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 to finish.''

23-year-old Alonso, although hunting an ailing Kimi Raikkonen down, led only when it mattered -- on the last lap, after the McLaren crashed.

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 the 25-year-old.

''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 champion teammate.

''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 all weekend.

''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 more dangerous.''

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 can reveal.

''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 Nurburgring.

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 close.''

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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