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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Spyker won't buy customer car - Mallya
  • 'Error or damage' didn't make me crash - Raikkonen
  • Ferrari expect stronger showing at Spa
  • Magistrate denies Ferrari spy collusion
  • Champions play down McLaren axe rumors

Spyker won't buy customer car - Mallya
(GMM) Spyker will remain a constructor in the future rather than buy cars from bigger teams, according to one of the team's new owners.

The sale of the Dutch outfit to the Mol family and Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya will almost certainly be rubber-stamped at the end of the month.

But Mallya, to own half of the team that in the future will include the word 'India' in its name, told f1.com that the cars will continue to be built in the factory at Silverstone.

"Spyker is a constructor team and all new teams that possibly will come into existence in '08 are not constructors," he observed.

New rules next year are expected to allow entrants like Prodrive to buy a complete chassis from other teams.

And even though Spyker is at present the slowest competitor on the grid, Mallya said: "I clearly wanted to be a constructor."

He also revealed that the "Indian flag would be part of the team colors and logo" in 2008.

'Error or damage' didn't make me crash - Raikkonen
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen has continued to insist that a technical failure did not contribute to his high speed crash at Monza on Saturday.

The Finn's Ferrari speared sharply to the right under braking for the Ascari chicane at some 300kmh in the final practice session, leaving most commentators unanimous a mechanical problem was the only logical cause.

Maranello based engineers insisted, however, that Raikkonen's rear brakes had simply locked on a bump, and blamed neither a car fault or a driving error.

"The telemetry didn't give any hint of an error or damage, just like the analysis of the car in Maranello, as the technicians told me," Raikkonen, 28, said on Tuesday.

Kimi subsequently raced with a sore neck, and replays of Lewis Hamilton's overtaking maneuver late in the Italian grand prix show Raikkonen barely able to keep his head upright under braking.

With mere days until he will need to drive again at Spa-Francorchamps, he insisted: "I'm 100 percent fit in terms of physical fitness. After the race I took some painkillers and I relaxed a bit."

Ferrari expect stronger showing at Spa
(GMM) Ferrari is likely to return to top performance as the circus moves on this week to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

That is the belief of the Maranello based team's chief designer Nikolas Tombazis, after McLaren secured a dominant one-two victory last Sunday on the high speed Monza straights.

Ferrari's F2007, however, has generally struggled this year at circuits such as Monza and also Montreal that put a premium on low downforce and curb-riding.

So while Spa is still a fairly low downforce circuit, it does feature many more very high speed corners than Monza.

"That, for us is a positive aspect," Tombazis observed. "I think all in all, I am hopeful we can be quite competitive (there)."

Kimi Raikkonen agreed: "We knew that McLaren would be fast at Monza, very strong, and that we were not where we wanted to be.

"For sure they were stronger than us but I think once we go to Spa it should level out a bit."

Magistrate denies Ferrari spy collusion
(GMM) The public prosecutor of the northern Italian region of Modena has refuted the insinuation that it colluded with Ferrari at the Italian grand prix last weekend.

After key McLaren figures were presented by uniformed officials with avviso di garanzias just prior to qualifying at Monza, the Woking based team said in a statement that "we strongly suspect that the nature and timing of this wholly unnecessary contact ... was to disrupt our preparation for this important session and Thursday's World Motor Sport Council hearing".

Modena magistrate Giuseppe Tibis, however, has refuted the charge, telling the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that his office was "obliged" to act in accordance with Italian law.

German specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport, meanwhile, claims that the magistrate officers - not police, as was reported at the time - patiently waited in the McLaren motor home for several hours while the team chiefs in question concentrated on qualifying, and the arrival of lawyers from Britain.

Later, even boss Ron Dennis toned down the earlier enmity of his team's press statement.

"They were not hostile," he said of the men who had presented the legal notices. "They were extremely polite, we were not charged with anything, we were not accused, they were not aggressive and were understanding I had other responsibilities on that day.

"Their behavior was impeccable, and I understood completely they were seeking to follow a process laid down under Italian law," Dennis added.

Champions play down McLaren axe rumors
(GMM) Two former title winners have played down speculation that McLaren could on Thursday be kicked out of the world championship.

1982 champion Keke Rosberg told the German newspaper Bild that, irrespective of the evidence to be presented by the World Council, disqualification would be a "disproportionate" punishment.

But he added: "If espionage is proven, I cannot see that just the drivers can escape the penalty."

It is rumored that McLaren might be excluded from the constructors' standings, but that drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton will be free to keep fighting for the title.

Rosberg said: "Of course I do not want to see it happen, but I do not know how you can separate the driver and the team like that. Drivers, cars - everything; it is all the same team."

Triple world champion Niki Lauda, meanwhile, doubts that McLaren will suffer any sanction at all, based on speculation that central to the new evidence are the reported emails between Pedro de la Rosa and Alonso.

"If that is the only proof, there will be no punishment," the Austrian confidently predicted.

Lauda added: "The fact that drivers talk about other teams is completely normal. I remember when I was driving, talking about the tire pressures of the other teams."

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