Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
May 30, 2005
'No sympathy' for Kimi
(GMMf1NET -- May.30) Winning from pole? Forget it. Fernando Alonso
would rather snatch 'lucky' victory on the last lap.
''All the other wins I had this year,'' said the title leading
Spaniard, referring to Malaysia, Bahrain and Imola, ''I led from start
23-year-old Alonso, although hunting an ailing Kimi Raikkonen down,
led only when it mattered -- on the last lap, after the McLaren
He grinned: ''For me, this is a much better feeling.''
Asked how he felt after driving through Kimi's debris, Fernando added:
''I was obviously happy for myself. I think my car was quicker than
the McLaren today.''
His boss, Flavio Briatore, denied that both he and Alonso failed to
show sufficient 'sympathy' for Kimi.
The Italian glared: ''Did anyone show any for us in Monaco? We did our
job and Fernando was first place at the end.''
BMW deny Tuesday verdict
(GMMf1NET -- May.30) Mario Theissen has denied that he will ask BMW to
desert Williams and buy the Sauber team at a Tuesday board meeting.
''It's the first time I've heard about (that),'' said the motor sport
director and would-be Sauber team principal.
''We will discuss our strategy in June.''
Theissen denied widespread Paddock speculation that BMW and Frank
Williams' outfit will split as soon as next year.
He added: ''We are talking to Sauber primarily on engine supply ...
and I don't know what the outcome will be at the moment.''
McLaren defend 'risky' call
(GMMf1NET -- May.30) McLaren has defended the call to let Kimi
Raikkonen race with blurred vision and a badly vibrating wheel.
At the Nurburgring, on the final lap, the Finnish race leader's
suspension finally gave in, causing him to crash heavily and nearly
wipe out Jenson Button.
''The team discussed it with him,'' principal Ron Dennis said, ''but
he said he could cope so we jointly decided to go for it.
''I (then) spoke to him after the race and Kimi is comfortable we made
the right call.''
Dennis admitted that leaving Kimi out was 'a risk' but said McLaren
needed the points in the championship bid.
Raikkonen flat spotted the right front when lapping Jacques
Villeneuve, so some of the blame - Ron insisted - is inevitably with
''Making sure you don't flat spot your tires,'' he insisted, ''is part
of the skill expected of the team setting up the car and the driver.''
Ferrari on right road back?
(GMMf1NET -- May.30) Ferrari is on the right road back, if you listen
to Nurburgring podium sitter Rubens Barrichello.
''We should be very strong from now to the end of the year,'' the
Brazilian said on Sunday.
However, far less cheerful was Michael Schumacher, Rubens' world
''Rubens drove a really good race,'' said the German, ''so surely we
have made a little step in the right direction.''
Finishing fifth, though, Schumacher's Bridgestone tires were badly
worn at the end, and he demonstrated neither race or qualifying pace
''Usually we're slower in qualifying and quicker in the race,'' he
agreed, ''but this time we were pretty slow in both.
''The whole package is not good enough -- everything must work
perfectly in harmony and that is not the case. But the beauty of sport
is that hope dies last.''
Tire rule 'unsafe'
(GMMf1NET -- May.30) F1's new 'one tire per race' rule has made
Formula One more dangerous.
That was one school of thought after several drivers, notably Kimi
Raikkonen, came unstuck at Germany's Nurburgring on Sunday.
''It is a bitter blow for Kimi,'' world champion Michael Schumacher
said after the race, ''as I know how such things feel.
''But rules are rules and they are the same for everyone.''
True, but F1 veteran David Coulthard thinks it's not right that a
driver - racing with a destroyed tire - is faced with an impossible
choice. Pit, and destroy your race, or risk a shunt and injury.
''There is no doubt it is a good rule for entertainment,'' said the
34-year-old Scot, ''but in my mind there is no question about it being
McLaren 'F1 CEO' Martin Whitmarsh, meanwhile, reckons Kimi's crash set
a 'precedent' for how unsafe the rule is.
Klien to race next four
(GMMf1NET -- May.30) Christian Klien will reside Red Bull's race
cockpit for at least the next four grands prix and maybe longer, we
''I am absolutely burning to get back in the car,'' the young Austrian
- who spent the last four in the 'Friday' seat - said at the
Onto the reserve bench goes Vitantonio Liuzzi, who'll even miss out on
the practice job at Montreal and Indy as Red Bull make the most of the
American connection with Scott Speed.
Klien and Speed will this week get into the swing for the next
back-to-back leg with a Silverstone test session.
Alonso sniffs title triumph
(GMMf1NET -- May.30) Fernando Alonso is starting to catch a glimpse of
the Formula One crown's golden glimmer.
The Spaniard, whose drivers' lead grew with Kimi Raikkonen's last lap
gloom on Sunday, admitted that - in good races and bad - Renault's
points scoring consistency is 'good news' for the title.
''If we keep this up,'' Alonso, 23, added, ''it's natural that at the
end we will have more points.
''This year it seems we can do it.''
Slow Button is still lucky
(GMMf1NET -- May.30) Jenson Button thanked his lucky stars after
somehow avoiding a major shunt on the final lap.
The English driver skipped out of his uncompetitive BAR-Honda in the
Nurburgring paddock and recalled almost feeling the wind of Kimi
Raikkonen's out-of-control McLaren.
''There wasn't time to take avoiding action,'' said the 25-year-old.
''I saw him coming in my mirrors and just went 'wow' -- he was so
BAR principal Nick Fry outlined what Button probably didn't want to
face. ''If they had collided,'' he speculated, ''it would have hurt.''
Disaster averted, Brackley based BAR can now focus on the real
problem; figuring out why the '007' car - banned for two races after
Imola - was so slow on return.
Sporting director Gil de Ferran revealed that the team will this week
conduct a 'double' test prior to Montreal at Silverstone and Monza.
The former Indy 500 winner insisted: ''We clearly need to find a
solution before the cars leave for North America.''
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