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DATE News (chronologically)
08/29/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Lewis Hamilton
    'Whamilton' admits fault for Kobayashi crash
  • Vettel title took 'brutal lunge' at Spa - de la Rosa
  • Ecclestone 'has agreed' to France/Spa alternation
  • Emotions run high over tire blistering saga
  • Manager says Kubica will definitely race again

'Whamilton' admits fault for Kobayashi crash
(GMM)  British tabloid The Sun called the McLaren driver 'Lewis Whamilton' after another bad day at the office for the 2008 world champion.

On Saturday, Hamilton was reprimanded at Spa-Francorchamps for his bizarre qualifying crash with Pastor Maldonado, and the Williams driver said after Sunday's grand prix: "He did the same today ... I think he needs to be more focused on his race".

Rookie Maldonado was referring to Hamilton's race-ending crash with Kamui Kobayashi.

Sauber's Kobayashi said: "I don't know what I needed to do -- maybe go into the gravel for him?"

Niki Lauda, speaking to Germany's motorsport-magazin.com, was unequivocal: "He takes things to extremes.  He's only got himself to blame."

But Hamilton initially refused to take the blame, telling reporters afterwards: "As far as I was concerned, I was ahead of whoever I was racing and then I was hit by them."

He later apologized to Japan's Kobayashi via Twitter.

"After watching the replay, I realize it was my fault today 100 per cent.

"I didn't give Kobayashi enough room, though I thought I was past.  The team deserves better from me," said Hamilton.

Vettel title took 'brutal lunge' at Spa - de la Rosa
(GMM)  Niki Lauda has scoffed at Spa winner Sebastian Vettel's claim that the fight for the 2011 world champion is still on.

"Things can change quickly, two races you are out and others have good races," the Red Bull driver said after extending his runaway points lead into the 90s with now just seven races to run.

Vettel has now scored more points in 2011 than he did to win his first title last year.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who crashed out heavily on Sunday, acknowledged the near-impossibility of the task.

"Everyone should forget about the title because it is not going to happen," said the Briton.

Triple world champion and now German-language pundit Lauda agrees.

"It's certainly all over," he said.  "No question about it, the only question is when.  It (Vettel's title) could happen theoretically in Singapore.  It could easily happen in Japan but for sure in Korea if not before."

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa told Spain's Europa Press that Vettel's win on Sunday was a "brutal lunge" for the German "towards the championship".

The veteran said the 24-year-old would "have to do very badly" to fail to win now.

"He already has more points than he scored in total last year, which indicates the alarming situation for the championship with a clear dominance," added de la Rosa.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso, the lead Ferrari driver with a more than 100-point deficit to Vettel, agreed that "there are cars that are normal and one car that is a bullet".

"The earlier the work we can do on the car for next year," he added, "the better."

Ecclestone 'has agreed' to France/Spa alternation
(GMM)  France on Sunday made another clear step towards returning to the formula one calendar.

The L'Equipe sports daily said race-day at Spa-Francorchamps was a "great day for French motor sport", after Bernie Ecclestone apparently agreed to reinstate a French date on the 2013 calendar.

The report said the plan is for France, probably with a race at the Ecclestone-linked Paul Ricard circuit, to alternate a single annual date with Spa.

"We have a contract until 2013," said Belgian grand prix organizer Etienne Davignon, "and we feel that there is a strong tendency at present for an alternation (in future).

"So we went to see who might be interested and we found a public interest group," he added, referring to French prime minister Francois Fillon's delegation.

Davignon said on French TF1 television that the plan is "with the knowledge of the authorities", and that Bernie Ecclestone "has agreed".

"It looks like a concrete proposal," he added.

Emotions run high over tire blistering saga
(GMM)  Emotions were running high on Sunday between Red Bull and Pirelli, amid the situation at Spa-Francorchamps over blistering tires.

Pirelli chief Paul Hembery was spotted in a row with Sebastian Vettel, after the German driver and Mark Webber were told they could not start the Belgian race with new tires.

Red Bull argued that the tire blisters that appeared in Q3 was a safety issue, with F1's official supplier hitting back that the phenomenon was the team's own fault.

"Frankly at the end of the race I was very relieved that both our drivers were safe," car designer Adrian Newey told the BBC.

Der Spiegel quotes a Pirelli spokesman as saying the Italian marque would have to "think about" whether Red Bull's intimation about the basic safety of the tires was a case of defamation.

"Had Red Bull done like everybody else (and followed) to our specifications, they would never have got into trouble," the spokesman added.

Pirelli said in a statement that the problem was caused as "a consequence of some car setups", believed to be tire camber and pressure.

"We are confident that a similar scenario will not arise again, provided that our usage recommendations are followed," said Hembery, insisting it was "never a safety issue".

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh agreed that Red Bull had pushed the boundaries too far.

"It's about the safety of drivers," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.  "We lose a little performance, but that's the safe way.  Some other teams seem to have a different attitude."

Manager says Kubica will definitely race again
(GMM)  Robert Kubica will definitely return to the cockpit, his manager insists.

The Pole had a fifth and final operation on Sunday to restore mobility in his elbow that was seriously injured in his February rally crash.

Renault reported that the surgeons completed "100 per cent of their task", describing the operation as "a total success".

"The function is good and now we enter the last phase; the recovery of the arm through specific training," Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli told Italian Rai television.

"I can say with certainty that Robert will be able to race again.  Let's let nature take its course because the boy needs to recover his full strength.  After months of surgery that's obvious and normal.

"Within a month, a month and a half, we will know when he can get back on track," added Morelli.

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