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DATE News (chronologically)
09/20/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Bernie blasts Spyker's contribution to F1
  • Red Bull teams trial 'bridge' wing
  • Alonso will secure crown says Heidfeld
  • Heikki accepts Webber's outdoor challenge
  • Aguri future now 'more positive' - boss

Bernie blasts Spyker's contribution to F1
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has delivered a parting shot to Spyker by suggesting that the outgoing Dutch team "did not really contribute anything" to formula one.

For the third time in as many years, the Silverstone based outfit is again on the verge of being sold; this time to a consortium led by the F1 chief executive's fellow billionaire and friend Vijay Mallya and the wealthy Mol family.

"They came in and that was it," Ecclestone, referring to Spyker's buyout of Midland last year, is quoted as saying by the Dutch publication Sportweek.

On the other hand, Ecclestone, 76, is a close friend of Mallya, who intends to rename the team something along the lines of 'Team India'.

"Vijay wanted to come into formula one and I put him in contact with Toyota," Bernie explained, referring to Mallya's sponsorship of the Japanese outfit via his Kingfisher brand.

Ecclestone also said he backed Mallya's subsequent interest in Spyker.

But, apparently again referring to Spyker, he added: "I would have been happier if the other people had done what they said they were going to do.

"They came in (to F1) and that was it. They did not really contribute anything, no," Ecclestone said.

Red Bull teams trial 'bridge' wing
(GMM) F1's two Red Bull-backed teams at the Jerez test have became the latest to follow the trend started by McLaren this year in trialing a 'bridge'-esque front wing.

Red Bull and Toro Rosso, whose cars are similarly overseen by the company Red Bull Technology, both ran with the conspicuous innovation while on Wednesday testing during the last in-season session of 2007.

Williams had been the first to emulate the McLaren design recently at Monza, although interestingly the Grove based team was not using the same wing at Jerez.

Honda has similarly run with and without its new bridge-style wing this week.

BMW-Sauber, meanwhile, is unlikely to follow suit any time soon, with Mario Theissen revealing that - with second place in the constructors' championship now all but guaranteed - development of its 2007 car has ceased completely.

Alonso will secure crown says Heidfeld
(GMM) Nick Heidfeld has backed Fernando Alonso to lift a third consecutive drivers' world championship trophy next month.

The BMW-Sauber racer described the mathematically four-way fight between both McLaren and Ferrari drivers as "fantastic", but admitted that both Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen face a difficult task to close the points gap.

"Kimi is possibly a bit too far behind, but as we've seen, theirs was the superior car here," the German said last Sunday before leaving Spa-Francorchamps, according to team sponsor Credit Suisse's e-magazine.

He added: "In Monza it was the other way round, and even Felipe isn't yet completely out of it."

Heidfeld, 30, has been backing British rookie Lewis Hamilton to maintain his championship lead recently, but has now changed his mind given Alonso's closure of the points deficit to just 2 points in Belgium.

"Now I'd put my money on Alonso," he confirmed.

"He may still be just behind Lewis, but over the last couple of races he's been consistently the stronger performer."

Heikki accepts Webber's outdoor challenge
(GMM) Heikki Kovalainen has agreed to join Mark Webber's famously arduous annual outdoor challenge for charity later this year.

The Renault driver is the first of Webber's grand prix contemporaries to be persuaded to travel to Tasmania in mid November for the five-day endurance event, according to the local Mercury newspaper.

Just prior to embarking on the Australian cycle, kayak, trek, abseil and swimming odyssey, Finland's Kovalainen has already signed up to run in the famous 42km New York City marathon in November.

Aguri future now 'more positive' - boss
(GMM) Super Aguri's future in formula one appears "more positive" now than it did in the recent past, according to the team's boss and owner.

The small Japanese outfit, viewed by some in the paddock as a Honda 'satellite' operation, struck trouble recently when major oil company backer SS United failed to make due payments.

The crisis, made worse because the team could not therefore afford to make its own payments to Honda, forced boss Aguri Suzuki to begin a desperate search for investors.

At Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, despite Super Aguri enduring a miserable weekend, it emerged that a possible part-buyer had surfaced in the form of an unnamed Japanese businessman.

The part-sale of the Leafield-based team could be officialized in Japan next week, the reports added.

Suzuki, a former grand prix driver, says the team's predicament was also lightened by some impressive on-track performances earlier in 2007, where the outfit rose even above its 'parent' team Honda in the constructors' standings.

He explained to the British magazine F1 Racing that parties subsequently "got in contact and showed interest in us".

"It's looking a lot more positive than it was before," the Japanese added. "For the money side, it's important to carry on scoring points."

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