Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
July 8, 2005

'I'm F1's best' - Button
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) Jenson Button says he is weighing up the 'most important decision' of his career as a racing driver.

The Briton, 25, is caught between BAR - his current, part Honda owned team - and Williams, who will attack 2006 without a works BMW engine.

At present, BAR looks like the best bet but JB debuted for Sir Frank Williams, who maintains an 'option' on his service.

''It's vital I get it right,'' Jenson said at Silverstone.

''If I make the wrong decision -- you only get one chance.

''You need to be in the right place at the right time.''

If he gets it wrong, Button will forever look at fellow F1 young guns such as Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen and wonder what might have been.

JB continued: ''It's only my opinion but I - hundred per cent - don't think they're as good as me. They just fell into the right car at the right time.''

Max re-invited to meeting
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) The grand prix drivers' association has re-invited Max Mosley to a meeting at Silverstone.

The FIA president called off the planned summit after GPDA director David Coulthard supposedly politicized safety issues by slamming F1 rules in the press.

''We were disappointed with events after Indianapolis,'' DC, the Red Bull driver, admitted on Thursday, ''and wanted to sit down and talk about it.

''We thought the best way was to do it face to face but that's obviously not possible.''

Fellow director Mark Webber revealed that there is 'a bit of friction' between the driver body and the FIA, heightened after Coulthard got a terse phone call from Mosley.

The Australian added: ''The invitation to Max is still there.

''He can still come -- we want to talk about safety, not about the regulations. We don't want to run the sport.''

It is also reported that friction exists between the GPDA and its president, Michael Schumacher, who has not supported his rivals' stance.

Asked if the Ferrari driver might be sacked, Coulthard replied: ''There is no point saying any more.

''Michael is a director and that has not changed.''

Red Bull to axe driver swap
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) Red Bull will axe the controversial 'driver swap' policy next year.

Sporting director Christian Horner said at Silverstone that either Vitantonio Liuzzi or Christian Klien will be David Coulthard's 2006 teammate.

''Tonio will probably get another opportunity later on this season,'' he said, ''but Christian is definitely going to be in the car up to ... Hungary.''

Horner said the 2005 policy was designed to evaluate their potential for a full time ride.

Meanwhile, Coulthard - already signed up for another season - told the media that wins for the Dietrich Mateschitz owned team in the middle of 2006 'might be possible.'

The Scot remarked: ''But I don't think (we) will come out saying we're expecting it.

''I'm glad I've been signed so early -- much earlier than in the past. We've made our bed so let's get on with it.''

How fast can a F1 car go?
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) How fast can a Formula One car go?

It's a question that'll be answered when BAR plonk a Brackley based contender on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah (US) some time in October.

Team CEO Nick Fry, who said around 250mph is the target, confirmed that the 007 will have a parachute installed at the rear, and run very low downforce.

''It's a Lucky Strike idea,'' he told Autoweek.

''At Monza, we do approximately 220. (At Bonneville) we think it should be able to exceed 250mph (413kmh).''

Fry said either Adam Carroll or James Rossiter, both junior drivers, would steer the car.

Bonneville is a 121 square-kilometer salt flat in north western Utah. The quickest land speed recorded there exceeded 600 miles per hour (1000kmh).

'Fans want more' - F1 survey
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) F1 fans want more.

That's the governing FIA's findings as it published, on Thursday, the results of a recent Formula One fans' survey.

93,000 completed the online questionnaire, with 94% wanting more overtaking, 74% more visible driver skill, 69% a few more teams, and 84% a calendar of 18-plus grands prix.

''These ... views will be an invaluable addition to the consultation process on the future rules,'' said Max Mosley.

The results said fans recognize advanced technology, but want less driver aids.

''15% ... think F1 incorporates the right balance of technology and driver skill,'' the results continued. ''Only a third believe it showcases the best drivers.''

The most popular circuits are Monaco, Spa and Silverstone, while the bottom three were Bahrain, Shanghai and Istanbul.

A massive 70%, the results continued, would prefer that qualifying return to the one-hour format of 2002 and before.

Olympic boost for London GP
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) Although London is reeling after its worst ever terror attacks on Thursday, the British capital's successful 2012 Olympic bid has reinvigorated talk about a London grand prix.

English F1 driver Jenson Button reckons a race could be run around Hyde Park and then used for the Olympic triathlon.

''(A GP) would show we can host such a huge event,'' the BAR ace added. ''Formula One would also be good as a taster.

''I wish motor racing was an Olympic sport!''

For the moment, though, the last thing on London's mind is sport, even if the city celebrated the 2012 Olympic win well into Wednesday evening.

JB admitted: ''It's a very difficult note on which to start the British grand prix weekend.''

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, called terrorism 'absurd' and drew a parallel between London and his home city, Sao Paulo.

''But (there) it is someone stealing your watch, not bombings like this,'' said the somber Brazilian, who stayed in a London hotel on Wednesday.

''All we can do is put on a good show and take people's minds off what has happened.''

No way out of Webber woe
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) Mark Webber has admitted that a burn on his right hip may cause problems in the F1 cockpit.

Williams' Aussie driver picked up the injury after the FW27's new bodywork package caused an engine gas seal to fail a week ago in France.

''I have a substantial burn,'' Webber, 28, said at Silverstone on Thursday, ''which isn't very happy at the moment.

''We'll see how it goes tomorrow.''

Williams' new aero package also created the wrong sort of pressure outside the cockpit, as - despite every effort - the Grove team, which has lost works BMW power for 2006 and beyond, continue to slide down the F1 grid.

''Clearly,'' said Mark, ''we're a long, long way from where we expect to be. (France) was only four days ago so I don't expect any miracles.''

Alonso calls on flower power
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) Fernando Alonso will be hoping 'flower power' can help him to the checkered flag at Silverstone.

The Spaniard admitted that his Renault is likely to be outpaced by title contender Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren on the high speed English circuit.

And, like at Magny Cours, the R25 will sport a novel approach to non-tobacco branding. While the 'Phoenix' flew him to victory a week ago, a Japanese orchid design is the go for the British grand prix this weekend.

But Alonso, 23, warned: ''This is just one of those circuits that does not suit us. It's the opposite for McLaren.

''Maybe we can do better than we expect, but even if I have a bad time, I won't lose anything.''

Rubens expects good weekend
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.8) Rubens Barrichello bounced through the Silverstone turnstile expecting a good weekend in Britain.

The Brazilian is a bit of a Silverstone specialist, winning the 2003 race from pole and snatching fastest lap.

''This place has always been good to me,'' Rubens said on Thursday, ''whether wet or dry.''

World champion teammate Michael Schumacher agrees that Magny Cours' poor Ferrari showing might have been a mere blip on the radar.

The 36-year-old German, who wore an odd looking black hat as he had his bags checked at the gate on Thursday, then defended not signing the drivers' latest statement in disapproval of the governing body.

Barrichello, perhaps breaking ranks in anticipation of leaving Ferrari at the end of the year, did put pen to paper.

''I don't want to go into detail on this matter,'' Schumacher insisted, ''but (not signing) was my choice.''

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