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DATE News (chronologically)
09/15/07
f1
Latest F1 News in Brief  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

09/15/07
  • Briatore delays driver call until Japan
  • Massa not happy with size of McLaren penalty
  • Glock hopes for F1 decision soon
  • McLaren may 'swallow' $100m fine - Dennis
  • BMW confirm Kubica engine penalty New
  • Mosley, Dennis, continue spy row New
  • Klien hopes Alonso ignites driver market New

Briatore delays driver call until Japan
(GMM) Renault is now expected to announce its driver lineup before the Japanese grand prix in two weeks.

The news was expected at Monza last week, but it is rumored that team boss Flavio Briatore is waiting on the outcome of Fernando Alonso's overtly difficult relationship with McLaren.

Asked about Renault's plans for 2008 at Spa-Francorchamps, Briatore said: "I think we are working on that and maybe before Japan - maybe - because really I believe that we need to look carefully at what's going on, what's happening, and then afterwards we decide.

"For the moment, we are not really ready."

The charismatic Italian also warned off those who may be suggesting that rumors of a new espionage affair involving Renault might be compared with Stepney-gate, which ultimately cost McLaren $100m and a place on the 2007 constructors' table.

"First, if somebody tells me it's the same (as that), I sue somebody, quickly," Briatore bristled.

Massa not happy with size of McLaren penalty
(GMM) Felipe Massa suggested at Spa-Francorchamps that he is not happy with the size of McLaren's penalty for espionage.

The Ferrari driver hinted to the Spanish news agency EFE that he is not happy that drivers whose team was found guilty of breaching F1 rules should still be free to fight for the world crown.

"Personally I do not like fighting against people who know things about your team that they shouldn't (know)," the Brazilian, 26, said.

Massa would not say explicitly that he believes Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton should have been disqualified, but he insisted: "I believe that the drivers are a part of the team."

Spain's World Motor Sport Council member Carlos Gracia, meanwhile, revealed more detail about the possible harsher penalties that were nearly imposed on the McLaren team on Thursday.

He told Diario As that Alonso and Hamilton would have had all their drivers' points taken away, while test driver Pedro de la Rosa would have lost his Super License for an indeterminate time.

Glock hopes for F1 decision soon
(GMM) Timo Glock said at Spa-Francorchamps that his formula one future should be clearer in two weeks.

The GP2 frontrunner has an open offer to stay as BMW-Sauber's reserve driver next year, but he is also believed to be close to securing a race drive with Toyota or Williams.

"In the next two weeks I hope to know more," he is quoted as saying by the news agency 'sid'.

McLaren may 'swallow' $100m fine - Dennis
(GMM) Ron Dennis revealed at Spa-Francorchamps that McLaren may decide to simply pay its $100m spy fine without lodging an appeal.

The penalized team has a week to appeal the World Motor Sport Council's decision, but McLaren chairman Dennis said he might be prepared to swallow the fine so that the protracted espionage scandal has "closure".

"The other teams I hope will understand the financial penalty we will swallow in the interests of the sport," he told reporters on Friday, adding that McLaren is able to pay in full without risking going out of business.

It is rumored that Dennis' complete acceptance of the FIA sanction might be in exchange for the ending of any separate legal action, such as that waged by Ferrari in Italy.

He insists that the fine is "disproportionate" to the wrongdoing.

But the closure would be "for formula one", Dennis added. "I don't want to drag this thing out. It has to be complete closure."

BMW confirm Kubica engine penalty
(GMM) A BMW spokesman has confirmed that Robert Kubica's V8 engine was changed prior to qualifying at Spa.

The Pole's single seater stopped on the track just after the Rivage bend during Saturday practice in Belgium with smoke coming from the rear.

A ten-place grid penalty applies for Saturday engine changes, meaning that Kubica will start the Belgian grand prix 15th.

Mosley, Dennis, continue spy row
(GMM) As qualifying prepared to take place at Spa-Francorchamps, a new row was brewing between Ron Dennis and FIA president Max Mosley.

While speaking to reporters about the espionage affair at the Belgian circuit, Mosley praised Fernando Alonso for blowing the whistle about incriminating emails.

The Briton's account did not match up with that of McLaren boss Dennis, who on Friday said he was in fact the source of the tip-off.

Mosley said he received a phone call from Dennis before the Hungarian GP following the now widely reported argument with Alonso.

Dennis told Mosley that the Spaniard was "threatening" to take incriminating evidence to the FIA.

"And then Ron said, 'But there isn't any information'," Mosley told reporters.

"(He said): '(It's) a completely empty threat. There's no information, there's nothing to come out'."

Mosley said he then wrote a letter to Alonso and the other McLaren drivers, and Alonso replied with the emails.

Dennis reacted to Mosley's comments by denying that he lied to the FIA.

"I put my integrity above everything," the McLaren boss said in an interview with ITV.

To the news agency Reuters, however, he admitted that his relationship with Alonso is far from cosy.

Dennis said: "My job is to win the world championship. My job isn't for people to love and hug me."

Klien hopes Alonso ignites driver market
(GMM) Christian Klien is hoping that the fallout from the espionage saga helps him to land a formula one race seat next year.

Paddock sentiment is growing seemingly by the hour that Fernando Alonso's position at McLaren is now untenable.

While the unhappy Spaniard is reportedly hoping his team's FIA sanction has triggered an exit clause in his contract, team boss Ron Dennis was asked by reporters at Spa-Francorchamps why he has not already fired Alonso for his destructive behavior in 2007.

"If Alonso changes teams, then the driver market will come alive again," Honda test driver Christian Klien told the Austrian newspaper Kurier.

He predicted: "For me also new opportunities could open up. In a lot of ways everything depends on Alonso."

Klien has previously been linked with Spyker, while Nico Rosberg - among the favorites to replace Alonso at McLaren - might vacate his seat at the Williams team.

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