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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Spyker deal not done yet - Mol
  • India ready to pay $30m grand prix deposit
  • Publisher pays $2m for Hamilton story
  • Magistrate prolongs Stepney sabotage case
  • Countrymen back Ralf to exit F1

Spyker deal not done yet - Mol
(GMM) A spokesman for Michiel Mol has denied reports that a consortium also involving Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya has definitely bought the Dutch formula one team Spyker.

"Contrary to what has been written by numerous media outlets, a definite agreement still has not been reached concerning the acquisition of Spyker," spokesman Dick Haijma, representing Dutchman Mol and his wealthy father Jan, is quoted as saying by Sportweek.

He explained: "Since last Friday, the situation has not changed much. The negotiation period of 30 days is still effective.

"Until there are signatures on the papers, there is no deal."

It is understood, however, that the 'Orange India' consortium has been given 30 days to exclusively conduct due diligence and then decide to finalize the purchase of the F1 outfit.

Winnie Koole, parent company Spyker Cars' public relations manager, added: "It is correct that (the consortium) has laid down an offer of 80 million (euros)."

India ready to pay $30m grand prix deposit
(GMM) The prospective promoter for a grand prix in India is expected to shortly lay down a deposit to reserve a place on the formula one calendar of the near future.

Indian Olympic Association chairman Suresh Kalmadi reportedly told The Economic Times that, following the visit to Delhi this week of F1 circuit architect Hermann Tilke, his organization will have "no hassles" paying the necessary $30m deposit to Bernie Ecclestone.

"If we do something there, it would be for a minimum of seven years," F1's chief executive this week told the Indian television network CNBC-TV18.

76-year-old Ecclestone recently issued the race's potential promoter with a September 30 deadline, which presumably includes the payment of the $30m deposit.

An inaugural event is anticipated for 2009-2010.

Publisher pays $2m for Hamilton story
(GMM) Not even six months into his formula one race career, an international publishing house has paid at least (US) $2 million for the rights to rookie championship leader Lewis Hamilton's life story so far.

HarperCollins, owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, has reportedly paid the 22-year-old Briton a seven-figure advance in British Pounds and will issue 'Lewis Hamilton: My Story' in early November.

"We have paid a substantial sum but are very confident that the Lewis Hamilton book will sell extremely well," HarperCollins' senior publicity director Jane Beaton told the Daily Mail.

She added: "Lewis has had an unbelievable year."

After 12 grands prix in his rookie season for McLaren this year, Hamilton has already recorded three wins, seven other podium finishes, four pole positions, and leads his double world champion teammate Fernando Alonso in the drivers' championship by five points.

This week's Italian grand prix marks a year since he wrapped up the GP2 championship, also as a rookie.

"Hopefully this year I will have just as good a race and great memories for the future," he said ahead of Sunday's event at Monza.

Magistrate prolongs Stepney sabotage case
(GMM) An Italian magistrate has decided to prolong investigations of alleged sabotage waged against Ferrari by sacked former chief mechanic Nigel Stepney.

Parallel to the widely reported espionage saga, Stepney is also accused of trying to ruin the Maranello based marque's Monaco grand prix this year by adding white powder to the cars' fuel tanks.

"We have reasonable proof that Stepney was involved in this," magistrate Giuseppe Tibis said, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.

Tibis indicated that that Italian investigators have identified a link between the powder found in or near the Monte Carlo-spec fuel tanks and a pair of trousers belonging to Stepney, who was a key figure at Ferrari until last year and throughout the ultra successful Michael Schumacher era.

An initial hearing about the sabotage allegations will take place in mid-September, prior to a possible trial, the Guardian added.

"I will also ask the judge to assess the effect of the powder on the car engine and the car if it had driven," Tibis said.

Countrymen back Ralf to exit F1
(GMM) A former grand prix driver and countryman of Ralf Schumacher has tipped the German veteran to exit formula one at the end of the 2007 season.

Michael Bartels, who failed to qualify for four races with Lotus in 1991, told the German newspaper 'TZ' that the 32-year-old has not performed well enough at Toyota this year to earn another contract anywhere near the front of the 2008 grid.

"If you think about how many young drivers are waiting on the sidelines, it will be very difficult for Ralf," said Bartels, who currently races a Maserati in the FIA GT championship.

And he added: "In light of his current achievements, Ralf is absolutely over-paid."

Another of Ralf's countrymen, former grand prix winner Heinz-Harald Frentzen, urged Schumacher to explore reports this week that his former DTM employer Audi might be prepared to accommodate him next year.

Referring to rumors that Audi is prepared to spend more than $3m to entice Ralf to the German touring car series next year, 40-year-old Frentzen told Sport Bild: "He would be worth even more than that.

"He would bring along so much current know-how from formula one and would pay back the team's sponsors three-fold."

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