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DATE News (chronologically)
10/11/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • FIA officials to ensure McLaren equality in Brazil
  • Hamilton apologizes for three-way title fight
  • Massa doubts he'll need to help Kimi in Brazil
  • Webber does not regret attacking 'golden boy'
  • Hamilton not required by Modena prosecutors
  • Glock to sign Toyota contract after Brazil

FIA officials to ensure McLaren equality in Brazil
(GMM) The highest ranking Spanish motor sport official will travel to Brazil next weekend to ensure that McLaren give equal treatment to countryman Fernando Alonso for the 2007 championship finale.

Carlos Gracia, also an FIA vice president and member of the World Motor Sport Council, confirmed to the newspaper Diario As that he has accepted the invitation to watch proceedings at Interlagos from the Woking based team's garage.

"Ron Dennis extended me an invitation so that I can see that they have nothing to hide, and I decided to accept," he said.

Gracia insists, however, that his presence will not be in an official FIA capacity, and that he believes McLaren's announcement on Wednesday that Alonso and his teammate Lewis Hamilton will be treated equally in Brazil.

"Logically it could not be different," he explained, "also because behind them is a Ferrari driver, so that McLaren has to fight against the red cars, not their own driver."

But Gracia also revealed that the FIA will commission an official to formally ensure that equality is adhered to at McLaren for the last race of 2007.

He said "strange situations" have arisen at McLaren, particularly in qualifying at the last three grands prix.

Gracia said he met with FIA president Max Mosley a few days ago and laid out his concerns, and also put the issue in writing.

He said the FIA responded with confirmation that an official will watch "very closely any activity that is against Alonso" at the event

Hamilton apologizes for three-way title fight
(GMM) As a rare three-way battle for the 2007 championship approaches, Lewis Hamilton has apologized to his fans for not wrapping up the title already.

The British rookie slid into a pit entry gravel trap in Shanghai last Sunday after commandingly leading the opening stanza of the race, when simply finishing ahead of his McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso would have guaranteed the crown.

The mistake has brought Alonso and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen back into the hunt for the upcoming Brazilian finale.

Hamilton told his fans on Wednesday: "I have to apologize for keeping them in suspense."

Speaking with British reporters, the 22-year-old vowed to focus on the ultimate prize at Interlagos rather than push only for the race win.

"I aim on finishing on the podium and know I can't take risks," he revealed.

"Maybe I took a risk at the last race. We were in a perfect position to win the championship. But I wanted to win the race.

"I was out there driving for the win. You can learn from that situation. Some part of the mind has to be focused on the end result.

"We can't take risks (in Brazil), that's for sure."

Hamilton was gutted after abandoning his beached car in China, but he said failing to win the title next Sunday would be an even harder hit.

"For any driver it has to be a hard hit knowing it was there and you didn't take it," he acknowledged.

Massa doubts he'll need to help Kimi in Brazil
(GMM) Felipe Massa said on Wednesday that his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen is unlikely to emerge with the world championship from next weekend's season finale in Brazil.

He became the first Brazilian since Ayrton Senna to win at home a year ago, but Massa promised to defer to the 27-year-old Finn next Sunday if it will help Ferrari secure the other 2007 title.

Raikkonen winning the title would require both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to strike major trouble at Interlagos, and Massa told a news conference in Sao Paulo on Wednesday: "I don't think that will happen.

"But if the miracle happens I'll be glad to help the team.

"I work for Ferrari, so I'll do what I can to help Kimi, but I'll drive to win the race.

"It would be great to win it for the fans again," he said.

Webber does not regret attacking 'golden boy'
(GMM) Mark Webber says he was unfazed when the British press described him as a 'whinger' at the recent Chinese grand prix.

In a news conference in Shanghai, the Australian driver slammed Lewis Hamilton for having done a "shit job" behind the safety car at Fuji Speedway a few days earlier.

Webber, who drives for Red Bull, said the British championship leader's erratic driving had contributed to Sebastian Vettel smashing him out of contention for the race win.

"I got pretty much slaughtered by the British gutter press about what I said," the 31-year-old wrote this week in his column for Eurosport.

"I guess that's what happens when you say something negative about the golden boy."

Webber, though, said that despite the media attacks, including the description of him as "whinging Webber", he will not be put off speaking his mind in the future.

"Cowboys don't cry, I say, and I have some pretty thick skin," he added.

"It's old news now, and those newspapers are already wrapping chips, so what difference does it really make?"

Hamilton not required by Modena prosecutors
(GMM) Contrary to reports on Wednesday, Lewis Hamilton will not be called up by Italian prosecutors in the near future.

The sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport had suggested that, following Fernando Alonso's two-hour interview in Modena this week, his McLaren teammates may also be asked to contribute to the criminal investigation as witnesses.

The German newspaper Bild, however, cites a McLaren spokesperson as clarifying that Hamilton will not be involved in the espionage case in Italy.

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, however, is likely to be called as a witness by Modena magistrate Giuseppe Tibis, but only after the conclusion of the 2007 season next weekend in Brazil, Bild reported.

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