Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
July 15, 2005

DC set for F1 bridge blast
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) A Formula One car is set to blast over a world famous bridge.

Sound familiar?

Like Williams' Mark Webber on the Sydney Harbor in March, David Coulthard will do the honors this Sunday in Istanbul ahead of August's first ever Turkish grand prix.

The Scot, in his 2005 Red Bull contender, will drive over the famous Bosphorus Bridge, which links Asia with Europe.

The Bosphorus provides a stunning view of the historic city's palaces, mosques, skyscrapers and ancient city walls.

F1 scare in Turkey
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) Security fears have been sparked after fifteen suspicious barrels were found near Istanbul's new F1 circuit.

The 'Kuwait news agency' reported that the barrels, about four kilometers from the Istanbul track, were filled with 'suspected materials.'

The site was sealed off and samples of the unidentified materials were set to be tested.

Turkey's first ever grand prix will be staged at the Istanbul F1 circuit next month.

Vote for F1's '06 qual-format
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) After 93,000 fans responded to the FIA's recent survey, F1 is set to again use the internet to gauge the popularity of proposed new qualifying formats.

On F1's official website, two proposals have been published, apparently to collect fans' opinions on a system to replace the unloved single-lap technique next year.

''The ... teams have come up with ideas for possible 2006 qualifying formats,'' the item - asking for an online vote - read.

'Proposal 1' is a 60-minute, unlimited lap session, in which drivers must set at least one time in both halves.

In 'Proposal 2', the 'knockout' session is split into three, with the five slowest cars after 15 minutes eliminated, and again at half way.

In the final, half-hour portion, the remaining ten cars - with unlimited laps - will compete for the top spots.

Both proposals feature 'no fuel restrictions'.

Albers to burn rubber
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) Minardi rookie Christijan Albers will next month burn Formula One rubber on the streets of Rotterdam.

The Dutchman, 26, is scheduled to drive his black Formula One car in the city on 7 August, at an event to be known as 'Maasside Monaco'.

''It's a great opportunity for me to give my fans something back,'' Eindhoven-born Albers said.

''I'll ask my team to bring as many sets of tires possible, because I'm planning to leave a lot of rubber!''

London grand prix doubted
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) F1 pundit and former driver Martin Brundle doubts that London will ever stage a grand prix.

The Englishman rejected the hypothesis that the capital city's successful 2012 Olympic bid had boosted the probability of a F1 street race.

''I struggle to see how anybody will find the funding to create a temporary (circuit),'' the 45-year-old told ITV, ''and the necessary (F1) fees.''

Brundle also winced at the 'horrendous' costs and logistics of closing down a significant chunk of bustling London.

Meanwhile, the former McLaren and Jordan driver shed some light on Williams' mystifying lack of speed in recent races.

Martin referred to the 'relationship breakdown' between Frank Williams' team and departing engine partner BMW.

''The other teams have moved on,'' he said, ''and (BMW-Williams) have lost momentum and cohesion as a partnership.''

Schu shelves title talk
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) Michael Schumacher has dismissed title talk as 'not the next step' for crisis-struck Ferrari.

The seven time world champion said that, rather than also dream of a seventh consecutive constructors' triumph, the Scuderia's focus is on 'improving our race pace.

''We have to change the recent trend of developing in the wrong direction,'' Germany's Schumacher, 36, added.

Fear not, though, waver of Prancing Horse flags -- 'Schumi' said the scarlet team will 'survive' the leanest lean patch for a decade.

He told his personal website: ''None of us are new to this. All is not lost yet.''

F1's next step, regulations
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) With political genocide on the way to recovery, the next step for F1 is to shape the regulations for 2008 and beyond.

Max Mosley's governing FIA has already issued draft rules for review, but the onion in the ointment is the majority of teams' current focus on doing the same -- for a rival 'breakaway' series.

The teams' regulations are due for release in the next weeks.

However, while it may appear that the two sides are charging in opposite directions, key technical directors have revealed that the FIA and the teams' proposals have much in common.

''Some of the (ideas) are fairly similar,'' McLaren designer Adrian Newey commented.

The Englishman, clearly referring to Max's planned '10 per cent' downforce chop, added: ''Others are very different.''

Toyota's Mike Gascoyne agreed that there is 'a lot in common' between the carmaker-led proposals and Max Mosley's.

''So that ought to be a basis for discussion,'' he remarked.

''We're only going to come up with the best regulations for F1 if we're all talking together.''

Ferrari fault is black, round
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) If one word could sum up Ferrari's '05 crisis, it would be: 'tires'.

That clear cut assessment, though, is not fair, according to Michelin clad McLaren's 'F1 CEO' Martin Whitmarsh.

He told Autosport that he thinks the French made Michelin is a quicker tire than Bridgestone's at present.

''On the other hand,'' Whitmarsh insisted, ''I don't think the performance deficit of Ferrari is wholly attributable to tires.''

Rather, the problem - or benefit - is strategy, he added.

Michelin's strategy was to stroll into F1 and sign as many teams as possible. Ferrari, and Bridgestone, saw the situation as an opportunity to unite and form a near 'exclusive' relationship.

Whitmarsh said: ''At the moment ... perhaps Michelin have got the strategy right.''

Spanish scorcher
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) Silverstone winner Juan Pablo Montoya returned to the top of F1's pecking order at Jerez.

On another hot Spanish test day, the McLaren driver from Colombia outpaced runners for BAR-Honda, Sauber, Renault, Toyota, Red Bull and BMW-Williams.

The three-day session is the last before the summer test ban.

Brazil's Felipe Massa provided the high speed scare of Thursday when a left rear wheel rim failure put him into the barriers at turn five.

It spoiled Sauber's run, but the car will be repaired for the arrival of Jacques Villeneuve.

''Most importantly,'' said engineer Paul Russell, ''Felipe is ok.''

At Paul Ricard in the south of France, Ferrari plugged ahead with Spanish tester Marc Gene, who'll be replaced by Michael Schumacher on Friday.

Jordan, with Narain Karthikeyan and Robert Doornbos, also got going at the sunny circuit. Tiago Monteiro will drive on Friday.

Full-stop for Indy fiasco
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) F1 should 'draw a line underneath' the disastrous Indy saga after the FIA agreed to flip over a recent 'guilty' verdict against teams.

''It was a good outcome,'' Michelin clad Red Bull's Christian Horner told The Times after the Senate met in Monaco.

''Now we need to make sure (a similar-to-Indy situation) doesn't happen again.''

The thawing relations between Max Mosley and the disgruntled team contingent, meanwhile, may also have an effect on the 2006 calendar, according to The Guardian newspaper.

An 'FIA source' said: ''I think this now clears the way for next year's US grand prix.''

Horner, meanwhile - solely representing Dieter Mateschitz's independent thinking outfit - refused to weigh in on the Paul Stoddart-like argument that Mosley should resign for F1's sake.

''It is a difficult one,'' he told Autosport. ''It is a question of who could do the job better? Nobody stands out.''

Symonds' champions
(GMMf1NET -- Jul.15) Pat Symonds is on course to completing a remarkable hat trick.

Should Fernando Alonso grab the drivers' title this year, he'll be the third world champion Symonds, 52, has worked with at the team in his 24-year Formula One career.

Pat, 52, joined Toleman in 1981, and - in 1984 - had a young Ayrton Senna under his wing.

A decade later, back to back champion Michael Schumacher, driving for the same team that had been renamed Benetton, departed for Ferrari.

Nelson Piquet, incidentally, had won his three titles before going to Benetton in 1990.

Today, ten years after Schumacher's triumph, Alonso drives an Enstone-built Renault.

''With Senna I knew very quickly that he would become a great champion,'' Symonds told the German 'Kicker' magazine.

He remarked: ''I felt the same with Fernando -- I know he will become world champion. What I don't know is when.''

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