Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
May 25, 2005
Schu pleased with Sunday axe
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Drivers' champion Michael Schumacher
has offered a resounding thumbs-up to the Nurburgring
The Ferrari driver said he is 'happy' the Sunday session,
concluding an 'aggregate' grid position, has been scrapped.
''It is good for the fans,'' German-born Schumacher
remarked, ''who won't now have to get their calculator out.
''But perhaps even more important is that we find a solution
and then stick to it.''
No doubt fuelling the 36-year-old's optimism, though, is the
fact that doing away with the low fuel run will probably
help Ferrari - struggling over a single lap - in 2005.
Schumacher said: ''Now, we might have an opportunity to make
up our disadvantage by going for a different fuel load.
''This is not bad news at all.''
Schu duel won't be eye-to-eye
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Ralf Schumacher says there would be 'no
point' confronting German brother Michael about his
allegedly dangerous overtaking move at Monte Carlo.
The pair were born not far from forest lined Nurburgring, at
But they won't be sharing a bright and breezy home reunion,
after 29-year-old Ralf - the younger sibling - said Schu
Senior often 'doesn't consider anyone else.'
He told RTL TV: ''It's worse this year because he is
frustrated that his season is worth nothing.
''But it's not worth talking to him, he never sees it
It is equally clear, though, that Michael is also not in a
pacifying mood, as he told 'Bild' newspaper that he would
try the move again tomorrow.
Schumacher, 36, added: ''Are we having a race or going out
for coffee? I am in a race so of course I am going to
Wurz again in 'Friday' seat
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Although McLaren vowed to alternate the
'Friday' driving job for the balance of 2005, it didn't mean
Pedro de la Rosa and Alex Wurz would switch after every
Indeed, in a Nurburgring preview, the Woking based outfit
hinted that Wurz - the long serving Austrian - would occupy
the spare MP4-20 car at a second successive grand prix.
The 31-year-old also drove at Monaco.
''In addition to tire selection with Michelin,'' Wurz
commented, ''I will be working closely with the team on set
up work for the rest of the (Nurburgring) weekend.''
Nurburgring's no fun
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) It is safe to say that the Nurburgring,
although next to the legendary 'Nordschleife' version, is
not the modern grand prix drivers' favorite.
1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, now at Sauber, has
won at the German circuit, but he blasted the first sector
as 'really annoying.'
''It's slow and just isn't fun,'' said the French Canadian,
''and, for me, spoils it.''
Although close to Toyota's Cologne HQ, team driver Jarno
Trulli calls the Nurburgring no more than 'a normal' track.
''I really don't have a favorite corner,'' the Italian - who
finished second there in 1999 - answered. ''It's not
Countryman Giancarlo Fisichella also panned the mountainous
layout as 'not the most exciting' on the calendar.
Fisi's confidence thumped
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella admits
that his confidence took a whack during the 'tough' Monaco
The Roman, third until his Michelin tires gave up the ghost,
said the 2005 event was his most difficult grand prix in
nearly 150 race starts.
He said: ''The car was really undriveable at the end. After
Monaco, it is hard to be totally confident for a grand prix
just one week later.''
On a brighter note, the Nurburgring - although not the
happiest hunting ground for Renault - should better suit the
blue and yellow contender.
Giancarlo agrees: ''For half the race (at Monaco), the car
was among the quickest. I think we can come back strongly.''
Red Bull tire swap 'logical'
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Struggling tire supplier Bridgestone
will likely add a fourth Formula One team next year.
Red Bull's motor sport 'advisor' Helmut Marko admitted that,
with the confirmed arrival of V8 Ferrari power in 2006, a
Bridgestone alliance might be 'logical.'
He added: ''Exchanging experience is an important step on
our way ... to the front.''
Of the ten grand prix teams, only Ferrari and underfinanced
privateer outfits Jordan and Minardi are currently not
'Home race' for Toyota
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Although Japanese owned, Germany's
Nurburgring is a 'home race' for the Toyota team.
The Eifel venue is less than an hour's drive from Cologne
''We should have lots of support,'' Jarno Trulli predicted.
''Everything we do at the racetrack is down to the guys back
in the factory.''
And, Toyota confirmed, every one of them has received a free
ticket to a grandstand at the Nurburgring this weekend.
Support aside, there is another upside to being so close to
the team headquarters, technical director Mike Gascoyne
The talented Englishman - who thinks the TF105 should be
'okay' around the Nurburgring - said: ''If we need a spare
part, it can be delivered in hours.''
Sauber keep JV meeting quiet
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) A Sauber spokesman has refused to
confirm whether Jacques Villeneuve has now met with Peter
Sauber at the Hinwil HQ.
Earlier, the livid F1 chief revealed that he would summon
the French Canadian, and teammate Felipe Massa, to
Switzerland after he cost Sauber a points finish at Monaco.
There was even speculation of some sort of 'penalty' for JV,
''It's a family affair,'' the spokesman told Reuters, ''and
(will) be discussed within the family.''
Seemingly, at least, Villeneuve - although effortlessly
outpaced by Massa so far in 2005 - has the support of his
JV told his website after they chatted: ''(Felipe)
completely understood and confirmed ... that his tires could
not hold the same pace.''
New quali to 'hurt' BAR
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Signing up to the Nurburgring
qualifying overhaul will probably hurt BAR's comeback
performance, CEO Nick Fry said.
But the Briton reckons he took a longer view, for the sake
of F1, and ensured unanimity.
''We will have to start first (in the single session),''
said Fry, whose team skipped Barcelona and Monaco after
being found guilty of cheating.
He said both Jenson Button, with a noticeably hoarse voice
at Monte Carlo last weekend, and Takuma Sato should be
reaching for the podium.
Fry answered: ''Yes, (the new qualifying) will hurt us at
the Nurburgring. But it also rewards good performance so we
preferred to take the longer view.
''If I didn't think we could get a podium at the end then we
probably wouldn't bother.''
Prost on F1
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) The answer to F1's ills is not
standardization, according to quadruple world champion Alain
The Frenchman, whose privateer team went bust in 2001,
argued against the introduction of a single tire formula.
''I don't think it's a good idea,'' said Prost. ''What's
next? Standardized motors, and from there it's just a small
step to standardized cars.
''I wouldn't challenge the basic premise that Formula One is
a parallel competition between drivers and technologies.''
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Curiously, budding F1 team owner Eddie
Irvine rolled into Monaco last week without his luxury
yacht, The Anaconda.
It has emerged that the former Ferrari and Jaguar driver's
boat, presently being repaired, actually sank in the Miami
Popular Shanghai track
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Shanghai's new F1 circuit is the third
most popular tourist location in the Chinese city.
That is the finding of the local 'Youth Daily' newspaper.
The grand prix venue, raced on for the first time in
September last year, finished behind the riverside 'Bund'
locale and the magnetic levitation train, according to a
Renault suffer in Q revamp
(GMMf1NET -- May.25) Renault may be disadvantaged by the
Nurburgring qualifying revamp, Giancarlo Fisichella said.
The Roman driver reckons the axed 'aggregate' format, with
the Saturday session run on low fuel, favored the fastest
''We have a good car,'' said Fisichella, ''so the two part
format helped us in the opening races.
''Overall, though, I don't have any problems with the
Unanimous F1 teams pushed for the fix after TV broadcasters,
the press and spectators slammed a system that did not
produce a grid until mere hours before the race.
Fisichella's teammate Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, criticized
the new format for being even more penalizing of a bad
result in the last event.
But the Spaniard added: ''You should be consistent,
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