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DATE News (chronologically)
05/21/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • More news briefs from Monaco
  • Alonso to attend Le Mans next month
  • BMW, Brawn, quiet over 2010 entry deadline
  • Sutil says Force India not ticket to title
  • Ferrari boss does not deny Alonso rumors
  • Button a top class F1 racer - Schumacher

More news briefs from Monaco
(GMM)  One of the leaked names mentioned as a prospective F1 entrant for 2010 has denied it is considering setting up a budget capped team.  The GP2 outfit previous known as Campos, now Barwa Addax, said in a statement it is "not involved in any project of this kind".

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Championship leader Jenson Button, once denounced by Flavio Briatore as an aloof playboy, has revealed that formula one success in 2009 has turned him into a "right boring bastard" because all he thinks about is his next shot at a race win.

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The worldwide economic recession has toned down Monaco's usual glitz and glamour in 2009, but someone forgot to tell billionaire Vijay Mallya, owner of the Force India team.  He has moored his 95-metre yacht in the Principality's harbor and already sent out invitations to two parties.

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The global meltdown has, however, ruined the weekend for former triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart.  Having not missed a Monaco GP since the 1960s, the Scot was not invited to this weekend's event to represent the embattled Williams sponsor RBS.  Last year, the Scot's hotel suite cost the Royal Bank of Scotland more than 10,000 euros per night.

Alonso to attend Le Mans next month
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso has revealed that he would like to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's oldest and most famous sports car race.

On the same day he warned that he would leave formula one if the big teams depart, the double world champion told reporters in Monaco he will attend next month's event, to take place between the Turkish and British grands prix.

However, the 27-year-old Spaniard denied that Le Mans is his "plan-B", should the departure of works teams leave him without a F1 seat in 2010.

"I hope to race more than one race a year," said the Renault driver.

"I am only 27 years old and have won the formula one world championship twice, so there are also other categories to win," Alonso added.

BMW, Brawn, quiet over 2010 entry deadline
(GMM)  Of the current formula one grid, only two or three existing teams may sign up to contest the 2010 world championship by the FIA's May 29 deadline.

Official entry forms can begin to be submitted on Friday, but outfits including Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and the Red Bull teams have indicated they will miss the deadline due to the controversy about budget caps.

Of the remaining five outfits, McLaren-Mercedes - having only recently escaped the FIA's wrath over 'lie-gate' - are holding out for a solution, while BMW-Sauber has said the imposition of cut-price budget caps may turn off BMW's executive board.

BMW motor sport director Mario Theissen in Monaco said more discussions with the FOTA team alliance will take place on Friday.

"We will discuss it then and not make any statements beforehand," the German said in the Principality.

"I would say we need to be positive and we need to be confident and we need to push to get an agreement because it doesn't make sense for any of the stakeholders to damage the platform we have," added Theissen.

Ferrari on Wednesday insultingly mocked a leaked entry list of new private teams that are seemingly willing to fill the gaps left by departed works teams next year.

But Theissen said: "Formula one should be a mixture of manufacturer and independent teams.  We can do without neither one nor the other."

It has been suggested that the independent teams Williams, Force India and Brawn may actually make the May 29 deadline because they fully back the budget cap concept.

Brawn chief Ross Brawn, while admitting his team personally supports budget capping, would not confirm the speculation in Monaco.

"I don't want to comment on that particular point yet, because of the discussions going on," he told F1's official website.

"We as a team always supported the idea of the budget cap, but what we don't want is a budget cap that forces other teams to leave formula one," the Briton added.

Sutil says Force India not ticket to title
(GMM)  Adrian Sutil has pledged his commitment to formula one, but he admits he is very eager to move up the grid as soon as possible.

The 26-year-old entered the sport with Force India's struggling predecessor Spyker in 2007, collecting just a single point from his 40 races so far.

Sutil and his colleagues at the Silverstone squad insist they are making steady progress away from the grid's tail end, but the German acknowledges that he is unlikely to achieve his main ambition with Force India.

When asked by the broadcaster RTL when he hopes to sit in a more competitive car, he answered: "As fast as possible.

"With Force India it will surely be difficult to be fighting for the world championship," admitted Sutil.

However, after 2005 and 2006 world champion Fernando Alonso at Monaco said he would quit F1 rather than race for a small team, Sutil pledged his commitment to the premier open-wheeler category.

"I have never considered going from F1 to another series, even if I could again be winning," he insisted.

Ferrari boss does not deny Alonso rumors
(GMM)  Stefano Domenicali has refused to deny persistent speculation that Fernando Alonso's future is with the Ferrari team.

Italian Domenicali, 44, is the team boss of the Maranello outfit, which according to strong paddock rumors has already reached some sort of agreement to unite a red car with the double world champion in 2010 or 2011.

At a sponsor event with 2010 Ferrari backer Santander's chief Emilio Botin earlier this week, 27-year-old Alonso spoke glowingly about the prestige of driving for the famous Scuderia in F1.

And he added: "I like winning and having the best car, and Ferrari has proved that it always has one of the best."

On the way to Monaco this week, a reporter for the Spanish newspaper AS spotted and chatted with Domenicali on a flight from Madrid to Nice.

Domenicali was asked what he thought of Alonso's comments about Ferrari, and answered: "Me piace, me piace (I like, I like)."

"He is a driver 'bravissimo'," he added.  And as for whether Alonso is destined to move to Ferrari, Domenicali said wryly: "We will see, we will see."

Button a top class F1 racer - Schumacher
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher does not agree that 2009 championship leader and favorite Jenson Button can be likened to a stationary concrete roadside post.

Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who led Schumacher to his first drivers' titles with Benetton in the 90s, made the "paracarro" jibe about the Briton amid the recent double diffuser dispute.

When Button raced for Benetton/Renault early in his F1 career, his then team boss Briatore remarked that he was racing so slowly around Monaco that he seemed to be scouting for a new apartment.

But retired seven time world champion Schumacher, who for seven years until 2006 shared the F1 circuits with the now 29-year-old Brawn driver, made clear in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that Button is no slouch.

"When Jenson arrived in F1 you could see straight away that he was highly talented.  He was outqualifying and sometimes outracing his teammate," said Michael, referring to his younger brother Ralf, who in 2000 also raced for Williams with three years of experience behind him.

"If you see a driver (Ralf) who has some experience and a new kid comes in and straight away matches the pace, then you see that they are highly talented," Schumacher added.

The German said Button subsequently found his feet with BAR/Honda, including beating Schumacher's pacesetting Ferrari to pole at Imola in 2004.

"When I saw that I could tell very clearly how good he was.  He showed that when he has a package that is built around him with the ability he has then he can be absolutely top level," Schumacher insisted.

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