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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Ecclestone says Hitler storm a 'misunderstanding'
  • Cosworth embroiled in new FIA controversy
  • Drivers enjoy another F1-free weekend
  • Rossi admits 2011 F1 switch 'could happen'
  • Alguersuari admits 2009 F1 debut 'possible'
  • Montoya sympathizes with struggling champs

Ecclestone says Hitler storm a 'misunderstanding'
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed as a "big misunderstanding" the international furor created by his recent interview with London's Times newspaper.

Not only was the F1 chief executive's apparent defense of Adolf Hitler condemned by Jewish groups, it is believed sections of the formula one world argue it is evidence the 78-year-old should retire.

"All this is a big misunderstanding," Ecclestone told Germany's Bild newspaper.

"In the interview we were talking about structures and that it can sometimes be good to act and make strong decisions without reservation," he explained.

"I wasn't using Hitler as a positive example, but pointing out that before his dreadful crimes he worked successfully against unemployment and economic problems," said Ecclestone.

The wide-circulation German newspaper asked the Briton if he felt the need to apologize.

"It was never my intention to hurt the feelings of any community," Bernie replied.  "Many people in my closest circle of friends are Jewish.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I would never attack a minority," he added.

Cosworth embroiled in new FIA controversy
(GMM)  F1's governing body reportedly selected only new teams with no ties to car manufacturers to make their grand prix debuts in 2010.

Britain's Daily Telegraph cites disgruntled bosses who missed out in the FIA's selection process as alleging that only a commitment to independent engine supplier Cosworth ensured a spot on next year's grid.

US F1, Manor and Campos, all to be powered by Cosworth, were included on the 2010 entry list, despite more established names including Prodrive and Lola also applying to race.

It is believed some of the rejected teams planned to tie up for engine supplies with Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault, as F1's car manufacturers warred with the FIA about the future of the sport.

"We were told that if we wanted to take up the 2010 grid slot we would have to sign a three-year engine contract with Cosworth," one unsuccessful team applicant told the newspaper.

Another wrote in a letter that he "had a real possibility of obtaining a Renault, Mercedes or Ferrari engine.  It was made very clear to me that it was considered a mandatory condition from the powers that be that Cosworth was the engine supplier".

It should be noted that at the time of the 2010 selection process, the car manufacturers including Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW, Renault and Toyota were all threatening to quit formula one and race in a rival series.

An FIA spokesman confirmed that the availability of an independent engine supply was a "priority" for the new teams, otherwise "the whole grid would be at the mercy of the car industry and no new team would be able to enter without their permission".

But another disgruntled unsuccessful 2010 applicant alleges the new teams were "hand-picked for political, rather than sport criteria".

Cosworth insists it "in no way, shape or form requested that the FIA make demands on its behalf of potential entries to the formula one world championship".

Drivers enjoy another F1-free weekend
(GMM)  Formula one drivers have just enjoyed their second consecutive weekend without the distraction of a grand prix.

Silverstone winner Sebastian Vettel kicked off his weekend by turning 22, surrounded by his friends and family in his native Heppenheim.

It is reported in the German press that his present from his Red Bull mechanics is a new name for his new-look RB5 contender, previously called 'Kate's Dirty Sister' because it was more aggressive and easier to drive than its predecessor 'Kate'.

Rumors indicate Vettel's present will be the christening of 'Sexie Sadie': after the Beatles song containing the lyrics 'You made a fool of everyone/Sexy Sadie she's the latest and the greatest of them all'.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, was at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he was scheduled to drive his hero Ayrton Senna's dominant 1988 McLaren.

However, the MP4/4's gearbox failed the day before Hamilton was scheduled to drive it, while Bruno Senna was at the wheel on Saturday.  "I'm really disappointed," said the Briton.

Also at Goodwood were Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima and Timo Glock.

So too was David Coulthard, but on Sunday night the Scot was also courtside at Wimbledon, as Roger Federer won an epic four-hour final against Andy Roddick.

Elsewhere, the Paparazzi was not fooled by championship leader Jenson Button's efforts to deter them, as he entered a triathlon at Eton College under the pseudonym 'Jason Britton'.

It was there that he was asked by the Mail on Sunday to name the greatest F1 driver in history.  "Me, I'm the best," he answered controversially.

Cycling fan Fernando Alonso was at Monaco, for the start of Sunday's second stage of the Tour de France.

Rossi admits 2011 F1 switch 'could happen'
(GMM)  Despite deciding against the move several years ago, and dismissing subsequent speculation, Valentino Rossi has now admitted moving to formula one with Ferrari "could happen" in 2011.

That is when the flamboyant multiple MotoGP champion's Yamaha contract will be expired.

"Yes, I am quite happy to talk about it," Rossi, 30, told the Daily Star Sunday while in Laguna Seca for the US MotoGP round.

"It could happen in 2011," he added.  "Why not?"

It is believed the current rumors are related to Ferrari's considerations about perhaps running three cars in formula one in the near future.

Alguersuari admits 2009 F1 debut 'possible'
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari's formula one debut could occur earlier than 2010, according to the latest speculation in Spain.

From this weekend's German grand prix, the teenager is Red Bull's new reserve driver for both energy drink-owned teams, and he recently indicated he is targeting a full time Toro Rosso seat in 2010.

But he has also admitted to the sports newspaper AS that a debut within the remaining nine races of this season is "a possibility".

"The possibility exists, but they haven't said anything to me," Alguersuari, 19, said.

"I believe it is more realistic to think about taking this step next year.  I believe I would need many more kilometers and experience to race in F1, so the best thing would be to arrive well prepared next year.

"If I could decide right now what to do I would say 2010, although a lot of things can happen," said Alguersuari, the reigning British F3 champion who is contesting the 2009 World Series by Renault.

Montoya sympathizes with struggling champs
(GMM)  Juan Pablo Montoya says he sympathizes with the current plights of formula one world champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Colombian Montoya, the winner of 7 grands prix since his debut in 2001, switched to America's premier NASCAR series in the middle of the 2006 season, disillusioned with his situation at McLaren.

"To them (Alonso and Hamilton) I say 'welcome to the club'," the now 33-year-old said in an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE from the latest round of the Sprint Cup.

Montoya said the fact that success in F1 is only possible with the very best car had become "monotonous" throughout his six years on the grid.

Referring again to the struggling former champions, he added: "That it is now happening to them is really sad."

Montoya said other aspects of the so-called pinnacle of motor racing also left him disillusioned.

"In the beginning you fight and you're happy to be there," he said of formula one.  "I did fast times, I got several poles, I won some races.  The perfect dream.

"But after two or three years you see how everything in the team works, how it is manipulated.  And you see that if you want to win you have to be with a particular team and that's pretty frustrating," said Montoya.

Also frustrating is the fact that, if a team's single-seater is not born competitive, there is "nothing you can do" to return to the pace in that season, he added.

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