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Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
July 12, 2005


'Toyota 'no' to Williams
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) Williams is likely to be powered-by-Cosworth next year after Toyota ruled out a 2006 deal.

Toyota president John Howett told AFP that Sir Frank Williams recently approached the Japanese carmaker after losing BMW's works engine supply.

Although hinting at a possible collaboration from 2007, he added: ''It is far too late to even contemplate.''

''For next year, it's a no.''

For the future, though, Toyota is thought to be receptive about the idea of preparing Lexus-badged engines for the Grove based team.

But Howett said the current focus is on putting the fine print on Jordan's '06 agreement.

Meanwhile, BMW's Mario Theissen - off to Sauber in 2006 - has imposed a three week deadline for Sir Frank Williams to take up the Munich manufacturer's V8 offer.

The German said: ''It's all up to Frank.''








V8s to debut
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) Jerez will hum to the tones of V8 power this week as Toyota and BMW become the latest to track debut their 2006 engine.

Honda and Mercedes-Benz have already fired up their offerings, while those of Ferrari, Renault and Cosworth rack up the revs on the test bench.

Ironically, the BMW V8 will be fitted in the rear of test driver Antonio Pizzonia's Williams, despite the fact that Grove will probably drive into 2006 with an alternate source of horse power.

The three-day test kicks off in Spain, where a hot and sunny week is forecast, on Wednesday.








'Ferrari disaster!'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) 'Ferrari disaster!'

That's how the influential Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport headlined the results of Sunday's British GP.

''The cars are slow,'' the article read, ''the strategy incomprehensible, and the errors too frequent. The world champion team is in crisis.''

Another Italian publication, Tuttosport, gasped at the fact that 'Schumacher, Barrichello and Todt fail to give explanations or suggest solutions.'

And, with Michael Schumacher all but ceding his eighth successive drivers' championship, Ferrari principal Jean Todt joined the German in describing the Scuderia's 'backwards' progress.

''It's not just the aerodynamics,'' said the Frenchman, ''because if it was, we would never be able to do a quick time.

''It's up to us, together with Bridgestone, to analyze the problem.

''I don't know if we can react in a very short time. But it's a new challenge, for sure.''

Schumacher test drove Ferrari's F430 road car at Fiorano on Monday.








Button's a winner
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) He might not have earned it on the Silverstone track, but English driver Jenson Button did take home some silverware.

BAR's 25-year-old won the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy for being the most successful British or Commonwealth driver of '04.

''Jenson was one of the stars of last season,'' said motor sport association CEO Colin Hilton, who - with UK sport minister Richard Caborn - awarded Button with the plaudit.

The Trophy is named after Mike Hawthorn, who died in a road crash within months of becoming the 1958 world champion.

David Coulthard is a past winner.








Talks hint at F1 peace
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) Just when political tensions looked like they could grow no more, peace has threatened to break out within Formula One.

It is understood that Ron Dennis and Christian Horner, two of the most articulate and analytical team principals, have been summoned to meet with FIA president Max Mosley in Monaco.

The news comes at a time when the unpopular chief is believed to be in promising talks with carmakers about allowing an innovative technology to be used in grands prix.

Britain's 'The Guardian' newspaper said new braking systems would retain energy in a battery that could give drivers a sort of push-to-pass blast of up to 60 horse power.

''It's certainly something we would like to get stuck in with,'' said McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh.

Mosley's innovation comes after a FIA survey revealed that overtaking and technology took priority among fans.








Kimi's 'work harder' plea
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) Irritated 'iceman' Kimi Raikkonen has urged McLaren to 'work harder' to ensure he has a bullet proof car with which to charge to the F1 crown.

The Finn, with a clear car advantage, failed to take the top step at Magny Cours and Silverstone after ten-grid penalties for engine failures.

''Sorry for that,'' Mercedes-Benz' Norbert Haug told Raikkonen. ''We will try even harder.''

''It could have been better,'' Kimi, 25, said after finishing third in the British grand prix held Sunday.

''In normal circumstances I think the result would have been different. I can only do my best. Hopefully the team will sort out the rest.''

Raikkonen admitted that, despite a slight car advantage over title leader Renault and Fernando Alonso, the drivers' prize moves further away with every setback.

He admitted: ''It's definitely not going our way at the moment.

''It's hard sometimes. Everyone needs to do more hard work to make sure these things don't happen every time.''








Bernie back on Brit GP attack
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had nothing but tongue-in-cheek disapproval for Silverstone after Sunday's British grand prix.

The 74-year-old, a staunch critic of the rural Northamptonshire circuit, said organizers - after returning from the dead over the winter - did a 'bloody good job.'

''I'm terribly disappointed with the whole place again,'' Bernie said.

''I think we should dig up the car parks and put the mud back, block up the roads ... so we get the old Silverstone atmosphere back.

''I'm missing it now.''

Fear not, though, those who sense more than sarcasm in Mr. E's mischievous mockery of an event attended by a maximum 100,000 crowd on Sunday.

Circuit boss Richard Phillips said he has a five-year deal in his pocket. ''The immediate future of the (grand prix) is secure,'' he said.

''We now have the stability and confidence to move forward and develop the site.''







Win 'unlikely' - Button
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) Jenson Button reckons he's unlikely to win a grand prix this season.

The Briton, who - like BAR - is still searching for that elusive first victory, said the pace of McLaren and Renault at Silverstone was 'worrying.

''We thought we were closer than that,'' he told Speed TV.

''We don't have the pace to challenge them. At the moment, winning a race -- it's not going to happen overnight.''

Exhausted, Button apologized to his legions of Union Jack-waving fans but promised he had nothing in reserve on Sunday.

He vowed: ''I gave it everything.

''At one point I was told by my engineer to push harder and I won't tell you what I said!''

JB, 25, said the gap between the big two at the front, and BAR - best of the rest and in front of Ferrari at present - is about six tenths every lap.

He admitted: ''And that's huge.''








Title fight to heat up
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) He may not be there yet, but runaway title leader Fernando Alonso would find it hard to cope with missing out on the '05 crown.

The Renault driver, who'd become the youngest ever and first Spanish world champion, stole the lead in the drivers' championship in Malaysia.

''To lose it right at the end,'' he said on Monday, ''would be difficult to deal with.

''But I am only twenty three and even finishing second would be a big, big achievement.''

Second, though, is hardly the focus. Spain's number one driver will sit out the Jerez test this week to recharge his batteries ahead of Hockenheim.

''I will arrive in Germany refreshed,'' he vowed.

If there is anything to worry about, Alonso conceded, it is that Renault faced a distinct car performance 'drop off' in the second half of last season.

Intensifying the feeling is McLaren, whose 'F1 CEO' Martin Whitmarsh told reporters that their silver car could 'win every remaining' grand prix in 2005.

He added: ''Both of our drivers ... can beat Alonso.

''We're in there to win both championships and we can do it.''








Flav denies Fisi 'sabotage'
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) Flavio Briatore has slammed claims that he is making life deliberately difficult for Fernando Alonso's Renault teammate.

Dissenting voices at Silverstone suggested that Giancarlo Fisichella's calamitous season, and second pit stop stall in as many weeks that halted his podium charge, hinted at team sabotage.

''What would be my interest,'' the Italian principal told Autosport, 'in damaging (his) races when our main target ... is to win the constructors' championship?''

The cynics, though, draw an inescapable parallel between Fisichella's problems, and those of his Renault predecessor Jarno Trulli last year after he and Briatore fell out.

Flamboyant 'Flav' denied that Fisichella's problems are always down to the team. ''As it happened (at Magny Cours),'' he alleged, ''it's not always the team's fault.''








DC on driver hunt
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.12) David Coulthard has vowed to find thirteen F1 race and test drivers to attend Max Mosley's FIA meeting next month.

The FIA president gave the grand prix drivers' association just five days to confirm that at least half of all super license holders could make it to avert cancellation.

Richard Woods, the FIA's spokesman, denied that Mosley made it deliberately difficult for the driver body after refusing to meet last Friday or at a subsequent race.

He told the Herald Sun: ''If the drivers want to take the ... issues forward they will be there.''

Coulthard, a GPDA director - but, unlike president Michael Schumacher, the leading force in the driver body - said he would spend this week convincing his rivals to turn up.

''I've not had a chance (yet),'' the Scot confirmed, ''but we will address that this week.''

Max snubbed the Silverstone summit after accusing Coulthard, 34, of politicizing the issue in the press.

''I'm disappointed,'' DC reacted, ''that my views about the rules were confused as being a part of GPDA safety.

''Meeting at a grand prix would be the logical time.''

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