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DATE News (chronologically)
06/30/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Contrite Alonso backs down on 'manipulation' claim
  • FIA, teams, plan meetings to address controversies
  • Spanish press toys with English Hamilton quote
  • Valencia eyes changes to improve overtaking
  • Peeved Domenicali happy with test ban tweaks
  • Mercedes must not give up on 2010 car - Rosberg

Fernando Alonso
Contrite Alonso backs down on 'manipulation' claim
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso says he is no longer angry after reacting furiously to the outcome of Sunday's European grand prix.

Insiders suggested the Ferrari driver had risked sanctions for questioning the actions of the FIA stewards in applying a drive-through penalty long after Lewis Hamilton overtook the safety car in Valencia.

"On Sunday evening, I was very angry about everything that happened, but now that anger has been transformed into positive energy driving a desire to fight back," he wrote in a diary entry posted on the team's official website.

His calmer comments are being viewed by some headline writers as an 'apology' to the FIA.

Writing in a Telegraph blog, correspondent Tom Cary said it might be the result of a "behind-closed-doors deal with the FIA in return for the governing body taking no action" against Alonso and the equally angry Italian team.

Alonso, 28, continued: "I reacted emotionally and in that situation, it is all too easy to adopt a tone and say things that can be interpreted wrongly, giving rise to suspicions, something which I had no intention of doing.

"Sure, I understand that the stewards have a difficult job to do and they have to take decisions that are not easy.

"What I meant was that those drivers who, like us, respected the regulations, unfortunately, in this situation, suffered much more than those who broke them, even though they were given a penalty," said the Spaniard.

He also played down suggestions the affair is a re-opening of his personal war with former McLaren teammate Hamilton.

"I am not referring to any of the drivers in particular: it's a general matter and I think we should talk about it together in a calm way, to ensure that things like this do not happen again," said Alonso.

But if Alonso is feeling contrite, the same cannot be said of the writer of news items at the official Ferrari website.

Once again citing the forum comments of fans, one fan is said to have discovered that stewards "were watching the Germany-England match on TV after the race".

"Can you believe it?  ... We want professionals!"

Another fan advocated Ferrari staging a "boycott" of next weekend's British grand prix, and yet another hit out at the fact that "the sport's ruling bodies are controlled by Brits".

FIA, teams, plan meetings to address controversies
(GMM)  Meetings have been arranged to address the issues that arose after Sunday's European grand prix.

Fernando Alonso and Ferrari were furious when a mere and late drive-through penalty for Lewis Hamilton's safety car overtaking in Valencia still allowed the McLaren driver to finish second.

But also unhappy were several of the nine drivers given 5 second time penalties for driving too quickly during the same safety car period.

"Vitaly (Petrov) came in too quickly and we accept the penalty for him, but it's hard to understand Robert (Kubica)'s penalty," said Renault's chief engineer Alan Permane.

Also seeking clarification is Mercedes, after Michael Schumacher found a red light at the end of the pitlane despite the fact a line of traffic was not yet formed up behind the safety car.

"There was a green light for a moment and then suddenly it went red again.  We believe that this was not correct," said Michael Schumacher.

Alonso wrote on his Ferrari blog: "I was pleased to hear that the FIA has reacted promptly, calling an extraordinary meeting of the Sporting Working Group and I am confident, certain even, that all the points up for discussion will be cleared up in a comprehensive fashion."

It is understood the meeting will be held next week.

Moreover, Mercedes' Ross Brawn told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that the issues will be discussed by the team bosses at Silverstone next Wednesday.

"There are too many unanswered questions that can be interpreted either way," he said.

Spanish press toys with English Hamilton quote
(GMM)  A mischievous Spanish press is ramping up the acrimony between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Earlier this week, after Alonso had accused the FIA of manipulating the outcome of the European grand prix, his former McLaren teammate Hamilton responded by surmising that the Spaniard was suffering from "sour grapes".

But, in fact, the Briton did not actually utter the words, instead merely answering "yeah" to a reporter's interpretation of Alonso's outbursts.

However, rather than simply repeat the 'sour grapes' expression, which originates from one of Aesop's Fables, Spanish wire agencies said Hamilton accused Alonso of "envidia" (envy).

And when trying to explain Alonso's bad mood, Hamilton had said it was "very unlike him to be overtaken by a Sauber so he must have been completely in another world".

But the Spanish headline writers said simply that Hamilton had accused Alonso of "vive en otro mundo" (living in another world).

El Mundo newspaper combined the two, stating the Hamilton quote as "Alonso tiene envidia y debe vivir en otro mundo" (Alonso is envious and must live in another world).

Unsurprisingly, the AS newspaper responded with "Hamilton: por que no te callas?" (Hamilton: why don't you shut up?).

Valencia Circuit
Valencia eyes changes to improve overtaking
(GMM)  Changes to the layout of Valencia's street circuit could be made prior to F1's return next year.

After last weekend's third consecutive running of the European grand prix in the Spanish port city, the layout has again been criticized for not hosting enough overtaking moves.

The promoter Valmor Sport has announced it is considering a number of changes to improve overtaking as well as safety.

"We want to apply changes and will listen to the drivers," Valmor president Jorge Martinez Aspar said.

"We are looking at a series of small changes in some parts of the track, three in particular, to see if it will give more overtaking," he said, adding that the FIA will also be consulted.

The organizers are expected to meet with the drivers at Silverstone next week.

Aspar also expressed concern that a marshal had to retrieve a glass bottle from the track last Sunday, but seemed to deny Ferrari's claim that an angry fan had lobbed it over a fence.

"We don't know how it got there," he said.  "If someone had thrown it, it would be broken.

"This is something to be avoided, but it can happen anywhere."

Peeved Domenicali happy with test ban tweaks
(GMM)  Stefano Domenicali insists he has "no problem" with moves to clarify F1's ban on in-season testing.

But the Ferrari team boss expressed anger that concerns about the Italian team's pre-Valencia running at Fiorano had been aired by his rivals in the media.

Christian Horner said in Valencia that using a filming and promotional day to test the updated F10 had been "naughty" and breached the "spirit" of the agreement.

And when also asked about Ferrari's testing, FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh said McLaren would do the "correct and honorable thing" by using one of the team's aerodynamic days to try updates on the MP4-25 prior to Silverstone.

"I think that a lot of people like to speak," Domenicali told reporters in Valencia.

"If I have any problem I take my mobile phone and I call personally.  This is my style, I don't use (the press) to say something.

"If people want to be more comfortable then I know there are discussions in order to tidy up the wording, and I have no problem with that," added the Italian.

Mercedes must not give up on 2010 car - Rosberg
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg is adamant the time is not right for Mercedes to give up on the 2010 world championship.

The Brackley based team raced a major car upgrade in Valencia last weekend, including a Red Bull-style 'blown rear diffuser' and exhaust layout.

But it was yet another bad weekend for the team, and team boss Ross Brawn admitted he would now "reflect, assess and see what our next steps should be".

According to Rosberg, that next step should not be abandoning the W01 in order to focus completely on the 2011 car.

"We still have many opportunities for development," he said in an interview with Sport Bild.  "Other top teams, for example, have things that we can develop quite simply.

"That is what we are doing," said the German.

Michael Schumacher has admitted he is now beginning to think about next year, but the seven time world champion has less than half the points of his younger teammate.

"I am absolutely against that (giving up on 2010)," answered Rosberg, who turned 25 on the day he finished 12th in Valencia.

"I still believe in my chances.  If the championship leader Hamilton fails just once and I win, I will almost be at his level," he added.

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