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Latest F1 news in brief
  • BRDC boss Hill joins Mosley censure
  • Schumacher in midfield in DTM debut
  • Mallya forges EADS aero link for F1 team
  • Piquet vows to get stronger

BRDC boss Hill joins Mosley censure
(GMM)  Damon Hill, the president of the club that owns British grand prix venue Silverstone, has added his disapproval to the Max Mosley sex scandal.

While the British motor racing body MSA has declined to offer an opinion on the affair, Hill - also F1's 1996 world champion - sides with those who indicate that the shamed FIA president should step down.

The FIA senate will cast a confidence vote relating to 68-year-old Mosley's presidency on June 3.

"None of us wants to be moralizing about individuals, but there has to be an element here to do with the image of the sport, and the ability of the premier representative of the sport in the world to continue to engage with a politic concerned about values," Hill is quoted as saying by The Times.

"It's a practical issue, but it's also a marketing issue," he added.

"Businesses connected with the sport want a positive image, and politicians want to engage with it because they know motorsport people support those values."

Figures from within the inner sanctum of the F1 paddock have been reluctant to comment on the affair, but Mike Gascoyne - the technical boss of Force India - is an exception.

"If he wishes to stay, it will devalue his office down to the level at which it is perceived, which is obviously not good," he said recently.

"It is painting the whole of motorsport in a very bad light and someone in that position, to my mind, has to be honorable and consider their position," Gascoyne added.

Mosley turned 68 on Sunday.

Schumacher in midfield in DTM debut
(GMM)  Ralf Schumacher finished fourteenth as he made his debut in the premier German touring car series (DTM) on Sunday.

At Hockenheim, the venue for this year's German grand prix in July, the former grand prix winner, was a midfield competitor in his year-old Mercedes-Benz.

The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag pointed out that the 32-year-old finished narrowly in front of the race's two female competitors, Susie Stoddart and Katherine Legge.

Reigning champion Mattias Ekstrom won the race, ahead of another Audi driven by Timo Scheider.

"It was okay," Schumacher said, "I made no major mistakes and I knew that I would not begin right at the front."

He also confirmed that he would happily return to formula one with a top team, but excluded becoming a test driver.

Mallya forges EADS aero link for F1 team
(GMM)  Force India is hoping to benefit from its new association with the aerospace firm EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company).

The German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reveals that four personnel of the EADS subsidiary Airbus, the aircraft manufacturer, are already stationed at the formula one team's Silverstone factory and working on aerodynamics and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).

The EADS association has reportedly blossomed due to team co-owner Vijay Mallya's existing links with Airbus, the supplier of planes to his major Indian airline Kingfisher.

"I have a contract with these two companies so that they can help Force India in the area of aerodynamics," Mallya, the flamboyant billionaire, said.

"If you can build the Airbus A380 and the Eurofighter, you certainly know a lot about it," he added.

Piquet vows to get stronger
(GMM)  After a difficult start to his formula one career, Nelson Piquet says he must emulate Heikki Kovalainen and now begin his rise up the grid.

Kovalainen, the Finnish rookie who switched to McLaren for 2008, was slammed by Renault boss Flavio Briatore following a dire debut race in Australia last year.

Piquet, 22 and from Brasilia in Brazil, had a similarly grim Melbourne opener for the team, and has been consistently outqualified by his teammate, Fernando Alonso.

Alonso, meanwhile, has scored six points so far with the identical R28 car, compared with Piquet's tally of zero.

"I am frustrated," he admitted to Autohebdo, the French magazine, "but I am not disappointed.

"I would be disappointed if it was a really different story for Alonso, but when you see how difficult it was for him to get to Q3 in Bahrain, and how he couldn't secure points in the race, then my position is also understandable," Piquet added.

"That doesn't satisfy me, but it takes some pressure from my shoulders," he said.

Piquet explains that the R28, the works Renault contender for this season, is not competitive in any area.

"The problem is engine, chassis, aerodynamics," he said.

Piquet also insists that, unlike Briatore's severe early appraisal of predecessor Kovalainen, his team boss is backing him.

"We have talked quietly," he revealed, "and he says that I should remain calm and that things will get better.

"Kovalainen also had problems at the beginning, and then he was able to get stronger.  I have to do the same."

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