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DATE News (chronologically)
10/21/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Alonso vows to push for 'impossible' prize
  • Dennis angry after reporter attacks Hamilton
  • Rodriguez has 2008 Spyker contract
  • Local driver 'not essential' for Force India

Alonso vows to push for 'impossible' prize
(GMM) Fernando Alonso in Brazil refused to add more fuel to Spanish conspiracy theorists' fires.

One newspaper quoted an unnamed engineer as explaining that McLaren could easily have de-tuned the reigning world champion's Mercedes-Benz engine so that it was 3 or 4 tenths slower than British teammate Lewis Hamilton's in Interlagos qualifying.

"I am not going to create more controversy," he told Diario As after emerging as the slowest McLaren or Ferrari runner in the decisive session on Saturday.

"The story is that we are all very close, and you can easily be a little bit behind.

"It has not been a brilliant weekend for me. I did not master the car in any of the sessions."

Alonso did, however, suggest that relations between himself and the team are still not rosy by revealing that he was pushed to adopt the same fuel strategy as Hamilton for the grand prix.

"Yes, I wanted to do something else," he confirmed. "I do not agree with what I have."

Alonso said he thinks it is a "miracle" that, at the very end of a tumultuous and uncomfortable season at McLaren, he is still faintly in the running for the title.

"The other day in China I said it was an impossible situation for me. This is equally complicated.

"If I am champion it will be magnificent, and if I am not I will go with my head held high because I think I have done a good season."

Despite his pessimism for the Brazilian grand prix, Alonso vowed to fight hard over the 71 laps.

"I have to risk more than ever because I have nothing to lose," he said. "Kimi, as well. We will be the most aggressive drivers out there and I expect a very exciting finish."

Dennis angry after reporter attacks Hamilton
(GMM) Ron Dennis left a French female journalist close to tears on Saturday after Lewis Hamilton got a grilling in the post-qualifying press conference.

Anne Giuntini, who has worked in formula one for more than 20 years for the French daily L'Equipe, had aggressively pursued the British championship leader following accusations that he held up title rival Kimi Raikkonen on a qualifying flying lap in Brazil.

"You will have problems, you will have problems," one Spanish newspaper quoted Dennis as shouting at Giuntini, who is married to Renault's Denis Chevrier, later on in the paddock.

In the news conference, she heatedly and repeatedly suggested that Hamilton did not easily let Raikkonen past on a decisive flier.

"What do you want me to do? Put the indicator on?" Hamilton bristled back, before eventually refusing to answer any more of Giuntini's questions.

"Is that what you call the best job?" she fired back after another exchange with 22-year-old rookie Hamilton. "Are you a sportsman?

"Do you think you can do everything you want and then you just apologize -- is that the way it works in formula one?" she added.

Rodriguez has 2008 Spyker contract
(GMM) Roldan Rodriguez has already signed a contract covering the whole of the 2008 season, Spyker's new owner Vijay Mallya has revealed.

The Spanish GP2 driver, whose deal to test for the Silverstone based team over the upcoming winter period has already been unveiled, is therefore in pole position for the seat alongside Adrian Sutil next year.

But it is also being suggested that Spyker, to be renamed Force India next year, is planning a test in mid November at which several established drivers intend to make their case for the ride.

Among those in action could be Ralf Schumacher, Tonio Liuzzi, Sakon Yamamoto, and even Jarno Trulli, despite the Italian having a contract to stay at Toyota next year.

"We have a contract with Rodriguez," Mallya is quoted as saying by the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

"The only problem is that he does not have a super license at the moment. If he does not get one, then he does not drive."

Mallya added that the contract with Rodriguez was concluded before he bought the team, "but we will honor it".

Britain's Independent, meanwhile, published rumors that Robert Kubica - despite his contract to stay at BMW-Sauber next year - is now being touted for a Toyota seat next year.

The newspaper also said Rubens Barrichello is "close to retirement".

Local driver 'not essential' for Force India
(GMM) Vijay Mallya's formula one team will have an Indian name and logo, but the billionaire played down suggestions that a countryman will occupy a cockpit next year.

The Indian tycoon, who with Dutchman Michiel Mol has bought the Silverstone based outfit from Spyker, revealed at Interlagos that he intends to rename the team 'Force India' next year.

He has also been displaying Force India's new logo at recent races; an 'F' in the colors of the Indian flag, and a number '1' representing the word India (F1).

With names including Ralf Schumacher, Tonio Liuzzi and even Jarno Trulli linked with the seat alongside Adrian Sutil for 2008, however, Mallya played down suggestions that an Indian national - such as Narain Karthikeyan - will definitely drive for him.

"It would be very complementary, however it is not essential," he said.

"We need a driver of some caliber to also improve the performance of the team. We can't have rookies only. For better performance I need a proven driver.

"It's true that a driver does do a lot to propel the momentum of the fan club, and there was certainly a spike in the interest levels when Narain Karthikeyan was driving in formula one," Mallya continued.

"But I think that to have an Indian team on the grid will attract far more interest from the Indian fans."

Mallya also revealed that the car, presently painted orange to represent its Dutch links with Spyker, will not necessarily feature the colors of India (orange, white and green) next year.

"The livery will obviously be determined by the sponsors we'll have -- because a sponsor wants the colors of the car to also be compatible with their own branding," he said.

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