.

"You know, scandals have never done F1 any harm in the past," he told BMW sponsor Credit Suisse's emagazine. "They get people talking."

55-year-old Surer also said the timing of Fernando Alonso's fallout with teammate and rookie championship leader Lewis Hamilton, just prior to the quiet August break, is good news.

He told reporters: "You've now got three weeks with something to write about.

"I don't remember any scandal ever having brought bad headlines for formula one."

Honda wind tunnel 'wrong' - Barrichello
(GMM) Honda designed and has developed its disastrous RA107 single seater with an incompetent wind tunnel, according to team driver and formula one veteran Rubens Barrichello.

Just prior to the recent Hungarian grand prix, where the Brazilian and his teammate Jenson Button embarrassingly languished as backmarkers, Barrichello traveled to the Japanese team's Brackley base in the UK.

He said he wanted to meet Honda's two new aerodynamic acquisitions; Williams' Loic Bigois and John Owen, who came from BMW.

"We had a very long talk and they made a great impression," Barrichello, who is 35, said.

"I heard from them exactly what I expected to.

"They believe that our wind tunnel's calibration is wrong and because of that everything that has been developed has not been effective.

"We will have to change many things -- even parts of the structure inside the tunnel. It will be about a month until we are able to see changes."

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