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  • We're not champions yet says Ferrari
  • FIA vows to probe new espionage claim
  • Hamilton should fear Alonso - Spanish press

We're not champions yet says Ferrari
(GMM) Ferrari has confirmed that it does not yet see itself as winner of the 2007 constructors' championship, despite mathematically clinching the title in Belgium.

"As long as there is the possibility for McLaren to present an appeal against the World Motor Sport Council decision we cannot be defined as world champions," said spokesman Luca Colajanni.

It has emerged in the Bahraini press that the Woking based team's decision will only be made after consultation with key investors, including the government owned Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, which owns 30 per cent of McLaren.

A McLaren spokeswoman confirmed that Ron Dennis was scheduled to speak to Bahrain officials before Thursday, the deadline for an appeal.

The formula one world is also waiting on whether McLaren will go through with its announced appeal over points exclusion from the Hungarian grand prix, after the pit stop incident involving drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

The spokeswoman would not comment on the pending decision, while a spokesman for F1's governing body suggested that the FIA was also waiting to hear from McLaren.

The FIA has also announced that complete transcripts of the espionage hearings, with confidential information to be removed by McLaren and Ferrari on Monday and Tuesday, will then be released to the media on Wednesday.

FIA vows to probe new espionage claim
(GMM) Renault has so far cooperated fully with McLaren and the FIA regarding a possible new case of spying in formula one.

At the height of the scandal involving Ferrari's Nigel Stepney, for which McLaren was fined $100m and kicked out of the constructors' title, rumors emerged that the Woking based team was in possession of evidence that implicated Renault of a separate offence.

Defecting engineer Phil Mackereth is understood to have taken with him to Renault three disks of detailed information about McLaren's cooling and electronic systems.

Team boss Flavio Briatore confirmed in Belgium at the weekend that he provided information about the issue both to F1's governing body and McLaren, but a FIA spokesman revealed that the French team was not yet being investigated formally.

Max Mosley said the information he has been presented with so far "doesn't support" the accusation of espionage, but added that he was expecting a more detailed dossier from McLaren soon.

"When we get it, we will investigate," the FIA president told BBC's Radio 5.

He added: "We've had a dossier from Renault which doesn't look particularly damning, but then again, you wouldn't expect it to. We must wait and see what comes out from McLaren."

Mosley also said Briatore recently agreed to allow "experts" commissioned by McLaren to look at Renault's computer systems at the team's factory.

He said of Dennis: "Obviously when he's got that report, if there's something significant in it, I have no doubt he will let us have it."

Hamilton should fear Alonso - Spanish press
(GMM) The Spanish press rubbed salt in Lewis Hamilton's wounds in Belgium after national hero Fernando Alonso closed the championship gap to just two points.

"Hamilton is discovering how dangerous Alonso can be when he senses that a championship is near," wrote El Pais, the most widely circulated newspaper in Spain.

The sports daily Marca referred to Alonso's aggressive tactics at the first corner when it noted: "Hamilton had to swallow a dose of his own medicine."

El Mundo Deportivo observed: "Alonso is pursuing his British team colleague as if in a trance."

Diario As turned its attention to their wheel-to-wheel battle on the approach to the legendary Spa sequence Eau Rouge, where Hamilton - on the outside of the racing line - had to lift the throttle.

"The confrontation of the year," the newspaper claimed. "Whoever lost was going to suffer a hard moral blow in the fight for the championship."

But even his own countrymen are beginning to wonder whether the reigning GP2 champion can hold on to his title lead in his first year at McLaren.

"I've watched Hamilton very closely over the last couple of races," former McLaren driver Mark Blundell wrote in his column for the Telegraph, "and I wonder if the pressure is not starting to get to him."

The 22-year-old himself insists that he is not afraid "of anyone".

"I'm not afraid of the Ferraris and I am not afraid of Alonso," the rookie declared in British newspapers on Tuesday.

"I still feel positive," Hamilton added. "I know it's difficult to believe that, but I am still leading the world championship by two points.

"The last three races will be close. I will just keep on pushing. The gap is closing but there are still races left."

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