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Latest F1 news in brief
  • New stewards system to be quicker - Mosley
  • Hamilton quit threat not serious - Mosley
  • Superlicense cost increase to cover driver safety - Mosley
  • Mosley annoyed by early cheating claims
  • STR and RBR cars to be 'similar' - Vettel
  • Kubica among Poland's richest sports stars
  • Hamilton tests McLaren at Menorca
  • Bernoldi to race Champ Cars in 2008
  • Schu is happiest husband - survey

New stewards system to be quicker - Mosley
(GMM)  F1's governing body decided to shake up the stewarding system for 2008 to speed up the trackside decision-making process, Max Mosley told reporters in London on Monday.

It emerged recently that the FIA would not in 2008 nominate a replacement for outgoing permanent race steward Tony-Scott Andrews, who commenced the role just two years ago.

Instead, three officials will be selected for each formula one race, to be assisted by permanent FIA delegate Alan Donnelly.

"The idea is that he will be non-voting.  There will be three stewards that vote but Alan's job will be first of all to make an interface between them and the race control and the press and so on," Mosley, the FIA president, said.

"Secondly, it will be to try and keep some sort of momentum so that we get the decisions quickly -- there is no excuse for taking as long as it has," he added.

It is believed that the FIA overhaul was motivated by Mosley's concern about the handling of the 'cool fuel' affair late last year, as well as the controversy about the incident involving Lewis Hamilton surrounding the collision of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in Japan.

Mosley said Donnelly's job will be to "keep the pressure on to get things done quickly".

Hamilton quit threat not serious - Mosley
(GMM)  FIA president Max Mosley has advised Lewis Hamilton to distance himself from the sport's politics rather than quit because of those issues.

Amid the highly controversial 2007 season, and caught in a storm about his driving behind the safety car in Japan, the McLaren rookie warned that "if this is the way it's going to keep going then it's probably not somewhere I really want to be."

But speaking with reporters in London on Monday, Mosley insisted that the politics of a multi-million dollar sport like formula one are complex.

"My advice to Lewis would be to put the money in the bank and don't worry about the politics.  As long as he keeps driving quick he will be all right," the 67-year-old Briton said.

Mosley suggests that Hamilton got caught up in a moment of frustration rather than having issued a serious threat to quit.

"I'm sure when he said what he did it was the emotion of the moment.  You can understand him saying 'I'm fed up of this' which he is entitled to say, but I don't think it would be a considered judgment," he added.

Mosley also said he did not believe that the FIA's pursuit of McLaren for espionage last year tainted Hamilton's title hopes.

"I don't think we did anything (wrong), and I don't think it had any real effect on Lewis," he insisted.

Superlicense cost increase to cover driver safety - Mosley
(GMM)  The cost of obtaining a formula one 'superlicense' has skyrocketed because drivers should contribute to the safety measures designed to protect them, Max Mosley told reporters in London on Monday.

It emerged recently that the credential, mandatory for participants in official sessions at grands prix, would in 2008 cost a driver 10,000 euros plus 2,000 euros per point scored in the previous season.

In 2007 and earlier, superlicencess cost just 1,690 plus 447 euros per point, meaning that then reigning world champion Fernando Alonso credential cost the Spaniard just under 62,000 euros.

New world champion Kimi Raikkonen's 2008 license, however, will cost him 230,000 euros.

"A lot of the people who have otherwise been meeting the bill said 'Hang on a minute, these drivers are earning mega-bucks, we're spending a fortune to ensure they're safe', so hence the increase," Mosley, the FIA president, said.

He explained that he was unmoved when some drivers wrote to him protesting that they, and not their teams, personally pick up the bill for their license.

Mosley added: "If somebody said I could have a job, earn 20 million euros and pay 250,000 euros for the license, I'd settle for that."

Mosley annoyed by early cheating claims
(GMM)  Max Mosley on Monday expressed frustration with Jarno Trulli's claim that the banning of electronic aids has returned the specter of cheating to formula one.

Toyota driver Trulli, the Italian veteran of more than 180 grands prix, said recently that some rival teams may already be testing ways to get around the new FIA-mandated standard electronics, including illegal forms of launch and traction control.

But speaking with reporters in London, FIA president Mosley said he doubts that Trulli's claims will turn out to be true once the season begins.

"It is quite annoying that people say this (sort of thing)," he admitted.

Mosley said teams will discover that cheating is "very difficult" in the new era of electronic restrictions.

"First of all you have got to circumvent the ECU and secondly you have got to somehow disable our 'spy in the cab' that will tell us that is going on," Mosley said.

Mosley said it is often the case in formula one that competitors' suspicions are more vivid than the reality, and also that it is premature to form suspicions even before the season officially starts.

He recalls the late 90s, when widespread suspicion of cheating led the FIA to scrap its ban on driver aids including traction and launch control.

"And what happened?  They all stalled, none of the launch control systems worked.  They weren't cheating, but the perception was that they were," Mosley added.

STR and RBR cars to be 'similar' - Vettel
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has revealed that Toro Rosso will begin the 2008 season with the STR2B -- a development of the car the team used last year.

The single seater has been performing strongly in his and new teammate Sebastien Bourdais' hands in recent tests, moving Vettel to conclude that the team's policy of using the old car for the first few races of the season could prove an advantage.

"Let's wait and see if we are not doing better with proven material than many others in their brand new machines having to overcome teething problems," the German, who is 20, told F1's official website.

Vettel said a launch date for the 2008 car has not yet been set, but confirmed that the STR3 will be "similar" to the 2008-spec single seater that was recently revealed by sister team Red Bull.

Kubica among Poland's richest sports stars
(GMM)  Robert Kubica has emerged with a podium finish on a ranking of Poland's highest earning sports stars.

The Polish newspaper Super Express found that with an annual income of 5.5 million Zloty (US $2.2m), the 23-year-old from Krakow earns less than countrymen Jerzy Dudek (football, Real Madrid), and Artur Boruc, the goalkeeper for Celtic.

Dudek makes 8m Zloty (US $3.3m), and Boruc 5.7m Zloty ($2.3m).

Hamilton tests McLaren at Menorca
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton took over from 2008 teammate Heikki Kovalainen on Monday as McLaren conduct straight line tests this week on the runway of a Spanish island.

At the Aeroclub de Mahon, located on the small Mediterranean Sea island of Menorca, the 23-year-old British driver was watched on by locals as he practiced manual starts and braking with no electronic assistance with the MP4-23.

McLaren wrapped up the test on Monday evening, but Renault, with former world champion and Spanish hero Fernando Alonso, is expected to arrive at Menorca next Wednesday.

Bernoldi to race Champ Cars in 2008
(GMM)  Former Arrows racer and BAR-Honda test driver Enrique Bernoldi will debut in the American Champ Car series in 2008 with the Rocketsports team.  The 29-year-old raced 29 times with Arrows in 2001 and 2002 but did not score any points.

Schu is happiest husband - survey
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher and his wife Corinna are the most happily married couple in Germany, a survey in a women's magazine has found.  Almost ten per cent of the 1000 respondents in the magazine Frau im Spiegel voted for the pair over 49 other celebrity couples, also including actors and politicians.

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