Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
September 5,  2005

Schu hands crown to Alonso
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.5) Michael Schumacher's run of five world championships came to a depressing end on Sunday as, for the Tifosi to see first hand, he failed even to drive into the points with his Ferrari.

''You do not need to be very prophetic to say that the championship is over for me,'' said the 36-year-old. Prophecy, though, has nothing to do with it -- mathematically, it all came crumbling down at the Autodromo.

German born Schumacher then handed the torch on to 2005 champion elect, Fernando Alonso.

''For me, this topic is over,'' said Michael, dismissing the slim possibility that Kimi Raikkonen could still grab it.

''But I am not in pain, I'm ok! If I was angry and not tolerant of this then I would be a bad loser. My run of success had to end at some point.

''Of course I am not happy but we can't change it now. We were a bit better here than Turkey and now we have to see what we can do about Spa.''

Ferrari rule out tire switch
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.5) Luca di Montezemolo has ruled out the possibility that Ferrari could switch from uncompetitive Bridgestone tires to F1 pacesetter Michelin.

''We would not consider (it),'' the Maranello based marque's president said at Monza.

He told Autosport: ''We have done well together and we have done not well together.''

Di Montezemolo also rejected cementing speculation that some sort of document - perhaps a letter of intent - has been signed by Kimi Raikkonen regarding a 2007 switch.

''I've heard so many rumors in my time as Ferrari chairman,'' the Italian grinned, ''including Senna and so many others. Our first choice is Michael Schumacher.''

Top dog - McLaren or Renault?
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.5) Flavio Briatore sees Renault, not McLaren, as F1's team of the year.

The Enstone based boss said it is 'amazing' that Renault, even without the quickest car, is still eight and 27 points respectively in charge of both constructors' and drivers' world titles in 2005.

''McLaren spend twenty per cent more money than us,'' Italy's Briatore told the 'Welt' newspaper, ''but they are unable to bring the car of their title candidate (Kimi Raikkonen) to the end of each race.''

Briatore also marvels at how, after just a few years back in charge - and in the fourth year of full Renault team ownership - it is his camp, and not McLaren, about to unseat Michael Schumacher and Ferrari as championship winners.

He continued: ''It doesn't matter if (McLaren's) problems are technical failures, driver errors, whatever.

''The fact is, McLaren tried for five years to steal the throne. With a completely new team, we are closer to doing it than they've ever been.''

Pizzonia wants race return
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.5) Monza 'supersub' Antonio Pizzonia hopes that a points finish in Nick Heidfeld's Williams seat proves that he should be on the racing grid in formula one.

The Brazilian, dragged out of bed just half an hour before free practice on Saturday, said he does not want to just test for the Grove team next year.

''I need a new challenge,'' Pizzonia told reporters. ''We are talking to a few teams.''

Pizzonia, who turns 25 in a few days' time, was dumped by Jaguar in 2003, ironically alongside Mark Webber, with whom he also shared a sister car in Sunday's Italian event.

He failed to find a lot of sympathy for Webber's troubled Monza race. ''Today it was his turn,'' said 'Jungle Boy', who does not get along with his Aussie teammate.

F1, without a single driver
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.5) Some day in the future, it may be possible for formula one designers to rid the car of a big chunk of ballast -- the driver.

''We would be very happy to regulate that,'' FIA president Max Mosley told The Globe And Mail newspaper at Monza.

Don't worry, however, if you only tune in to the pinnacle of motor sport to see how Raikkonen, Schumacher and Alonso - rather than McLaren, Ferrari and Renault - are faring.

Mosley knows what you mean.

''We need the driver to stay in control,'' the governing body's boss agreed. ''(F1) has been for drivers since 1950.''

Indeed, that's exactly why the FIA is on a charge to reduce the influence of electronic technology. Williams' Sam Michael admits that, with a blank book of rules, it 'would not be such a difficult task' to ultimately develop a driverless car.

On the other end of the scale is a French 71-year-old F1 journalist called Renaud de LaBorderie. Unlike his laptop-mob colleagues, he types everything on a typewriter.

''I'm the last of the Mohicans,'' he grinned, recalling the Bahrain grand prix where a power outage meant that he was the only hack able to compile a report.

Schu should have quit
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.5) Michael Schumacher should have retired as an F1 world champion.

That's the claim of Sir Jackie Stewart, who did just that at the end of the 1973 season.

''Raikkonen is now the fastest driver in the world,'' Stewart - who celebrating 40 years since his first ever GP win, said at Monza.

''(Kimi) has already taken over the position of the dominant driver, even ahead of Schumacher and (Fernando) Alonso.''

66-year-old Stewart says Schumacher, although a seven time champion, must now slog it out in 2006 if he wants to retire as the sport's leading man.

He added: ''Sport is cruel.

''Suddenly someone else is the man and you are being judged on what you last did.''

No tears as Rubens departs
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.5) Rubens Barrichello's was a bittersweet departure from Monza as a Ferrari driver on Sunday.

Not only will the Brazilian never race in front of the Tifosi again, he's also looking forward to leading BAR - after years as Michael Schumacher's number-2 - in 2006.

Asked if he had 'tears in his eyes' as he crossed the Monza checker, 33-year-old Barrichello replied: ''Yes and no.''

Rubens told the Telegraph newspaper: ''I'm also looking forward to a new way of life.''

Clearly, something soured in Barrichello's relationship with the Scuderia this year. Rubens has continually hinted that Schumacher was the problem.

He said Ferrari was always 'Michael's team.

''We went out a few times with our wives, but I wouldn't say we became great friends,'' Barrichello told the News Of The World newspaper.

Rubens said he is closer to his mechanics, for example, than the seven time world champion. ''I know everything about them, about their children,'' he continued.

''Michael does not have that same relationship.''

Luckiest man to lift F1 title
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.5) Kimi Raikkonen says he could have salvaged the title fight by winning the Italian grand prix.

However, yet again, luck was not on the Finn's side. On Saturday, his Mercedes engine - not for the first time in 2005 - let him down. On Sunday it was a Michelin tire.

''I don't like to talk about luck,'' the 25-year-old McLaren driver groaned at Monza, ''but I believe in my heart that if it had not been for the problem I would've won.''

Instead, a 27 point gap - equating to the best part of 7 points per race - stands between himself and Renault rival Fernando Alonso with four rounds to run. In other words, it's basically all over.

On the other side of the coin is a man that could be aptly nicknamed 'Fortunate Fernando'. The young Spaniard always seems to be in exactly the prime spot to benefit from McLaren and Raikkonen's race misadventures.

Alonso doesn't really agree: ''Maybe I'm unlucky. His engine could his broken in the race and had zero points. If the race was one lap longer maybe Montoya's tire would have burst and I would have won.

''I have 103 points and I got them myself.''

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