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Latest F1 news in brief
  • F1 teams to test at Hockenheim in July
  • Honda sets environmental standard
  • Sato - 'I don't want to retire'
  • Toro Rosso happy with Red Bull-supplied car
  • BMW may not use wheel covers at every race
  • Hamilton not title favorite - Alonso
  • Hamilton three girlfriends - PR gaffe?
  • Newey suggests DC quali crash driver error
  • Massa not talking about GPDA exit
  • Italian press go hard on Raikkonen
  • Mosley 'relaxed' ahead of Tuesday vote
  • Kimi said sorry for Monaco smash - Sutil
  • Monaco not all bad for Ferrari - Marc Gene

F1 teams to test at Hockenheim in July
(GMM)  Formula one teams will reportedly test at the Hockenheim circuit in July prior to racing there for the German grand prix.

The group test, which would be the first such non-racing outing at the circuit in Baden-Wurttemberg state for several years, is scheduled to take place between 8-10 July -- a week before the grand prix.

The Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell reports that all teams are slated to attend on the three days between Tuesday and Thursday.

Admission for GP ticket holders is free.

Honda sets environmental standard
(GMM)  Honda has achieved 'ISO 14001' accreditation for its Brackley factory, the UK based formula one team announced in a press statement on Tuesday.

ISO 14001 is a management standard that helps organizations minimize how their business negatively affects the environment.

Honda, which last year launched its environmental concept and still races with an image of the globe on its livery, is the first F1 team to implement the standard.

The statement said Honda, whose factory was inspected by SGS Group, will now work on "specific targets to reduce its CO2 emissions".

The team "has shown clearly how certification to ISO 14001 can form an important part of its business and marketing strategy," said inspection group SGS managing director Pauline Earl.

Sato - 'I don't want to retire'
(GMM)  Japanese driver Takuma Sato at Monaco attended his first grand prix weekend since Super Aguri folded prior to the Istanbul race earlier this month.

The 31-year-old, who also lives in Monte Carlo, told reporters at the circuit last weekend that he had been given a paddock pass by formula one's Japanese tire supplier, Bridgestone.

It is thought he decided to attend Monaco and meet with reporters simply to make it clear that he is still chasing a future in the sport.

"I do not want to retire but at the moment I do not know in what way I will be coming back," Sato said.

He added that he has received some racing offers from outside F1, but seemed to reject rumors of a possible job with Renault by insisting that no solid grand prix-related offers are on the table.

Toro Rosso happy with Red Bull-supplied car
(GMM)  Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger said he is happy with the team's new car, the STR3.

The Italian team struggled with the pace and handling of the single seater throughout its race weekend debut at Monaco, but ultimately it performed well and reliably on the day of the slippery grand prix.

While Sebastien Bourdais crashed, his teammate Sebastian Vettel raced the STR3 - essentially the Melbourne specification of Red Bull Racing's RB4 model but with a Ferrari engine installation - to Toro Rosso's first points last Sunday.

"Red Bull supplied a car, which on its first race went to the finish line.  So I can only say: 'hats off'," Berger is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

Despite the young German's difficult start to 2008, Berger said he is delighted with STR's German youngster, Vettel.

"The only thing he is missing now is experience, so I guess we have to give him the time to develop in peace," the former grand prix driver added.

BMW may not use wheel covers at every race
(GMM)  BMW-Sauber at Monaco became the latest formula one team to fit aerodynamic wheel covers to its cars.

The German team's technical director Willy Rampf, however, cautioned that the outfit has so far identified only certain circuits where the device - fitted only to the F1.08's front wheels at Monaco - are an advantage.

"The results (of the wheel covers) are not consistent," he is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

Ferrari were the first to use front wheel covers, which do not rotate as they are attached directly to the central wheel fixture.

Honda's recent addition of the covers was very conspicuous, as they feature the team's globe-style livery.

Hamilton not title favorite - Alonso
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton's former McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso is predictably not among those who believe the Briton is now in pole position to win the 2008 title.

The Spaniard, who spectacularly fell out with 23-year-old Hamilton last year and left the British team, told Spanish radio Cadena SER as he returned home to Switzerland that the new championship leader's Monaco breakthrough does not indicate he is now the favorite.

"It is too early to say how the championship is going to end," Alonso, a former double title winner, said.

"We have seen the lead change a few times now, but even the fourth place, Kubica, is only a stone's throw away.

"I see the favorites still as the two Ferraris, by a long way.  Do I think Hamilton can do it?  No," the 26-year-old, who won the Monaco grand prix for McLaren in 2007 but not the championship, concluded.

Even Felipe Massa, who like his own teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton has won two races so far in 2008, does not dismiss the chance that BMW-Sauber's Kubica could win.

"Why not?" the Brazilian told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"I think three or four drivers have the opportunity, and my former team (Sauber) is doing a great job," he added.

Hamilton's three girlfriends - PR gaffe?
(GMM)  After bizarrely dangling from a stage wire in Turkey, Lewis Hamilton's latest PR gaffe could be the multiple messages he is publicly sending out about his love life.

First, the headlines exclaimed that the McLaren driver had invited Australian pop singer Dannii Minogue to Monaco, where on Sunday he won the prestigious race for the first time.

But in the days leading up to the Monte Carlo event, Hamilton attended the Indiana Jones film premiere at Cannes with Vivian Burkhardt, the current Miss Grenada, whose mother told Grenada press-men that the pair are an item.

But when Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger then thronged the Monaco grid, several reporters mistakenly believed she was the elusive Miss Grenada -- who had since returned to Grenada so as not to "distract" the 23-year-old Briton.

"Lewis needs time and space to prepare for the race," her mother Valerie is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Ultimately, Hamilton decided to celebrate his Monaco win at a Monte Carlo party with the Pussycat Doll.

According to the Daily Mirror tabloid, Scherzinger told friends about Hamilton: "We've been seeing each other on and off for three months."

Hamilton has reportedly now jetted off on a holiday to Grenada with the Pussycat Dolls singer.

Newey suggests DC quali crash driver error
(GMM)  Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey has indicated that David Coulthard's qualifying crash at Monaco was indeed simply a driver error.

Under braking at the exit of the high speed tunnel on Saturday, the veteran Scot veered violently to the right, smashing into the barrier and dashing off into the escape road.

A surprised Coulthard was at the time willing to accept the blame, but he said the team would "check the car" to "see if anything was going wrong at the rear".

Newey, who designed the RB4 single seater, is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "No (car) failures showed up on the data."

Massa not talking about GPDA exit
(GMM)  Ferrari driver Felipe Massa insists he did not leave the formula one drivers' representative body, the GPDA, because he is not interested in safety.

The Brazilian earlier this month revealed that he decided to rescind his membership of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association because he didn't always "like the way it is run".

The 27-year-old now joins Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil as non-members.

"I do not want to talk about that," Massa said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"All I will say is that obviously the most important thing in my life, is my own life."

Blick asked Massa if he simply does not get along with the GPDA's leading stalwarts, including Pedro de la Rosa, Mark Webber and Jarno Trulli.

"No comment," he answered.  "Next question, please."

His Ferrari teammate Raikkonen's poor showing at Monaco means that the points gap between the pair is now just a single point.

Massa indicated that there is no hint yet of Ferrari selecting a 'number one' with which to solely charge for the drivers' title.

"I am convinced that I can be world champion and I will fight every day that I am in formula one for that goal.

"As always, there is fair play at Ferrari," he insisted.

Italian press go hard on Raikkonen
(GMM)  The Italian press was merciless in its critique of reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen as the Finn lost his championship lead with a poor race at Monaco.

"Raikkonen: slow and dizzy.  In some races he is simply not there," the respected sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote.

After qualifying behind his teammate Felipe Massa on the streets of Monte Carlo, Raikkonen scored no points last Sunday after two driving errors and a general lack of pace.

The newspaper Liberta surmised that "only Felipe Massa saved Maranello's honor".

"Kimi, what was that?" the Roman publication, l'Unita, also wondered.

Mosley 'relaxed' ahead of Tuesday vote
(GMM)  Max Mosley is feeling "totally relaxed" about next Tuesday's crucial meeting of the FIA senate in Paris, according to a German sports magazine.

'Kicker' quotes the scandal-ridden FIA president, at the Monaco grand prix last weekend, as playing down the risk of being voted out of office.

"I am totally relaxed," Mosley reportedly said at the end of his low-key attendance at the prestigious event.

He said of the forthcoming FIA general assembly: "If they want, I will remain and serve the rest of my term to the autumn of 2009."

Kicker claims that Mosley, the 68-year-old Briton, can count on achieving "60 to 70" per cent of the FIA-affiliated clubs and associations' votes on Tuesday.

Kimi said sorry for Monaco smash - Sutil
(GMM)  Adrian Sutil has confirmed that reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen apologized to him in person after punting him out of a career-high finish at Monaco.

Raikkonen, 28, was quoted in the official Ferrari post-race document last Sunday as saying he felt "sorry for Sutil".

The Force India driver, who broke down in tears after retiring from fourth place in the closing stages of the prestigious Monte Carlo race, confirmed: "Yes, Kimi did apologize to me.

"After the race he came to me and said 'I'm sorry, I'm really sorry'," the 25-year-old German told the Indian news agency PTI.

"Anyway, it's racing and incidents like this do happen," Sutil, who has otherwise struggled to shine so far in 2008, added.

Raikkonen was excused by the stewards for losing control of his Ferrari exiting the tunnel, but less forgiving was Force India team owner Vijay Mallya.

Some pundits estimate the cost of Sutil's lost 5 points at up to $7 million for the usually backmarking team.

Mallya said: "As a world champion, I surely expected Raikkonen to drive safe and responsibly."

Monaco not all bad for Ferrari - Marc Gene
(GMM)  Monaco was not all bad for Ferrari, one of the famous Italian team's test drivers Marc Gene insists.

Despite locking out the front row of the grid on Saturday, the Maranello based squad had an awful Monaco grand prix filled with driver and strategy errors.

"On the bright side Ferrari has shown that they can be very fast on this kind of circuit," Gene, who turns 34 on Thursday, wrote in his column for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo.

Last year at Monaco, Ferrari struggled to keep up with the dominant McLarens, who secured a one-two finish.

Gene pointed out: "This time, Massa was on pole and Raikkonen did the fastest lap of the race.

"In the dry, a one-two would have been possible," he added.

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