Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
May 6, 2005

Albers' up to speed
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) Christijan Albers used to be a front runner in the 'DTM' category.

The Dutch rookie thus admitted it has been 'difficult' to forget champagne and race around at the back of the F1 pack in a Minardi.

''But I made the decision (to enter F1),'' he said at Barcelona, ''because I wanted to.''

He does, though, miss the cut and thrust of wheel-to-wheel racing, so prevalent in the German touring car championship today frequented by Mika Hakkinen, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jean Alesi.

Christijan, 26, admitted: ''(DTM) was easier than Formula One to have a close fight.''

He also warned that the new PS05 Minardi is not yet up to speed. ''But I think we'll be a bit closer in a few races.''

'DC didn't grab me' - Massa
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) Felipe Massa has denied that F1 rival David Coulthard grabbed him by the throat after an Imola clash.

The young Brazilian did admit, though, to giving DC - Red Bull's Scottish veteran - 'the finger' whilst overtaking.

''I was angry,'' 24-year-old Massa confessed.

''But for sure the (finger) was not a good thing to do and I have to apologize to him.''

Felipe, however, said he was surprised to read Coulthard's near-violent recollection of their post-grand prix conversation.

''He must be joking,'' Massa said, ''because we were both smiling. I think DC's a nice guy -- I don't have a problem with him.''

Montoya - 'it was tennis!'
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) Juan Pablo Montoya denied lying about how he broke his shoulder.

Some doubted that the Colombian skipped the Bahrain and Imola grands prix after an innocent slip playing tennis.

The strongest alternative, according to speculation, was that the 29-year-old McLaren driver crashed whilst landing a ten foot jump on a motorbike.

''A lot of people think drivers are not allowed to do anything,'' he countered, ''so they thought 'great story -- he's broken his contract!'

''Sadly for them, it was tennis. I'd rather say it was anything else, because I know it sounds kind of dumb.''

Montoya also revealed he still has to pass one final medical check, at the Barcelona circuit on Friday morning, before cleared to drive.

Ferrari 'unfair'
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) Fernando Alonso said he does not regret calling Ferrari 'cheats' in a Spanish newspaper.

The Renault driver, in the daily 'Marca' title, scolded the Maranello marque for snubbing a nine-team test agreement.

''I was surprised,'' 23-year-old Alonso replied when asked about the reaction to his view.

''Ferrari are the only team that do not limit their testing. Anyone can do (that) but I think it is against the spirit of the sport.'

Fernando did, though, back-paddle on the 'cheating' allegation.

''In Spanish, the word is 'trampar', which (translates to) cheating, not fair, not fair play.

''In this instance, I meant not fair play.''

'Do I get the trophy?' - Wurz
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) Jenson Button's Imola disqualification has promoted then McLaren sub Alex Wurz to the podium.

The tall Austrian sent team regular Juan Pablo Montoya, in Barcelona, a phone text message: ''can I collect the trophy?''

Also in the reshuffle, Red Bull debutant Vitantonio Liuzzi snuck in and won a single point.

''I'm a bit surprised that (BAR) cheated,'' said Montoya, who missed Imola and also Bahrain with a fractured shoulder.

A forthright title leader Fernando Alonso, though, quipped: ''If you're not inside the rules, you risk a penalty.

''But I do feel for Jenson (Button). It was not his fault. But they'll be back.''

Broken hearted Button
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) F1 driver Jenson Button and fiancÚ Louise Griffiths have broken up.

The English couple, who had been together for four years, had planned to marry in August.

British tabloid 'Sunday Mail' recently ran a story revealing 25-year-old JB's wild night out with David Coulthard.

The newspaper said it spotted DC and Button - who'll sit out the Spanish grand prix after BAR-Honda were hit with a two race ban - with two 'mystery girls' last Saturday night.

Still on the tabloid topic, Renault's Spaniard, Fernando Alonso, slammed the 'bad quality' Spanish media for outlining details of his own love life.

Barrichello - 'I can win'
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello isn't sure how he'll fare at Barcelona.

Teammate Michael Schumacher might have flown last time out at Imola, but the Brazilian insists it is 'hard' to gauge the F2005's speed.

''We know it's a good car,'' said 32-year-old RB, ''and that we've made a huge step forward, also with the tires.''

But he - and Ferrari - knew the scarlet package would work well at the cooler-than-Bahrain 'Enzo e Dino Ferrari' track.

What, then, about Barcelona?

''I'm sure it'll be a close weekend,'' Barrichello predicted, ''and although I've yet to put together a weekend since Melbourne, I think I can win.''

Rival race 'won't happen'
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) Max Mosley has dismissed the slated 'breakaway' championship as an empty threat.

The controversial FIA president said he doubts there is 'the slightest chance' that a multiple team and carmakers' alliance will come to anything.

''And I think (they) know it as well,'' he told The Guardian.

Mosley criticized the seven-team group, excluding Ferrari and now also Jordan and Red Bull, for not turning up at FIA meetings to discuss post-2008.

He said: 'I don't think they're being very clever, even though it's probably easier to (make the rules) without all that endless discussion.''

Max also confirmed to the English newspaper that a 'disgruntled former employee' tipped off the governing body about the BAR cheating scandal.

May 6
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) On May 6, eighty six years ago, a French racing driver by the name of Andre Guelfi was born.

Although in a 'Cooper' Formula 2 car, he contested a single grand prix, at Casablanca (Morocco) in 1958, aged 39.

Guelfi finished second to last.

Sharing Guelfi's birthday, and nearly his first name, is 41-year-old Swiss Andrea Chiesa (1992, Fondmetal), as well as Irishman Tommy Byrne, 47 (Theodore, 1982).

May 6 was also the date of the 1984 San Marino grand prix, won by McLaren's Alain Prost.

At Imola, Tyrrell driver Stefan Bellof - who died driving a sports car at Spa - finished fifth, but the team was later disqualified for cheating.

'Home' GP for Portuguese
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) The Spanish grand prix at Barcelona, close to Portugal, is Tiago Monteiro's 'home' race.

Jordan's rookie, the first Portuguese in F1 for nearly a decade, said he'll undergo a busy weekend at Circuit de Catalunya.

''A lot of Portuguese people come here,'' Oporto-born Tiago Monteiro remarked at Circuit de Catalunya, ''and I've got some sponsors coming too.

''I don't feel any extra pressure though.''

28-year-old Monteiro, often outpaced by teammate Narain Karthikeyan, hasn't enjoyed a stellar start to 2005, but more speed from the EJ15 contender might just be on the way.

''We're hoping for a new car in July,'' he revealed, ''so that will be at least a 2005 package.''

Fernando's 'quiet' week
(GMMf1NET -- May.6) Amazingly, Fernando Alonso - the day prior to opening practice at his home grand prix - said he's enjoyed a 'quiet' week.

''I've been in England,'' the championship leading Spaniard, who lives in Oxford, winked.

Alonso, 23, recently watched TV in horror as it chronicled a huge crowd surrounding his parents' house. Walking, eating - even driving - in Spain is now nearly impossible for the famous face.

''I arrive here at the last minute,'' Fernando admitted, ''just in time to get in the car.''

He is, though, motivated to perform well for the adoring public.

''When I drive (at Circuit de Catalunya),'' Alonso explained, ''I see the blue color - the flags - in the grandstand and it is so motivating.

''At the same time, this is just another race.''

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