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DATE News (chronologically)
08/27/07
racing news
Quotes of the Week  UPDATE Quote from Lewis Hamilton in response to Fernando Alonso's comments has been added below.

08/27/07
LEWIS HAMILTON, McLaren F1 driver, points leader in the Formula One World Championship
While championship leader Hamilton confessed that the reigning world champion had contributed to the team "hugely" this year, he suggests that Alonso's comments fail to recognize the contribution of McLaren's 1000-strong staff.  "It's a lot of people, so if he's found six tenths, then what have they found?" the Briton wondered.  "It's really through their work."  Hamilton acknowledged a good driver's contribution to a team's performance but said no individual can take all the credit.  "You know ... they make improvements, we test them out, so it's really a team thing; it's not one individual that's found all that time."  (Lewis Hamilton has hit back at teammate Fernando Alonso's claim that he is personally responsible for much of McLaren's step forward in 2007)

FERNANDO ALONSO, McLaren F1 driver, reigning 2-times Formula One World Champion
Despite delivering three victories and his contribution to the title-leading MP4-22 car, Alonso said that 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," he 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."   He also said, "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.  "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."
 
RON DENNIS, Team Principal, McLaren Mercedes Formula One team
Dennis quipped: "It's something heavy for him to throw at us!"  (Fernando Alonso was given a huge metal scale model of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz Formula One car from McLaren to mark the reigning world champion's 100th grand prix.)

BERNIE ECCLESTONE,  President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association
"Unless something new comes up, there's not an awful lot one can do because you've got to catch the guy with the shooter in his hands, pulling the trigger," Ecclestone is quoted as saying about the Spygate case.  "They can still be in trouble under the different sections in the rules where they should be in control of what goes on in the company.  But the big thing is, people would have to show that they were involved in the theft and they were using the material - that's where they would be in big trouble." 

BERNIE ECCLESTONE
"I would of course be very happy if Michael [Schumacher] came back," Ecclestone said, admitting that the loss of the former Ferrari star was potentially a big blow for his sport.  He continued, "Thank God for Lewis.  But can you imagine the duel of Michael versus Hamilton?  That would be great -- I'll have to work on it."  Regarding the spat between McLaren drivers Hamilton and Alonso, Ecclestone said, "It's like Prost and Senna," he said, "which is good for the fans.  I hope they continue to fight freely with one another with the fastest one winning -- I hate team orders.  I know it is not easy for the bosses to deal with but it is fascinating for us.  These types of confrontations have been too rare recently."

DAVID COULTHARD, Formula 1 driver, Red Bull Ferrari
"How do we know that Ferrari didn't deliberately not put fuel in Felipe's car?  Maybe that was a team decision to benefit Kimi. How do you forget to put fuel in a car?"  Massa, in the same media gathering, acknowledged Coulthard's conspiracy theory but answered: "It was not on purpose.  It was a misunderstanding."  Coulthard replied, "A pretty fundamental misunderstanding.  I think it's a conspiracy to favor Kimi. Good luck."  (Coulthard said he thought Ferrari might have deliberately fouled a pit stop for Felipe Massa three weeks ago in Hungary so as to give the Brazilian's teammate Kimi Raikkonen a clearer shot at the 2007 title)

NIKI LAUDA, 3-times Formula One World Champion
"What we have seen in Budapest was normal business in teammate relations, as race drivers are groomed to be egocentric, spoiled brats. They will use any legal and illegal ways to beat the other guy. The only problem is that you have to do it in an intelligent way so you don’t get caught like Alonso, who was relegated five places on the grid.
 
Lauda predicted that the pair will "try everything" to become this year's world champion, but - in the light of Alonso's behavior - sees the advantage with Hamilton.  "He is complaining, he is thinking about (going to) Renault or BMW; it cannot be helpful for him now. He is not focused enough."  Lauda observed that Alonso's standoffish attitude towards his own team is "dangerous" because it has made him an "outsider".  "It could be the beginning of a negative spiral for him," he added, "especially if he does not get a grip on it."  Lauda, however, said he is not surprised that the 2007 championship battle has boiled down to a catfight of clashing personalities.  "F1 drivers are assholes," he said plainly.
 
DALE EARNHARDT, Jr., NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated
"I think it's about time we give Teresa a break," Earnhardt said. "She makes the decision on that number because she owns it. And as much as I am disappointed and frustrated over the fact that I don't get to keep driving the No. 8, the stuff that I read on the Internet and the stuff that I'm hearing is going on -- the remarks about her, directed toward her -- I don't think anybody deserves that.   I just think everybody needs to lay off a little bit because she was married to my daddy and I know he wouldn't be too happy about what's going on, what's being said about her. I hate to see somebody be crucified on the Internet like Teresa has," Earnhardt said. "She's got a daughter that goes to school, that's got friends and she has to put up with that stuff. It's just hardcore, man.  People have been really, really rude and really way over the line on some of the things that have been said. I know Teresa doesn't know half of it because she won't read it and she won't put up with it. If anybody in their right mind knew that was going on they wouldn't be around it and deal with it."

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