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DATE News (chronologically)
10/11/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • A heated bosses meeting in Japan
  • US investor in Hockenheim talks
  • Hamilton rejects Kubica reproach
  • Hamilton's Grenada deal called off
  • Carmakers unhappy with standard engine talks

A heated bosses meeting in Japan
(GMM)  A heated team managers' meeting has taken place at Fuji Speedway.

Officials for Red Bull pointedly asked FIA race director Charlie Whiting why it took him so long to refer the straightforward infractions of Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica to the stewards two weeks ago in Singapore.

Then, Rosberg was able to finish second, despite the fact he broke the rules by refueling when the pitlane was closed and served a stop-go penalty.

Williams' German driver was not disadvantaged, however, because he was able to pull out a big gap while Whiting and the stewards deliberated.

Red Bull officials told Whiting they believe it took 21 minutes for the decision to be made, and a further 7 before Rosberg had to serve his penalty.

They, supported by other team managers, claim he should have finished eighth if the decisions were made in a reasonable timeframe.

Whiting replied that race control was busy dealing with Felipe Massa's botched pitstop.

But some team managers claim that this situation was also not adequately addressed by the stewards, who did not penalize Ferrari for allowing someone without fireproof overalls to attempt to pull the broken fuel hose from the Brazilian's car.

Whiting replied that, given Massa's ruined race and penalty for an unsafe pitstop, a further penalty was unnecessary.

US investor in Hockenheim talks
(GMM)  Hockenheim's hopes of remaining on the F1 calendar beyond 2010 have taken a turn for the better.

We reported recently that the future of the German venue was not bright, after Hockenheim mayor Dieter Gummer said race losses made the event "no longer justifiable".

But Auto Motor und Sport reports that the circuit, which annually rotates staging the German grand prix with the Nurburgring, is in talks with an American investor.

"There is very strong interest," Gummer said.

Race organizers are not, however, relying on the intervention of the government.  Mannheimer Morgen newspaper reports that state chief minister Gunther Oettinger turned down a request for financial help.

Hamilton rejects Kubica reproach
(GMM)  Championship leader and Fuji pole sitter Lewis Hamilton has brushed off claims his formula one rivals are unhappy with his on-track tactics.

BMW's Robert Kubica said "most" other drivers believe some of the Briton's moves, for example against Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso at Monza, were "too much and dangerous".

Hamilton, 23, retorted on the eve of the Japanese grand prix: "I don't care what the other guys think.

"I represent my team, myself, my family, my country and I do it the best way I can.  At the end of the day there are always going to be people you are beating who aren't particularly happy about things, but that's motor racing," he added.

Hamilton and Kubica rose through the karting ranks together, but the Pole said recently that they have lost contact since entering F1 because they have a "different mindset".

It is clear Hamilton, who drives for McLaren, fundamentally disagrees with Kubica's complaint about over-aggressive driving.

"You should race," he insisted.  "I don't really understand what he is saying.  It doesn't appeal to me."

Hamilton's Grenada deal called off
(GMM)  A property owner has rejected Lewis Hamilton's bid to buy a luxury beachside hotel development on the Caribbean island of his ancestry.

We reported recently that the McLaren driver's $35m deal was being probed, and was subsequently cleared, by the Grenada government.

But Issa Nicholas, the resort's owner, has issued a brief statement claiming the company negotiating on 23-year-old Hamilton's behalf "failed to live up to its obligations".

The statement, nor the Hamilton negotiating company Time Bourke, did not give further details.

Carmakers unhappy with standard engine talks
(GMM)  Team bosses are not enthusiastic about moves to install a standard-specification engine formula by 2010.

Cost-cutting is a buzzword in the F1 paddock at present, particularly as the world faces a deepening financial crisis.

But the heads of some manufacturer-based teams are concerned that standardizing engines goes against the very foundations of the sport.

Toyota's John Howett said "one of the core interests is at least having some differentiation in the power unit".

"I think most of us are not happy at all with the idea of a standard engine," Honda CEO Nick Fry agreed, adding that the Japanese marque is "the largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines in the world; it's the core of the company".

BMW's Mario Theissen offered "total support" for the views of his colleagues.

Howett suspects that the unified front presented by F1 powerbrokers Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone on standard engines is a "negotiating stance".

"There is, I think, an important facet in maintaining formula one as the pinnacle of motorsport and how to achieve that will be the balance," he said.

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