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Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
September 2,  2005


No tobacco at Monza
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) A local Italian court has made it clear that tobacco advertising will not be permitted at the grand prix in Monza.

Judge Antonio Garzon said the recent European ban would force teams, like Maranello based Ferrari, to remove cigarette names and logos from their formula one racers.

''(It is not permitted) either on the cars or the official uniforms,'' Garzon added.

On track, an afternoon shower - but a warm 30 degrees - is expected at the 'Autodromo Nazionale' on Friday. A lovely Saturday and grand prix Sunday, however, are tipped.








Japanese to get Jordan run
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Japanese Formula Nippon driver Sakon Yamamoto will steer Jordan's 'Friday' car at Suzuka next month.

The 23-year-old will test the car at Silverstone, where Jordan is based, on 13 September, the 'Midland' owned team announced on Thursday.

It will be Toyota backed Yamamoto's first taste of F1.

''I'm optimistic he'll be very significant in the future of Japanese motorsport,'' said team boss Colin Kolles.

Yamamoto said his 'goal' is a regular seat on the grand prix grid.








Scott speeds into 2006
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) America's Scott Speed will be a full time formula one test driver next year after he extended his contract with the energy drink owned Red Bull team.

The aptly named 22-year-old, from California and currently full time in GP2, has occasionally tested the 2005 spec RB1 and ran on the Friday of the Canadian and US grands prix.

Speed's role will more than likely be at the wheel of the 'third' cockpit at all F1 races.

His 2006 deal includes 'performance-related options for the future,' Red Bull announced on Thursday at Monza.

''He's one of the strongest drivers to come out of the USA for a long time,'' said team principal Christian Horner. ''It was a natural decision to extend his contract.''

Speed is a product of Red Bull's search for a US-born F1 star.








Kimi 'unlikely' to win title
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Kimi Raikkonen is unlikely to win the 2005 drivers' championship.

That's the claim of his McLaren teammate, feisty Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, who reckons the constructors' trophy is a more tangible goal.

''I think the drivers' is a bit unlikely,'' Montoya said at Monza, ''but we've got the quickest car and we've got to try to win the constructors'.''

McLaren's advantage over every other car, including the Renault, is about one full second per lap. With that in mind, team 'F1 CEO' Martin Whitmarsh reckons one-two finishes between now and the Chinese finale are possible.

And he told Autosport: ''A single DNF could cost us the championship.''

Montoya, meanwhile, said he'll derive little pleasure if Raikkonen pulls off the '05 title. ''At the moment he looks a bit stronger than me,'' the 29-year-old admitted.

''If Kimi wins it's very good for him but my goal is to win the championship for the team.

''Then we'll see what next year brings.''








Safety concerns at Monza
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Michael Schumacher is concerned that safety at the high speed Monza circuit in Italy is lacking.

Ferrari's world champion driver is chiefly worried about the second chicane, where - in 2000 - a fire marshal died after a F1 pileup.

''We've been worried about it for many years,'' said Schumacher, 36 and president of the safety-concerned Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GDPA).

''We've been sending out notes about that chicane for a long time but I am always just hearing plans (for changes), not seeing action.''

The problem at the second chicane - where cars approach the braking zone at about 360km/h - is that, unlike the first chicane, there is not enough run off in the event of, for example, brake failure.








'Game over' for Schu at Monza
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Game Over. If Michael Schumacher's 2005 season was a computer game, then that is what the German would probably hear after the Monza race.

If title leader Fernando Alonso finishes ahead of the Ferrari charger in Italy, Schumacher can no longer count the drivers' title even as a 'mathematical' possibility.

''It's not something that happens overnight,'' the 36-year-old said, referring to the lost championship after an unbeaten run of five years.

''I am a realist and I know it's no longer possible to fight (for it). It's a surprise we got this far before being counted out of it.''

Fear not, though, Ferrari lovers. Michael says he'll be back out front next season, even if Bridgestone clearly have a lot of work to do.

Schumacher admitted: ''It is taking longer than we want (to recover), but I'm confident because - on the car side - we're not far off.'







FIA disappointed after summit
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Max Mosley described Wednesday's Milan meeting with F1 teams and manufacturers as 'constructive.'

That, for a sport deeply infected with seemingly intractable politics, is a start.

The FIA president told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper: ''We'll need more meetings to reach a definitive agreement, but I'm convinced that it's really possible to find a good deal.''

Mosley, indeed, is in Monza for that very reason.

At stake is common ground over regulations for 2008, after the governing body and the carmakers' 'GPMA' alliance separately drafted rules.

An FIA spokesman, however, revealed a little more than Mosley when he said the French body was 'slightly disappointed' with the proposals put on the table by the united teams and carmakers.

''But progress is being made,'' Autosport quoted him as saying.








Mansell returns
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell will soon return to the track as a 'Grand Prix Masters' driver.

Against fellow title winners like Emerson Fittipaldi and Alan Jones, the Englishman - fiercely competitive and winner of 31 grands prix - will get going in his 600hp single seater, for 45 year olds and up, in November 2005.

''Nothing will have changed the essence of competition that is so deeply ingrained in him,'' Sir Frank Williams - for whom Mansell won the title - told the Telegraph newspaper.

Alain Prost and Italy's Riccardo Patrese are also tipped to become Masters competitors.








Alonso has warning for Kimi
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Renault's title leader Fernando Alonso has ruled out beating the dominant McLarens at Monza.

The Spaniard, instead, set his sights for a podium in order to maintain his 'good situation' in the drivers' chase.

''Seriously,'' he told La Gazzetta dello Sport, ''I don't think we'll be able to win.''

Meanwhile, in the German 'Bild' daily, 24-year-old Alonso fired a clear warning in Kimi Raikkonen's direction.

''He is the only one who can beat me to the championship,'' Fernando said. ''If we should go wheel to wheel, I think it is more dangerous for Kimi because he has to win, not crash.''

In England's 'Sun' newspaper, Alonso's teammate - Roman Giancarlo Fisichella - reckons his Spanish cohort will 'deserve' the 2005 title.

But he warned: ''Next year I believe Renault will dominate again and then I can show what I can do for the team myself.''








Zanardi's in town
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Alex Zanardi is in town for Sunday's Italian grand prix at Monza.

The Italian, a former grand prix driver who lost his legs in an awful 2001 Champ Car smash, says his priority for the weekend is to catch up with former boss Frank Williams.

Zanardi, 38, was offered a go in Williams' current grand prix charger by engineering boss and co-owner Patrick Head.

''Absolutely, it's still going to happen,'' he told Autosport.

Earlier, Zanardi said he planned to demo the car at Indianapolis but forgot to phone the team to organize it.









Heidfeld fit after crash
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Nick Heidfeld says he is fully fit for the Italian grand prix despite a big crash at Monza last week.

Williams' German reportedly suffered a suspension failure at high speed during the test and later suffered from headaches.

''I'm ok now,'' he said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Britain's Autosport magazine, the 28-year-old German - who seems to want to switch to Sauber with BMW next year - urged Jenson Button to honor his 2006 contract to join Williams.

''If he doesn't it will create a big mess in formula one,'' said Nick, who could be forced to stay at the Grove team if Button finds a way to step out of his promise.







Second 'b' Jordan to miss Spa
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Narain Karthikeyan may be set for a frustrating start to September.

Sources close to Midland owned Jordan suggest that the Indian, in the regular 2005 car at Monza while teammate Tiago Monteiro debuts the 'b' version, could be forced to live with the same situation also at next Sunday's Spa event.

The Jordan sources say a second 'EJ15B' for 28-year-old Karthikeyan is being built, but may not be ready for the second part of the double header at Spa Francorchamps.

A debut in Brazil, though - they say - is a dead cert.

As to why Narain and Portugal's Monteiro can't simply swap cars for Spa, it is suggested that to disrupt the development of the 15B - ie. by changing drivers - is undesirable.








Buttongate 'talks' go on
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) 'Buttongate II' looks set to run a little longer yet.

The man in the middle, BAR driver Jenson Button, revealed at Monza that talks with Sir Frank Williams - about wanting out of his concrete 2006 contract - have been continuing behind the scenes.

''It's not just silence and a cut off,'' he told reporters.

25-year-old 'JB' admitted that making the mistake of signing for Williams before BMW vowed to pull out of the team in 2006 has landed him in a 'pretty disastrous' quandary.

Button remarked: ''Drivers can get forgotten very quickly, no matter how good you are. That's the big worry.''

He said he hopes the situation, so similar - but in reverse - to his 2004 scuffle, is resolved before the Chinese grand prix next month.








Schu hopes son plays golf
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) His father would prefer that Mick Schumacher is not a formula one world champion of the future.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher said at Monza for the high speed Italian grand prix that he would prefer that his young son pursue a career in golf.

His sentiments are echoed by Jarno Trulli, one of F1's new Dads.

''I would support him,'' the Toyota driving Italian said, ''but I'd prefer if he didn't.''

Another two F1 fathers, Giancarlo Fisichella and Juan Pablo Montoya, are actually keen to put their son onto a kart track. ''It would be nice,'' Renault's Fisichella admitted, ''if he followed me into motor sport and I helped him.''

Trulli, though, doesn't want to see little 'Enzo' have to face F1's pressure -- or the media.

''The media are not the most beautiful people in the world,'' he continued. ''It's a hard job, formula one.

''Swimming or tennis looks easier.''

Schumacher, meanwhile, shudders at the thought of a pack of pressmen around his son. ''Think about the pressure he would have to put up with to get out of my shadow,'' the seven time champion said.

''It's a heavy burden.

''I see no reason to push him towards racing unless he wants to.''








'I'll help Kimi' - Montoya
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.2) Giancarlo Fisichella, in the middle of a team orders row since Turkey, says Renault teammate Fernando Alonso won't now need any more help to become 2005 world champion.

''He has a good gap,'' the 32-year-old Roman said at Monza.

Although race altering team orders are banned by the FIA, though, there is very little way to either prevent, or prove, that they are being employed.

In Hungary, for example, Juan Pablo Montoya let McLaren cohort Kimi Raikkonen past so the Finn could maximize a different strategy. ''In a way I handed it to him,'' 29-year-old Montoya admitted on Thursday.

''But we would've looked silly if Michael had gone and won it. If something like that comes up, then - yeah - but that's as far as it goes.''

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