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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Fry 'marginalized' in Brawn's post-Honda era
  • Hamilton ends Jerez test with crash
  • Gascoyne too 'imposing' for F-India - Mallya
  • Prost meets French president to discuss F1
  • Hamilton sent Massa flowers after showdown

Fry 'marginalized' in Brawn's post-Honda era
(GMM)  The extent of Honda F1 chief executive Nick Fry's involvement in the newly-reborn Brawn GP is yet to be clarified.

The 52-year-old Briton, whose presence in the world of formula one dating back to the BAR team guise has often attracted harsh criticism, represented the Brackley squad on Thursday when the FOTA alliance presented its future vision to the press in Geneva.

But, several hours later, his name was not mentioned once in the 700-word press release heralding the birth of the team's new guise under the ownership and leadership of Ross Brawn.

In Geneva, Fry was the first to leave the FOTA event, refusing to take questions from the floor, The Guardian newspaper revealed.

He "did nothing to dispel the growing impression that he has been marginalized at the team he once led", the newspaper added.

Hamilton ends Jerez test with crash
(GMM)  The penultimate group test of the 2009 pre-season concluded at Jerez on Thursday under windy and cloudy Spanish skies.

As the formula one teams now prepare to head to Barcelona for the last official test outing before Australia, world champion Lewis Hamilton had the most notable incident of the day, crashing rearwards into a tire barrier at low speed.

McLaren said "a sudden gust of wind" had swept the Briton off the track.

Kimi Raikkonen also beached his Ferrari in a gravel trap, but the Finn was a full eight tenths quicker than Hamilton by the end of the day, while BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld outpaced them both.

Only six runners were in action, after both Renault and Force India ended their programs on Wednesday.

The Barcelona test begins on Monday.

Gascoyne too 'imposing' for F-India - Mallya
(GMM)  Mike Gascoyne was sacked because he could not work with his colleagues, Force India head Vijay Mallya has revealed.

The Indian billionaire dismissed Gascoyne and team boss Colin Kolles following a disappointing debut season for the team in 2008.

German team driver Adrian Sutil admitted that the "atmosphere" has improved in the wake of the decision, and teammate Giancarlo Fisichella said it was obvious 45-year-old Gascoyne "struggled to work" well with the team.

In 2006, Gascoyne left Toyota, the team revealing a "fundamental difference of opinion" with the technical boss whose management style earned him the nickname 'the bulldog'.

Mallya told F1's official website that design director Mark Smith and technical director James Key are now in charge of Force India's car.

He explained: "In a way, Mike Gascoyne was a very imposing person.

"(He) practiced a formula that was 'his way or the highway' and these talented people were not given an opportunity."

Also now working with Force India is McLaren's Simon Roberts, to act as chief operations engineer for the collaboration beginning this year with McLaren-Mercedes.

Prost meets French president to discuss F1
(GMM)  Former quadruple world champion Alain Prost this week met with the French president Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the importance of the French grand prix.

French radio Europe 1 said Prost, who earlier admitted his support in staging a formula one race near Paris following the demise of the Magny-Cours event, discussed with Sarkozy the benefits to France of a continuing presence on the sport's annual calendar.

Europe 1 explained that the main topics discussed by 54-year-old Prost, also a former F1 team boss and owner, were the benefits of the race to France in terms of the local economy and international media exposure.

Hamilton sent Massa flowers after showdown
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton sent Felipe Massa a bouquet of flowers in the wake of their championship showdown in Brazil last year.

The McLaren driver, whose emotions at winning the title were rivaled by those of the defeated home town hero Massa in Sao Paulo, wanted to make a gesture to his opponent after the highly-dramatic events of the last-lap at Interlagos, the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport said.

Having celebrated in the cockpit the first victory for a Brazilian driver on home soil since Ayrton Senna, Paulista Massa's joy turned to tear-soaked despair just moments later when his engineer told him Hamilton had moved ahead of Timo Glock in the last corner and therefore won the world championship.

"The frustration comes out of me, and the tears.  I am crying inside my helmet -- because I lost while winning one of the most special races ever, in my home town," Massa told Britain's Guardian newspaper this week.

Corriere dello Sport said Hamilton, 23, was impressed not only with Massa's strong 2008 campaign, but his sportsmanship in the spotlight of defeat.

"Some things are just written," Massa explained.  "I'm not the kind of guy who will blame other people if things don't work out.

"I also don't have a problem in showing my feelings.  That's why I could cry after I lost the championship -- but I know that, if it is written, it will happen differently one day.  This is how life works," the 27-year-old Ferrari driver said.

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