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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Renault ban 'stupid and unjust' - Alguersuari
  • Kubica to 'support Sauber' after BMW exit
  • Schumacher to test 2007 Ferrari this weekend
  • Money no role in Schu comeback decision - manager
  • Massa to return home to Brazil on Sunday

Renault ban 'stupid and unjust' - Alguersuari
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari has become another formula one figure to question Renault's suspension from the forthcoming European grand prix at Valencia.

According to the stewards, Fernando Alonso's team received the ban for knowingly sending the Spaniard onto the track in Hungary last weekend with a loose wheel that ultimately fell off.

Commentator Martin Brundle, and Ferrari test driver Marc Gene, have linked the FIA stewards' decision with a reaction on the grounds of safety in the wake of the recent incidents involving Henry Surtees and Felipe Massa.

Alguersuari, a 19-year-old Spaniard who made his grand prix debut for Toro Rosso in Hungary, told the El Pais newspaper of the decision: "It is stupid and unjust."

Kubica to 'support Sauber' after BMW exit
(GMM)  Robert Kubica's manager says the Polish driver will be supportive of the BMW-Sauber team in the wake of this week's news.

On Wednesday, the German carmaker BMW said it will withdraw from formula one at the end of 2009.  Team founder Peter Sauber retains a 20 per cent share in the Hinwil-based outfit.

Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli told the Swiss newspaper Blick: "We will support Sauber with the rescue of the team."

Morelli added that Kubica, 24, is under contract until the end of next year but is now officially on the market.

Blick said long time sponsor Petronas, the Malaysian oil company, may be a takeover candidate.

Petronas said in a statement: "Petronas' involvement in F1 with the BMW-Sauber team has been that of a strategic partnership, to complement the company's branding and business marketing objectives through the areas of premium branding efforts."

Team test driver Christian Klien, meanwhile, was asked by Vorarlberger Online if he can imagine 65-year-old Peter Sauber resuming control of the team he founded in 1993.

"I cannot judge," the Austrian answered, "but we have seen that we are a healthy team with a good infrastructure.  I can well imagine that, as with Honda and Brawn, a buyer will be bound.

"I think the team will go on somehow," Klien added.

Schumacher to test 2007 Ferrari this weekend
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher will test a Ferrari formula one car at the Mugello track in Italy this weekend, according to the German newspaper Bild Zeitung.

Due to the strict in-season testing ban, the 40-year-old German's mount will be the Maranello team's 2007 model, devoid of slick tires and the current aerodynamics and run by the 'F1 Clienti' department.

The aim is to test whether Schumacher's neck injury, sustained in a motorcycle testing crash in February, will prevent his scheduled return to substitute for the injured Felipe Massa as from the European grand prix at Valencia late next month.

It is also reported that his goal over the next few weeks is to shed a few kilograms.  A photograph taken at Robert Kubica's recent karting event shows the topless Schumacher has visibly toned down his training regime since retiring in late 2006.

Quadruple world champion Alain Prost told France's Europe 1 radio that he was "very surprised" to hear about the comeback.

"I don't understand his decision, but I respect it," said the Frenchman.  "Three years ago he stopped, he put on a little weight and he's getting over his motorbike accident.

"It is a slightly odd decision and a big challenge.  Perhaps he just wanted to help Ferrari, because the test drivers Gene and Badoer have done some grands prix but there are clearly not as fast (as Schumacher)," Prost added.

Money no role in Schu comeback decision - manager
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher's manager has denied rumors the German pledged to replace Felipe Massa in exchange for a new 5m euros per year contract to retain his Ferrari advisory role.

"No.  We haven't spoken about that yet," Willi Weber told the Bild Zeitung newspaper.

It has been rumored that Schumacher agreed to not be paid for his driving so long as Ferrari renewed the consultancy role, but also that the seven time world champion may be receiving a multi-million euro sum per grand prix he substitutes for the injured Massa.

"In all honestly, we haven't spoken about money and nor will we do so in the coming weeks," Weber insists.  "At the moment that's not important."

However, when reminded that a driver managed by Weber has never in the past raced for free, the 67-year-old answered: "And the same is true for the future as well."

Massa to return home to Brazil on Sunday
(GMM)  Felipe Massa is scheduled to board a private plane bound for his home in Sao Paulo on Sunday, according to the latest reports.

It had been suggested that his hospital stay in Budapest might continue into next week, or that he be transferred to the Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris.

But the latest suggestion is that, at the end of a few days out of intensive care and under observation in a normal hospital room, the AEK in central Budapest will be satisfied to see the 28-year-old check out at the end of the forthcoming weekend.

He will travel by helicopter to the local airport, where a private jet will fly to Brazil, hospital director Istvan Szilvassy is quoted as saying by Hungarian television Magyar Televizio.

After some days at home he will then travel to the Paris hospital to receive the rehabilitation treatment of Dr Gerard Saillant, who has treated Michael Schumacher and Ronaldo in the past.

"His condition is appropriate, he does not have any serious neurological symptoms at the moment.  I think the early phases of rehabilitation can start now," AEK neurologist Attila Toth added.

Earlier, in his daily media update, the Ferrari driver's personal doctor Dino Altman said Massa looked "like a boxer" but was recovering well.

"He talks a lot and is cracking jokes," Altman said, revealing that when he heard Schumacher would replace him at Valencia, Massa answered: "We'll see if I let him drive my car!"

"Racing is all he can think of," Dr Altman added.

"There's nothing to worry about, and no further operations are forecast.  He remembers everything starting from Saturday, except for the crash of which he can't remember anything.

"He knows what day is today, and he also knows that for two or three days he wasn't conscious, and he can remember his position in qualifying prior to the accident," Altman said.

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