Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
May 28, 2005

Jordan cop 'third' car slap
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) Jordan will not roll a 'third' car onto the Montreal track in a fortnight.

It is the Midland owned outfit's penalty for breaking the 'Friday' regulations at the Nurburgring in free practice.

Although an 'honest mistake' according to sporting director Trevor Carlin, six sets - two more than the allowed four - of Michelin tire were used by Franck Montagny, on loan from Renault.

Carlin added: ''No unfair advantage was sought and we believe none has been gained.''

Elsewhere in the sin bin was German local Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), who sped in the pitlane and copped a $750 fine.

New quali 'frustration'
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) Michelin's Pierre Dupasquier has reported frustration at the new single qualifying system.

The Frenchman said the format, replacing Saturday's low fuel first run with a definitive session, means the 'full potential' of cars - and tires - is no longer obvious.

''I understand why F1 is reverting to (the new format),'' said the 67-year-old, ''but we will now have to wait until Sunday to appreciate where we stand in the overall scheme of things.''

Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella agrees that Saturday's 'parc ferme' run will - on Saturday - be less 'fun' for a driver than before.

The Italian remarked: ''But that is what we have to work with. (Saturday) it's going to be high fuel loads all day.''

Formula One's qualifying shake up has, meanwhile, affected the 'GP2' support category, which opted to use Sunday morning's freed-up time to extend its sprint race.

'All balls and no brains'
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) David Coulthard has vowed to 'avoid cavalier and crazy Colombians' at the Nurburgring.

The Scot renewed his rage at McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya, 29, following the four car pile up in Monte Carlo last week.

In his 'Daily Record' newspaper column, Coulthard - Red Bull's F1 veteran - said Montoya, who brake tested Ralf Schumacher and triggered a shunt, is 'all balls and no brains.'

''I'm sure he'll win a race this year,'' DC said, ''but I take my hat off to the way (his teammate) Kimi Raikkonen drives.

''(Kimi) might be dead from the feet up as a personality but when he's behind the wheel he is magic.''

Montoya replaced Coulthard, 34, as Raikkonen's 2005 teammate.

Rubens' scarlet fury
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) If you believe the Italian media, Rubens Barrichello - although contracted for another year - will leave Ferrari at the end of 2005.

It is the dramatic conclusion, a notable newspaper said, in the Barrichello v. Michael Schumacher stoush, and would explain Rubens' continuing and unrestrained fury at his world championship winning cohort.

RB said on Friday: ''In future I will consider Michael not as my teammate but another rival.

''I tried to talk to him but we know that he thinks what he wants.''

Even principal Jean Todt, hinting that Michael and Rubens aren't talking to each other, admitted there is something going on behind red doors.

''I will try to calm things down,'' the French boss said at the Nurburgring. ''There is nothing controversial in the team.

''We do have to pay attention to it, what matters most is the interests of the company.''

Barrichello, too - who may have shared dinner with Schumacher on Friday night - called the 'axed' story 'bullshit.'

The Brazilian said: ''I don't have a problem with Ferrari just because I have a problem with Michael about one corner.''

Senna case closed
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) At last, more than a decade after the fact, the manslaughter trial over Ayrton Senna's 1994 death is over.

An Italian appeals court ruled that Williams' car designer Adrian Newey, now at McLaren, is not guilty, while the case against technical director Patrick Head timed out.

Triple world champion Senna, 34, died after he crashed at Imola's flat out Tamburello bend.

After the case was reopened in 2003, this - with the original trial in 1997 and an appeal in 1999 - is effectively their third acquittal.

Hot at the 'Ring
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) F1 did not expect such hot weather for the grand prix at Nurburg.

''I lived here for three years,'' said Alex Wurz, former German F3 driver and quickest on Friday, ''and I never knew it as hot as this.''

Immediately, F1 engineers - seeing near-Bahrain like figures - pressed panic buttons in relation to engine cooling alterations, and, to a lesser extent - tire performance.

Michelin's Pierre Dupasquier recorded similar surprise, but insisted that 'huge temperature fluctuations' were always factored into preparation.

''It's definitely unusual weather,'' said BMW's Mario Theissen, who only a day or two earlier recalled recent rain and hail for a 24-Hour race.

Slightly cooler weather is predicted for Saturday, and Sunday's thunder storm threat has now almost completely abated.

Renault dominion over
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) Renault's brief domination of Formula One may be over.

That's the belief of title leader Fernando Alonso, who said at least half the 2005 grid should be in with a shout of the podium at each race.

''Even to finish second every race is really, really difficult,'' the Spaniard said.

Alonso, 23, reckons 'easy' blue and yellow victories, like Melbourne, Malaysia and Bahrain, will be no longer seen.

He said Williams, McLaren, Toyota, Ferrari and Renault are all 'fighting it out,' and he may have forgotten about BAR.

Alonso maintained: ''It's an exciting time in F1.''

'Where's Schumi?'
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) 'Why didn't Michael show up?'

That's what the casual observer would've thought at a grand prix drivers' autograph signing at the Nurburgring.

And, when a 'taxi ride' spectacle (F1 pilots ferrying lucky spectators around the track) got going, still no sign of the local-lad-made-good.

At least 80-90 percent of the mostly young crowd at the drivers' promotions in Germany were dressed in Schumacher-red.

''I honestly don't know about that,'' Ferrari principal Jean Todt reported. ''I'm not aware.''

When asked about the scheduled non-appearance, Schumacher himself answered: ''This is a commercial question.''

Sticking up for Schu
(GMMf1NET -- May.28) Jenson Button has defended Michael Schumacher amid criticism of his last lap tactics at Monaco.

The German has spent the past week trying to mend broken relationships with his Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello and kid brother Ralf.

''Top drivers will try everything,'' said BAR's Button, who watched the aggressive moves from the commentary box in Monte Carlo.

''You're not going to sit back, you'll always try and never settle for seventh when there's a chance to get sixth.''

Barrichello, though, showed - in Nurburg - no sign of rescinding his declaration of war against Germany's Red Baron.

''If Rubens had been behind him and dared to overtake,'' he said in the third person, ''the world would have caved in.''

Technical director Ross Brawn, meanwhile, played down the spat as a 'storm in a teacup.'

''One incident like that,'' he said, ''will not harm their six year relationship.''

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