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Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
May 27, 2005


Schu brothers make peace
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Schumacher brothers Michael and Ralf have closed the book on their verbal scrap following the Monaco grand prix.

Ralf, the younger of the German pair, slammed his world championship winning brother after a forceful passing maneuver last Sunday.

''We had a nice chat about it,'' Michael, 36, said at the Nurburgring. ''It's over.''

Ralf, admitting that he lost his left side rear mirror on the bumpy street layout, added: ''It's done. It's not right to talk about it anymore.''

Michael said: ''You fight for your own interest, but I never forget that he is my brother, my blood, and I love him.

''If the silly newspapers knew us properly, they would know that what they write is 'BS'. Stop the idiot business now.''

Ralf, though, refused to rescind his statement that Michael 'turned his brain off' before deciding to try the move.

''I think we all do sometimes.''








Jordan at Toyota
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Jordan's race drivers toured the Toyota F1 factory in Cologne on Wednesday afternoon.

Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan popped in when Toyota boss Tsutomu Tomita offered them the chance to get to know their engine supplier.

''I can now understand why the engines we use are so strong and reliable,'' Karthikeyan told the Indian Telegraph newspaper.

Meanwhile, sporting director Trevor Carlin - after Minardi outpaced his yellow clad team at Monaco - said the appointment of Renault tester Franck Montagny should be a boost.

''(Montagny) will give us an idea of where we are overall with ... the car,'' he predicted.








McLaren may use team orders
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) McLaren has refused to rule out imposing team orders in Kimi Raikkonen's quest to win the title.

25-year-old Kimi, desperate to close the twenty two point deficit to Renault's Fernando Alonso, is nonetheless thirteen ahead of Colombian F1 teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.

''At the end of the day we are a team,'' said Woking's 'F1 CEO' Martin Whitmarsh, ''and the team interest comes first.''

He told Autosport: ''If we have to call teams orders we will.

''But having a balanced approach ... is a philosophy we will maintain.

''We want Juan Pablo to be a motivated member of the team.''








Minardi to beat Jordan again?
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Christijan Albers believes it unlikely that Minardi will, like at Monaco, beat Jordan at the Nurburgring this weekend.

The Dutch rookie said staying off the final row of the grid 'will not be easy' in Germany.

''It would be fantastic, obviously,'' he told his website, ''but we don't have as much grip as the Jordan car.''








Rubens' 'emotional' - Schu
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Ferrari's Michael Schumacher has endured a busy week since last Sunday's Monaco grand prix.

Not only did he have to patch up a spat with younger brother Ralf, he phoned teammate Rubens Barrichello on Monday afternoon to thrash out yet another track incident.

Brazil's Barrichello - like Ralf - hit out at Schumacher after the race, this time for making a last lap pass on the tunnel exit.

''I stick with my opinion,'' the 33-year-old said in Germany, ''but it's in the past.

'''Michael rang me to wish me happy birthday and I now consider the matter is closed.''

Schumacher, 36, re-tempted Barrichello's ire on Thursday, though, by calling him 'a little bit temperamental.

''I mean,'' Schumacher started, ''it's racing, quite often you are tired at the end, emotional.

''He's pretty relaxed now.''








Montagny drive a 'one off'?
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Franck Montagny's Nurburgring drive is, for now, a one-off Friday.

The Frenchman, 27 - Renault's official test driver - refused to confirm that he'll fulfill Robert Doornbos' role beyond the European grand prix.

''I'll see what the car's like,'' he told ITV, ''what the team is like. We'll see. It could be bad if the (Jordan) car isn't perfect.''

Another concern, for Michelin at least, is that Montagny's test might allow Jordan (and Ferrari) tire supplier Bridgestone a useful insight into the test driver's experience.

''I'm not going to ... ruin my relationship (with Michelin),'' Franck insisted. ''I'm professional, I'll help Jordan, but I'm still a Renault driver.''

The Nurburgring paddock, meanwhile, strongly suggested that Friday's drive is a trial to a possible 2005 race seat -- in Tiago Monteiro's spot.








Who'll win?
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Who'll walk away with the Nurburgring's shiniest trophy?

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen has, dominantly, won the last two grands prix at Spain and Monaco.

''It'll be difficult to win again,'' the Finn said in Germany, ''but we should have a good car and be in with a chance.''

Kimi, 25, has an eye on BAR, who return from a two race ban.

He said: ''They will be strong, I think.''

Perhaps deliberately, Raikkonen didn't even mention title leader and winner of fifty per cent of the six grands prix so far, Fernando Alonso.

''We're back at a normal circuit,'' Renault's Spaniard said after the extreme tire wear at Monaco. ''I think we should be back and competitive.''

What about Ferrari?

''It's hard to say,'' Alonso, 23, continued. ''At Imola they were good but that was the only good one really so far.''







Honda's engine concern
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Honda is concerned that BAR's Imola power plants might not last the distance at the Nurburgring.

The FIA rejected the team's request that, because an unprecedented five weeks have passed since the BAR ban, engine changes be allowed without penalty.

Honda vice president Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport that the 2005 engine 'wasn't designed' to sit idle for weeks.

He said: ''Metals corrode, seals deteriorate, and that is our concern. We just don't like to run something we have not thoroughly tested.''

Szafnauer also denied that Honda, who undoubtedly have also developed the V10 since Imola, might decide to change Jenson Button and Takuma Sato's engine as a precaution.

''If something happens in qualifying,'' he added, ''that might change.''








Jacques' Hinwil meeting
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) In two simple and unelaborated words, Jacques Villeneuve told the world about a Hinwil meeting with F1 boss Peter Sauber.

''Nothing happened,'' said the French Canadian.

34-year-old JV earned the Swiss' fury at Monaco when a passing move on teammate Felipe Massa went pear shaped.

''It was an exciting move,'' Jacques said at the Nurburgring, ''but not a good move. I saw the chance, took it and it just didn't work out.''

He also admitted to feeling 'annoyed' that his every move since returning to the grid with Sauber - mostly negative - attract more attention than events nearer the field's front.

''It's negative one week and positive the next. I don't care,'' he said. ''It's not a big deal.''








Ferrari barcode
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Ferrari will debut a new Formula One livery at the Nurburgring circuit.

The 'barcode' logo, replacing every reference to tobacco sponsor Marlboro on the F2005 car, is the company's new effort to more effectively advertise subliminally at the first non-branded race of 2005.

Research showed that the design, although permitted under anti-tobacco advertising laws, proved a stronger link to the usual Marlboro logo than mere white spaces.








Heidfeld and 2006
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Nick Heidfeld swung a swift forehand at any suggestion his career might hit a wall in 2006.

Despite pulling off a career best second at Monaco last Sunday, the little German is more likely than Williams' Mark Webber to make way for possible arrival Jenson Button.

Heidfeld said at his 'home' Nurburgring venue: ''As long as I get good results, I don't even think about the future.''

The German does, though, expect a tougher time on the more conventional Nurburgring layout.

''Probably those teams who struggled on their tires (at Monaco),'' he warned, ''will not do so again. I don't know.''

However, technical director Sam Michael said the track - although much quicker - is still, like Monaco, maximum downforce.

And Nick? ''He really attacks,'' the Australian lauded. ''He's very good. When he smells it, he's in there.''








Danica and F1
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) 1997 world champion and former Indy winner Jacques Villeneuve has played down the likelihood of a woman in F1.

The French Canadian said it would be 'great' if American Danica Patrick, 23 - fourth on the grid - wins the fabled and imminent Indianapolis 500.

But, he told Reuters, F1 is something else.

JV said: ''F1 is physical. I think it would start making a difference. I'm not going to say it's not worth her trying, but it will be a lot harder for her than for a male.''

Triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, though, dismissed the physical argument.

''There is nothing to stop a woman doing it,'' said the Scot. ''It's to do with your ability to put yourself into something (and) not give compromise.''








Schu stalking 'big' win?
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) A football game. Juan Manuel Fangio.

Are you grasping their link to Michael Schumacher's F1 future?

On Wednesday evening, Liverpool - although 3-0 down at half time - beat AC Milan to the champions league crown.

Ferrari's man said it proved ''you have to fight until the last moment.''

Meanwhile, on the old (Nordschleife) Nurburgring in 1957, Fangio - the brilliant five time world champion - drove probably his best ever race, and retired soon thereafter.

So, is 36-year-old Michael - a seven time title winner - on a similar quest for that last 'big' win?

''No,'' Schumacher fired.

He said: ''Even Monaco, I enjoyed. It was tough, I had to fight my way through. Your best race doesn't need to be a win.''








Another rookie to test BAR
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Brazilian youngster Danilo Dirani will taste Formula One power for the first time later this year.

The British F3 standout, 22, is to join the list of BAR's young development program, including Adam Carroll, James Rossiter and Alan van der Merwe.

Race engineer Jock Clear, chief of the program, said the plan is to install one of them as an official F1 test driver within a season or two.

Current tester Anthony Davidson is likely to graduate to a full time race drive in 2006, possibly - if Jenson Button moves to Williams - with the Brackley crew.

''Danilo ... is a year behind (the others),'' Clear said.

He won the South American F3 championship of 2003.








F1 quali - better or worse?
(GMMf1NET -- May.27) Rubens Barrichello has cast doubt on Ferrari fans' optimism that a new qualifying system may be a boost for the struggling champion.

''I'm not sure,'' the Brazilian said at the Nurburgring.

Replacing the unpopular 'aggregate' format in Germany is a single session, race fuel run on Saturday, which - with Ferrari's single-lap woe - should suit those with comparatively better grand prix pace.

Likewise, teams like Renault - with super quick single lap speed - should be disadvantaged.

But 33-year-old Barrichello added: ''I don't expect much to change.''

Similarly, Williams' Nick Heidfeld furrowed his brow at some observers' jollity at the change.

''It's basically the same as last year,'' said the Williams driver, ''and we changed it because no one liked it!''

Rubens' teammate Michael Schumacher, though, has no doubt.

With Ferrari struggling so much in qualifying, scrapping fifty per cent of the format can - he suggested - only be good.

And he grinned: ''Even if (the new format) is bad, at least it will only be bad once!''

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