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Latest F1 news in brief UPDATE Updates show in red below.

  • Schu, Berger, to test MotoGP bikes
  • McLaren in no rush to name Alonso successor
  • Hamilton tackles criticism amid book launch
  • Fiat chief crashes Ferrari
  • Schu return would be 'dream' - report New
  • McLaren should have treated Alonso better - Rossi New

Schu, Berger, to test MotoGP bikes
(GMM) Michael Schumacher is reportedly set to climb aboard Casey Stoner's title-winning Ducati MotoGP motorcycle on Monday.

Following the final round of the 2007 season at Valencia last weekend, the post-race MotoGP tests at the Spanish circuit are usually reserved for journalists and former racers to try the two-wheel machines.

Referring to retired Ferrari racer Schumacher's Ducati test, Stoner said: "I hear he's pretty good on a bike so it will be strange to explain something.

"But if he has some questions then maybe I can answer them," he added.

Australia's Stoner, the newly crowned MotoGP champion, also said he would like to one day try a formula one car.

"I'm not ready for this because I've never really driven a car. I've driven karts a lot but not really a car.

"Maybe I'll wait some years yet and for sure it will be nice to get some advice from Michael."

Schumacher, 38, first tested a Ducati MotoGP bike late in 2005.

Italian television Italia1, meanwhile, revealed that former grand prix winner and Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger is preparing to test several MotoGP bikes at Valencia this week.

"The Kawasaki, the Honda, the Ducati," Berger, reportedly asked to conduct the tests for a German motoring magazine, said.

"I like motorbikes a lot," the Austrian veteran added. "It's great stuff, a good show."

McLaren in no rush to name Alonso successor
(GMM) McLaren-Mercedes is in no rush to name a replacement for departed race driver Fernando Alonso, according to team chiefs.

Norbert Haug, who is Mercedes' sporting chief, told reporters at the 'Stars and Cars' event in Stuttgart at the weekend that there is "no time frame" to sign a 2008 teammate for championship runner-up Lewis Hamilton.

The German however said it would "make sense" to have a complete driver line up in time for the resumption of testing later this month.

But he noted that at the same time one year ago, "we had not announced Hamilton".

Amid increasing speculation about the identity of Hamilton's new teammate, Haug said the successful candidate needs to be "quick and inexpensive".

He also played down reports that Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil and Heikki Kovalainen are all clamoring at the top of the McLaren short-list.

"It is obvious that German journalists speculate about German drivers, and likewise for the Finns," Haug, a former journalist, added.

"Clearly we have a list with some names on it. This is true, but there are not many (names)," he added.

McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh backs Haug's view that there is no rush to complete the team's 2008 line up.

"In truth I think we're rather dictating the driver transfer market at the moment," he told the Guardian newspaper.

"Until the second McLaren drive is sorted out I don't think you'll see much movement, so we're not really hurried."

The British newspaper also revealed that Ralf Schumacher's management recently approached McLaren about the drive, "but it was quickly made clear he would not be on the list".

Hamilton tackles criticism amid book launch
(GMM) Rookie 2007 runner-up Lewis Hamilton has defended himself from criticism as he prepares on Monday for the release of his autobiography, 'My Story'.

In September of this year, a Rupert Murdoch-owned publishing house signed a reportedly $2 million deal for the rights to the 22-year-old's story so far.

Hamilton will help release the book in London on Monday.

The Briton was criticized by his countryman David Coulthard, who waited fourteen seasons to release his own biography this year.

"I told him I was quite surprised Ron Dennis was letting him do it because he never liked drivers doing books when I was there," 36-year-old Coulthard said earlier in 2007.

"Lewis said: 'Yeah, but he's not paying me enough. I've got to earn my money somewhere else'," Coulthard revealed.

He added: "When I started in formula one I was just happy to be racing. Money never came into the equation."

Celebrity British publicist Max Clifford, meanwhile, commented last week that writing an autobiography "when you've been in the public eye for 10 minutes is a bit presumptuous".

"It's not an autobiography," Hamilton reacted, according to The Times newspaper.

"There's lots of others out and I thought it was good to get my story out. It's not an autobiography, it's about my journey to where I am today. It's been ghost-written," he added.

Fiat chief crashes Ferrari
(GMM) The chief executive of Ferrari's Italian carmaker parent Fiat has survived a high speed crash on a Swiss highway, according to reports.

Sergio Marchionne's Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, valued at about (US) $270,000, was travelling at 100kph on the A1 highway on Saturday when it collided with another car.

Media photographs of the scene show heavy front-end damage to the red sports car. The Swiss daily Blick said the Ferrari is too damaged to repair.

Another Swiss daily, Aargauer Zeitung, reported that nobody was hurt.

Schu return would be 'dream' - report
(GMM) A mischievous remark by Williams' Patrick Head has led to genuine speculation that Michael Schumacher might be limbering up to abandon retirement after just one year.

Team co-owner Head, whilst facing rumors that McLaren is preparing to launch a high priced bid for Nico Rosberg's services, suggested an alternative for the seat vacated by the now departed Fernando Alonso.

Head noted that McLaren is "in a position to offer very large salaries".

He also told the Mail on Sunday: "Ron Dennis has proved to be a lateral thinker, which is why I am musing over the idea that he might look to Schumacher.

"Michael's still fit –- and probably bored.

"I suspect he has found sitting on the pit wall dull."

The German newspaper Bild-Zeitung reported Head's quotes by explaining that Schumacher in a 'Silver Arrows' would be "a dream for all German fans".

Former German F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck commented: "I can imagine that there are thoughts along those lines.

"Michael has everything: skill, fitness, and I am sure that he would beat (Lewis) Hamilton," he added.

McLaren should have treated Alonso better - Rossi
(GMM) Two fellow sporting champions have backed Fernando Alonso's departure from McLaren after a single acrimonious season in 2007.

Tennis great and former world number one Boris Becker, a renowned grand prix racing fan, told Bild newspaper at the 'Stars and Cars' event in Stuttgart: "After all the problems and the suffering, both sides will be happy now that the line has been drawn."

Multiple MotoGP title winner Valentino Rossi, meanwhile, accused the Woking based team of "abusing" fellow world champion Alonso this year.

The flamboyant Italian compared Alonso's situation to his own unfriendly split with Honda a few years ago, "although I believe it was worse for him than it was for me".

"My situation was better because (moving to another team) was a challenge that I wanted," Rossi told the Spanish sports daily Marca.

"It was not an easy situation for Fernando and I can understand wanting to get out in order to breath some fresh air.

"It is not ideal to have to compete under those conditions.

"McLaren did not treat Fernando as they should have, and that has hurt him.

"You cannot treat someone who has been champion the same as someone who arrives freshly," Rossi added, referring to Alonso's rookie teammate in 2007, Lewis Hamilton.

He also said he does "not believe" speculation linking Alonso with a switch to Red Bull Racing in 2008.

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