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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Another wet race for title showdown?
  • Alonso faces engine setback for '07 finale
  • Ralf backs Glock for Toyota seat
  • Ralf says Brazil not F1 swansong
  • 'Bernie' biography faces new delay
  • Four days for rookies in new test accord

Another wet race for title showdown?
(GMM) F1 looks set for a third consecutive grand prix that is affected by rain.

After the Fuji washout and the wet-dry Chinese grand prix two weeks ago, forecasters are now predicting a weekend of potentially changeable weather in Sao Paulo; scene of Sunday's 2007 title showdown at the Interlagos circuit.

Rain has been ever-present in the Brazilian city all week, but weekend forecasts predict that the weather should by Sunday be in the process of clearing up.

Williams' debutant racer Kazuki Nakajima, however, said in an official team preview on Monday: "It looks like it's going to rain over the weekend."

The British team's technical director Sam Michael added that the weather forecast "is currently predicting rain all weekend" for Brazil.

Alonso faces engine setback for '07 finale
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton will enjoy a horsepower advantage over his teammate and championship rival Fernando Alonso as the 2007 season climaxes in Brazil this weekend.

The 22-year-old British rookie not only has a four-point advantage over the Spaniard, but a brand new Mercedes-Benz engine will be fitted to his single seater at the Interlagos circuit ahead of free practice on Saturday.

Alonso, on the other hand, must again use the engine he raced to second place in Shanghai two weeks ago in qualifying and the grand prix in Brazil, according to the rules.

Both Ferrari contenders are also due for new engines in Brazil, having reached the end of the mandatory two-race cycle in China.

The new 'engine freeze' rules for 2007, however, prevents Hamilton's crew - and the Ferrari team - from rolling out special aggressive developments for the championship decider, but the situation is a significant advantage for them over Alonso.

Because Brazil is the final race of the season, the necessary 'life' of a new engine is approximately halved, from 1000km to about 500km.

"It means that we can try to increase the severity of usage of the engine, for example by running higher revs," said Ferrari's head of track engineering (engine), Mattia Binotto.

"We can also run it at higher temperatures," he said ahead of the Brazilian grand prix.

The German newspaper 'TZ', meanwhile, claims that the Mercedes-Benz horse power advantage for Hamilton in Brazil, compared with Alonso, will be about 10 horsepower.

Ralf backs Glock for Toyota seat
(GMM) Ralf Schumacher has named countryman Timo Glock as his preferred successor at Toyota for the 2008 season.

Speculation insists that Glock, the newly crowned GP2 champion, is likely to sign a contract after Sunday's Brazilian grand prix.

Departing Schumacher, 32, backed the rumor in discussion with the German newspaper Bild-Zeitung ahead of his final race for Toyota.

"Timo Glock was very strong in GP2 this year and would absolutely deserve the place," he said.

Schumacher, however, said Toyota's "first priority" should be pushing to attract Fernando Alonso to the team, amid uncertainty about the Spaniard's whereabouts for next season.

"Clearly, if a guy like him is available, a company like Toyota should do everything to get him," Ralf added.

Ralf says Brazil not F1 swansong
(GMM) Ralf Schumacher has contradicted suggestions that his final race for Toyota this weekend will also be the last time he is seen on a formula one grid.

The German veteran has had a difficult 2007 season, but he told the Bild-Zeitung newspaper that he will "definitely" be back in the paddock in Australia next March.

"It is a pity that the season went so badly wrong for me, and for all of us," the former six-time race winner said.

"But about my future I have no fear, I am not worried. I know things that mean I can sleep peacefully," he added, "but I cannot speak about them just yet.

"Before I moved to Toyota (in 2005), I had to keep it a secret for more than half a year, for various reasons.

"All I can say now is that I will definitely drive next year in formula one."

Even Schumacher, however, admits that his days of earning about $20m per season are over.

He insisted: "It is true that I no longer need to make many millions, but I will still continue to make money in formula one. I will definitely not be paying anything to sit in a car, unlike some of the others."

'Bernie' biography faces new delay
(GMM) The release of Bernie Ecclestone's long awaited authorized biography has been postponed.

'Bernie', written by Susan Watkins - the wife of the 76-year-old's personal friend and former F1 doctor Prof. Sid Watkins - was due to finally hit the shelves in October after years in the making.

But the German newspaper Bild-Zeitung says the book will now not be seen until next May at the earliest.

Publishers Ebury Press announced earlier in 2007 that 'Bernie' will reveal "the true struggle behind his fortune, the background to his relationships with politics and what reality, if any, there is to his detractor's accusations".

On the cover, the diminutive billionaire and F1 chief executive is quoted as recalling his request to the author that: "It must be open and it must be honest."

Four days for rookies in new test accord
(GMM) F1 team bosses have now reached an agreement about how to go about continuing to voluntarily regulate private testing in 2008.

A shake-up of this year's accord has been on the cards for months, with chiefs including BMW's Mario Theissen arguing that it is too restrictive on young drivers being given opportunities to drive.

From next year, four days will be exempt from each teams' testing restrictions exclusively for rookies who have less than 4 days of formula one experience over the past two years.

The basic structure of the 2007 agreement will otherwise be retained, with the exception that testing next year will take place between Wednesday and Friday, rather than Tuesday to Thursday, in order to give primary drivers more time to return from races.

There will be eight tests during the 2008 season, sport1.de also reported, excluding those in the winter period.

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