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DATE News (chronologically)
10/28/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Ferrari joins Toyota in F1 quit threat
  • Kimi should ask for help - Schumacher
  • New wing for McLaren's last title push
  • Massa promises no 'dirty' title tactics
  • Massa engineer eyes engine advantage
  • 2008 was hardest ever year - Heidfeld

Ferrari joins Toyota in F1 quit threat
(GMM)  Ferrari has threatened to "re-evaluate" its commitment to formula one should the governing body impose standard engines.

Despite also boasting of increased revenues and profits after a board meeting on Monday, the famous Italian team made clear its strong opposition to cost-cutting via the method of homogenizing powertrain design.

In a statement issued after the board meeting headed by president Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari said it believed Max Mosley's plan would "detract from the entire raison" of a sport "based principally on competition and technological development".

"The board of directors expressed the opinion that should these key elements be diminished, it would have to re-evaluate, with its partners the viability of continuing its presence in the sport," the statement warned.

Ferrari, nonetheless, pointed out its "wholehearted commitment" to cost-cutting in F1.

It was reported recently that Toyota has also threatened to quit F1 over the issue of standard engines, but the Japanese team issued a clarification on Monday.

"We believe formula one must remain a technological challenge; this is an important point for Toyota and provided this does not change we expect to continue in formula one until at least 2012," Toyota said.

Kimi should ask for help - Schumacher
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher has urged Kimi Raikkonen to ask for Ferrari's help in overcoming his competitive slump.

Raikkonen, the reigning world champion, has been reduced to a supportive role for teammate Felipe Massa's 2008 title challenge, after struggling for recent form.

Retired seven time world champion Schumacher, who is now a Ferrari advisor and occasional test driver, believes the 29-year-old Finn's problems are purely technical.

"I think I have to protect him in many ways, because in the middle of the season we made some developments to the car but Kimi simply didn't get on with these ones," the German said in an interview with the BBC.

"The moment we went back with those changes, we got him back to competitive lap times," the 39-year-old added.

But Schumacher also concedes that Raikkonen's naturally reticent character could be playing a part in his struggle to get back up to speed.

While Massa openly embraces friend Schumacher's role as a mentor, Schumacher points out that his relationship with Raikkonen is "very different".

"In a way it is his strength that he has a very focused vision, and maybe sometimes it doesn't always help him," the German said.

"We could maybe help him more if he would ask for it."

New wing for McLaren's last title push
(GMM)  McLaren will use a brand new rear wing design in Brazil this weekend to help Lewis Hamilton ease to the drivers' world championship.

The 23-year-old Briton needs only to finish fifth at Interlagos to secure the title.

And while team boss Ron Dennis admitted this week that winning the drivers' prize, rather than the constructors', is the "primary goal" for this weekend, the technical team at Woking has prepared a substantial upgrade for the MP4-23 car.

The Guardian newspaper reports that while the centerpiece of the upgrade is the new wing, there has also been "at least six other areas on the car" subjected to performance improvements.

"We have put the effort into primarily an aerodynamic package to enhance the efficiency of the car," chief executive Martin Whitmarsh is quoted as saying.

Dennis admits that, given recent defeats, scandals and criticisms, winning the title on Sunday would be particularly sweet.

"I was a little surprised that some of the media have almost been saying: 'Let's watch them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory'," he told the Daily Mail.

"Everyone will dump on us big time.  They won't look at any other set of circumstances that happened this year and just say that McLaren screwed up -- again.

"I know it's not done yet.  But believe me, winning in adversity would really have a high level of satisfaction," Dennis said.

Massa promises no 'dirty' title tactics
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has rejected claims he might resort to hostile tactics in his championship showdown with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton this weekend.

The Ferrari driver was accused by Hamilton of crashing into him "deliberately" in Japan earlier this month.

Former team owner Eddie Jordan, meanwhile, recently advised 23-year-old Hamilton to "take him out" should the Brazilian employ similar tactics at Interlagos.

"Playing dirty has never been part of my game," Massa, 27, said in his native Sao Paulo.  "I don't want anything to do with it."

He insists that while winning Sunday's race is his focus, winning the title at all costs is not.

"The only thing on my mind is winning the race.  The rest does not depend on me.  If I am champion, it will be a dream come true.  If not, that's ok, I will try again next year," said Massa.

Massa engineer eyes engine advantage
(GMM)  Felipe Massa's race engineer has admitted a key advantage for Ferrari ahead of the 2008 championship showdown in Brazil.

While the Brazilian driver's title rival Lewis Hamilton must use a race-old Mercedes engine in his McLaren this weekend, both Massa and Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen will benefit from racing fresh units.

It means that unlike at all other races, either saving the engine for the next race, or surviving the race with a race-old powerplant, are uniquely not factors for those with scheduled new engines at Interlagos.

"It gives us more room to move," race engineer Rob Smedley told Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell.  "Basically it means we can drive the whole race with maximum revs."

2008 was hardest ever year - Heidfeld
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld believes 2008 was the "most difficult" campaign of his entire career in motor racing.

The 31-year-old German spent his junior days in Formula Ford, F3 and F3000, and throughout his nearly ten years in F1 has driven for struggling teams including Prost and Jordan.

But despite his podiums and fastest laps this year, not to mention his new contract for 2009, Heidfeld often struggled to keep up with his BMW-Sauber teammate Robert Kubica.

"In terms of what I was able to get out of the car, it was definitely my most difficult year," he told spox.com.

"Not only in formula one, but in my whole motor racing career.  I cannot remember ever struggling as much as I have done," Heidfeld said.

His problems have mainly originated in qualifying, where he has managed to outpace Kubica just four times out of the 17 races so far in 2008.

Heidfeld said: "I have had the best car that I have ever had the opportunity to race, but just this year I could not get everything out of it.  Of course it was annoying."

It would have been even more annoying if it had cost him his seat, but Heidfeld was able to recover his form with the support of the team.

"I am now pretty happy," Heidfeld said, "because I have come out from a very difficult situation, even if it took longer than I expected.

"I am also content with the way I dealt with the situation.  Although I obviously had major problems with qualifying, I never lost my head in the races and always got the most out of it."

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