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DATE News (chronologically)
07/09/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Heidfeld back on form now - Theissen
  • Ferrari chief wants no more 'stupid mistakes'
  • Even Spanish press hails Hamilton
  • Alonso not desperate for 2008 podium return
  • Sato reveals talks with F1 teams
  • Williams wants to improve car, Rosberg
  • Donington yet to submit F1 plans to council

Heidfeld back on form now - Theissen
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld got his formula one season back on track at Silverstone, BMW-Sauber boss Mario Theissen predicts.

Heidfeld, the 31-year-old German, has struggled to keep up with his teammate Robert Kubica this season, sparking speculation about his future with the Swiss based outfit.

He finished second to Lewis Hamilton with an error-free run in the rain-affected British grand prix, while Poland's Kubica struck technical trouble in qualifying and then spun out of the race.

But Theissen said there were other signs at Silverstone that showed Heidfeld has turned a corner.

"In practice he was always on the same level as Kubica.  He showed that he is comfortable again in the car and on the limit," the German told Auto Motor und Sport.

He told the German newspaper Bild: "I expect him to be with the same form at the next race as well."

Heidfeld was also happy with his performance in Britain.  "There is still more potential to be extracted, but at least I am now on a reasonable level," he said.

Theissen was also happy that BMW-Sauber seems to have returned to form following a lackluster showing at Magny-Cours two weeks earlier.

"At Silverstone we were back to normal," he said.  "14 days ago I doubted that we could keep up with our rivals' development speed.  But at Silverstone I no longer had the impression that we are falling behind."

Ferrari chief wants no more 'stupid mistakes'
(GMM)  Following the Italian marque's dreadful British grand prix, Luca di Montezemolo says he does not want to see any more "stupid mistakes" in Ferrari's 2008 title defense.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali last Sunday admitted Ferrari committed performance, strategy, driver and even weather forecasting errors throughout the rain-affected Silverstone race.

Brazilian driver Felipe Massa spun at least five times, finishing two laps down and dead last.

"We can not commit any more stupid mistakes as we did last Sunday if we want to win the world championship," Montezemolo, Ferrari president, told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Naturally it was unpleasant to watch a race such as ours, but I hope it will serve as a lesson to my guys -- and I have no doubt that it will be the case," he added.

Montezemolo said Sunday's errors were not the first this season.

"We are in the lead in the championship, but we missed too many opportunities altogether, so we cannot afford any more."

Even Spanish press hails Hamilton
(GMM)  Even the fiercely nationalistic Spanish press had to commend British driver Lewis Hamilton's victory in last Sunday's British grand prix.

23-year-old Hamilton has endured a challenging relationship with the Spanish media corps; through his often bitter rivalry with Spaniard Fernando Alonso at McLaren last year, and the racism affair of the Barcelona test earlier in 2008.

The rancor turned to praise after the rain-affected Silverstone event, however, with newspaper Diario AS proclaiming Hamilton and Alonso "the best ones in the chaotic race".

El Pais, Spain's most widely circulated daily, added: "Hamilton danced on the water with a clear head and silenced the criticism of the past days."

Marca, the sports daily, said: "Hamilton dominated the race, without ifs or buts."

Hamilton's British rival David Coulthard has often been a critical voice, but Auto Motor und Sport quotes the veteran as saying at the Hockenheim test: "I watched nearly the whole race on TV -- unbelievable job, Lewis, well done."

Alonso not desperate for 2008 podium return
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso says he is now resigned to his sojourn away from the formula one podium in 2008.

The Spaniard admits that some Renault team members are desperate to see an Enstone built single-seater race back into the top three at a grand prix before this year's 18-race calendar is through.

But after finishing sixth in the rain soaked British grand prix last Sunday, former double world champion Alonso, 26, says returning to the podium this year is not his highest priority.

"For me, it does not have much value," he told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"What I want to achieve is fourth place in the constructors' championship by the end of the season," he added, referring to the fact that Renault current lies seventh, ignominiously ahead only of Honda, Toro Rosso and Force India.

In the F1 midfield this year, Alonso concedes that snatching an odd podium would probably only be through "luck" anyway.

"The podium for Red Bull in Canada can be attributed to luck," he said.  "And (at Silverstone) Honda, after their bad results, they're not now driving rockets.

"We have to stay calm and continue to add points.  There are years when you are lucky and others when you are not.  I would rather be unlucky now, when we are not fighting for the title," Alonso said.

He also said he found satisfaction at Silverstone in being "one of the few" that did not commit notable driver errors.

Sato reveals talks with F1 teams
(GMM)  Takuma Sato says he has turned down offers from outside of formula one following the collapse in May of the Super Aguri team.

As well as his former teammate at the defunct Japanese team, Anthony Davidson, 31-year-old Sato was a notable presence in the Silverstone paddock last weekend.

The UK-resident, who contested approaching 100 grands prix with Jordan, BAR and Leafield based Super Aguri, said he is trying to resurrect his F1 career.

"There is nothing concrete yet," Sato - who last weekend raced supporters and media at a go-kart event - said, according to Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell.

"I am speaking with some teams," he added.  "I turned down some offers for Le Mans and from the USA, because I see my future in the sport at the grands prix."

Williams wants to improve car, Rosberg
(GMM)  Williams will revert more effort into improving its current formula one car.

Patrick Head, the British team's co-owner and engineering veteran, revealed that much of the focus at Grove recently switched to preparing for next year's sweeping technical rule changes.

"We are retro-putting some attention back to 2008 because we need to do better than we are doing," he is quoted as saying by the BBC.

Williams currently lies sixth in the constructors' championship, just one and two points respectively in front of Renault and Honda.

Head also admits to speaking with Nico Rosberg, who has not added to his personal points tally in the past four races.

"It's obviously not ideal but what do you do?  You sort it out and that's what we'll do," he said.

Head said he, team boss Sir Frank Williams, technical director Sam Michael and Rosberg already had "a very straightforward talk" after Montreal, when he crashed into Lewis Hamilton in the pitlane.

"There were no harsh words, no raised voices," he said.  "Obviously we work as a team but in effect Nico didn't get the results that he could have got and he's aware of that."

Donington yet to submit F1 plans to council
(GMM)  Donington Park does not yet have planning permission to carry out the work necessary to host the British grand prix in 2010.

Paddock observers have pointed out the solemn task the venue faces in finding not only the money but the time to get up to Bernie Ecclestone's high standards as it takes over from Silverstone.

The Guardian newspaper now reveals that planning documents have not yet even been submitted to the local North West Leicestershire district council.

"We have not yet actually received the planning application although we have been talking through the project with the race promoters during the phase prior to last week's official announcement," a council spokesman, Ian Hill, confirmed.

"Obviously we have little experience of a project on this scale and once we become involved we will be looking at it from an overall viewpoint, talking to the owners on an ongoing basis.

"Our approach will be dictated by the need to get things right for such a major global sporting event, while at the same time addressing whatever needs and concerns arise among the local residents.

"Of course the sheer scale of this project is such that we will be working closely with the highways agency and the police authorities from the very start," he added.

The Guardian recalls that, in 1999, Brands Hatch similarly tried to satisfy Ecclestone's high standards and host the British grand prix, but the event ultimately stayed at Silverstone, the event's permanent host since 1987.

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