Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
June 30, 2005

Max rules out race bans
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) Max Mosley has ruled out race bans as an appropriate penalty for the US grand prix no-go.

The FIA president, after the world motor sport council found Michelin's seven partner teams guilty of two charges, said in Paris that a financial knock is more likely.

''I would be reluctant to do anything with points,'' said the Briton.

''It would not be appropriate to deduct points or ban people.''

Mosley explained the decision to delay the imposition of penalties until September as an opportunity for teams to 'sort out' the melee, including ensuring it doesn't recur.

Max revealed: ''We said ... if you don't sort it out, we will not take a lenient view.

''It is very important that F1 retains its position in the States.

''If we give (the teams) a bit of time, we will know in September what has been done.''

Cool Rubens' staying put
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) Rubens Barrichello has denied he is on a one-way ticket out of Maranello.

The 33-year-old became increasingly vocal about his reluctance to put up with 'number two' status within Ferrari after Michael Schumacher muscled past him on the last lap at Monte Carlo.

At Indy, after they nearly collided in the first corner, palpable tension between the Brazilian and German-born Schumacher - and between Rubens and Ross Brawn - was obvious.

''My contract (to the end of 2006) doesn't even have a buyout clause,'' Barrichello told Brazilian TV channel SporTV.

Barrichello said Brawn's instruction to drop the revs in the latter portion of the US grand prix didn't make sense.

''(They) said we needed to save the engine, but I did not see the reason,'' he remarked.

But RB declined to aim fire at Schumacher's move on the exit of the Indianapolis pitlane.

''I would have done the same thing,'' Barrichello insisted.

''We have never been 'friends' friends. On the track it's each one for himself and God for all,'' Barrichello - also revealing that Michael may not get an invite to his traditional Sao Paulo barbeque in September - added.

F1 income stumbles
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) F1's income has stumbled, the company accounts of race 'supremo' Bernie Ecclestone reveal.

Formula One Administration filed turnover of $562m for 2003, a decrease over the previous twelve months of $81m.

Profits, though, were up $31 million after the 74-year-old commercial rights holder canned the fated digital TV project, thisismoney.co.uk said.

The publication also reported 'speculation' that F1 teams are contemplating 'a $900m (bond) ... to help finance the purchase of Ecclestone's and the banks' stakes in the sport.'

Billionaire Bernie, who paid himself a salary of $4.1m, filed the 2003 accounts at Companies House four months late, thus incurring a 250 fine.

Schu racer sold for $3.3m
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) The new owner of Michael Schumacher's race winning F2004 Ferrari is today feeling a cool $3.3m poorer.

Sold at a rare auction in Maranello, the grand prix car won the first five races last year.

About 62 per cent of the lots were sold, auction house Sotheby's said, a total of $12 million.

''(This was) another strong display of the boundless passion for the Prancing Horse brand,'' said brand development director Giulio Zambeletti in an email statement.

He revealed: ''The price paid for the (F2004) is a record for a F1 car.''

To protect the car's technological secrets, though, the owner will have to wait until January next year before it can leave Ferrari HQ.

He can, though, drive it at Fiorano.

Schumacher's 2004 overalls, meanwhile, fetched $25,000, and a steering wheel used by the German champion went for $83k.

Ferrari's V8
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) Ferrari has shot down a theory that Max Mosley's F1 rules are devised to the Scuderia's liking.

Engine designer Gilles Simon reckons 'no one' at Maranello had ever worked on a 2.4 liter V8, F1's formula for '06 and beyond.

''It is very small, very compact,'' the Frenchman said of the new V8 generation, ''but very complex.''

He added: ''We were very surprised by the behavior of a V8 engine at very high revs.''

Simon also allayed fans' fear that the typical whine of the V10 engine note will forthwith be a thing of history.

''I have to say,'' he insisted, ''the noise ... is not so different.

''It will sound nothing like the old V8s.''

And Gilles Simon said the next development for the current 2005 V10 will likely be introduced around Monza-time.

Tire rival wants proper race
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) Victory might be sweet, but Bridgestone would prefer to beat Michelin in farce-free style.

The Japanese tire supplier clocked its first win of the 2005 season at Indianapolis, but only after every non-Bridgestone car peeled into pitlane with unsafe black things.

''(Bridgestone) is looking forward to seeing its teams compete against a full field of cars,'' a statement read ahead of Sunday's French grand prix.

''For the sake of the sport and the fans,'' said director of motor sport Hiroshi Yasukawa, ''it will be good to get to France ... and have a great race.''

Six teams to appeal
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) Six of the seven 'guilty' Michelin teams will appeal the FIA world motor sport council's verdict.

With the exception of Dietrich Mateschitz-owned Red Bull, every Michelin clad team issued a joint statement rebuking the council's guilty verdict on two of the five charges.

''The Teams ... reasonably relied on Michelin ... to provide suitable tires,'' it read.

''(Michelin) ... were responsible for the supply of unsuitable tires for the ... circuit.''

The statement also rejected the council's view that teams could have avoided Indianapolis' troubled banking and gone through pitlane.

''The Teams ... will be lodging an appeal,'' it confirmed.

The 'guilty' six, meanwhile, appeared to cool speculation about a Magny Cours boycott. ''The Teams very much look forward to the next grand prix,'' the joint statement read out.

Mika better than Kimi - DC
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) David Coulthard spent the best part of his F1 career fending off Finns.

Between 1996 and 2001, the Scot tackled double world champion Mika Hakkinen, and - also at team McLaren - drove wheel to wheel with Kimi Raikkonen.

So, David, who's the Flying-est Finn?

''They're both exceptional drivers,'' the 34-year-old, now with Red Bull Racing, said.

''If you forced me to make a distinction -- there was a period when I'd look at Mika's telemetry and think 'Bloody hell! That's impressive.''

''I'm not having a pop at Kimi, but I can't say I can ever recall having had the same reaction studying his data.

''I'd say Mika was more solidly super quick.

''Kimi makes the odd slightly surprisingly error now and again -- and I'm nit picking here.

''But I think he will be capable of achieving the same level of success (as Mika) by the time he retires from F1 too.''

Drivers back teams' argument
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) Nineteen F1 race and test drivers signed a statement backing Michelin clad teams' decision to snub the Indy race.

While the Bridgestone-shod Ferrari and Jordan drivers failed to join the list, the drivers scoffed at suggestions they could've slowed down - or adhered to a speed limit - in the banked corner.

''(It) would have been completely contrary to the competitive essence of F1 or any motor race,'' the statement alleged, ''and unsafe.''

Six of Michelin's seven guilty Formula One teams, meanwhile, have called for a 'comprehensive review' into the mess.

Excluding Red Bull, who were defended by a separate lawyer at the FIA council, the teams asked the body to 'institute a full inquiry.

''A partial or hasty judgment,'' the teams' submission to the council - prepared by David Pannick QC - read, ''(would) simply give ... ammunition to plaintiffs in US litigation.''

20-race calendar proposed
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) If F1 teams think the 2005 grand prix calendar is long, the FIA dropped a clanger on Wednesday.

Presently, the billion dollar circus is mid-way through the longest ever schedule of races, with nineteen rounds - in seventeen different countries - squeezed into little more than a 7-month stretch.

But, at the FIA world motor sport council in Paris, the body asked for twenty 'preliminary' dates to be earmarked for F1 races in 2006.

If approved without change, the calendar - to start on March 12 and end 22 October - would include no fewer than seven back to back grands prix.

Nino Farina
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) The first ever modern F1 champion, Nino Farina, soared to 1950 glory - beating Juan Manuel Fangio - in an Alfa Romeo.

The Italian was forty four.

Exactly thirty nine years ago today, Farina - 59 - was killed in a road accident on the way to the 1966 French grand prix.

On a brighter note, German driver Ralf Schumacher - brother of world champion Michael - turns thirty on 30 June.

'F1 boycott was empty threat'
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) Max Mosley has dismissed F1 teams' supposed French grand prix boycott as an empty threat.

The FIA president said 'no serious' player would, after the Indy debacle, have dared turn up at Magny Cours and refused to take the start line.

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart quipped the no-show allusion when pondering the ramifications of 'draconian' penalties at the FIA world council.

''There was never any question of (a boycott),'' Mosley scoffed after the Paris summit.

He then referred to Stoddart as 'eccentric'.

''It would simply be cutting off the nose to spite the face,' Max insisted. ''That was never a question. They certainly would not have done that.''

Mosley, 65, also said the council opted against invoking BAR's suspended six-month ban despite the fact that the team - like six others - was found guilty of charges.

''The two things were so different,'' he explained, ''(that) it wouldn't have been fair.''

The FIA president put the blame squarely in Michelin's court, and invited 'the teams (and) everyone' to turn to the tire supplier 'for indemnities against any actions ... brought in the US.'

He also said Michelin should go further than buying 20,000 tickets for the next Indy race, and offer 'free' entry to every 2005 grand prix spectator.

Indy welcomes F1 refund
(GMMf1NET -- Jun.30) The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has welcomed news that wayward F1 tire supplier Michelin will refund fans' tickets to the 2005 US GP flop.

''The fans have been the Speedway's priority since lap two of the grand prix,'' spokesman Ron Green told The Guardian.

''We'll be working hard now to make the reimbursement issue as painless as possible for (them).''

Outsider team Red Bull, meanwhile - the only to not sign a Michelin team appeal against the FIA's guilty charges - has defended not standing as one with its peers.

''We didn't want to rush into a hasty decision,'' sporting boss Christian Horner told Reuters.

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