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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Fisi crashes again, Massa fast at test
  • Hockenheim to host dry German GP
  • F1 news briefs: Friday
  • Toyota latest to try 'shark fin' bodywork
  • STR wants Bourdais to find more speed
  • Kubica hopes to stay in title fight
  • Vettel welcomes endorsement for RBR job
  • Hamilton still learning says father-manager
  • Sato would accept F1 testing role

Fisi crashes again, Massa fast at test
(GMM)  Giancarlo Fisichella crashed his Force India as the Hockenheim test concluded on Thursday.

The Roman, who also crashed heavily in the recent Silverstone test, was taken from the scene of the accident in the 'Motodrom' section by a medical car, but he was not hurt.

Force India's post-session press document described the shunt as a "heavy impact", preceding two hours of repair work.

"The rear of the car went away and I just lost control through the stadium complex," Fisichella said.

"The car went across the road and there's not much run off area there so I went into the wall.  I'm fine, but the car was quite badly damaged," he added.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was the fastest runner on Thursday, but Lewis Hamilton - having handed over to McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen for the final day - posted the quickest lap of the test overall.

After his disastrous outing at Silverstone last Sunday, Massa expects to have a competitive car for the forthcoming German grand prix.

Asked by reporters if he is worried by Hamilton's Hockenheim form this week, the Brazilian said: "No, definitely not.

"For sure they are quick, but we can be quick as well."

Hockenheim to host dry German GP
(GMM)  After rain was a constant threat throughout the last few formula one rounds, Hockenheim is expected to host a warm and dry German grand prix next Sunday, according to a long-range weather forecast.

Rain affected the group test at the circuit earlier this week, but conditions were hot and sunny for the final of three days on Thursday, following an overcast Wednesday.

F1 news briefs: Friday
(GMM)  Organizers of F1's inaugural Singapore night race marked the completion of the three-storey pit, media, race control, paddock club and podium building on Friday with a simple ceremony.  The formula one event takes place on September 28.


Veteran French formula one photographer Bernard Cahier, whose son Paul-Henri has been in the press this week, has died at the age of 81.  Cahier began photographing F1 in 1952 through to the 80s.


Donington Park has released more details about its $200m plans to host the British grand prix from 2010.  Work on a new pit building will begin in the autumn, while work to lengthen the existing circuit from 4 to 4.8 kilometers, including a new sweeping corner, will begin at the end of the season.


FIA president Max Mosley's court action against the British tabloid News of the World received a significant boost on Thursday when a key witness for the defense failed to appear.  The prostitute who secretly filmed the orgy, and who had been expected to testify about alleged Nazi elements of the affair, did not show up because of her "emotional and mental state", according to the newspaper's disappointed lawyers.  The case resumes on Monday.

Toyota latest to try 'shark fin' bodywork
(GMM)  Toyota this week became the latest formula one team to trial a so-called 'shark fin' engine cover at the Hockenheim test.

McLaren has been using a similar concept at the event in Germany, after Red Bull Racing pioneered the striking bodywork earlier this year.

Since then, Renault, Toro Rosso and Force India have also raced 'shark fin' engine covers at grands prix.

Timo Glock debuted Toyota's version over an installation lap on Wednesday, before reverting to a standard engine cover.  Teammate Jarno Trulli did a similar thing on Thursday as the three-day test concluded, making it difficult for photographers to capture the moments.

World champion Kimi Raikkonen told reporters that he did not think Ferrari will soon be following suit.

"We do our own thing and put effort into what we think are the key things," said the Finn.

"The fact that others copy us proves that our idea was right," Red Bull racer Mark Webber told the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

STR wants Bourdais to find more speed
(GMM)  Toro Rosso engineers are working hard to get Sebastien Bourdais up to pace with his on-form young teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Multiple Champ Car title winner and F1 rookie Bourdais, on a single-year contract in 2008, has struggled notably since the Faenza based team received the latest car from supplier Red Bull Technology.

"He has a problem with the nervous rear when he's turning in," team boss Franz Tost told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Vettel admits: "Bourdais prefers a car more with understeer.  To me it makes no difference whether it is understeering or oversteering."

So is Bourdais, 29, now fighting for his place at STR in 2009?  "Simply he has to find the accelerator pedal," is how Tost puts it.

In the Frenchman's favor is the current state of the driver market for next year.  Unlike in the last few years, no drivers have been spectacular in GP2 this season, and Toro Rosso is not going to be keen on installing an all-new driver lineup, should Vettel move as expected to Red Bull.

Kubica hopes to stay in title fight
(GMM)  Robert Kubica thinks he can stay in the 2008 title fight while BMW-Sauber's challengers keep making mistakes.

The Pole had a rare bad race last Sunday when he slid off at Silverstone, but - notwithstanding Lewis Hamilton's dominant win - other key rivals Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen also did not shine.

"If they keep having so many errors, we can still be there," Kubica, 23, told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"Of course we have to make sure we don't make mistakes either -- in that way, Silverstone was a missed opportunity."

Even after his British DNF, Kubica is now just 2 points shy of the three-way tussle for the championship lead.

BMW-Sauber was also heartened that, after its lackluster Magny-Cours outing, the F1.08 seemed to be back on song at Silverstone.

Kubica said: "The next two grands prix will show us where we really stand, and whether we can keep up with our opponents.

"For me, I will take things race by race, getting as many points as possible and then seeing what happens at the end," he added.

Vettel welcomes endorsement for RBR job
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has welcomed David Coulthard's nomination of him as a worthy successor for the Red Bull race seat in 2009.

Retiring Coulthard, 37, earlier this week said that, despite the German's youth, Vettel's "maturity and approach" makes him the "best man for the job".

"I am glad to hear nice things said like that," Vettel is quoted as responding by the German portal Focus.

Vettel, 21 and the youngest driver currently on the grid, added: "On the other hand I take the praise soberly, because it doesn't make me any faster."

Hamilton still learning says father-manager
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton is not yet the finished article, according to his father and manager.

Following the torrents of criticism preceding the British grand prix, and the 23-year-old McLaren driver's subsequent dominant win, Anthony Hamilton seems surprised by the level of expectation on his charge's shoulders in 2008.

"He's going to make mistakes, he's only 23," he told his local newspaper The Comet.

"He's been in this business - what - one and a half years?  He's learning but (last Sunday) he showed a master class," Hamilton Snr added.

Sato would accept F1 testing role
(GMM)  Takuma Sato has not ruled out returning to a test cockpit in order to restart his stalled formula one race career.

Following the collapse of the Super Aguri team earlier this year, the Japanese driver said this week that he has turned down offers from Le Mans and the US in order to focus on any developing opportunities to stay in F1.

So keen is the 31-year-old to resume adding to his tally of 91 grands prix that he says he would reprise his F1 testing career, such as the role he had with BAR-Honda in 2003.

"If it could lead to a potential regular drive then obviously I would," Sato said in an interview with Autocar magazine.

He added: "But I want to concentrate on the racing side -- it would need to be leading to a race drive."

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