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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Russian driver wants competitive seat in F1
  • Alonso has 'idea' about 2008 plans
  • Doornbos to test Red Bull in winter
  • Gascoyne stakes job on Force India progress
  • Massa set to tie the knot
  • Coulthard 'faster than Webber' in 2007
  • Raikkonen among top earners in world sport

Russian driver wants competitive seat in F1
(GMM) One potential F1 pay-driver says he has no intention of buying a place on the grid any time soon.

Russia's most promising racer Vitaly Petrov, who won a GP2 race this season, also told the daily newspaper Kommersant that he does not want to drive for one of the sport's smallest teams.

"There are two ways of becoming a F1 driver," he said. "By means of money or by invitation from a team.

"We don't have problems with budget, but it's clear which way is more attractive. For money, I could drive for not the worst team," he said.

Petrov, who is 23, claims that his budget would allow him to already be a grand prix racer, or at least a test driver.

"But I'm a perfectionist in nature, I don't want to drive a Spyker, Toro Rosso or Super Aguri," he continued.

"I don't want to hurry and don't think it's a good idea to sign a contract with one of the outsiders. If the team doesn't show results, there will be no interest towards the team nor to its driver."

Petrov finished the 2007 GP2 standings in thirteenth place.

Alonso has 'idea' about 2008 plans
(GMM) Fernando Alonso may have settled on his ideal plans for the 2008 season.

The Spaniard, who thanked his countrymen for their support in his home town of Oviedo at the weekend, told local media that he is still waiting to know if he is going to honor his McLaren contract next year or switch to a rival team.

"I know what I want to do, but I do not know if it will be possible," he said, according to the Spanish broadcaster Telecinco.

The latest rumor is that Alonso, who spent an acrimonious season at McLaren in 2007, could be negotiating with Williams about a single-year contract.

Renault is pushing for a three year deal, and Flavio Briatore is reported to have travelled to Brazil recently for talks with a major potential Hispanic sponsor who could help bankroll Alonso's return to the team.

"The options are open and everything is to be negotiated," Alonso is quoted as saying, presumably referring to the need to end his ongoing contractual ties to Ron Dennis' outfit.

"I have an idea, a desire, about what I want to do. We will have to find out," the 26-year-old added.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, meanwhile, continued to downplay suggestions that Alonso could be part of the Italian team's plans for the future.

Asked about Alonso's plans for next season, Montezemolo said at a team event in Mugello: "I do not have the faintest idea and I am certainly not going to comment."

Kimi Raikkonen also seemed uninterested in the topic, despite McLaren's Lewis Hamilton telling reporters at the weekend that the Finn would be a "cool" teammate for the future.

"Whether Alonso stays at McLaren or leaves, we do not care too much about it," he said.

Doornbos to test Red Bull in winter
(GMM) Dutch driver Robert Doornbos will return to the wheel of a formula one car in the near future.

The former Minardi and Red Bull racer switched to American Champ Cars this year, but he is set to be recalled by Dietrich Mateschitz's Austrian team for some winter testing, it was reported in the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

Doornbos, who is 26, will reportedly test Red Bull Racing's RB3 in mid-November.

"I will do the test work gladly," he is quoted as saying.

Gascoyne stakes job on Force India progress
(GMM) Mike Gascoyne has openly staked his formula one career on a marked improvement for the Spyker team next season.

The highly respected engineer will stay at the Silverstone based squad as it becomes 'Force India' ahead of 2008.

Gascoyne, a Briton, promises that his cars next year will not remain at the very rear of the grid.

"At the halfway point of next season we will no longer be right at the back," he told the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

Gascoyne revealed that his goal for 2008 is to elevate Force India to regularly top-twelve qualifying performances and between ten and fifteen constructors' points.

"That is ambitious, but not overly so," he is quoted as saying. "We are convinced about it.

"I have said to (new owner) Vijay (Mallya): if at the end of next year we are still in last place, then I should already have been dismissed. And rightly so."

Gascoyne also revealed that Force India in the coming weeks will be appointing new staff and reorganizing existing team structures.

Massa set to tie the knot
(GMM) Brazilian formula one driver Felipe Massa is set to tie the knot with his fiancée Rafaela Bassi.

The pair will be married in Sao Paulo on November 30, according to globo.com.

Ahead of their nuptials, Massa and his future wife stopped in at the prominent Dolce-Gabbana store in Milan late last week to preview their exclusive wedding wear.

Massa, 26, then joined his team at the weekend for Ferrari's end of season celebrations at the Mugello circuit.

Coulthard 'faster than Webber' in 2007
(GMM) David Coulthard says he outpaced his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber in 2007.

The formula one veteran finished four points ahead of his Australian colleague this season, but Coulthard admits that Webber, 31, was the faster driver over a single qualifying lap.

"Ultimately you measure success by the points scored and the results on track," Coulthard said.

"The general trend of the year has been that Mark has generally been a bit quicker in qualifying and I've been a bit faster in races."

Both drivers will remain teammates next season.

Raikkonen among top earners in world sport
(GMM) 2007 world champion-elect Kimi Raikkonen has rocketed into fourth position on the list of the world's top sports earners.

According to the business magazine Forbes, the Finn earns less than Tiger Woods, boxer Oscar de la Hoya and golf's Phil Mickelson, but more than any of his grand prix competitors.

28-year-old Raikkonen's earnings boost this year came courtesy of his new multiple year Ferrari deal, in which he earns (US) $40m per season -- almost as much as his predecessor Michael Schumacher did in the same role last year.

But even in retirement, Schumacher still earns more than any current F1 driver with the exception of Raikkonen. Forbes ranks him fifth on the 2007 sports earnings list, with his $36m attributable to ongoing sponsorship deals.

Both Raikkonen and Schumacher feature ahead of football's David Beckham ($33m) on the Forbes list, with MotoGP's Valentino Rossi trailing in ninth place with $30m.

The television station 'Italia1' quoted Raikkonen as commenting at the weekend: "Obviously I am pleased with how things have gone.

"I have made some money through my racing, but I remain convinced that although it makes your life easier, it does not change anything else about you.

"I enjoy the same things that I enjoyed before, even though I can now buy anything I want," he added.

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