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DATE News (chronologically)
07/21/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Winkelhock knows F1 career is over
  • Alonso plays down Piquet podium
  • Brundle muses early retreat for Raikkonen
  • Toyota to discuss Glock rescue with FIA
  • Champions praise Hamilton's German drive

Winkelhock knows F1 career is over
(GMM)  Markus Winkelhock admits his abortive formula one career is now over.

The 28-year-old German, as a Spyker test driver, made his grand prix debut at the Nurburgring last year - and sensationally led a few laps amid the rain chaos - following the demise of regular racer Christijan Albers.

A lack of sponsorship meant he didn't retain the seat full-time, and Winkelhock - whose late father Manfred contested more than 50 grands prix in the 80s - switched to the German touring car series DTM.

To Spox.com, he admits he is not likely to ever return to the grid.

"It was a great experience, but I am a realist," Winkelhock said.  "The DTM is what I am concentrated on for the future.  Formula one, for me, is over.

"I am not really too sad about it.  I am happy with my situation now.  With the experiences and the race I had in formula one, of course it is nice to look back, but with Audi in DTM I'm happier than I was in formula one last year," Winkelhock added.

Alonso plays down Piquet podium
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso has played down the impact of his rookie teammate Nelson Piquet's breakthrough podium in the German grand prix.

Team boss Flavio Briatore hailed the 22-year-old Brazilian's "amazing race" at Hockenheim, where the ideal timing of the mid-race safety car turned his one-stop strategy into second place at the checkered flag.

To the Spanish newspaper Diario AS, however, former world champion Alonso made clear Piquet's achievement was "down to luck".

"It was quite a bad weekend for Nelsinho, but suddenly he got a safety car on the best possible lap for him and he is on the podium.

"This is the safety car lottery," Alonso explained, insisting that the R28 is not good enough to be racing to the podium on merit.

"Without luck we can only be aiming for seventh or eighth," he added.

In the newspaper, Alonso also bemoaned the car's lack of general traction, and said the problem only has one remedy.

"Yes, wait for next year's car," he said.

Brundle muses early retreat for Raikkonen
(GMM)  It is not inconceivable that world champion Kimi Raikkonen will retire at the end of this season, according to former grand prix veteran Martin Brundle.

The Briton, who is now a commentator for British television, wrote in his latest newspaper column that he senses an "unhappy and frustrated" streak in the 28-year-old Ferrari driver's demeanor at present.

Before the recent British grand prix, Raikkonen shoved a respected photographer on the grid, and at Hockenheim he struggled all weekend and dropped seven points behind Lewis Hamilton's championship lead.

"I would still be more than surprised if he retired this year, but if he wants to sign off as world champion, he needs more speed and balance in his car," Brundle wrote in the Sunday Times.

Brundle said he cannot imagine Raikkonen as a young retiree.

"I cannot easily imagine him as a businessman, a media person or a home-loving family man.  I find it hard to think of him as anything other than a one-dimensional, totally focused born racer," the veteran of more than 150 races, most recently in 1996, added.

"So he would go snowmobile racing for fun, and occasional form suggests he might drink too much.  You would actually worry more for him if he retired than if he was still racing," Brundle said.

Toyota to discuss Glock rescue with FIA
(GMM)  Toyota officials will discuss with the FIA Timo Glock's rescue following his violent crash in the German grand prix.

The 26-year-old German driver spent the night under observation in a local hospital after his car speared backwards into a concrete wall at the Hockenheim circuit on Sunday.

Glock, clutching at his painful back and apparently winded, was helped from his wreck by circuit workers, who provided him with an outdoor chair to rest on before he was ferried to the medical centre.

Toyota F1 president John Howett said the Japanese team wants to talk with the FIA about the rescue.

"We want to talk about how the driver was recovered from the cockpit," the Briton told motorsport-total.com.  "However, we do not wish to complain.

"Usually the driver is taken out of the car along with the seat.  We understand that in the heat of the moment you can get excited.

"We will look at the video and figure out exactly what happened.  The most important thing is that Timo is absolutely okay," Howett added.

Champions praise Hamilton's German drive
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has turned a corner and is now on the right track to winning the world championship, according to former triple title winner Niki Lauda.

The great Austrian, who watched 23-year-old McLaren driver Hamilton dominantly win Sunday's German grand prix at Hockenheim, is sure the Briton is driving better even than his rookie season in 2007.

"Last year he was my favorite, but he screwed up in the last two races," Lauda, the former Ferrari and McLaren driver, told Reuters.

"I think he's got the message now, from Silverstone in a difficult race and here in a difficult race for him.  He's on the right track and if he continues like this he's unbeatable," he added.

Lauda, 59, said Hamilton's Hockenheim drive reminded him of Ayrton Senna.

Ross Brawn, the Honda team boss and former Ferrari technical director, said Hockenheim reminded him of another great.

"It was reminiscent of some of Michael (Schumacher)'s greatest drives," Brawn was quoted as saying by The Mirror at Hockenheim.

Even the seven time world champion himself, Schumacher - rooting for the defeated Ferrari on the pitwall - had to applaud Hamilton's "fantastic performance" in Germany.

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