Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
August 21, 2005

Rubens right to quit Ferrari
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) Former racer and respected TV pundit Martin Brundle reckons Rubens Barrichello, an old Jordan teammate, is right to quit Ferrari.

The Briton told the 'Sunday Times' newspaper that although the Brazilian had a contract for 2006, next year would have been a 'bad time' for a 33-year-old to be on the market.

''He could well have found himself running out of options,'' said Brundle, ''because just about everybody is out of contract (then).''

The retired ex-McLaren and Benetton star refers to the expiring deals of Kimi Raikkonen, Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya and Fernando Alonso.

Brundle, though - like much of the F1 paddock - is less convinced of Barrichello's compatriot and Ferrari replacement, Brazilian Felipe Massa.

He said the 24-year-old might not be 'ready for the spotlight.

''Long term,'' Martin wondered, ''surely Ferrari have to be looking to scoop up an Alonso or a Raikkonen.''

Alonso vows to beat Kimi
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) Fernando Alonso has vowed to try and beat title rival Kimi Raikkonen in the Turkish grand prix, even if a solid points finish will be good enough.

Renault's leading Spaniard, third on the virginal grid to his McLaren rival's pole, admitted the dilemma of wanting to win but not having to.

''It is not easy to manage,'' the 24-year-old said in Istanbul, ''but we do want to beat him. I think it's the only way to be sure of the championship.''

At present, McLaren's Silver car has the legs on the Renault R25. ''When we can't win,'' Fernando agreed, ''we have to think about scoring points.''

Is Turkey one of those occasions?

Alonso answered: ''I think we have a good chance (to win) -- the car is competitive here.''

Turkey wants Olympics
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) With a lauded formula one venue and grand prix in the bag, Turkey is now on a charge to bring the Olympic Games to the country.

Murat Yalcintas, president of the Istanbul chamber of commerce which financed the $230 million 'Otodrom' in Tuzla, said F1 is bettered only by the four-yearly Olympics.

Turkey, despite four bids, has never hosted a Games.

Circuit 'getting bumpier'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) F1's newest eye-popping corner will become even more challenging as the first ever Turkish grand prix gets underway.

That is the warning of Jenson Button, whose charge for a top-three qualifying spot went begging after he bottomed out over a bump in the never-ending, high-G turn-8.

''It is getting bumpier, definitely,'' said the BAR driver.

''When there's 58 laps and 20 cars going round it's going to be pretty tough for the circuit.''

Button, 25, said his car did not hit a bump in turn-8 prior to qualifying, but - even so - he refused to blame anyone.

''It's my fault,'' said the Englishman, ''it's my mistake.''

JB also predicted a tough race for a formula one field that is not used to a very long and quick left hand corner.

''Today I'm slightly feeling it in my neck,'' he said on Saturday. ''I'm sure we're going to feel it (in the race).''

JB 'needs to concentrate'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) In Istanbul, Jenson Button baulked at triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart's alleged criticism that the BAR racer spends too much time enjoying a rich man's nightlife.

''He needs to concentrate,'' the 66-year-old Scot had said.

''He needs to win a race,'' Stewart's quotes in 'The Scotsman' newspaper continued.

Sir Jackie, who collected the pinnacle of motor sport's biggest prize in 1969, 1971 and 1973, reckons the field of his day - including Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Emerson Fittipaldi and Niki Lauda - were 'committed, dedicated and professional.

''We didn't have the distractions you have these days with parties and girls.''

Indeed, the newspaper recalled one phone conversation with F1's fastest ladies man -- Eddie Irvine. The journalist heard female giggles in the background.

''Go on then, put her on,'' he urged.

''Okay,'' Irvine replied. ''I've got three. Which one would you like to speak to first?''

Webber 'positive' about '06
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) In Turkey, the grand prix rumor mill is again suggesting that Flavio Briatore's 2006 Renault 'dream team' is Fernando Alonso and ... Mark Webber.

But the 28-year-old Australian, who joined Williams amid much fanfare and excitement this year, is - he insists - staying put. Even Sir Frank's loss of works BMW power doesn't faze him.

''I see it (as) very positive,'' he told f1.com when asked about the new customer Cosworth deal. ''Sometimes a small organization can be more flexible and responsive than a large one.''

Surely, though, Williams effectively becoming a privateer team - much like Jordan, Red Bull or Minardi - can not really be a positive thing? For a start, the Grove crew's budget is sure to shrink.

''Small is good,'' Mark insisted, ''and manufacturers sometimes get it wrong as well. We'll be controlling our own fate.

''Overall, I see the ... development (as a) big advantage for the sport as a whole.''

Schu 'guru' races out of F1
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) For the last time ever on Sunday, Michael Schumacher 'guru' Balbir Singh will whisper 'good luck' in the German champion's ear before a grand prix.

Turkey is the last blast for the Ferrari driver's personal physiotherapist, masseuse, dietician and 'spiritual guide.'

India-born Singh, 41, is a rare and 'true friend,' Michael said in Istanbul on Saturday.

Asked if he had any parting words for Singh, Schumacher replied: ''Only private ones.'

''The most important thing is that we'll be friends for a long time.''

Probably also dampening the seven time world champion's mood was his sluggish Ferrari, that he said would have lined up around seventh on the grid. But he spun in the notorious turn-8 and - instead - will struggle for a point.

''I don't know why but it seemed trickier to drive in qualifying,'' the German lamented.

''We are too slow -- we are lacking the grip from the tires. I would be pretty happy to be in the points but I think tenth is more likely.''

Midland 'talking to' Davidson
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) Jordan team owner Alex Shnaider has confirmed that Anthony Davidson tops the list of potential drivers for the rebranded 'Midland' team in 2006.

The Russian born billionaire told the Turkish Press in Istanbul that the Briton and long time BAR tester, whose contract expires next month, is a 'very talented' F1 driver.

Shnaider said: ''He would come to us with a lot of ... experience with a very good team. We are talking to him.''

Fisi does not regret move
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) Giancarlo Fisichella says he does not regret leaving Sauber to join Renault in 2005.

The Roman disagrees with former boss Peter Sauber that the switch to the seat alongside likely new champion Fernando Alonso had devalued him.

''Peter is a fantastic person,'' 32-year-old Fisichella said on his website, ''but if I had stayed there I would not have scored the pole position and win in Australia and would not have contributed to Renault's leading position in the constructors' championship.''

It is true, though, that Fisichella - who has endured a nightmare season at the Flavio Briatore-led outfit - would almost certainly have found himself in a plum BMW drive for 2006 had he not left Sauber.

Massa gets Michelin 'ban'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) Michelin has banned Felipe Massa from doing any more tire testing this season after it was revealed that the young Brazilian would drive Ferrari's Bridgestone clad racer at Monza next week.

The French marque's Pierre Dupasquier said Michelin could not 'legally' prevent the 24-year-old from trying the scarlet car - which has struggled for grip in 2005 - and leaking secret information.

''But we are not happy about this,'' the Frenchman told Autosport.

''He will not carry out any (more) tire testing for Michelin.''

Minardi to run in Adelaide
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) Adelaide's skies will again resonate to the tones of formula one power next March when a Minardi two-seater runs around the old Australian grand prix street circuit.

Team owner Paul Stoddart's new domestic airline, OzJet - although perhaps not to be based in the South Australian city - will be one end of the vital Melbourne-Adelaide route.

OzJet CEO Hans van Pelt confirmed to the Advertiser newspaper that the two-seater would run during the V8 Supercar race event next March.

''It's a sound Adelaide remembers well,'' he added.

'What's next, Bernie?'
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) Bernie Ecclestone is 'over the moon' with Turkey's new F1 circuit, which he says is a rival to the much loved Spa-Francorchamps.

The F1 supremo's comments, though, might be taken as an insult by designer Hermann Tilke, who also penned Malaysia, Bahrain, Shanghai and the modified Hockenheim track.

74-year-old Bernie said the sport 'at last' has a layout to 'sort the men from the boys.'

He insisted: ''This is certainly a Spa-type ... circuit which is what the drivers want and what we want.''

The $64,000 question now, then, is what - or where - is next on Ecclestone's global radar for F1 to conquer. Mexico, with a race in Cancun, has been tipped as a front runner, as has South Africa.

''Nice places,'' Bernie giggled. ''No idea.''

And for how long will the F1 circus continue to return to Turkey?: ''Forever -- don't worry.''

'Dentist' Kolles fixes rookie
(GMMf1NET -- Aug.21) Tiago Monteiro was still suffering from a painful toothache prior to qualifying in Turkey.

Believe it or not, though, his controversial Jordan boss - Colin Kolles - was to the rescue. Kolles, originally from Romania, is actually a trained and experienced dentist.

According to a source in Istanbul, Kolles performed a root canal on the pained Portuguese driver, who has been unable to sleep at night.

''When I get out of the car,'' 28-year-old Tiago said earlier, ''(the pain) haunts me.''

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