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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Button battles through tonsillitis as F1 rivals holiday
  • Mercedes still committed to F1 - Haug
  • Villeneuve not confirming FIA interview for 2011 entry
  • Brother defends Schumacher after Hungary saga
  • Hans-Joachim Stuck in hospital after head surgery
  • Webber kept IndyCar leader Power's racing dream alive

Button battles through tonsillitis as F1 rivals holiday
(GMM)  Jenson Button struggled through the London Triathlon on Sunday with tonsillitis.

But the reigning world champion still finished third in his class, despite admitting to having "suffered quite a bit" whilst under the effect of antibiotics.

His time of 2hr14mins was about 25 minutes behind the ultimate winner, and seven minutes slower than his 2009 time.

"I wasn't feeling very well at the start of the week, which is why I have come in a bit slower than last time round," said the 30-year-old.

The Olympic-length event consists of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run.

F1 is currently in the midst of its August break, including two-week factory shutdowns, so most of Button's rivals are on holiday.

Mark Webber is on the Cote d'Azur, Robert Kubica is planning to travel between the south of France and Tuscany, Jarno Trulli is in Miami and Vitantonio Liuzzi on the Greek holiday island Mykonos.

"No sun here today, oh well," Webber wrote on Twitter.

Button plans to spend this week at his villa in Guernsey.

Life is tougher for the Toro Rosso duo, who are training for 10 days in Austria, but their Red Bull Racing teammates will soon follow.

Fernando Alonso is also headed for a holiday, having spent several days at Maranello prior to helicoptering to the Italian Dolomites for a PR event.

"At least once a day, maybe just for ten minutes, I will inevitably think about the next race in Belgium," said the Spaniard.

F1's four Brazilian drivers have all returned home for August, while Karun Chandhok is in India and Sakon Yamamoto in Japan.

Mercedes still committed to F1 - Haug
(GMM)  Mercedes is still committed to formula one, the German marque's competition boss Norbert Haug insists.

Despite reuniting Ferrari's old 'dream team' of Michael Schumacher alongside Ross Brawn after buying Brawn GP for a fully works effort in 2010, the Brackley based outfit has now turned its attention almost exclusively to next year's title challenge.

So although the desired results have not come in 2010, Haug says the Mercedes paymasters remain committed to the sport.

"We've cut our budget drastically and we are still in F1, while other manufacturers have left," Haug is quoted by L'Equipe.

"We still think it is a good investment, even though our results have not been positive.  When you win titles, you know how to win them again.

"The most important thing now is to stick together, and that is what we intend to do," added the German.

Haug continued: "Obviously we are not where we want to be, but quite often this is how F1 works.  I've been in the business for a while, and Ross has as well.

"I know that this team has the potential to do better.  Currently we are not strong enough, but I am convinced that with a bit of time, we can catch up," he added.

Villeneuve not confirming FIA interview for 2011 entry
(GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve has pointed gentle criticism in the direction of the hopeful Spanish entrant Epsilon Euskadi.

It is believed that, as well as Stefan GP, Villeneuve's joint bid with the Italian former GP2 outfit Durango is in competition with Epsilon Euskadi for the last place on the 2011 formula one grid.

The 1997 world champion was racing American stock cars at Watkins Glen at the weekend, where he reportedly responded to the news that Epsilon Euskadi is already testing a scale model of its 2011 car.

Villeneuve, 39, is quoted by La Presse Canadienne as saying the Spanish outfit's move is like "putting the cart before the horse", and probably released to the media in the interests of public relations.

The report also said the French Canadian refused to confirm or deny reports that the three 2011 hopefuls have been summoned to an interview later this week with the FIA in Paris.

And Villeneuve said he is no longer affiliated with Stefan GP, even though his photo is depicted with the caption "drivers of 2010" on the Serbian outfit's website.

Brother defends Schumacher after Hungary saga
(GMM)  Ralf Schumacher has defended his elder brother Michael amid continuing criticism of his 2010 return to formula one.

The latest criticisms of the 41-year-old Mercedes driver surround his defensive driving in Hungary recently, prompting an apology to Rubens Barrichello that was denounced by some as insincere or formally demanded.

"I think it's absolutely inappropriate when Michael is depicted as some kind of unfeeling robot," Ralf, 35, said at the latest round of the DTM series at the Nurburgring.

"That's not Michael," Schumacher said in an interview with Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

"He slept on his maneuver and said sorry, for no other reason than he realized his mistake.  Everyone should believe him and move on," added the former winner of six grands prix.

Ralf said it is no surprise that those most stridently critical of the Hungaroring incident include David Coulthard, Jackie Stewart and Alex Wurz.

"There is certainly a lot of people with history with Michael.  It was a tough maneuver but it shows how seriously Michael still considers his job.  And from a driver's point of view you sometimes judge things in the first moments less dramatically.

"Previously, he was criticized for being too hard and cold, and now his mood is interpreted as a lack of ambition.  That's not right.

"One thing is clear," said Schumacher.  "His return has helped the whole of formula one, but not yet himself.

"I also would have come back to F1 but unlike him I didn't get the offer.  The reason is that we are - in the positive way - crazy enough to do it.  Michael has shown already a few times this season that he absolutely still has the speed."

Hans-Joachim Stuck in hospital after head surgery
(GMM)  Former German grand prix driver and now Volkswagen's competition representative Hans-Joachim Stuck has had surgery after a head injury.

German-language reports including in the Welt, Kleine Zeitung and Express newspapers say the operation on Saturday was for a hematoma that developed after a heavy crash in an Audi R8 at the Nurburgring several weeks ago.

At another event last weekend, the VW Scirocco Cup support race at the Nurburgring, he complained of headaches, dizziness, loss of balance and nausea.

The reports say Stuck, who contested 81 races in the 70s, has been transferred from intensive care to a normal hospital ward in the German town Neuwied.

"We advised Strietzel (Stuck) after practice to consult a doctor," confirmed VW motorsport director Kris Nissen.

The marque's spokesman Stefan Moser confirmed the reports about Stuck's surgery.

Webber kept IndyCar leader Power's racing dream alive
(GMM)  Mark Webber helped keep a fellow Australian's racing career alive.

29-year-old Will Power, who tested a Minardi late in 2004, had hit rock-bottom earlier that year.

He met the then Jaguar driver Webber at Silverstone in 2004, where Power was sitting out the British F3 race after running out of sponsorship money.

"It was a make-or-break time for him but I could see how determined he was not to give up and go home," Webber is quoted as recalling in a report by the Canadian Globe and Mail newspaper.

During Webber's formative career, he also ran out of money whilst competing in F3 in the 90s, and was bailed out with a $100,000 loan by Australian rugby player David Campese.

"You can have all the talent in the world," said the 33-year-old Red Bull driver, "but you need to get yourself in a position where you can prove it on a world stage and get the right people to take notice.

"I was fortunate enough to have a few key people support me just at the right time - like David Campese - to keep my dream alive, so when I was in a position to do the same for someone else, I did," added Webber.

Power was introduced to Minardi's Paul Stoddart and other key figures, and Webber contributed to his budget for the 2005 Renault World Series.

He also lived with Webber for a time in the UK, and Power's girlfriend still works in Webber's management office.

Power progressed to Champ Cars, and now leads America's premier open wheel series IndyCar.

"I can't tell you exactly why he helped me out, but if he didn't think it was worth it, he wouldn't have," said Power.

"When I am well established and in a strong place financially, I would like to help someone out too," he added.

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