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DATE News (chronologically)
08/03/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Newspaper invented Massa interview - Ferrari
  • Ralf to watch brother make F1 return
  • Top rally drivers praise Raikkonen WRC debut
  • Toyota reaction to BMW exit 'positive' - Glock
  • Bernie wants Schu to race in F1 'for ever'
  • Spanish federation writes to FIA over race ban
  • FIA's Cosworth condition inappropriate - Richards

Newspaper invented Massa interview - Ferrari
(GMM)  Quotes attributed to Felipe Massa by a British tabloid newspaper at the weekend were bogus, the Brazilian's team Ferrari has confirmed.

The News of the World, most notorious in formula one for the sex expose about Max Mosley last year, quoted the 28-year-old as having seemingly given his first media interview since crashing in Hungary and recovering in a Budapest hospital.

However, Ferrari made clear on Sunday that Massa's first interview was in fact given exclusively to its official website, to be published on Monday as he returns home to Brazil.

"The statements printed today in the English press were not his but (his brother) Eduardo's," the Italian team clarified.

Massa, who indeed checked out of the AEK hospital on Monday morning, made a brief press statement.

"Thank god, I'm feeling very well," said the Brazilian.  "I've only a bit of swelling in the region of my left eye.

"It is important to be fully recovered before returning to the track."

His personal doctor, who with Massa's wife accompanied the Ferrari driver on the private plane back to Sao Paulo, echoed the view that the recovery process will not now be rushed.

"There's no hurry to bring him back to drive," Dr Dino Altman said.  "The most important (thing) is to have him fully recovered, in a safe situation."

Ralf to watch brother make F1 return
(GMM)  Ralf Schumacher has revealed he might travel to the Spanish port city Valencia later this month to watch his famous brother make his formula one comeback.

The German, who is six years younger than Michael Schumacher, left F1 one season later than the seven time world champion when he lost his Toyota race seat in 2007.

Ralf now competes in the German touring car series DTM, and he told the Cologne newspaper Express that he will try to make the journey to Valencia for the European grand prix.

"If I had gotten an opportunity like Michael, then I probably also would have accepted it," said 34-year-old Schumacher.

Like many other drivers, David Coulthard had been linked with Felipe Massa's vacant seat, but he seemed to scoff at the reliability of those rumors in conversation with Britain's Daily Telegraph.

"Well, I couldn't keep up with Kimi when I was at McLaren so what f*****g chance would I have now?!" said the Scot.

Top rally drivers praise Raikkonen WRC debut
(GMM)  Sebastien Loeb has praised Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen's performance after the Finn made his World Rally Championship debut at the weekend.

29-year-old Raikkonen ultimately crashed out of the event with a spectacular roll into a ditch, but he was classified 15th overall and was running third in his class at the time.

"I think he did really well," Frenchman Loeb, a multiple WRC champion and second overall in Finland, said.

"He was about one second per kilometer from Hanninen and the other best drivers and in Finland that is a very good performance," he added.

Rally winner Mikko Hirvonen added: "I have the same thoughts as Sebastien; I think he did really well, considering he has only ever done two rallies with pace notes.  He was setting really good times."

Hirvonen's Ford teammate Jari-Matti Latvala finished Rally Finland third and said of Raikkonen: "I agree, he did really well considering his lack of experience.  Okay, he went off the road, but even I had a little moment in the same place.

"It is not an easy corner, and these things can happen."

Sebastian Vettel meanwhile attended Rally Finland as a guest of Loeb's Citroen team.

Toyota reaction to BMW exit 'positive' - Glock
(GMM)  Timo Glock has welcomed Toyota's renewed commitment to formula one as "very positive" in the wake of fellow manufacturer BMW's impending withdrawal.

After BMW made its shock announcement last week, a Toyota spokeswoman reacted by insisting that recent cost reductions mean the Japanese marque is "continuing our formula one engagement".

Glock said he was "shocked" by the decision made by BMW, with whom he commenced his latest F1 foray as a test driver.

As for Toyota's reaction, however, he told the Cologne newspaper Express: "I understand that message as being very positive, but also I am not surprised by it."

Former Austrian grand prix driver Alex Wurz meanwhile said formula one is robust enough to survive the departure of BMW.

"Teams in formula one have always come and gone," he is quoted as saying by laola1.at.  "That BMW is going is not so bad for formula one, but it is bad for the 7 or 8 hundred employees and their families," Wurz added.

Bernie wants Schu to race in F1 'forever'
(GMM)  F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone would like Michael Schumacher to make his formula one comeback permanent.

"That's not up to me," the Briton said in interview with Sunday's edition of the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

"Perhaps Ferrari will succeed; I am sure they would like to keep him there.  I would be happy if Michael drives forever," Ecclestone added.

At the end of a bitter political feud in F1, and amid the news of BMW's departure and the injuries sustained by Felipe Massa, Ecclestone said the news of Schumacher's comeback was the best of the 2009 season.

"I have often talked to him about coming back," the 78-year-old added.  "The fitness tests will not be a problem.  And if Michael drives, he is fast."

Spanish federation writes to FIA over race ban
(GMM)  Spain's sports federation RFEA has written to the FIA's International Court of Appeal to defend the interests of Fernando Alonso and the forthcoming European grand prix.

According to the Spanish news agency EFE, the letter follows Renault's suspension from the Valencia race for an incident that involved Alonso's wheel falling off in Hungary late last month.

An appeal hearing will be heard in Paris on the morning of August 17, with the verdict the following afternoon to leave less than three days before opening practice at the Valencia street circuit.

FIA's Cosworth condition inappropriate - Richards
(GMM)  The FIA's unofficial demand that new teams sign engine supply contracts with Cosworth was "highly irregular", Prodrive's David Richards has agreed.

Another unsuccessful 2010 team applicant, the Serbian company AMCO, has complained formally to the European Commission, arguing that the Cosworth stipulation broke anti-competition laws.

Prodrive was presumably rejected on the basis that it had lined up a technical collaboration with McLaren-Mercedes.

"In any case, I consider it to be highly irregular," Richards, referring to the FIA's Cosworth stipulation, said in an interview with motorsport-magazin.com.

"I don't think it is at all appropriate for the sport's governing body to say that sort of thing," he added.

He said Prodrive was otherwise ready to make the move into F1.  "I'm fairly certain that we were the only team who could prove to the FIA that it had 40 million (pounds sterling) in a bank account and was therefore ready for the off."

Richards hinted that he could get a Prodrive team on the 2010 grid at short notice if customer cars and components were allowed.

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