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Latest F1 news in brief
  • F1 needs new points system - Montezemolo
  • Hamilton - no plans for new biography
  • Ecclestone happy with F1's new champion
  • F1 bigwigs endure 'nightmare' flight
  • Fortunate Hamilton still deserves title - experts
  • Bourdais hoping for second F1 season

F1 needs new points system - Montezemolo
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo has told an Italian newspaper that F1 needs a new scoring system.

When asked what his first rules change would be if he was in charge of formula one, the Ferrari president told La Stampa: "Instantly, the points score for the (race) winner.

"Massa won 6 races (in 2008), Hamilton 5, but the Englishman is the champion," Montezemolo remarked, despite earlier saying in an official statement that Hamilton's drivers' title was "well deserved".

It is true that, under the pre-2003 points scoring system, Ferrari's Felipe Massa would have won the 2008 world championship by two points.

In 2002 and before, grand prix winners received 10 points compared with 6 points for second.  Today, the winner's margin is just 2 points.

Hamilton - no plans for new biography
(GMM)  Even with the title as F1's newly-crowned youngest ever world champion, Lewis Hamilton says he has no plans to endorse a new official biography.

The McLaren driver was heavily criticized last year, when not six months into his formula one career, a publisher paid him $2m for the rights to his life so far.

'My Story' was issued in November for about $40, but it emerged earlier this year that copies were being sold in bargain bins for $2.

Hamilton now admits publishing a biography at the age of 22 was a mistake.

"I won't be doing another one for 20 years," he promised to The Times newspaper.

Ecclestone happy with F1's new champion
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has declared himself happy with formula one's new world champion.

The F1 chief executive has been critical of the sport's latest title winners as ambassadors, accusing 2005 and 2006 champion Fernando Alonso of doing "nothing", while Kimi Raikkonen "barely talks to anyone".

Ecclestone, 77, told the Daily Express: "I don't have a problem with Lewis now.  He's great and I hope that is how he always is.

"Formula one has given these guys something, I like to see them give something back.

"My message to Ron (Dennis) would be to let Lewis be what he is, the guy we see and like," he said.

Ecclestone said on the Interlagos grid last Sunday that both Hamilton and Felipe Massa would make good champions, but the British billionaire now seems excited at the prospect of a "Tiger Woods effect" for his sport.

"A lot of people who might not watch grand prix racing on television will switch on to see him.  There could be a Tiger Woods effect," he said.

To another British newspaper, Ecclestone said he does not approve of the level of criticism of F1's new world champion.

"Hamilton is a young man doing his best and I get upset with people who say he is an arrogant bastard and all this nonsense," he insisted.

"Lewis has achieved an awful lot and it would be bloody difficult for any of us to be the same as him.  And yet there are so many people out there that want him to lose, so he has to make sure he delivers.

"I think he comes over as a bit overconfident but don't forget they said the same things about Michael (Schumacher)," he explained.

"I am sure he will grow into the position he has achieved; it just takes time.  He has to be careful what he says and how he presents himself, otherwise there are no fears."

F1 bigwigs endure 'nightmare' flight
(GMM)  According to British media sources, Bernie Ecclestone did not celebrate the crowning of F1's new world champion on his return from Brazil to London.

Instead, the F1 chief executive and billionaire slammed his British Airways flight "a nightmare", despite his decision to head straight from the Interlagos to the Sao Paulo airport on Sunday night.

He was joined on the flight by other leading F1 figures, including Renault boss Flavio Briatore, but a fellow passenger told The Independent newspaper that the plane sat on the tarmac for seven hours before taking off.

"As a result, the crew ran out of permitted flying time for their shift, which meant we then had to set down in Madrid to pick up a new crew," the passenger explained.

"We were due to get into Heathrow at about midday on Monday.  As it was, we didn't touch down in London until 9.20pm."

World champion Lewis Hamilton's McLaren boss Ron Dennis enjoyed a smoother return to the UK, on board a private jet.

Fortunate Hamilton still deserves title - experts
(GMM)  Two prominent formula one experts have dismissed suggestions Lewis Hamilton is not a deserving world champion.

By several of the 23-year-old's critics, it has been suggested that he was handed his competitive seat on a platter -- backed since childhood by McLaren and spared the hindrance of having to prove himself with a small team.

"Heikki Kovalainen had the same opportunity this year," triple world champion Niki Lauda told the regional Swiss newspaper Berner Zeitung, "and yet he did not have the same success.

"It requires a special talent to get the title, even with a top car," the great Austrian said.

Ferrari test driver Marc Gene agreed: "It is true he came into F1 with a very good car.

"But if you compare his performances with those of the other good drivers who came out of GP2, like Nelsinho and Glock, you can straight away appreciate the difference.

"His decisions are sometimes very impulsive, but there is no doubt that he is very good," the Spaniard wrote in his column for El Mundo.

Bourdais hoping for second F1 season
(GMM)  Sebastien Bourdais said this week he has his "fingers crossed" he can extend his new formula one career into a second season in 2009.

After a difficult rookie campaign, the 29-year-old Frenchman enjoyed better form at Toro Rosso in the last races of this year, but is still yet to know if he will be retained.

"You could conclude that it was a bad season; indeed, if I were to start again, instead of seeking a radical solution to my problems, I would concentrate on smaller things," Bourdais said.

He said he is now waiting on Toro Rosso's decision.

"I hope to know more very soon and have my fingers crossed for good news.  I really want to continue," the multiple Champ Car title winner told France's L'Equipe.

Bourdais finished 2008 17th in the drivers' classification, compared with his Red Bull-bound teammate Sebastian Vettel's eighth, but his late-season form in the STR3 was vastly improved.

"I therefore ignored the concept that (Brazil) was perhaps the last grand prix of my career," he wrote.

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