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Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
July 11, 2005


'Flav' urges F1 cease fire
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Not every Formula One principal wants Max Mosley to pack his bags.

Renault chief Flavio Briatore, although the French marque has nailed itself to the 'breakaway' mast, told Germany's 'Welt am Sonntag' newspaper that the FIA boss is an 'intelligent, capable' president.

''I am not saying that everything he does is perfect,'' said the Italian. ''But we do need a strong character in charge like Mosley.''

Briatore seemed to urge his fellow bosses to adopt a similar pacifying attitude, congregate around a big table, and plot a unified future.

He said: ''We must be adults and work all together again.''








Alonso feeling blue
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Fernando Alonso reckons sluggish Silverstone marshals cost him British grand prix victory.

In the close battle with McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya, the young Spaniard said the blue flags 'didn't work at all.'

''It was not Jarno (Trulli's) fault,'' said Alonso, 23, ''because if the flags are not waving, how does he know that I am fighting for the win?''

It's clear, though, that Montoya - although victorious - encountered similar trouble. The Colombian called the British marshalling 'terrible.'

''I guess we both got it,'' the 29-year-old added. ''I was shouting on the radio and the team was saying 'we're telling Charlie (Whiting, race director).

''But there were still no flags.''

Silverstone hero Jenson Button also branded the blue flag situation 'pretty awful.'

''It's not up to the usual standards,'' said the Briton, ''but it was the same for everyone.''








'Raw' Webber to skip test
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Mark Webber will sit out this week's Jerez test after aggravating a burn on his hip.

The Williams driver suffered the injury when an engine gas seal into the cockpit failed in the recent French grand prix.

''Every time I get in the car I set the injury back,'' Webber, 28, said at Silverstone.

He told The Australian newspaper: ''It was quite painful and became quite raw again.

''It wouldn't be sensible to do three grand prix distances (at the test) and then try and go to Hockenheim to race.''

Also burning, at present, is Webber's patience. He called slumping into the F1 midfield with an apparently flawed aerodynamic kit 'hard to swallow.'

But he warned fans who expect a rapid turnaround to also be patient.

''I've been around long enough,'' Mark Webber sighed, ''to know that there are no silver bullets in this game.''








Naked hack keeps his word
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Sensitive onlookers covered their eyes as a naked journalist jogged around Silverstone on Brit GP Sunday.

The rest just laughed at the sight of Daily Express hack Bob McKenzie, in nothing but McLaren-colored body paint and a sporran to hide the worst bits, keeping his word to Ron Dennis.

Last year, McKenzie - ruing the team's lack of pace - vowed to do the deed if McLaren won a grand prix. Kimi Raikkonen then trumped Spa.

Dennis, the smiling McLaren boss, waved a green flag for Bob, who - covered now in sweat-smeared paint - half-jokingly collapsed at the checkered flag 37 minutes later.








'We want Button'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) BAR, Williams, and maybe even Ferrari.

What the F1 trio have in common is a purported desire to put England's Jenson Button in their 2006 challenger.

The 25-year-old, though, dismissed any suggestion that the team in red is the dream drive.

''If they are sixth or seventh best there is no reason to be with them,'' he said, ''except a nice company car.

''But I want to be with the best team.''

Arguably, the best bet for JB is to stay at BAR, part owned by Honda and perhaps the more likely to charge for title glory.

Team principal Nick Fry, although insisting BAR would win 'without or without' the Briton, vowed to 'convince' Button to keep the faith. ''Williams don't seem to have a confirmed engine,'' he quipped.

What Sir Frank Williams does have, though, is probably the most binding contract for 2006.

Jenson, though, made it clear what he's looking for. Money? ''We all earn money,'' he said. ''We all need it.

''But I'd rather have a competitive car. I don't think I would get bored with that.''







Michelin vow to race in '06
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Michelin is preparing for 2006 despite gossip that F1 is racing away from the tire war.

It is believed that the FIA would give at least a year's notice to suppliers that would be invited to 'tender' for the control tire contract.

Asked if Michelin had been given notice, the French marque's 'head of F1 activities' Nick Shorrock answered: ''No, none whatsoever.

''We're racing (next year),'' he told Autosport.

What is clearer, though, is that - in the absence of a rival - Michelin, who got tangled up in the Indy farce and a subsequent row with Max Mosley - probably wouldn't bother sticking around in grands prix.

''Right now,'' Shorrock confirmed, ''we ... don't see the sense of a single supplier.''








Jordan may axe 'b' car
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Jordan may axe plans to race the new, but flawed, 'b' car this year.

Sporting director Adrian Burgess, who recently replaced Trevor Carlin, told f1.com that the 'EJ15B' would only hit the grand prix slopes if 'circumstances are right.'

''If we cannot introduce it in a reliable and positive approach,'' he added, ''we will not be forced into that.''

EJ15B is the first real development to come out of Silverstone since Eddie Jordan sold the struggling team.

It is reported that adverse cooling is the design's main problem.

Sources also confirmed that, despite speculation of a switch to customer Mercedes-Benz power, Jordan - to be renamed Midland for 2006 - is sticking with Toyota next year.








Max invites drivers to France
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) After snubbing a planned meeting at Silverstone, Max Mosley said he would discuss safety with the F1 drivers in France next month.

The FIA president invited every super license holder to Cannes, in the south of France, on August 1 -- the first day of a three week break after the Hungarian grand prix.

Max called off his grand prix drivers' association appearance on Friday after claiming David Coulthard's comments to the press threatened to turn it into a 'circus.'

Defending the France location, Mosley - who said at least half of all drivers must attend or the meeting would be called off - told them to just get 'in (their) jet.'

Coulthard, a GPDA director, bristled at Max's idea of bring an entire 'group to one man.'

''But that's what he's offered,'' said the Scot. ''Time will tell whether we can get half (the drivers) there.''








'F1 will return to Indy'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Indy fiasco aside, Bernie Ecclestone reckons F1 will return to America next season.

The 74-year-old commercial rights holder told the Daily Express that he is 'good friends' with Indianapolis Motor Speedway boss Tony George.

''He wants a race,'' Bernie told the newspaper, ''so it will happen.

''Just give me a couple of months.''








Schu to get Ferrari update
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Ferrari will bring car improvements to Michael Schumacher's home race at Hockenheim in a fortnight.

''Hopefully it will bring us closer to the front,'' said the glum German at Silverstone.

Also abandoning his usual unswerving optimism, the 36-year-old admitted that his eighth drivers' title probably got fatally lashed on Sunday.

''Like I always say, I never give up,'' Michael started, ''but surely it becomes pretty difficult (to win) now.

''We have a new aerodynamic package for Hockenheim. I am still calm. This is a difficult period for us but I can cope.

''I just wish I could promise my home supporters at Hockenheim a bit more than this.''








Montoya's relief
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Winning his first grand prix for McLaren felt more like relief than joy for Juan Pablo Montoya.

The Colombian, who has endured a difficult year keeping up with Kimi Raikkonen and recovering from injury, said he greeted Silverstone's checker with a sigh.

''It was more an 'aaaaahh' than excitement,'' the 29-year-old smirked.

''I know I can win races but my driving style is so different to Kimi's. It's taken a lot of time for me to just get something I can drive.''

And, believe it or not, JPM - a huge 51 points behind Fernando Alonso - is not yet counting himself out of the running for the drivers' title.

Montoya said: ''Kimi and Fernando could start taking each other off and the gap is soon gone.

''Or we might go to Hockenheim and struggle. You just don't know.''







Kimi slams '05 aero rules
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) A fans' survey indicated that what they want most from Formula One is more on-track overtaking.

But a gutted Kimi Raikkonen said the 2005 aerodynamic regulations, brought in to slow the cars but also reduce downforce and improve the show, make it harder than ever.

McLaren's Finn, with the quickest car at Silverstone, could not pass - for example - Michael Schumacher's much slower Ferrari after dropping down the grid with a ten-place penalty.

''I got close at the end of the straight a few times,'' Kimi droned, ''but you can't closely follow in a fast corner.

''You try but you just lose all the grip. The car goes loose and you risk sliding off.

''These rules make it harder than last year so you have to say they haven't exactly worked.''








'I lifted for title' - Alonso
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.11) Fernando Alonso has admitted he thought of the championship in a wheel to wheel battle with Juan Pablo Montoya.

Renault's Spaniard said he 'lifted' when fighting it out with the British grand prix winner on the run to the ultra high speed Beckett's complex.

''It wasn't worth risking it,'' Alonso, 23, said at the Silverstone venue, ''especially with (title rivals) Kimi (Raikkonen) and Michael (Schumacher) behind me.

''I knew Juan Pablo was not going to, so I thought it's better to lift than crash into him.''

Alonso, of course, was right. With nothing to lose, Montoya had no intention of decreasing the pressure on his throttle.

The Colombian said: ''We were side by side so someone had to give up. He's fighting for the championship and I'm not, so chances were he would.

''I just wanted to win the race.

''It was pretty cool. We were really close, I thought we would touch but he bailed.''

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