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DATE News (chronologically)
05/19/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Disease outbreak at Ferrari F1 factory
  • Schu suffers fall in German motorbike race
  • Mosley plea 'ridiculous' - Stewart
  • Founder plays down pre-Monaco BMW hype
  • Hamilton wins 'Britain's Best' award

Disease outbreak at Ferrari F1 factory
(GMM)  Workers at Ferrari's formula one factory in Italy have been told to keep working despite an outbreak of the infectious disease tuberculosis.

The British newspaper The Sun reports that a staff member was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with TB, a common and deadly disease that - if untreated - kills up to half of its victims.

The Sun said the staff member was a carbon fiber specialist, and Ferrari confirmed that he has a "mild form" of tuberculosis.

It is reported that the 25 technicians whose job it is to build Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa's cars for each grand prix are currently undergoing blood tests to see if they have also been infected.

Ferrari said Raikkonen and Massa will not need tests.

"We're not happy," a British employee is quoted as saying from Maranello.

"We think the lab should be shut down until we get an all-clear.  It feels as if Ferrari are putting cars before people."

Schu suffers fall in German motorbike race
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher finished one race in 28th place and had a fall in the other as he made his guest debut in the German motorbike championships at the Oschersleben circuit last weekend.

After his intended pseudonym - Marcel Niederhausen of Stuttgart - was revealed by the press, the 39-year-old German ultimately raced under his real name and attracted hordes of media.

The seven time F1 world champion encountered technical trouble in qualifying and started the morning race 37th of the 39 starters, eventually finishing 28th.

He then climbed up to 21st in race two before falling and sliding into the gravel.

"There are just a few scratches on the bike and probably some good shots for the photographers," Schumacher smiled.

The former Ferrari driver said the fall had left him unfazed.

"I am a racer.  I find motorcycles such a lot of fun, but I do not have any plans to enter a race series properly.

"Perhaps I will race from time to time, but always as a guest runner and without ambitions for another career."

Elsewhere on Sunday, Michael's younger brother Ralf finished the DTM race at the Lausitzring fourteenth, while his Mercedes stablemate Paul di Resta won from pole.

Meanwhile, world championship leader Kimi Raikkonen spent his spare weekend on the verges of the FIA GT race at Monza, on invitation by his friend and countryman Toni Vilander.

At Monza, the Finn also caught up on the progress of the F3 team - Double R Racing - that he formed in 2004 with his manager Steve Robertson.

Mosley plea 'ridiculous' - Stewart
(GMM)  Sir Jackie Stewart has continued to call for Max Mosley's resignation, rubbishing the embattled FIA president's plea to stay on until next year.

In a leaked letter to FIA members, Mosley wrote last Friday that he should be left to handle "complex negotiations" that are crucial to the future of the sport.

However, in the pages of the notorious British tabloid News of the World, former triple world champion Stewart slammed the letter as a "classic decoy" by the trained barrister.

"Max is not irreplaceable," the Scot said, "so to say he should stay in charge to see things through is ridiculous.

"If he died tomorrow, the FIA would still carry on.  Nobody is irreplaceable," Stewart, who is also 68, added.

Meanwhile, following the leak to the media, the governing body has now made the Mosley letter public, but insists it has "no comment" on the reports linking the sex scandal with the British intelligence agency MI5.

Founder plays down pre-Monaco BMW hype
(GMM)  Peter Sauber has played down BMW-Sauber's chances of winning its first race on the streets of Monaco this Sunday.

The 64-year-old Swiss, who founded the Hinwil based team and is still a small shareholder and consultant, said he can sense a growing sense of optimism about the nimble F1.08's expected performance on the tight streets of the Principality.

"I have read that Niki Lauda thinks we can win there," he is quoted as saying by the Swiss newspaper Blick, "and that puts pressure on us.

"Robert Kubica also played his part by saying after the race in Istanbul that he will go well in Monte Carlo."

BMW-Sauber has had a competitive first third of the 2008 season, and even sits a couple of points ahead of McLaren-Mercedes for second place in the constructors' standings.

The team said its goal for this year is to win a race for the first time, but the recent Turkish grand prix was a slight glitch as Kubica struggled to keep up with the Ferraris and McLarens ahead of him.

"Of course, I am pleased when I feel that a new mood is developing," Sauber explained.  "This is a prerequisite for improvement.

"But we must not allow the expectations to get out of hand."

Peter Sauber recalls Monaco last year, when Kubica and his teammate Nick Heidfeld finished a lap behind the flying McLarens.

He said: "We are doing well, with a lot of confidence, but also with an equal amount of respect for the task we face."

Hamilton wins 'Britain's Best' award
(GMM)  23-year-old McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton on Sunday won the Sport Award at the Britain's Best 2008 awards.

The Briton accepted the award via videolink, and the trophy was collected on Lewis' behalf, and in the presence of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, by his father and manager Anthony Hamilton.

The winners were chosen by a panel of British greats.

The ceremony, which took place at The London Studios in the heart of the capital, will be aired on British television on Friday.

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