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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Williams plays down spy scandal
  • Alonso dismisses finish-line antics
  • Probably no Indian driver for Spyker in '08
  • Ferrari title over, Italy admits New
  • Spy saga to cost F1 - Williams New

Williams plays down spy scandal
(GMM) Sir Frank Williams has played down the seriousness of the espionage saga involving his close paddock ally Ron Dennis.

Admitting that his countryman's Woking based team could be heading for trouble at the World Motor Sport Council this week - with the maximum sanction being total exclusion from the championship - the British team boss and co-owner said the movement of information within pitlane is actually a common occurrence.

McLaren is accused of using information from a 780-page dossier obtained by its suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan from disaffected Ferrari employee Nigel Stepney.

"Every time we take an employee from BMW, or we lose one to Honda, or a Renault man goes to so and so, there's always some transfer of information," Williams is quoted as saying by the Guardian newspaper.

Alonso dismisses finish-line antics
(GMM) Fernando Alonso has denied that his finish-line antics at Monza were a sign of his growing antipathy towards his team, McLaren.

With the Woking based team embroiled in the espionage saga, and disgruntled Spaniard Alonso thought to be central to the FIA's new evidence to be presented at the World Motor Sport Council on Thursday, many paddock observers read into the way in which he greeted the checkered flag on Sunday.

Alonso, 26, usually sweeps across to the pitwall to greet the cheers of his team colleagues when he wins a race, but on Sunday he remained on a normal line.

Then, when engineer Steve Hallam and team boss Ron Dennis hailed Alonso's performance live on air via his team radio, the 26-year-old did not reply.

Alonso drew laughs from the assembled media after the race when he explained in the FIA press conference that "we are too fast here in Monza and if you go too close to (the pitwall), there is too much air coming to them.

"It is more dangerous (to do that) here than in any (other) place," he added.

Alonso later told the Spanish press that he would not answer more questions about the incident.

"I am not going to talk any more," Alonso is quoted as saying by the newspaper Diario As, "because after everything positive that I have achieved this weekend, if I talk about that then that is what you will write about."

Probably no Indian driver for Spyker in '08
(GMM) Vijay Mallya says it is unlikely that an Indian driver will be a part of Spyker's race lineup next year.

Alongside the Mol family, the Indian billionaire is about to buy the Silverstone based team, and it has been suggested that he would like a countryman to occupy a cockpit in 2008.

But in a bitter blow for Indian hopefuls like Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhock, Mallya admitted that the scenario will probably have to wait until at least 2009.

"In 2009, we certainly want an Indian driver," he said in an interview with the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

"We have Karun Chandhok, but he will probably improve a lot with a second year in GP2."

Ferrari title over, Italy admits
(GMM)  After an "embarrassing" home grand prix, even the Italian press has to admit that Ferrari's championship tilt in 2007 is basically now over.

"It is simply embarrassing," the sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport said after Kimi Raikkonen finished third and Felipe Massa retired with a suspension failure.

"A devastating home defeat follows the one-two of Istanbul.  The drivers' title is probably now over, and the constructors' championship can only be won in the FIA courts."

Turin based 'Tuttosport' chose a different tack, hailing Fernando Alonso's Monza victory as "Ferrari-like" and heralding him as an ideal driver for the Maranello based team.

"His dream is to defeat (Lewis) Hamilton, to leave McLaren, and then sit in Schumacher's Ferrari.  A Spaniard in an Italian team would for Italy be a sensation", the newspaper wrote.

The Italian broadsheet La Repubblica admitted that Massa's championship is now over and pointed a finger at Kimi Raikkonen's performance for just third on Sunday.

"Hamilton humiliates Raikkonen," the Rome newspaper wrote in a byline, referring to the McLaren rookie's overtaking move at the first chicane late in the race.

Milan's Il Giornale called Monza a "debacle" for Italy's team.

And "the hour of truth will soon strike in Paris", the daily newspaper added, referring to Thursday's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

Spy saga to cost F1 - Williams
(GMM)  Sir Frank Williams says he fears that the escalating espionage saga could scare off some of F1's financial investors.

The campaign of intrigue and scandal will reach its apex with another meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on Thursday.

But Grove based Williams, enjoying an improved showing as an independent team in 2007 compared with last year, expressed concern that the saga is not the right message for sponsors.

"This may cost formula one some business," he told reporters at Monza.

"I just have a bit of concern that if it goes on much longer, it will deter sponsors who are currently present in F1, or who are close to coming in."

Ferrari boss Jean Todt, meanwhile, is apologetic for the Maranello based team's role in pushing the so-called 'Stepney-gate' saga against McLaren, but said it is important that the sport tackles a situation involving alleged industrial espionage and fraud.

"I mean, it's a taint on the sport," he said.

"I think we are sorry that it is happening but we want the truth to appear.  Our duty is to provide as much evidence as possible for the World Council to understand exactly what has happened."

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