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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Stewart - I don't want Mosley's job
  • Last hopes fade for besieged Mosley
  • McLaren's Bahrain 'failure' - experts
  • Teams defend struggling Sutil, Piquet
  • Barcelona podium 'impossible' - Alonso

Stewart - I don't want Mosley's job
(GMM)  Sir Jackie Stewart has contradicted suggestions that his relentless opposition to embattled FIA president Max Mosley is a tilt for the top job.

The former triple world champion, who has a running dispute with 67-year-old Mosley, is leading calls for the Briton's resignation over the current sex scandal.

But to the Daily Telegraph, Stewart, a Scot, denies that he is putting himself forward as a possible successor to the beleaguered Briton.

Rather, 68-year-old Stewart believes no former drivers or team principals are well enough qualified for the role.

"I believe it can't be someone from within the sport.  It needs to be a captain of industry, a CEO of standing, man or woman," he said, despite admitting a number of approaches from those who believe he should take on the job.

"But this cannot be a racing driver," Stewart insisted.  "I don't care who he is, how many championships he has won.  No racing driver I know of is well enough prepared to take on that job.

"It needs to be someone who is expert in economics and business structures.  It cannot be a retiring team owner or team principal.  The alignments are all wrong," he added.

Last hopes fade for besieged Mosley
(GMM)  Any remaining support for embattled FIA president Max Mosley withered bare on Sunday, as the formula one world rested from the sex scandal for 91 minutes to take in the Bahrain grand prix.

It was a day that went from worse to hopeless for the 67-year-old Briton, who - barred from the event by the royal family - watched from one of his homes in Europe as Felipe Massa win the Sakhir race.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, whose refusal to condemn his lifelong friend thus far was a lingering hope for Mosley, cancelled a scheduled interview spot with the British broadcaster ITV -- another sign that the writing is already on the wall.

Ecclestone's deafening refusal to clearly back Mosley may have been motivated by the conspicuous presence in the paddock on Sunday of Sir Fred Goodwin and Arun Sarin -- respectively the biggest bigwigs of the major F1 team sponsors RBS and Vodafone.

"It's an FIA matter but we're watching it closely," Goodwin told the Daily Mail after a meeting with Bernie.

A writer for the Daily Telegraph observed: "Ecclestone has privately accepted his old comrade has to go, but was hoping he would not be required to handle the instrument of execution.  Now, he has no choice."

Meanwhile, the Australian federation reportedly joined the growing mound of Mosley opposition, as did the highest ranking motor racing official in Spain, Carlos Gracia.

"It is clear that this is a very unpleasant affair that is deteriorating the image of motor racing," he told the Spanish radio station Cadena SER from Bahrain.

Even those who had previously and historically supported Mosley are having to change their minds, as it becomes obvious that resignation is the only cure to one of F1's biggest ever scandals.

"If Max starts to think about things without emotion, then there can be only one conclusion -- he has to resign," said former triple world champion Niki Lauda.

McLaren's Bahrain 'failure' - experts
(GMM)  Bahrain staged a changing of the guard near the very top of the formula one pecking order, according to experts.

"For McLaren is was a pretty brutal failure," 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg told the German broadcaster Premiere, referring to the Mercedes-powered team.

Heikki Kovalainen finished clearly behind both Ferraris and BMWs at Sakhir, while Lewis Hamilton swapped his usual engineers' briefing for his car back to the hotel following a nightmare race.

"BMW were clearly better than the Silver Arrows," former triple world champion Niki Lauda agreed, according to Bild newspaper.

Rosberg, however - whose 22-year-old son finished the race eighth for Williams - turned to the midfield for his driver of the day.

"For me, it was Giancarlo Fisichella," said the Finn, after the veteran Roman finished twelfth following a close duel with Rubens Barrichello's Honda.

Teams defend struggling Sutil, Piquet
(GMM)  Force India team owner Vijay Mallya defended Adrian Sutil on Sunday, after a third consecutive bad weekend for the German driver.

While his veteran teammate Giancarlo Fisichella had experts gushing over a strong twelfth place on Sunday, Sutil got caught up in the first lap chaos and finished the race dead last and two laps down.

Following two previous difficult weekends, where the 25-year-old was outclassed by Fisichella and the victim of technical trouble, some had started to predict an early end to Sutil's career.

But Mallya said at Sakhir, where Sutil's actual pace relative to Fisichella has been better throughout the weekend compared with Australia and Malaysia: "I'm not worried with his performance.

"Today his car was damaged early that resulted in a broken nose.  So I'm not going to hold it against him," the Indian told the news agency PTI.

Also defended in Bahrain following a less than shining opening three races was Nelson Piquet, the Brazilian rookie and Renault teammate for Fernando Alonso.

"I am very pleased with the start to his year other than the fact that I feel we as a team have let him down a bit," said the French team's engineering boss Pat Symonds.

Barcelona podium 'impossible' - Alonso
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso on Sunday admitted that he thinks Renault is now the eighth slowest team on the grid.

"We are no longer only behind Ferrari, McLaren and BMW.  Ahead of us as well are Toyota, Williams, Red Bull and Honda," the Spaniard is quoted as saying by the news agency EFE.

The Anglo-French team, that in 2005 and 2006 won the world championships with Alonso at the wheel, is planning a major update for the R28 single seater, to debut at the upcoming Barcelona test, and the subsequent Spanish grand prix in three weeks.

The improvements relate to bodywork and front suspension, and Alonso insists that if Renault does not take a step forward, he will begin to regard the 2008 season as a write off.

"Right now it is our only hope.  We really need it to work for us, otherwise you could say that Fisichella made the better move (for 2008)," he said.

Alonso totally ruled out team boss Flavio Briatore's claim that the Barcelona improvements should move the R28 into podium contention.

"That's impossible," the 26-year-old responded, "because we need to find one second (per lap).  That has never been done in the history of any team.

"This is not what we are hoping for, anyway.  For now, the podium is a fantasy, a dream.

"What we are looking to do now is to get on to the level of Toyota, for example -- to easily go into Q2 and Q3 and then race to be behind the top three teams," Alonso said.

To the Spanish newspaper Diario AS, even Renault's Pat Symonds took issue with Briatore's plans for a Barcelona podium.

"That is a very ambitious goal," he smiled.

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