Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
September 13,  2005

Liuzzi wants Brazil ride
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.13) Vitantonio Liuzzi is hopeful of returning to the grand prix grid at the Brazilian GP.

The Italian, who has spent the majority of the season in Red Bull's 'Friday' car, is tipped to finally swap roles with Christian Klien following the Austrian's 12-GP tenure.

''I think the decision will be made next week,'' Liuzzi revealed in Belgium last weekend.

'Tonio', though, is likely to have heaved a sigh of relief given the energy drink company's purchase of Minardi. He is, at least, all but guaranteed some sort of berth in grands prix next year.

''As far as I know, I have a chance (to race in Brazil),'' Liuzzi added.

Sato's slip supported
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.13) BAR boss Nick Fry has leapt to Takuma Sato's defense after the Japanese driver was slammed by Michael Schumacher.

Ferrari's German champion, who also slapped Sato's visor at Spa Francorchamps, accused the 28-year-old of 'Hara-Kiri' after they clashed on Sunday.

''Clearly, Takuma made a mistake,'' the team principal said.

''Michael has made his fair share, so I don't think it's very fair to say that kind of thing.''

Fry's Ferrari counterpart, Jean Todt, declined to comment on Schumacher's physical gesticulation by saying he had not seen the German slap Sato on the visor.

''To me it looked like he braked so early,'' Sato - who added that he did not hear what Schumacher said to him directly after the shunt - reported.

'Taku' added: ''He just flapped my visor. After that I didn't have a chance to speak to him.''

Ex F1 tester in hospital
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.13) Former F1 test driver Ryan Briscoe is in hospital this week after a spectacular shunt in Sunday's Indy Racing League race.

The young Australian, who last year was part of Toyota's formula one lineup, somehow emerged mostly unscathed despite a fiery 320kmh flip on the Chicagoland oval that left his open wheeler split in half.

Briscoe smashed against the outer fencing when he tangled wheels with Alex Barron while overtaking.

He is suffering from concussion, two broken collarbones, a bruised lung and contusions to his legs and arms.

''I'm doing just fine,'' Ryan, who will stay in hospital for a few more days, said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Britain's Dan Wheldon only has to start the next IRL race - at Watkins Glen - to be crowned champion.

Albers set for Midland job
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.13) F1 rookie Christijan Albers will switch from Minardi to Midland-owned Jordan for 2006 and 2007, according to the Netherlands' Algemeen Dagblad newspaper.

It is speculated that the 26 year old Dutchman's management swooped on the deal after the Red Bull-Minardi buyout made it clear that staying at the Faenza based camp was no longer an option.

Albers, the former DTM driver, tested a yellow Jordan contender late last year. Anthony Davidson, Ricardo Zonta, Franck Montagny and Tiago Monteiro are also linked with an '06 seat.

Team boss Colin Kolles told F1Racing.net that a contract is not yet signed, but he admitted: ''It is no secret that I want (him) in our team.''

Jordan-Midland's sporting director Johnny Herbert, meanwhile, told Autosport that final driver decisions about season 2006 would be made 'later rather than sooner.'

Trulli thumps Toyota
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.13) Jarno Trulli has lashed out at Toyota after he was ordered to try slick tires on the damp Belgian circuit on Sunday.

The Italian, who ultimately crashed at Spa in a collision with Tiago Monteiro, was running at the leading pace until the safety car came out amid the debris of Giancarlo Fisichella's Eau Rouge incident.

''The team's decision to put on slicks ... was a colossal absurdity,'' Trulli - who said he pleaded to remain on intermediate Michelins - told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

''The team robbed me of a podium.''

Trulli's teammate, though - Ralf Schumacher - declined to lambaste Cologne based Toyota, even though his similarly inspired run was also thwarted.

The German said he and Toyota took the decision 'together'.

''We got it wrong, and like everyone we expected the track to dry out a lot faster. They got one thing wrong.''

Montoya 'not ready for title'
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.13) Former Jordan designer Gary Anderson says Juan Pablo Montoya is not yet world champion material.

The ex-technical director told Irish channel 'Setanta' that Montoya's crash with a lapped Antonio Pizzonia at Spa Francorchamps demonstrated an 'immaturity' in the Colombian's F1 approach.

''He's still not ready to be a world champion,'' said Anderson.

''He makes too many mistakes.''

Anderson rejected the explanation that Pizzonia, Williams' substitute driver, actually drove into the second placed McLaren star in Belgium.

He retorted: ''Montoya was in a great position to help Kimi (Raikkonen's) world title hopes, but he let Pizzonia make a mistake which took him out -- he's like a magnet to aggro.

''He was involved in a similar incident with (Tiago) Monteiro recently. You've got to look after yourself. You don't start taking stupid risks.''

'Cruise and collect' Fernando
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.13) Renault has rejected reports that formula one champion-elect Fernando Alonso is now in 'cruise and collect' mode as the 2005 title battle winds down.

Even the most cursory glance at the Spaniard's comments after his run to second place behind Kimi Raikkonen at Spa seems to back the claim -- 'no need to risk', 'just backed off', 'on the safe side'.

His Enstone based team, however, published a 'Monday Debrief' denying that the 24-year-old is now happy to sacrifice race wins for mere points.

''As ever in formula one,'' the document read, ''the gap between truth and appearances (is) wide.''

In the statement, Alonso said his R25 was 'very difficult' to drive. ''I had a couple of really big slides in Eau Rouge,'' he added, referring to the high speed corner at which Giancarlo Fisichella crashed.

Alonso, Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen will this week test at Silverstone in England.

Elsewhere, Renault's Pat Symonds admitted that although the drivers' prize got 'damned close' to within Alonso's grasp in Belgium, 'you should never count your chickens.

''We have got to focus on the constructors' -- it will go to the wire. It will be hard; it's hard to beat someone who's quicker than you.''

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