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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Also Schumacher backs Ferrari quit threat
  • Brawn to cruise to 2009 titles - Briatore
  • Ferrari court verdict set for delay
  • Mosley warns rebel teams of 2010 lock-out
  • Engagement looms for F1 champ Hamilton

Also Schumacher backs Ferrari quit threat
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher, who won five consecutive world championships for the Italian team, has voiced his support for Ferrari amid its battle with formula one's ruling body.

The 40-year-old German, who stopped racing at the end of 2006 but remained with the Maranello based team as a part-time advisor, echoed the backing already proffered by Ferrari's current drivers Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.

"I am in complete agreement with my team," Schumacher is quoted as saying by the Spanish sports daily Marca.

He said the ball is in the FIA's court to settle the dispute.

"Ferrari is very important to formula one, because without Ferrari, the championship would be a second-class competition.

"There must be an agreement that makes it possible for the Scuderia to remain.  F1 without Ferrari seems unimaginable to me," added Schumacher.

Brawn to cruise to 2009 titles - Briatore
(GMM)  Brawn GP finds itself in a position to cruise to the 2009 world championship.

That is the claim of Flavio Briatore, the outspoken Renault boss who earlier denounced the Brackley based team's diffuser as illegal, and its drivers as lacking the credibility to contest motor racing's most prestigious crown.

And asked by Germany's Die Welt newspaper if he believes Brawn and Jenson Button, respectively 29.5 and 18 points clear in the constructors' and drivers' championships after five races, can be caught up, Briatore replied: "No.

"In formula one nearly everything is possible, but I believe it is very difficult another team can win the title.

"They are well financed, and can develop further their car without problems, and for the competition that is a problem," added the Italian.

Despite the unique characteristics of this weekend's grand prix, boss Ross Brawn is expecting another strong performance for his team on the Monaco streets.

"The car is very good mechanically which you need to take advantage of the slow speed nature of the track," the Briton said, pointing out that while Button and teammate Rubens Barrichello have never won in the Principality, they have both stood on its podium.

Ferrari court verdict set for delay
(GMM)  The outcome of Ferrari's legal action against the FIA, to be heard in a Paris court on Tuesday, will not be known immediately.

A spokesman confirmed that the Italian team felt compelled to quickly apply for the injunction against next year's budget cap regulations.

"Teams have to register (for the 2010 season) between May 22 and 29, and must therefore accept the new regulations.

"Yet, this rule runs totally contrary to the pledges that have been made to Ferrari in the past," Emmanuel Gaillard, one of Ferrari's lawyers, told the news agency AFP.

The case is set to be heard in Paris' Tribunal de Grande Instance, presided over by three judges.

But Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims that the verdict will not be announced on Tuesday.

Citing a court spokesman, the publication said the judges will retire to examine the arguments and then declare the outcome some days later.

Mosley warns rebel teams of 2010 lock-out
(GMM)  The only remedy for rebel teams left off the final 2010 entry list might be for them to buy one of their smaller rivals, Max Mosley has warned.

Entries for next year's championship can be lodged from this Friday, and the deadline is one week later.

But submitting the form, and subsequently the 309,000 euro fee, is akin to accepting the controversial budget cap rules, and it is therefore unlikely that many of the current teams will do so.

"If we don't have enough entries to fill the grid, which we probably don't, they (the teams) know they can come later.  There's just a danger there might be too few spaces for those outside," the FIA president said in an interview with BBC Sport.

"What might happen is that the team that is outside when the music stops, they'd probably have to buy one of the small teams or something.  They should think about that before they don't put an entry in," warned Mosley.

The Briton is expecting only a handful of entries by May 29: probably Williams, Brawn and Force India, and then prospective new entries like USF1 and Lola.

Certainly Mosley is not expecting a quick outcome to the dispute, even though the teams are getting together for more talks ahead of this weekend's Monaco grand prix.

"It might take most of the summer," he admitted, "because no one's really up against it until they've got to start deciding what car there're going to build for 2010."

Just as Ferrari claims it was pushed into its court action due to the FIA's behavior, Mosley says the governing body had to act because teams were obstructing efforts to open the doors to new competitors.

"When it became apparent that any of the manufacturers might stop at any moment - because Honda did - we knew we had to bring new teams in.

"They said 'well, we'll give you guarantees we'll continue', we said 'let's have the guarantee', (but) no guarantee appears.  So then we said 'well, we'll have meetings to discuss how to bring teams in', (but) no meeting," Mosley continued.

"I think what they may have hoped is, we would just sit there and wait and wait and wait, and then it would be too late for the new teams to come in and then they would have complete control of the situation.

"Well, we couldn't do that, so we had no choice but to take a decision when we got to the limit of time," said Mosley.

He also insists the sport could live without Ferrari, and is fully prepared to see F1's most famous team walk away.

"Oh yes, absolutely, otherwise you've got to give up governing the sport and just let Ferrari do it.  The moment we said 'we can't function without Ferrari', then they could just dictate all the rules," explained Mosley.

Engagement looms for F1 champ Hamilton
(GMM)  Wedding bells may be in reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton's near future.

The McLaren driver seems unlikely to be able to defend his drivers' crown, but his relationship with American pop group Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger is moving up a gear.

Scherzinger, who turns 31 next month, has this week been quoted by an entertainment news source as admitting that engagement for her and Briton Hamilton, 24, may be the next step.

"Would I get married?  For sure and, yeah, the Dolls can be the bridesmaids.  But I have to get engaged first.  Late July is looking good," she told Bang Media.

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