Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
June 17, 2005
Schu spurns Ralf's quit talk
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) Michael Schumacher has scolded younger brother
Ralf for saying the seven time champion may soon call it a day.
''I don't know how he came up with that,'' the Ferrari driver, 36,
said at Indianapolis.
''I often speak to Ralf and tell him that I'm still having fun, not
''I enjoy it.
''Honestly, I think he should think and speak about other things.''
Toyota driver Ralf, though, paddled away from the retirement talk by
aiming fire at the 'Sport Bild' reporter.
''I don't know what he wrote,'' said the 29-year-old German, ''but he
didn't write what I said.
''I never mentioned that Michael is about to stop. I have no idea and
I don't care.''
Alonso says win unlikely
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) Title leader Fernando Alonso has admitted that
victory may elude him at the Motor Speedway.
The Spaniard, who dominated early in 2005, said McLaren and
championship charger Kimi Raikkonen's pace a week ago in Canada was 'a
And, Kimi's silver car should be even quicker in the States.
''It's nice that we only had three days to be sad about Montreal,''
Alonso, 23 - referring to his clash with the concrete barrier -
''McLaren's pace was a bit worrying. We had to push very hard and in
the end the pressure was maybe too much.''
Further dampening his Indianapolis mood is the fact that Fernando,
since debuting for Minardi in 2001, has never even finished this race.
And, because he'll have to qualify early on, his chance of a good grid
position is minimal.
He admitted: ''That's a big worry too.
''I think a podium is the most realistic target for here.''
Montoya would move over
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) Juan Pablo Montoya does not believe McLaren
deliberately spoiled his Canadian grand prix to favor teammate and
title contender Kimi Raikkonen.
The race leading Colombian, though, admitted that - not being
immediately called in to pit under the safety car, unlike Kimi -
'screwed' his charge.
''They had two or three hundred meters to call me in,'' the often
fiery 29-year-old said.
''But I make mistakes too. Ron (Dennis) came to my hotel that night
and apologized. I don't think Frank (Williams) and Patrick (Head) ever
The conspiracy theorists, though, reckon Montoya's problems seemed
like a convenient McLaren ploy to maximize ultimate winner Raikkonen's
''That sounds pretty stupid,'' Juan Pablo retorted, ''when I would've
been only nine points behind him.
''Me scoring zero points helps nothing.''
Montoya would, though, back down and help Raikkonen to the crown, but
only if his own title chances were departed.
''There are still quite a few races to go,'' he insisted, ''and I
think I have the pace now to close the points gap.''
McLaren HQ wins award
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) McLaren's $700m F1 factory - known as 'Paragon'
or the Technology Centre, has won Britain's Building of the Year gong.
Built around its own lake, the stunning facility in Woking (Surrey,
UK) was designed by Lord Foster and dubbed the 'most beautiful
industrial building in the country.'
''(It) shows we can compete with those French,'' Royal Fine Art
Commission Trust chairman Lord St John told The Guardian, ''or anyone
Ron Dennis once said: ''The environment (at the HQ) will be so good
here that my staff will be itching to get to work.''
Button and Playboy
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) What do Hugh Hefner and grand prix racer Jenson
Button have in common?
The Playboy mansion!
Button, BAR's 25-year-old English - and single - driver, spent the
time between Montreal and Indianapolis in Beverly Hills.
There, at the famous swinger's pad, he obliged a US TV network in a
documentary about the life of an F1 ace.
Surrounded by scantily clad 'bunnies' near the pool, Jenson grinned to
the LA Times: ''This isn't a bad job, is it?''
DC to BAR - 'no comment'
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) Red Bull's F1 veteran David Coulthard has
declined to confirm or deny rumors linking him with a 2006 switch to
The 34-year-old Scot, like reported contenders Nick Heidfeld, Rubens
Barrichello and Anthony Davidson, would replace the Grove bound Jenson
''If we're all just patient,'' DC told broadcaster ITV, ''then the
definitive truth will come out.''
He said: ''For sure there'll be some moves amongst the paddock. Some
drivers are already signed up for next year.''
The eleven-year F1 veteran, meanwhile, roasted regular adversary Juan
Pablo Montoya not only for jumping a red light at Montreal, but
muscling into the safety car pack.
''He got alongside and steered into me,'' David panned. ''I know it
sounds like Montoya-bashing, but he's giving people ammunition.
''No one should be surprised by the outcome of a clear rule.''
'Trulli's quicker' - Ralf
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) Ralf Schumacher has admitted he is not as quick
as Jarno Trulli over a single qualifying hot lap.
The Toyota racer, who has so far failed to shine at his new team, said
he does not cope well with an understeering car like the TF105.
''It's true that Jarno does a better job in qualifying,'' German born
Ralf said, referring to his Italian teammate.
He told Sport Bild: ''In the race it's a different story.
''But because overtaking is so difficult, nearly everything is ruined
Schumacher, 29, said he was working on adjusting his driving style to
the car's handling characteristic, but warned against expecting too
much in his first year at Cologne.
''Sometimes I don't know what people expect. OK, we started well and
now it's not as good, but we'll be back on the podium again,
Trulli, meanwhile - third in the drivers' chase - ruled out
challenging for the '05 crown.
''We have made a lot of mistakes, we lost three podiums in a row,'' he
''I think it's between Alonso and Raikkonen.''
Who'd Berger back?
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) What if you had to bet every dollar on a single
F1 driver becoming the 2005 world champion?
Former grand prix star and BMW motor sport director Gerhard Berger
knows who he'd back.
Renault's Fernando Alonso might still have a twenty two point lead,
but Berger - the Austrian - said he'd rather have Kimi Raikkonen's
''And it seems to just get further ahead with development,'' said the
45-year-old former McLaren, Benetton and Ferrari F1 driver.
He told Kicker magazine: ''Kimi could've won the last four races and
if Alonso fails to finish at Indy, the gap between them will be half.
''Then it's just an open fight.''
Renault, said Berger, are nearing the 'limit' of their budget and
development ability, while McLaren continue 'to make steps forward.'
'Big headed' BAR - JV
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) Last year's Formula One heroes became zeros
because they're too 'big headed and arrogant.'
That's the claim of Brackley's former five-year race driver, Jacques
Villeneuve, whose manager - Craig Pollock - founded BAR in 1999.
Villeneuve, now with Sauber, told the local 'Indianapolis Star'
newspaper: ''Suddenly, they're back where they started.''
JV, 34, has no doubt where the blame lies.
While boss David Richards, who succeeded Pollock, is no longer at
BAR-Honda, Villeneuve reckons the Englishman has a 'big ego problem.
''He was on a mission to destroy me,'' Jacques revealed.
Schu wants ten titles
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.17) Michael Schumacher has shot down gossip he won't
retire until he is a ten-time title winner.
''The press lives on rumors,'' Ferrari's seven time champion said at
Thursday's rare 'open to the public' press conference at Indy.
Schumacher, 36, has just got back from a motorcycle tour from Ashville
to the Brickyard.
And, although he scolded brother Ralf for predicting an imminent
retirement announcement, Michael's last race must be somewhere down
Might he emulate Alain Prost or Niki Lauda and try to run a team?
Schu smiled: ''I have a very good life as a driver. I wouldn't want to
swap with Jean Todt, who puts in more than 100 per cent all the time.
''Anyway I'm not feeling old -- I'm still young on the inside.''
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