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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Mosley may stay as FIA boss
  • Raikkonen in Laureus award no-show
  • Hamilton under pressure in 2008 - Ecclestone
  • F1 business makes $3m loss - report
  • Hakk predicts strong '08 for McLaren, Heikki
  • Champion Raikkonen vows not to change
  • Carlos Sainz plays down F1 racism scandal
  • Williams not ready to win races - Michael
  • Williams to be third best team - newspaper
  • Davidson predicts tough season for Super Aguri
  • Villeneuve's NASCAR career could be over

Mosley may stay as FIA boss
(GMM)  Max Mosley has issued a strong hint that he may not be ready to retire as FIA president by the time of the next elections in October 2009.

The 67-year-old Briton, who in 2004 rescinded a decision to step down from the role, told the London newspaper The Times that he still sees work to do as the unpaid head of F1's governing body.

Mosley, despite regularly courting controversy throughout his four presidential terms so far, insists that he wants to guide the sport into a "hugely exciting" new era of energy recovery and a new engine formula for 2013.

He refuses to speculate about the future beyond late 2009, but is fairly certain he will see out the remainder of his current term.

"Provided I remain relatively sane I won't quit before October 2009; beyond that I have to think very, very carefully," he said.

"This is a sport which you almost certainly have to conclude works best with one person capable of taking a decision."

Mosley insists that he is not deterred by regular claims that he should quit.

"I love reading the blogs when they are being furious about me, it's very entertaining, and there is the odd one which defends me.

"But F1 simply cannot divorce itself from the zeitgeist," he added.

Mosley became FIA president in 1993.

Raikkonen in Laureus award no-show
(GMM)  World champion Kimi Raikkonen is not scheduled to attend the Laureus world sports awards in Russia on Monday, organizers have confirmed.

The Finn is nominated, along with Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, for the prestigious World Sportsman of the Year plaudit.

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, is tipped for the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award, and will attend the ceremony in St. Petersburg, organizers said.

Raikkonen's team, Ferrari, is in contention for the World Team of the Year award.

Hamilton under pressure in 2008 - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has predicted that Lewis Hamilton will find himself under more pressure in 2008, following his stellar rookie season last year.

F1's chief executive concedes that, after the 23-year-old won four races and the runner-up spot in the 2007 drivers' championship, the difference for Hamilton this season will be the huge expectations.

"This year he is going to be under pressure and that's the problem," Ecclestone, 77, told BBC radio's Sportweek.

"He was under no pressure at all last year.

"But I think he is up to it.  I think he will cope.  It won't faze him.  He knows what he can do and what he can't do," the Briton added.

Ecclestone is also unconvinced that Hamilton, recently abused by Spanish fans in Barcelona and a central figure of the mainstream media's reaction, will have been affected by the recent racism controversy.

"I think he is strong enough to know it is all nonsense," Bernie said.

F1 business makes $3m loss - report
(GMM)  F1's corporate hospitality and advertising business is in the red, the London newspaper The Daily Telegraph has revealed.

The sport's owner, CVC, made an after-tax loss of $3m in that division of the business, after having to pay $22.5 million in interest on its loans of $334m, the latest accounts reportedly show.

CVC's Beta Holdings accounts also show turnover of $91m and costs of $87m.

The Telegraph also reveals that the Canadian and French grands prix this year are yet to secure main sponsors.

Hakk predicts strong '08 for McLaren, Heikki
(GMM)  Mika Hakkinen has predicted a strong showing for his former team, McLaren, and Finnish countryman Heikki Kovalainen, in 2008.

"I have a gut feeling that McLaren-Mercedes this year will be very strong," the retired 1998 and 1999 world champion told Auto Bild.

"If that is the case," the 39-year-old added, "then Heikki has every ability to have the speed of Lewis Hamilton and win many races."

Hakkinen, meanwhile, ruled out following the example of his former nemesis, Michael Schumacher, and regularly testing for  his old team.

"This is not for me," Hakkinen insisted, "because if you really want to test, you need to bring precisely the same attitude as you need for the racing.

"You have to have both your mind and your body in shape, in order to give the proper service to the team," he added.

Champion Raikkonen vows not to change
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen says he does not intend to change his paddock demeanor now that he is the reigning world champion.

The Finn and Ferrari racer insists that he has always been shy, except when in the presence of his family and his closest friends.

"I was always this way and I probably always will be," Raikkonen, criticized last year by Bernie Ecclestone for being too quiet, said in an interview on Sunday with Sky Italia.

The 28-year-old, referring to his apparent shyness, added: "It seems to work for me so I see no reason to change."

Carlos Sainz plays down F1 racism scandal
(GMM)  The racism scandal involving Lewis Hamilton was blown out of proportion, Spain's former double world rally champion Carlos Sainz insists.

The 44-year-old told the Spanish news agency EFE that he thinks the controversy was overstated by the press because of F1's enormous popularity.

"F1 has reached a level of popularity that generates a lot of attention," Sainz said, "and because of this, a lot of non-sporting elements begin to get discussed."

Sainz supports that view that the Barcelona incident was sparked by only a few badly behaved Fernando Alonso fans.

"I am absolutely convinced that this is not an issue for concern," he added.

Williams not ready to win races - Michael
(GMM)  Technical boss Sam Michael says Williams is not yet ready to take on F1's Big Two teams for race wins.

The Grove based outfit's new Toyota-powered FW30 has proved a standout of the 2008 pre-season, but technical director Michael counts Williams out of the hunt for the title.

"We are still far away from McLaren and Ferrari," the Australian is quoted as saying by the website of the Spanish newspaper Diario AS.

Michael, however, admits that the new car is a "good step forward" compared with its predecessor, and predicts a strong season for the British team.

"The most important thing is to continue in this direction," he added.

Michael revealed that he thinks BMW and Renault will also be strong in 2008, but not on the pace of Ferrari and McLaren.

Williams to be third best team - newspaper
(GMM)  With three weeks to go until the opening race in Melbourne, the Swiss newspaper Blick has published a predicted 'form guide' about the relative performance of formula one's eleven teams.

Unsurprisingly, Ferrari and McLaren occupy the top two spots on the ranking, which was apparently compiled based on the performance of the teams so far at winter tests.

Regarding the seemingly close battle behind the Big Two teams, Blick names Toyota-powered Williams as F1's likely new third force, ahead of Renault and the Swiss based team BMW Sauber.

Red Bull's two teams come next, embarrassingly outpacing the two Japanese giants on the grid, respectively Toyota and Honda.

Force India will be tenth best in Australia, Blick predicts, while the financially embattled Super Aguri rounds out the field.

Referring to Ferrari's apparent superiority with its new F2008 single seater, Toyota newcomer Timo Glock told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag: "They are in a league of their own."

For the record, Bild agrees that BMW is likely to lose its status as F1's third force, with Renault and Williams reportedly trailing McLaren by about half a second per lap.

Davidson predicts tough season for Super Aguri
(GMM)  Anthony Davidson has predicted an uncompetitive start to the season for the embattled Super Aguri team.

The Briton, who is yet to have his position confirmed by the struggling Japanese outfit for 2008 despite being "confident" about retaining his race seat, issued the warning after the Leafield based team sat out most of the pre-season with financial difficulties.

Super Aguri returned to the test circuit at Jerez last week, as other formula one teams began to wind down their winter programs ahead of the first race of the season in Australia next month.

"I think it's going to be tough, with where the team are at the moment," Briton Davidson, who is 28, told reporters in Spain.

"We are still learning the systems and we have three more days (of testing) until we go to Melbourne.

"So it will be hard work for us.  We are going to be one of the tail end cars, for sure," he added.

Villeneuve's NASCAR career could be over
(GMM)  It has emerged that 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve's new NASCAR foray has come to a halt, seemingly because he was unable to secure a major sponsor for his number-27 Bill Davis entry.

The French Canadian will, however, return to Le Mans later this year, amid news that current F1 testers Christian Klien (BMW Sauber), Alex Wurz (Honda) and Marc Gene (Ferrari) will also contest the famous 24 hour race with Peugeot.

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