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DATE News (chronologically)
08/25/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Alonso revives McLaren tensions in Turkey
  • Ferrari likely to miss drivers' crown - Gene
  • Hamilton slams gossip media attention

Alonso revives McLaren tensions in Turkey
(GMM) With a tentative truce only just declared at McLaren, Fernando Alonso in Turkey has threatened to revive tensions within the championship leading team.

The Spanish reigning world champion told reporters after Friday free practice in Istanbul that, despite delivering three victories and his contribution to the title-leading MP4-22 car, he has not noticed "anything given back to me" by the British outfit.

"I gave to the team a lot when I arrived in December," the 26-year-old said. "I remember the first (McLaren) car I drove, I remember the results they had in 2006, and how I brought to the team half a second, six tenths or whatever."

Alonso confirmed the existence of his "long-term" McLaren contract but, as in Hungary three weeks ago, refused to confirm that he will still be a silver-clad driver in 2008.

He also said that, despite crisis meetings in the Conrod hotel on Thursday and a face-to-face encounter and post-Hungary phone call with teammate Lewis Hamilton, "nothing has changed" since so-called war broke out in Budapest.

The Spanish news agency Agencia EFE quoted him as saying in Turkey: "I do not know where I am going to race next year. It is impossible to know that.

"The only thing I know is that I have a contract with McLaren and that, yes, I can drive here again."

Alonso confirmed that Hamilton phoned him on the Monday after Hungary, where both drivers had told the press that they were currently not talking to one another.

"I congratulated him on his win and he asked me how I would be spending the vacation. I said I was going to stay at my house and the conversation finished there," he said.

Hamilton told reporters on Friday that they had exchanged apologies following their Hungarian falling-out, but Alonso denied this.

"He apologized to me in case he had done anything wrong, and so I asked him if he thought I had done anything wrong as well. He told me 'no', so I did not have anything to apologize for."

Spain's Diario As newspaper, meanwhile, quoted Ron Dennis as confirming that he would review Alonso's contract at the end of the season.

"When the season is over, we will see -- right now there are six races to go," the team boss said.

Ferrari likely to miss drivers' crown - Gene
(GMM) McLaren is most likely to emerge with the drivers' world championship in 2007, according to Marc Gene.

The Spaniard is a test driver for McLaren's title rivals Ferrari, and he said the twenty point gap between Kimi Raikkonen and championship leader Lewis Hamilton is nearly too great to bridge in just six races.

"Honestly I believe that the drivers' title is practically impossible for us," he told the Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

Gene added: "20 points in six races when the McLaren never fails -- that is very, very difficult.

"The constructors? In that one we clearly have some better chances."

In the teams' championship, the gap between leaders McLaren and Ferrari is 19 points, but the Woking based team stands to gain 15 more if it wins the upcoming appeal of the stewards' Hungary ruling.

McLaren could be handed a points penalty, however, if the team is sanctioned in the espionage saga appeal, which will also be heard by the International Court of Appeal in September.

Ferrari may also be able to benefit from the in-fighting between Fernando Alonso and his British team counterparts Lewis Hamilton and Ron Dennis, Gene said.

He explained: "It surprises me, because in all the time I have been in F1 it is the first time I have seen a team lose control of a situation like that."

Hamilton slams gossip media attention
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton in Turkey has taken issue with his newfound profile in the gossip tabloids.

During F1's August break, the rookie championship leader was depicted in newspapers as having cruelly dumped his girlfriend and taking up with at least two glamour girls -- including the 18-year-old daughter of one of his McLaren team bosses.

"If I was true, fair play, write it," he told reporters at the scene of Sunday's Turkish grand prix in Istanbul.

"But I'm not. I'm trying to lead a normal life."

The 22-year-old Briton insisted that Sara Ojjeh has a boyfriend, and that the mystery oriental girl photographed with him at a cinema is in fact his friend's fiancée.

"I found out the other day I've slept with Dido. I don't remember it," Hamilton said.

He confirmed that he has split with his former long-time girlfriend Jodia, but said all the media attention about his private life is hurting them both.

"The papers keep bringing it up and it's devastating for both of us," he said.

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