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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Another tire fiasco at Indianapolis
  • Raikkonen eyes rallying after F1 career
  • Raikkonen has lost 200,000 Corvette
  • Valencia receives final FIA approval
  • Berger to drive own F1 car in Hungary
  • Schu crashes Ferrari road car prototype
  • Another Nakajima on road to formula one

Another tire fiasco at Indianapolis
(GMM)  Three years after the farcical US grand prix of 2005, history almost repeated when the NASCAR world gathered at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the weekend.

Unlike the Michelin withdrawal and subsequent six-car formula one fiasco, however, the premier class of American stock car racing still managed to put on a show at the former grand prix venue.

But the crowd was less than amused that Goodyear's tire problems resulted in officials ordering mandatory 'competition yellows' - caution periods - every 10 to 12 laps.

Goodyear's problem was similar to Michelin's in 2005; the tires were simply no match for the unique diamond-cut grooves in the Indianapolis tarmac.

But in 2005, it was the construction of the Michelin tire that was failing because of the demands of the banked corner, while NASCAR competitors were simply wearing through to the canvas in a handful of laps.

Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya competed in both events, and was one of the victims of a failed tire at Indianapolis on Sunday.

Raikkonen eyes rallying after F1 career
(GMM)  World champion Kimi Raikkonen says he would try his hand at rallying once his formula one career is over.

The 28-year-old Finn, who is currently weighing up whether or not to renew his contract with Ferrari beyond 2009, told the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport that he is not afraid of life after grand prix racing.

"I will not be bored," Raikkonen said.  "When I stop formula one, I will keep going for fun to other races.  At some point I will try rallying.

"That interests me; asphalt, gravel and ice, it must be fun," he explained.

The 2007 drivers' title winner stopped short of saying his ambition would be to compete at World Rally level.

"It's difficult to say, because I have never done a rally seriously.  On asphalt I would probably be okay but on gravel I have no experience.  And having a co-pilot for me would be difficult."

Raikkonen's interest in rallying is probably stirred by the exploits of his older brother Rami, who is a rally driver of some repute in Finland.

What is clear, however, is that if Raikkonen does hang up his F1 helmet in the near future, he will not walk away from motor racing entirely.

"I have spent my whole life in motor sport.  I have never had the plans to do anything else," he explained.

Raikkonen has lost $300,000 Corvette
(GMM)  He has only seen it once and never driven it, but world champion Kimi Raikkonen has lost his Corvette.

The Ferrari driver bought the 1974 Chevrolet, previously owned by Hollywood actor Sharon Stone, for 200,000 euros at a charity auction at Monaco two months ago.

But since making the highest bid, Raikkonen, 28, has heard nothing about his car.

"I haven't got it yet," he told the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

"Honestly, I don't even know where it is, whether I have to pick it up or if they are sending it to me."

Raikkonen, however, who is among F1's highest paid drivers, is unlikely to be losing sleep over the matter.

"I didn't buy it because I really wanted it, but just for charity," he insists.

Valencia receives final FIA approval
(GMM)  Valencia's new formula one street circuit received its final official rubber-stamp at the weekend, less than one month before the inaugural European grand prix there.

As a dress rehearsal for the F1 event, the Spanish street track hosted GT and local formula three races at the weekend.

The weekend was attended by FIA delegate Charlie Whiting, who presented official approval for the circuit to Spanish motor racing chief Carlos Gracia, and promoter Jorge Martinez Aspar.

"From this moment, the countdown to the grand prix begins," Gracia is quoted as saying by the newspaper Diario AS.

Also at the Valencia races at the weekend, according to the newspaper El Mundo, were a plethora of F1 personnel and engineers, keen to study the nuances of the circuit in its final form.

The F1 people reportedly worked alongside the GT and F3 teams, studying and copying the telemetry that was being gathered, while logistics personnel made other studies for the forthcoming event.

Berger to drive own F1 car in Hungary
(GMM)  For the first time, Gerhard Berger will this week get at the controls of a modern formula one single seater that he owns.

The 48-year-old Austrian, a former ten-time grand prix winner, co-owns the Toro Rosso team with Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz.

According to the Austrian portal sportnet, Berger, who retired as a formula one race driver in 1997, has had a seat fitting so he can drive the STR car at a demonstration in the historic city of Budapest on Thursday.

"It will be the first time I have driven a current F1 car, let alone my own," he said.

"I simply want to know what it feels like."

Berger ruled out completing a more serious test in the car at a proper circuit.

"Those days are over," he added.

Schu crashes Ferrari road car prototype
(GMM)  Retired formula one champion Michael Schumacher has continued his recent run of close calls at the wheel of high speed vehicles.

Following several falls as he enjoys semi-amateur motorcycle riding, it is now being reported that the 39-year-old German crashed a Ferrari road car last week while testing at the notorious Nordschleife circuit at the Nurburgring.

Last Tuesday, Schumacher was not injured when his prototype 430 Scuderia struck a guardrail and was written off, Bild newspaper said.

It is suggested that Ferrari was using the partially-damp circuit exclusively, when its former five-time world champion went off at more than 250kmh.

"Michael called me and said 'We have crashed the car but are going to continue with another one'", Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm confirmed.

However, she dismissed rumors that Schumacher's 9-year-old son Mick was also on board at the time of the crash.

Another Nakajima on road to formula one
(GMM)  Another member of a famous Japanese racing family is driving his career towards formula one, according to his father.

Satoru Nakajima contested some 80 grand prix events between 1987 and 1991, and now runs a team in formula Nippon.

His 23-year-old son Kazuki made his formula one debut with Williams last year and currently races at the Toyota-powered team alongside Nico Rosberg.

Satoru told the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell that another of his sons, 18-year-old Daisuki Nakajima, is this year racing in the Japanese F3 championship.

"He is very fast, perhaps even faster than Kazuki," the 55-year-old said.  "At the moment his car is not so good."

Kazuki Nakajima does not like his father to attend too many races, but Satoru did come to the recent British grand prix, and he always attends Japan's annual F1 race.

Satoru Nakajima revealed that he will also be trackside at Singapore later this year.

"I want to go simply because I am curious about the night race," he explained.

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