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DATE News (chronologically)
10/15/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

10/15/07
  • BMW vows 'evolution' for 2008 car
  • Berger wants Vettel for 'long term'
  • Ferrari needs 'number one' driver for new era
  • Stewart calls on Mosley to quit F1
  • Fittipaldi urges Ferrari to sign Alonso
  • Mallya admits 'Epic' link for Spyker
  • Coulthard - I brought Newey to Red Bull
  • Briatore rejects Prodrive rumors New
  • Sutil says 'no talks' with Toyota New

BMW vows 'evolution' for 2008 car
(GMM) BMW-Sauber will use a philosophy of evolution to attempt to close the gap to F1's two top teams in 2008, team boss Mario Theissen says.

The German, whose Hinwil based outfit established itself as clearly the third force on the grid this year, estimates the average deficit to Ferrari and McLaren at the moment as "about half a second per lap".

"I wouldn't say there is one area where we are massively behind," he added.

"This year's car is quite well balanced but we are lacking a little bit everywhere," he explained.

Theissen revealed that BMW's 2008 car, to be called the F1.08 and again raced by Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, is not going to be a radical departure from its predecessor.

"It is an evolution rather than a revolution in order to find the ultimate three to five percent which is missing," he said.

Berger wants Vettel for 'long term'
(GMM) Gerhard Berger says he is planning a "long term" relationship with Toro Rosso's impressive newcomer Sebastian Vettel.

The veteran of more than 200 grands prix, and co-owner of the Faenza based team, was asked by the German publication 'Express' if he is worried that the 20-year-old will now be head-hunted by formula one's bigger teams.

Toro Rosso leapt ahead of Spyker, Super Aguri and Honda in the constructors' standings when Vettel's fourth place in Shanghai (and teammate Tonio Liuzzi's sixth) delivered points to the team's account.

Before smashing into Mark Webber's Red Bull in Japan a week earlier, Vettel was running third.

"Clearly, with achievements like those, a driver rouses interest," Austrian Berger, a winner of ten grands prix, admitted.

"But I plan on a long-term relationship with Sebastian. He confirmed in China that a top driver is emerging with us -- and I am expecting even more of him."

Vettel is under contract to Toro Rosso for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, and he also retains links with his previous F1 employer, BMW.

Ferrari needs 'number one' driver for new era
(GMM) A former German formula one driver has criticized Ferrari for not designating a clear 'number one' in the post-Michael Schumacher era.

Michael Bartels, who failed to qualify for four races with Lotus in 1991, thinks the Italian team would have had a better chance of winning the title in Brazil this weekend if either Kimi Raikkonen or Felipe Massa had started the year as the team's preferred driver.

He told the news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst that if Kimi is not crowned at Interlagos, he can blame Ferrari for employing "the wrong tactics".

Raikkonen and Massa's equal status in 2007, unlike Schumacher's clear role as number one in the past, has meant that the pair have taken points off one another all season.

"You can easily calculate the points that Ferrari has wasted because they did not have a number one driver," Bartels, 39, said.

Stewart calls on Mosley to quit F1
(GMM) Sir Jackie Stewart, who was recently derided as a "certified halfwit" by Max Mosley, has hit back by calling on the FIA president to quit his post as motor racing's most powerful figure.

The triple world champion, who caught Mosley's ire by describing the espionage affair earlier this year as a 'witch hunt', has now slammed the FIA's decision to install a special observer in the McLaren pits in Brazil to ensure driver equality.

Stewart, 68, said Mosley's decision is "poor" and a "dangerous precedent".

"Formula one is a domain in which the owners pay the drivers and recruit the mechanics to design the car, and the governing body should have no say in the internal workings of any team.

"It is also hypocritical. Can you imagine the FIA going to Ferrari, while Michael Schumacher was at the helm, and insisting that his no.2 Rubens Barrichello or Eddie Irvine, was accorded the same privileges and that both men had to race on an equal footing?"

Stewart told the Scottish newspaper the Herald: "There is an escalating awareness that Mosley is being called into question over the proper governance of the FIA and his authority is being undermined, to an increasing degree, largely because we are in the most exciting F1 campaign there has been for years, and yet the papers are full of negative publicity.

"The governing body is damaging the reputation of the whole sport and bringing it into disrepute.

"They are acting in self interest and I believe there has to be greater accountability," said Stewart.

"Perhaps Max Mosley has been in the job too long. I definitely think that he should consider his position and that a new president should be head hunted from outside the sport, so there is no conflict of interest."

Fittipaldi urges Ferrari to sign Alonso
(GMM) Fellow double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi says he has some sympathy for the difficulty Fernando Alonso has faced at McLaren this year.

The Brazilian, who similarly won his titles as a youngster in 1972 and 1974, told the Spanish press at an event in Barcelona on Sunday that Alonso's falling out with the British team is "very difficult" for outsiders to comment on.

"Honestly, we do not understand everything that is going on there from the outside," he said.

"For example, Fernando complained that the pressure of his tires was wrong in Japan and China -- I think the difference was a pound, which is a lot when in formula one everything must be very precise.

"So if Fernando said this, it is because he has a reason to do so."

With the press now fascinated to know what team Alonso will drive for next year, Fittipaldi urged Ferrari to consider the 26-year-old Spaniard.

"If he went there, I think Ferrari would gain what they lost when Schumacher went away.

"Michael was really able to improve his cars and I think Alonso can do exactly the same.

"Without Schumacher, Ferrari has gone down, in my opinion. With Fernando, I can imagine Ferrari having the best car," he said.

Mallya admits 'Epic' link for Spyker
(GMM) Vijay Mallya has revealed that he intends to use his connections with the wider business world to assist his new formula one team.

The Indian billionaire recently bought Spyker alongside Michiel Mol, and current rumors indicate that the team could be renamed 'Pride of India' in time for 2008.

But although the Indian connection will be obvious, Mallya is already eyeing his shareholding in an American business as a way to move his team up the grand prix grid.

He recently bought a reportedly $120m stake in Epic Aircraft; a manufacturer of light jets and turboprops.

"We can benefit from their knowledge of aerodynamics," Mallya is quoted as saying by the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

In the same way that his airline Kingfisher backs Toyota, it is conceivable that Mallya might also use his Epic Aircraft connection in a sponsorship capacity.

Coulthard - I brought Newey to Red Bull
(GMM) David Coulthard has revealed that he was instrumental to uniting Red Bull with its highly respected designer Adrian Newey a couple of years ago.

"I brought Adrian to the team," the Scot, who had switched from McLaren to the Austrian outfit at the end of 2004, told an interview with the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

The British pair had previously worked together on championship-winning campaigns not only at McLaren, but in the mid-90s at Williams.

Newey left McLaren at the end of 2005, but this year's RB3 is his first fully-fledged effort for Milton Keynes based Red Bull Racing.

Coulthard, 36, explained of Newey's move: "Red Bull were looking for a designer, Newey for a new job, and I brought them together. Simple as that."

Briatore rejects Prodrive rumors
(GMM) Flavio Briatore has dismissed rumors linking Renault with Prodrive's beleaguered formula one entry for 2008.

With David Richards' earlier plans to use a customer McLaren-Mercedes package next year now on the ropes, new speculation had arisen that the French outfit - which already supplies engines to Red Bull Racing - might step into the breach.

But team boss Briatore said on Monday: "I don't know where this has come from.

"We have had zero contact with Prodrive, and we are not in a position to supply another team at this point."

Briatore's comments coincided with another setback for Prodrive, with reports that the Court of Appeal hearing about the legality of the team for 2008 - originally scheduled for October 24 - has been postponed.

It is also believed that Grove based Williams, whose letter to the FIA sparked the Court of Appeal date, is determined to take the matter even further, through the civil system.

"Obviously if a team comes into formula one without any investment in the staffing and equipment that we've built up over the last 25 years and gains access to a (customer) car, then it's a serious commercial threat to us," team co-owner Patrick Head said at the Chinese grand prix.

Sutil says 'no talks' with Toyota
(GMM) Adrian Sutil has counted himself out of the running to replace Ralf Schumacher at Toyota in 2008.

The German rookie has been impressive at Spyker this season, but he ruled out speculation that he is now set to step up with one of the best funded teams in formula one.

Two more Germans - Timo Glock and Nico Rosberg - are still in the running, but Sutil told the Cologne newspaper Express on Monday: "No, there are no negotiations with Toyota, but I would like to be with a top team.

"For this responsibility, I am ready."

Sutil, despite being under contract to Spyker for 2008, has even been mentioned among wilder speculation that he might replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren next year.

The 24-year-old, however, said he does not expect Mercedes-Benz to break with its recent tradition of not turning to German drivers.

"Mercedes is for all Germans definitely a dream, but so far a German driver has not played a part (there)," he added.

Sutil, a close friend of Lewis Hamilton, also said he will cross his fingers that his fellow rookie can wrap up the championship in Brazil on Sunday.

"I notice that Lewis is nervous and tense," he admitted, "but he is still there. He will do it."

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