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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Raikkonen glad appeal 'mess' now over
  • Bernie baffled by London GP letdown
  • Schu lends name to Dubai skyscraper
  • BMW to launch 2008 car in Munich

Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen glad appeal 'mess' now over
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen has described the recent cool-fuel saga as a "mess", but says he never worried about losing his title.

The Ferrari driver mathematically clinched the title in Brazil last month, but his crown was only confirmed after the Court of Appeal last week dismissed an appeal lodged by his former team McLaren.

"Obviously it was the news I wished to hear," the 28-year-old Finn, who has relaxed since Interlagos at his home in Switzerland, said of the decision to dismiss the appeal.

"Finally it is all clear.  We are the champions and there is nothing to be said about that any more," he added.

Raikkonen insists that he did not worry about losing his title to Lewis Hamilton, even though the McLaren rookie's team disputed the legality of several cars that finished higher than the Briton in Brazil.

"I can honestly say that I didn't stress about this affair at all," he said.

"Nothing had changed since the stewards went through it after the race.  One team just wanted to have a go at it.  Now it is over," Raikkonen added.

He said: "I think it is good for the sport and, obviously, it is good for me and for Ferrari.

"Now with this last mess wiped off, I can enjoy my holiday even a little bit more."

Raikkonen has previously lost two drivers' championships in the closing stages of a season; once against Michael Schumacher in 2003, and again two years ago with Fernando Alonso as his adversary.

"I still can feel how it hurt," he explained.  "Winning for me is everything.  Now I can say that it feels even better to have lost it before you finally succeed."

Raikkonen will get back to work at Jerez early next month, and also attend the FIA prize-giving event in Monaco to receive his championship trophy.

"I have never been so keen on those kind of gala evenings, but this time it is different," he said.

Bernie baffled by London GP letdown
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone said he is baffled as to why plans for a formula one street race in London did not succeed.

F1's chief executive revealed that organizers said the event was going to be too expensive.

"It would cost a small amount compared to what they're spending on the Olympics," he argued, referring to the British capital's hosting of the Games in 2012.

Ecclestone, 77, at the launch of the official 2007 season review DVD, added: "If they look at it from a pure business point of view, all the revenue it would bring in ... I just don't understand why it isn't happening."

He said plans for a London grand prix proceeded "nicely" until they stalled over money.

"It would have happened, it was just a question of where the money was going to come from," Ecclestone added.

He also renewed his attack on Britain's current F1 venue Silverstone, amid fears that the race's contract might not be renewed beyond 2009.

"Britain is supposed to be the heart of formula one and our circuit is bottom of the list," Ecclestone said.

"With a tiny percentage of what the government are wasting on the Olympics, they could support Silverstone," he added.

Schu lends name to Dubai skyscraper
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher is set to lend his name to a skyscraper in Dubai.

In an article to appear in Sunday's edition of Arabian Business, the managing director of German company ACI is quoted as saying construction of 'Michael Schumacher Business Avenue' will begin in the next three months.

A German tennis legend will also be immortalized amid the emirate's property boom, with ACI to call another skyscraper 'Boris Becker Tower'.

"We are talking about two of the biggest sporting names anywhere in the world, so when it comes to branding a project, it doesn't get much better," ACI's Robin Lohmann said.

Sources close to the project suggest to Arabian Business, a local magazine, that the Schumacher tower will be a 29 storey commercial and residential building.

The retired seven time world champion will reportedly travel to Dubai next January to officially launch the project.

The Becker building will be 19 floors, the sources added.

AGI was previously involved in the branding of the Niki Lauda Twin Towers, which are located in the same region of the city.

BMW to launch 2008 car in Munich
(GMM)  BMW-Sauber will launch its 2008 car on 14 January early next year, the Swiss based team announced on Tuesday.

In an invitation to the press, the team said the car, to be called F1.08, will be unveiled publicly for the first time at the new BMW vehicle delivery centre in Munich.

A day later, a Tuesday, the new single seater will be tested for the first time at the Valencia circuit in Spain.

Following the exclusion of McLaren for espionage, BMW-Sauber finished the 2007 season second only to Ferrari.

"Improvements can always be made across the board, but the greatest scope for progress clearly lies in aerodynamics," team boss Mario Theissen said in an interview on Tuesday.

"It's not a question of eliminating a specific weakness for 2008, but of finding the extra three to five per cent in all areas which can bring us up to the level of the top teams.

"It's really a matter of fine-tuning -- evolution rather than revolution," the German added.

Theissen said work on the 2008 car began in May, and - with its position in the constructors' standings secured - the team switched all efforts to the F1.08 in mid-September.

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