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  • Stepney presses on with controversial book
  • Italy mocks Hamilton after pit gravel gaffe
  • Second place would seal title for Hamilton
  • 'No talks' with Vettel about McLaren seat - Haug

Stepney presses on with controversial book
(GMM) Nigel Stepney has vowed to continue with his autobiography despite being dropped by his planned publisher.

The sacked Ferrari chief mechanic, who was at the centre of the espionage scandal involving McLaren, revealed last week that Red Mist Books had pulled out because they had been "put under pressure" by an unnamed party.

Red Mist earlier said that Stepney's book would be his "own account of the Stepneygate saga" that rocked formula one this year.

But with a statement issued under the headline 'Too Hot to Handle', Stepney declared on a website bearing his name that he has now made "alternative arrangements" for the book to be published early next year.

He said he had been dropped by Red Mist "rather abruptly" but did not explain why.

Stepney added: "Despite opposition it will still be called 'Red Mist', which aptly describes my present demeanor".

He said proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Great Ormond Street children's hospital.

Italy mocks Hamilton after pit gravel gaffe
(GMM) Italy's press scoffed at Lewis Hamilton after the British championship leader beached his chance of wrapping up the 2007 title last Sunday in a Shanghai gravel trap.

His McLaren chiefs accepted the blame for the pit entry slide by not changing his badly worn rain tires, and La Gazzetta dello Sport observed: "Everything was ready for a celebration in the McLaren pits, but formula one does not forgive errors".

Tuttosport added: "Hamilton committed a beginner's blunder.

"The Briton was merely a shadow of the excellent driver of the past months".

The Tuscan newspaper Il Tirreno pointed out: "Because of Hamilton's hara-kiri, Ferrari may hope again".

German commentator and former grand prix racer Hans-Joachim Stuck put the blame squarely on Ron Dennis and his aides for not doing anything about the visibly appalling condition of Lewis' tires.

"It was completely incomprehensible to me. They need to buy eyeglasses," he told Sport Bild.

Back in London, Hamilton seemed unfazed on Monday in discussion with England's Daily Mail, and vowed to now follow the example of F1's ice-cool Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

"He's like flat-lined, and I think my subconscious is pretty much like that," said the 22-year-old.

"I've been in these situations before many times, needing to close out championships, and I know how to deal with it."

Second place would seal title for Hamilton
(GMM) No matter where championship rivals Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finish, Lewis Hamilton does not even need to win the Brazilian grand prix next weekend to wrap up the 2007 title.

Although stranding his McLaren in Shanghai's pit entry gravel trap dented his championship hopes last Sunday, the 22-year-old rookie only needs to finish second at Interlagos to become the youngest ever driver - and the first rookie - to wear the crown.

And if his teammate Alonso does not win the race in Brazil, he can afford to finish third or fourth and still be champion.

Hamilton will also win the title if:
- He finishes fifth and Alonso does not win or come second.
- He finishes sixth or seventh, Alonso is not in the top two and Raikkonen does not win.
- He finishes eighth, Alonso does not secure a podium place and Raikkonen does not finish first or second.
- He fails to score points, Alonso finishes no higher than fifth, and Raikkonen does not win or come second.

Alonso will be champion if:
- He wins the race and Hamilton is third or lower.
- He finishes second and Hamilton is sixth or lower.
- He is third, Hamilton is out of the top seven, and Raikkonen does not win.
- He is fourth, Hamilton does not score points and Raikkonen does not either win or finish second.

Raikkonen will be champion if:
- He wins, Hamilton is out of the top five and Alonso does not win or finish second.
- He finishes second, Hamilton is eighth or lower, and Alonso is not on the podium.

'No talks' with Vettel about McLaren seat - Haug
(GMM) Toro Rosso rookie Sebastian Vettel's sensational run to fourth place in the Chinese grand prix has sparked rumors in Germany that he may become a contender for a McLaren seat in 2008.

If Fernando Alonso leaves the Mercedes powered team as expected after next weekend's Brazilian finale, impressive young racers including Nico Rosberg and Heikki Kovalainen are being tipped as most likely to fill the spot next year alongside Lewis Hamilton.

But with Vettel extraordinarily scoring five points for the struggling Toro Rosso team in Shanghai, Europe's largest newspaper Bild said the 20-year-old should also be a candidate for the silver seat.

"It is obvious that as soon as a German driver shows a very good achievement, it is speculated that he will drive soon for the Silver Arrows," Mercedes' competition director Norbert Haug said.

"But at the moment there are no discussions (with him)."

Vettel has a contract with Toro Rosso until 2009, and for 2010 BMW-Sauber has first call on summoning the German back to the Swiss based team.

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