Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
July 9, 2005

Red-Button rumor slammed
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) Rubens Barrichello has slammed an impish rumor linking BAR's Jenson Button with his '06 seat.

The six-year Ferrari veteran, with another season yet to run despite whispers of Maranello malcontent, called the story 'bulls--t' in The Sun.

The 33-year-old from Sao Paulo added: ''There is no way Jenson will be taking my place.''

Sam wants engine call 'soon'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) Sam Michael has urged his Williams bosses to speed up a decision about 2006 engine supply.

The Grove based technical director, an Australian, smiled that the deadline for the call was 'about a month ago.'

''It is something you want to know as soon as possible,'' he added.

''There is not really a deadline but we need to know soon.''

While Toyota and Cosworth are also favorites, Honda has repeated the line that doing a deal with Sir Frank Williams' team seems a bit late.

''There will come a time when (the possibility) will pass us by,'' the Japanese marque's Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport.

''The more time goes on, the less likely it becomes.''

Quali change 'too late'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) It is too late to tinker with qualifying for 2006, Ferrari's Ross Brawn insisted.

The Ferrari technical director baulked at the FIA/fans' 2005 survey which hints at a return to the '02-spec, one-hour, 12-lap format.

''We all prefer that system,'' Brawn said at Silverstone.

''But the curse of F1 is that making changes in the short term will always disadvantage someone.

''Getting all the teams to agree is not going to be easy.''

Brawn said every top team will already have started designing their 2006 car, meaning that qualifying-specific items - like fuel tank size - are now inflexible.

He bristled: ''Why couldn't we have thought about this a few weeks ago? We all want the best for F1, but we get asked now!''

Terror won't terrify F1
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) 35,000 people showed that terrorism will not frighten F1 by strolling through the Silverstone gate throughout Friday.

Circuit 'MD' Richard Phillips confirmed that the figure resembled last year's attendance, and noted that a sell out 100,000 are set for Sunday.

''After the atrocities of yesterday,'' he said, ''it's great to see so many fans come ... and enjoy themselves.''

An FIA spokesman, meanwhile, reported 'business as usual' for the British grand prix weekend.

''Having said that,'' he told The Guardian, ''the mood during the drivers' press conference (on Thursday) was ... somber.''

The circuit owning BRDC's president, triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, revealed that donations at the Jools Holland post-race concert would be offered to victims' families of the attack.

''We feel it is only right we do something,'' said the Scot.

'Axe Max'? No, says Mosley
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) In the face of immense pressure to call it a day, Max Mosley has vowed to stick it out as FIA president.

At Silverstone on Friday, the Briton brushed aside teams' near-unanimous criticism by claiming he is doing an 'honest job.'

''And I am not bothered about being popular.''

Similarly, Max said the public is not bothered about politics.

''They switch on the television and hopefully see a great race,'' he added. ''Even if Ron Dennis and I made love in the paddock it is not going to fix anything.''

Mosley also played down the reality of making a 'breakaway' championship work, calling the current stand-off with the teams 'a game.'

''The teams will come to see that (the FIA) is not just the sensible way forward, but the only way. When it comes to it, the teams won't (split).''

And what of Paul Stoddart, the main 'axe Max' instigator?

Mosley said: ''He needs to lie down and take his medicine.''

'Pressure? Winning is fun!'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) If you'd forgive 23-year-old Fernando Alonso for feeling the pressure, you'll marvel at his description of leading the 2005 championship as 'fun.'

''Even if something goes wrong,'' said Renault's Spaniard, ''I stay in top position.

''That is comfortable.''

Conversely, for challengers Kimi Raikkonen and seven time title winner Michael Schumacher, they are at the whim of technical trouble, he asserted.

''If they have more problems,'' Fernando stated, ''it will be too late for them to recover.''

Alonso called getting within reach of becoming the sport's youngest champion 'extra motivation.'

''I am happier arriving at races (this year). I enjoy the weekend more,'' he concluded.

DC had other F1 offers
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) David Coulthard had more than just Red Bull knocking on his door for 2006.

''But Red Bull has reignited the F1 fire in my belly,'' he enthused in a column for the Daily Record.

Sadly, though, politics are also playing on the Scot's mind. Even the 34-year-old got himself tangled up in a scuttle with Max Mosley as a director of the drivers' alliance.

''I fear F1 is pushing the self destruct button,'' Coulthard asserted. ''It's being ripped apart by its worst power struggle for 20 years.''

FIA president Max Mosley, though, defended pulling the plug on a planned drivers' meeting on Friday as due to it turning into 'a media circus.'

''We can have a serious, quiet meeting away from the circuit,'' Max added at Silverstone.

And, in an apparent reference to DC, he insisted that 'serious' safety discussions cannot take place in the media.

The GPDA, incidentally, met on Friday.

'Toyota Trulli disappointing'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) Jarno Trulli has expressed disappointment with Toyota's failure to develop the 2005 car.

The Italian said where other teams are improving their package, Cologne appear to be in a period of relative 'impotence.'

''This is a team that must learn to improve during the championship,'' he told newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

''The ability to react is missing.

''We need to work to become a top team.''

McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya, for one, is concerned he might get stuck behind a fast-qualifying - but slow racing - Jarno Trulli on Sunday.

The Colombian told Autosport: ''If (he) gets ahead of you, your race is over.

''You are in a traffic jam.''

Technical director Mike Gascoyne, though, defended what he sees as still a 'young' Toyota grand prix team.

''I don't think we have dropped off,'' he argued, ''I just think this is the first time at the sharp end for them.

''The guys are learning that, at the sharp end, you have to get it perfect and not make mistakes.''

'Stop the politics'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) F1's leading technical men have urged their bosses to find a solution to the current political mayhem in the sport.

Disputes and warring rivals epitomize the Paddock at present, with time rapidly running out for ideal resolutions.

''Ferrari doesn't have all the right ideas,'' said Ross Brawn, technical director at Ferrari, the only team to have signed a new FIA deal post '08.

''The FIA doesn't have all the right ideas.

''I think, as a group, we could come up with something if not for the political situation.''

BMW-Williams' Sam Michael urged the ten teams 'into a room with the FIA' to discuss F1. Instead, the GPWC-allied clan face off against the FIA-Ferrari cluster.

''The political arena is a real problem,'' McLaren designer Adrian Newey agreed. ''I desperately hope that something can be thrashed out.

''I can't imagine anyone really wants two different series. It would be a tragedy.''

DC vows 'aggressive' race
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.9) David Coulthard has vowed an 'aggressive' approach to his home grand prix at Silverstone.

The Scot said Red Bull has generally opted for conservatism, or a reasonable load of fuel, when devising pit strategies prior to qualifying.

But Coulthard told the Daily Mail in England: ''Maybe we should be looking to be more aggressive.

''Maybe (we should) run the risk.''

Red Bull has easily outscored the formerly Ford (Jaguar)-owned team's 2004 points tally, even at the mid-year point.

It means the new incarnation, bought by Austrian energy drink magnate Dietrich Mateschitz, can now take 'more chances,' David asserted.

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