Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
July 10, 2005

Cool Kimi calm but cross
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) Even Kimi Raikkonen, F1's ice cool customer, had to temper obvious rage after an engine failure took another hammer-blow to his championship charge.

Second quickest in qualifying despite a hefty fuel load, McLaren's Finn, like a week ago at Magny Cours, is demoted ten places with the V10 change.

''It's not the way to win the championship,'' the 25-year-old - although maintaining his monosyllabic drone - said.

''We are not so fast that we can afford to give away a penalty like this every time.

''Hopefully it won't happen again.

''At least I have the new engine which is more powerful, so it should help me pass.''

Marveling at Raikkonen's cool analysis and apparent lack of too much negative emotion at the latest knock, he was asked if he is now simply used to disappointment.

''Yes, but it still hurts,'' Kimi answered. ''It just doesn't help to shout and throw things. You just waste energy.''

'Ok, I can win' - Alonso
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) Fernando Alonso, not so confident for the British grand prix, now admits he is a favorite to win at Silverstone.

Renault's pole man, no doubt helped by Kimi Raikkonen's penalty and revised fuel strategy, said P1 nonetheless 'surprised' him in qualifying.

''I was seventh on Friday,'' the 23-year-old said, ''not really quick, but we changed some things and the car is fast.

''We are going much better than we thought we would here. With Kimi down the field, if we can make a nice gap early on maybe I can win.''

Championship leader Alonso, though, will keep an eye on main rival Raikkonen, even though the Finn starts from twelfth.

''Kimi is still a threat,'' Fernando agreed. ''Last weekend the same thing happened and he finished second.

''For sure he'll be a problem.''

No denial in red-Button move
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) Jenson Button has refused to deny reports of a $18m a-year move to replace Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari.

A British tabloid said on Saturday that the two-year offer is part of a 'masterplan' to garnish English-speaking opposition to Ferrari rivals' 'breakaway' plot.

''I read that this morning as well,'' the 25-year-old BAR driver smiled after qualifying on the front row for his home race at Silverstone.

''A nice piece!

''I can't say anything, I'm just living in the moment. I won't deny it, but I cannot talk about my future next year.

''I'm not going to say yes or no.''

If you're a gambler, though, you might follow the advice of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who thinks Button might have a hard time squeezing out of a Williams option.

The 74-year-old told the Daily Express: ''It wouldn't be the worst move he's made.''

F1 teams' appeal date
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) F1's seven Michelin shod teams will appeal the world council's guilty verdict at a hearing on September 28, the FIA announced.

A statement said the teams, who boycotted last month's US grand prix at Indy with unsafe tires, requested that it be held after punishments are handed down earlier in September.

''As a result, the (court can) rule on the appeals in their totality,'' it explained.

A decision is expected in Paris on September 29.

Bernie to broken F1's rescue
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has vowed to stay in the sport and rid it of political 'nonsense'.

The 74-year-old revealed to the Daily Mirror that his wife, Slavica, wants him to retire.

''But before I leave,' Bernie added, ''I want to put all this breakaway nonsense to bed.''

''I would like to put something in place where the teams inherit the business.''

If the final sentence sounds like a move towards compromise, you'd be right. To another newspaper, the Scotland on Sunday, Bernie hinted that he might sell his own 25% stake to the teams and carmakers.

And three banks that own the rest might also be willing to sell, Ecclestone added. ''I think the American banks would sell,'' he said, ''but I am not so sure about the Germans.''

Bernie said Red Bull and Jordan, like Ferrari, have now 'signed' the 2008 Concorde.

Ecclestone is also contemplating a kind of FIA vice presidency, to liaise between the disgruntled teams and - with whom they appear unwilling to work - Max Mosley.

''I have to make my mind up by the end of August,'' said Bernie.

Record crowd
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) A record Saturday crowd descended on Silverstone for British grand prix qualifying.

In spite of London's terror bombings on Thursday, 65,000 fans thronged through the gates to beat last year's figure.

''Only once this year have I seen a crowd like this,'' said English favorite Jenson Button, referring to Alonso-mania at Spain's Barcelona track.

Mosley - shut up, or go away
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) Max Mosley has removed the silencer from his political-gun and aimed fire at F1's teams.

The FIA president's message is clear -- shut up, or go away.

''With all due respect to them,'' Max told ITV at Silverstone, ''what they like or don't like does not matter.

''If (F1) doesn't suit them anymore they can go and run a private series. We won't stop them.

''But if they want to be in the FIA Formula One world championship, they'll do it on our terms. It's our championship.''

Mosley is also unmoved by the pressure, for example that of Minardi owner Paul Stoddart, to quit.

''If the teams don't like it,'' the Briton bristled, ''to be very blunt -- too bad.''

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone chimed in to agree that the carmaker-led 'breakaway' shouldn't be taken 'seriously.'

He told the Mirror: ''Do the public give a stuff about the engine manufacturers? Not really.

''They do care about Ferrari.

'We could still fill our grid up if some of the manufacturers walked away. Nobody is going to run it like I do -- because I built it.''

F1's most powerful - magazine
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) Max Mosley is the most powerful man in Formula One, according to Business F1's 'top 150' list.

The magazine promoted the FIA president from ninth last year.

Intriguingly, BMW's Burkhard Goeschel - a key player in the breakaway movement - comes in at number two, ahead of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Ron Dennis is the highest placed team principal, at number four, ahead of Red Bull newcomer Dietrich Mateschitz, who outpaced Sir Frank Williams and Tsutomu Tomita.

Perhaps reflecting Ferrari's fall from competitive grace, Maranello president Luca di Montezemolo drove out of the top ten.

Minnow Minardi's boss Paul Stoddart is at seventeen, one spot ahead of seven time world champion Michael Schumacher.

Monosyllabic title charger Kimi Raikkonen is the second driver in the list, twentieth, while outgoing Hinwil boss Peter Sauber barely made the cut, at a staggering P141.

'Drivers to lose Mosley race'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) F1 drivers will never have much of a say in the running of the sport.

That's the claim of former grand prix pilot and TV commentator Martin Brundle, who told the Sunday Times that the men at the wheel are 'highly competitive' and 'selfish.

''Our day job is to drive racing cars quickly,'' the Briton added. ''Trying to play politics part time against ... Max Mosley won't work.''

A perfect example, 45-year-old Brundle asserted, was the FIA president's cancellation of a driver meeting at Silverstone.

Brundle, who manages the man in the middle - David Coulthard - criticized the driver group for not being 'more vociferous' about the snub.

''They don't look a very cohesive bunch. It is virtually impossible for them to speak with one voice and position themselves properly.''

Kimi's out, says Schu
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.10) Michael Schumacher says Kimi Raikkonen is unlikely to chase down Fernando Alonso today.

The seven time world champion, also buried on the Silverstone grid, said McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya - third in the order behind Jenson Button - looks the best bet.

''Maybe he can have a go at Fernando,'' Germany's Schumacher said, ''I don't know.

''Certainly I don't think I have a good chance and it also looks difficult for Kimi.''

Easy ride or not, though, Alonso - the runaway title leader - reckons he still has work to do to become '05 champ.

The Spaniard, 23, said losing it to Raikkonen would be 'easy.

''If I don't finish two races my lead can be gone,'' Alonso said.

''(Then) Kimi is equal and maybe with a quicker car. We are not confident yet. For us, July is an important month.''

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