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  • Gracia tips de la Rosa for McLaren seat
  • Ralf sued by former housekeeper
  • Fisichella would consider top test seat
  • Hamilton hopes for tough contest in 2008

Gracia tips de la Rosa for McLaren seat
(GMM)  The highest ranking Spanish motor racing official admits Pedro de la Rosa is facing an uphill battle to be named Lewis Hamilton's new McLaren teammate for 2008.

Carlos Gracia, president of the country's motor sports federation and a World Motor Sport Council member, told Radio Marca that the British team's veteran Spanish test driver is the logical choice to replace the departed Fernando Alonso next year.

He suggests, however, that F1 chiefs often "lack common sense".

"If things are decided by using common sense, then I would say it will be Pedro," Gracia said when asked who he thinks McLaren should replace Alonso with.

He added: "However, often in the world of F1, in some teams, common sense is the least prevalent of the senses."

On McLaren boss Ron Dennis' invitation, Gracia observed Alonso's final grand prix weekend for the team in late October from the Interlagos garage, to ensure the Spaniard was treated fairly for the title finale.

Ralf sued by former housekeeper
(GMM)  Not only is Ralf Schumacher likely to bow out of formula one, he found himself the subject of legal action earlier this week.

The 32-year-old German veteran, and his flamboyant wife Cora, were sued by a former housekeeper for her unpaid wages of 14,000 Euros.

The newspaper Oberosterreichische Nachrichten (OON) reports that a settlement was reached at the scene of the Austrian labor courts on Wednesday.

Schumacher is estimated to have earned at least 13 million Euros driving for Toyota in 2007.

To Bild-Zeitung newspaper, Cora Schumacher's manager Alain Midzic denied that Ralf had simply paid the outstanding bills to end the court action.

"No.  The lawyer of the former housekeeper withdrew the claim," he insisted.

Fisichella would consider top test seat
(GMM)  Giancarlo Fisichella says he would pursue offers to become a test driver in 2008 if he does not land the vacant Force India race seat.

To the Italian magazine Autosprint, the Roman expressed disappointment that he has been left out of Renault's plans for next year, following three consecutive years at the team including Fernando Alonso's world championships in 2005 and 2006.

"I would have expected more consideration by Renault," the newspaper La Stampa quoted Fisichella, 34, as telling the magazine.

"In three years I have helped the team to victories -- however I do not see Force India as a fallback, but a new phase of my career.

"I think I still deserve a place in formula one," the Roman added.

Fisichella said he would be open to other options if the Force India talks fall through.

"My goal is to race with Force India," he explained, adding that he would also consider offers to test but only with a front-running team.

"I know Force India seems difficult when you consider fighting for the last places, but I believe in the potential of this team," Fisichella continued.

"They told me they would prefer to have an experienced driver next to Sutil and I am ready.

"I have signed an option with them and will have an answer before Christmas," he added.

Hamilton hopes for tough contest in 2008
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton says he hopes for a close contest for the world championship in 2008.

The McLaren rookie, who collected a total of 18 significant awards this year but narrowly missed the drivers' title by one point, told Auto Bild Motorsport that he cannot guarantee his fans that he will win the formula one drivers' trophy next season.

"I am sure I will win one eventually, but 2008?  Who knows, maybe BMW will be quick enough, or Renault again.

"I hope that we have more challengers than just Ferrari," the 22-year-old Briton said.

Hamilton insists that narrowly losing the 2007 contest to Kimi Raikkonen, despite having a 17 point advantage with two races to go, is not the end of the world.

"It is a reminder to never put your nose too high in the air, and to always remain focused," said Hamilton.

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