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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Bernie gets involved in new spy scandal
  • Hamilton was lying through his teeth
  • Liuzzi, Klien, to test for Force India
  • Klien determined to race in 2008

Bernie gets involved in new spy scandal
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone, F1's chief executive, called a crisis meeting on Friday as a new spying scandal broke out.

The 76-year-old, who is a close business partner and friend of Flavio Briatore, summoned key members of the formula one fraternity to his London office as Renault admitted to recently possessing secret information belonging to McLaren.

The Daily Telegraph reported that each team except Renault, Ferrari and McLaren - the three involved in spying scandals - attended Ecclestone's meeting, to "establish the nature and full extent of espionage within F1 and cut out the cancer at source".

At first glance, the new Renault case appears potentially worse than 'Stepneygate', due to the length of the possession and the detailed nature of the secrets.

In a press statement issued on Friday, Renault said the rogue engineer in question - former McLaren employee Phil Mackereth who took floppy disks of information to his new team - has been suspended.

Renault said the information had been loaded onto the team's computer system "without the knowledge of anyone in authority", but that Mackereth made "some of our engineers aware" of the secrets.

The Telegraph claims that officials even as high-ranking as "the chief designer, deputy chief designer, deputy technical director, head of research and development and the head of vehicle performance" saw them.

Renault, however, insists that although some engineers were "briefly shown" the drawings, the McLaren information was not "used to influence design decisions relating to the Renault car".

Hamilton was lying through his teeth
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has performed a neat u-turn by admitting that minimizing tax was indeed a factor in his decision to flee Britain to live in Switzerland.

The 22-year-old rookie was roundly criticized by the British press and public when he recently said their intrusion into his newly-public life - not the fact that he will annually save millions due to Switzerland's tax policy - had moved him to select a new home overlooking Lake Geneva.

"For me, it is not a tax haven," he had insisted. "I've been in England the last few years paying tax. It's not an issue."

But when asked by veteran talk show host Michael Parkinson whether tax was an issue, the McLaren driver said: "Also, that definitely adds to it."

Hamilton insisted, however, that Switzerland will offer him a more serene life away from the race tracks.

"I really want to live a normal life if I can," he said.

"I just felt it was another way for me to do that. Also I'm going to learn French, that's something I've always wanted to do," the 2007 runner-up added.

Liuzzi, Klien, to test for Force India
(GMM) The newly-renamed Force India team on Saturday announced that Vitantonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien will test the 2007 car next week.

Earlier speculation suggested Ralf Schumacher and even Jarno Trulli could also be in contention for a test, but a statement issued by the Silverstone based team said only Roldan Rodriguez, Giedo van der Garde and Adrian Sutil would join Liuzzi and Klien at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Liuzzi raced for Toro Rosso this year, while former Red Bull racer Klien was Honda's official 2007 reserve driver.

Force India, jointly owned by Vijay Mallya and Michiel Mol, was recently renamed following the purchase of the Spyker team and will debut in 2008.

The team, featuring a new logo in the colors of the Indian flag, will in Barcelona field Spyker's 2007 cars "with a distinctive new interim burgundy red and white livery", the statement also revealed.

Klien determined to race in 2008
(GMM)  Christian Klien is determined to return to the formula one grid in 2008, he revealed in a statement on Saturday.

Shortly after Force India announced that the 24-year-old Austrian would join other runners for the team at next week's Barcelona test, Klien's statement said he has reached an agreement with Honda to seek a race drive elsewhere.

Klien was Honda's official reserve and test driver this year.

"Christian will move on from his role supporting Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello in the Honda Racing F1 Team," the statement said.

"He is focusing all his efforts on specific opportunities to race in 2008 and will begin by testing for Force India in Barcelona next week", the statement added.

Klien tested for Spyker, Force India's Dutch predecessor, at Spa-Francorchamps in July.

He said: "I still have a lot of work to do in order for everything to work out the way I want, but following the agreement with Honda I am now in a position to give other opportunities my full commitment."

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