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DATE News (chronologically)
06/23/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Button sure Silverstone was title blip
  • Ferrari pushes ahead with FIA legal action
  • French GP revival hopes take new hit
  • Alonso admits 'magic' Renault step unlikely
  • Toro Rosso falls behind Red Bull development

Button sure Silverstone was title blip
(GMM)  Jenson Button's famous smile was missing on Sunday afternoon, but the championship leader insists his 2009 campaign remains on track.

The Briton's 32-point lead over Sebastian Vettel reduced by 7 points at Silverstone; an event utterly dominated by Red Bull, while Button finished just sixth.

It is suggested that one of the 29-year-old's problems on home ground was the cool temperatures and the fact that his smooth driving style could not generate enough heat for the tires.

And the Brawn driver said: "We are stronger than the Red Bulls under braking, but there is no braking at Silverstone.

"You never hit the pedal that hard there.  There were lots of reasons why we were not competitive.  I've lost seven points to Vettel, which is disappointing, but then again I gained 10 points when he put it in the wall in Monaco," added Button.

He is upbeat about the next two stops in Germany, with the Nurburgring and the Hungaroring two of the harshest for braking.

Button's optimism notwithstanding, his friend David Coulthard is not so sure the Briton's astonishing start to the season is now going to be prolonged.

"I said a couple of weeks ago that Jenson had as good as wrapped up the drivers' title, but the emphatic nature of Red Bull's victory at Silverstone has forced me to revise that opinion," the Scot, a consultant to the energy drink company's main team, wrote in his Telegraph column.

Coulthard added: "I still believe Jenson will prevail ... but we could well have a chase on our hands; a few races during which Red Bull chip away at Brawn's lead."

He believes one reason for the shake-up could be former Honda squad Brawn's struggle to keep up with the development rate of better-funded rivals.

"We haven't really seen any visible modifications to their car yet - as we have with Ferrari and Red Bull say – and it will be fascinating to see how they (Brawn) respond in Germany," said Coulthard.

Ferrari pushes ahead with FIA legal action
(GMM)  Max Mosley may have dropped the FIA's legal threat against Ferrari and FOTA, but the famous Italian team is pressing ahead with its own new action.

In the wake of the FIA president's threat at Silverstone, Ferrari reacted by revealing that it instigated arbitration proceedings against the FIA last Monday.

The action, to take place in a Lausanne court, is entirely separate to Ferrari's failed May bid, which took place in a Paris tribunal, to overturn the FIA's controversial 2010 rules.

Ferrari said its Swiss action is to protect the team's "contractual rights in its dealings with the (FIA), including those relative to the respecting of procedures as regards the adoption of regulations and the right to veto".

A Ferrari source said there has been absolutely no suggestion that, subsequent to Mosley's backtracking over the FIA's court action against the breakaway, Ferrari will duly follow suit.

The saga's next installation is Wednesday's World Motor Sport Council, and Britain's Times newspaper suggests that Mosley is prepared to step down as FIA president so long as FOTA commits to shelving its breakaway plans.

"I can only appeal to the large personalities involved that they all need to take steps backwards before they ruin the sport," former triple world champion Niki Lauda told Germany's Die Welt.

French GP revival hopes take new hit
(GMM)  Hopes that a new venue will reinstate the French grand prix have taken yet another hit.

After the demise of the Magny Cours event, and also the alternative Disneyland Paris project, Alain Prost said last month that the latest Flins-Les-Mureaux foray had also hit "political problems".

Now, while French formula one fans may not be happy, archaeologists may be rejoicing: the Parisian newspaper said a 13,000-year-old historic site has been discovered on the grounds of the proposed grand prix circuit.

France's absence from the 2009 world championship calendar was the first such absence since 1955.

Alonso admits 'magic' Renault step unlikely
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso is hoping a "magic" step forward can turn his 2009 Renault into a winning car.

But after the Spaniard finished a lowly fourteenth at Silverstone, he said a rapid late-season ascent to the podium, as in 2008, is possible but not likely.

"Last year we were in more or less the same position but suddenly we introduced changes that allowed us to win.  Now we are hoping for another magic step," Alonso, 27, told Spain's Diario AS.

He added: "But I know that in reality it is really difficult to do something this year and it is necessary to think about the future."

Alonso said seeing F1's current and former world champions ninth (Alonso), tenth (Raikkonen) and eleventh (Hamilton) in the drivers' standings is akin to an "upside down" world championship.

Toro Rosso falls behind Red Bull development
(GMM)  Toro Rosso is expecting to spend at least one more grand prix at the very tail end of the formula one grid.

While the similar car of the parent team Red Bull Racing utterly dominated the British GP, Sebastiens Buemi and Bourdais struggled at Silverstone to fend off the Force India challenge.

"We have a different engine, different cooling and different suspension to Red Bull," the Swiss rookie Buemi told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

The real problem, however, is that the STR4 has now fallen far behind the development specification of the Red Bull RB5.

For example, while the Toro Rosso will debut its first double diffuser in Hungary late next month - Red Bull's Monaco version - Red Bull finished one-two at Silverstone with a subsequent development of the rear aerodynamic concept.

The two Red Bull Technology cars also now look visibly different, after RBR fitted a significantly wider front nose to the RB5 driven by Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in Britain.

Team boss Franz Tost admits the development discrepancy is a problem for Toro Rosso.

"We suffer from the lack of new specification aero parts," he said.  "We will have these for Hungary, when I expect and hope that this will bring us back to the front end of the midfield."

Bourdais commented: "We have what we have and need to make the best of it until the new diffuser comes."

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