Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
May 22, 2005
Webber injury healed
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) Mark Webber's rib injury is now
completely healed, the Australian driver has revealed.
Williams' new recruit landed in Melbourne for the F1 season
opener with a cracked rib, sustained on a winter test lap,
and taking pain killers.
''It's good, no problem,'' Webber - third quickest in
Saturday qualifying - said at Monaco.
He added: ''It was still a bit tricky in Barcelona, because
of the high g-loadings, but the team adapted the seat really
well for me and I tested at Vallelunga without a single
Mark, 28, also denied that the rib injury - which caused him
to slow a usually flat-out training regime - did not really
affect his race fitness.
''Actually (the injury) was a pretty bad thing,'' Webber
said. ''I couldn't do a lot. Luckily I was pretty fit to
Montoya penalty 'too hard'
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) Juan Pablo Montoya, sent to the back of
the Monaco grid for causing a practice pile up, has denied
he 'brake tested' former F1 teammate Ralf Schumacher.
The Colombian, accused of slowing down to reprimand Ralf for
earlier blocking him, said he was only trying to 'avoid an
accident' with the Toyota.
He moaned: ''A guy comes out of the pits in front of me on a
timed lap and I get a penalty.''
Mercedes' Norbert Haug admitted that his man made a 'small
error' but was 'disproportionately' punished.
''He could have won this race,'' said the German director,
while Schumacher recalls that Montoya pulled alongside to
communicate a less-than-friendly hand message.
McLaren, though, continued to grumble about the too-heavy
slap. ''Incidents are part of grand prix racing,'' said Ron
''To ruin a driver's entire weekend I think is a bit
Ralf had headache
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) Ralf Schumacher complained of a
headache in the hours following his big shunt at Monaco.
But his manager, Willi Weber, also assured 'Premiere'
television that 'everything else is fine' after the double
whack at the Tabac bend.
''I clipped the left side barrier with my front wheel,'' the
Toyota driver, 29, explained, ''which sent me into the other
side of the barriers.
''I'm perfectly ok but I just feel sorry for the whole
Meanwhile, given Ralf's other - morning practice - crash,
Weber denied that, although Schumacher does not like the
overly 'dangerous' street circuit, he will now drive a wary
''I've known him for years,'' Weber said, ''and I am sure he
will do everything to drive out of the back of the field.''
BMW on way to Sauber
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) BMW and Williams are heading for
divorce, former BMW motor sport director Gerhard Berger has
The Austrian told a Salzburg newspaper that he still meets
'from time to time' with former colleague Mario Theissen and
''It has been clear for some time that something has to
change,'' said 45-year-old Berger, a ten time grand prix
''If I had to predict which way it will go, I would say
Williams' Mark Webber, a notable third on the provisional
Monaco grid, admits that the way the FW27 car uses the
Michelin tyres is a significant 2005 problem.
''We are probably using them a fraction too hard,'' the
Aussie admitted, ''but in all areas we need still to
''Ok, we're third, but the gap to the Renault and the
McLaren is not very impressive.''
Kimi's 'best' car
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) McLaren's MP4-20 is the best racer Kimi
Raikkonen has driven.
The near-certain Monaco pole sitter, who dominated at
Barcelona, admitted on Saturday that the Adrian Newey-penned
car is similarly good on the fabled street circuit.
''With this gap we may be able to play with the fuel a
little bit,'' the Finn, 25, said.
''To be honest I expected it to be a harder fight but I
don't know what happened to Renault.
''This is the best car I have driven, but I'm surprised at
just how well it has gone here.''
Front row rival Fernando Alonso, despite falling a half
second short of Kimi, also let fly with the quotables after
Saturday qualifying, calling May 2005 'the best moment in my
Team Irv 'good for F1'
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) Bernie Ecclestone says it is good news
that Eddie Irvine may soon join the team owners' circle.
The F1 impresario insisted it will be 'good for F1' if
Irvine's Russian backer snaps up the Silverstone based team
for around half the price paid by Alex Shnaider six months
''I like the idea,'' he told England's Daily Telegraph
newspaper. ''He will make a lot of noise and upset a few
Shnaider bought the team from Eddie Jordan for around $45
million, including $20m in debt.
But Irvine - who won't, incidentally, be personally
investing a penny - could snap up Jordan for a paltry $22m.
So why did an apparently disinterested Russian-Canadian buy
Jordan in the first place? ''Because they like to party,''
Mr. E, 74, grinned.
FIA court slams F1 carmakers
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) Accused of unfair play, the FIA Court
of Appeal has slammed five of Formula One's car
Secretary-general David Ward said in a lengthy statement
that the 'attack' - coming via a statement attributed to
Honda, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Renault and Toyota - was
'misconceived' and revealed a 'lack of understanding' of the
FIA and sports governance.
Reportedly fuelled by Honda, the carmakers' criticism came
shortly after the FIA court banned BAR for two grands prix.
Ward said the carmakers' attack was mounted 'without the
slightest evidence,' and insisted the Court is 'independent,
fair and transparent.'
'I wasn't happy' - DC
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) F1 veteran David Coulthard has revealed
that he 'wasn't happy' at McLaren last season.
''Definitely not,'' he admitted to Britain's The Daily
Telegraph newspaper, ''but you can't expect everything to be
rosy all the time.''
Stubble beard aside, one of the commonest observations in
the F1 paddock these days is that DC - now at all-fun Red
Bull - is more at ease and content.
''I don't spend a lot of time looking back,'' the Scot, 34,
continued, ''but (McLaren in 2003 and 2004) was a difficult
time. It looked as though we were losing a bit of
Montoya 'could've killed me'
(GMMf1NET -- May.22) Jacques Villeneuve says the 'stupid'
driving of Juan Pablo Montoya could've killed him on
The Canadian's Sauber clipped David Coulthard's Red Bull car
after Montoya allegedly 'brake tested' Ralf Schumacher up
the quick Monaco hill.
''It could have been terrible,'' the 34-year-old driver
said. ''If I'd have hit David's wheel, I could have been up
in some hotel with me dead and someone else dead.''
Jacques' father, Gilles, died when his Ferrari took off
after a similar clash in 1982.
And, in 2001, the flying wheel of JV's BAR struck and killed
a marshal in a near-identical incident involving Ralf
Schumacher at Albert Park.
Villeneuve said: ''(Montoya's) was stupid driving,
extremely, extremely dangerous so hopefully he can quickly
learn from the penalty.''
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