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DATE News (chronologically)
04/29/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Ralf never an option for 2008 - Mallya
  • Mosley on hunt for sex spy source
  • Honda rules out more Super Aguri relief
  • Davidson tells whining rivals to 'shut up'
  • Quick fix unlikely for 'unfair' rule

Ralf never an option for 2008 - Mallya
(GMM)  Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya on Tuesday insisted that Ralf Schumacher was never an option to race for the team in 2008.

Schumacher tested for the newly-acquired Silverstone based team last December, but he insisted at the time that he was only fulfilling a promise to Mallya, whom he met in his capacity as a Toyota sponsor last year.

"Ralf is a good friend," Mallya told the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport in an interview.

"He was never a candidate.  I asked him to test our car once in the winter because I wanted to know his opinion.

"The real alternatives to Fisichella were Liuzzi, Klien and Montagny.  Not Ralf," he added.

Mosley on hunt for sex spy source
(GMM)  Max Mosley has engaged an expert investigative company in a bid to identify the source of the surveillance that led to the sex scandal that looks set to end his FIA presidency.

The embattled 68-year-old has pledged legal action against the News of the World for revealing his prison-themed romp with five prostitutes, but it is believed that the investigation into his private life was actually conducted at significant expense over a long period of time by a third party.

Rumors indicate that the source of the investigation may even originate from within the formula one paddock, the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport claims.

Mosley's retaliatory investigation, waged by a specialty agency, has been going on for two weeks already, the magazine added.

It emerged at the weekend that Mosley had commissioned the British private detective outfit Quest to conduct surveillance on the whistle-blowing prostitute.

Honda rules out more Super Aguri relief
(GMM)  Despite financing Super Aguri's Spanish action, the Japanese manufacturer Honda has ruled out rescuing the beleaguered F1 team ahead of the Turkish grand prix.

The Japanese language daily Sankei Shimbun quotes a Honda official as saying: "We will not provide relief on a race-by-race basis any longer."

Honda's Barcelona bail-out for Super Aguri reportedly cost the carmaker about 2 million euros, but the Leafield based team now faces either finding an investor before Istanbul in two weeks or admitting that Spain was its last ever race.

While on the face of it Aguri Suzuki's team seems like a bargain, the outfit has little in the way of assets -- its Leafield factory is leased and not equipped to design and build a modern F1 car, while even the team's transporters are believed to actually belong to another company.

Super Aguri is also believed to officially owe much of Honda's financial assistance to the Tokyo giant, meaning that any buyer would need to take on that debt -- apparently as much as $60m.

Suzuki is due to meet with Honda chiefs in Tokyo on Wednesday in what Shimbun is describing as a "final" encounter.

Honda F1 chief executive Nick Fry confirmed: "It was never Honda's intention to fully fund two F1 teams.  Aguri need to find funding of their own."

Davidson tells whining rivals to 'shut up'
(GMM)  Super Aguri's dire current situation led to British driver Anthony Davidson, who has probably now raced in formula one for the last time, venting some of his frustration to reporters at Barcelona.

David Coulthard recently referred to Davidson and teammate Takuma Sato's cars as the "stupid Aguris" for frequently getting in the way while they are being lapped.

Davidson said of his complaining rivals: "They can shut right up.

"When you can hardly see what the hell is going on because the car is shaking around so much, and you're just fully focused on keeping the damn thing on the track, the last thing you can do is be bothered about others trying to lap you.

"I'd love to swap cars with these drivers.  I really believe some of them would struggle, or even crack, if they were in our position."

Davidson reluctantly referred to his 2008 mount, a mismatched alliance of Honda's 2007 and 2008 cars, as a "botched job".

"The team won't like me for saying that," he admitted.

Quick fix unlikely for 'unfair' rule
(GMM)  The current safety car rules are "really unfair", BMW-Sauber test driver Christian Klien insists.

The Austrian is among many voices in the formula one paddock to slam the regulation, that was brought in last year, whereby the pitlane is closed initially upon deployment of the safety car.

"If you are out of petrol, then you have to go to the pits," Klien told the Credit Suisse emagazine.

BMW's Nick Heidfeld at Barcelona was the latest victim of the rule, when he had to pit for fuel when Heikki Kovalainen crashed and copped a ten second stop-and-go penalty that ruined his race.

"It was the choice between running out of fuel on the track or getting a stop and go penalty," the German said.

The rule was introduced in 2007 so that drivers do not unsafely speed around the circuit to rush a pitstop at the beginning of a SC period.

There have been recent discussions about changing the rule as soon as possible, including by simply penalizing drivers if they drive too fast under safety car periods.

The issue is on the agenda for the forthcoming meeting of the Sporting Working Group, but Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali doubts that it is "realistic" to expect a rule change before the end of the season.

"We need to stay cool and think what is the best option for everyone before changing something," he told reporters after the Spanish grand prix.

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