Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
September 16,  2005

Rossi slams Ross Brawn
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has slammed as 'bullshit' Ross Brawn's claim that he'll test for Ferrari once a month in 2006.

The exciting Italian rider, who will probably wrap up the 2005 crown in Japan this weekend, said at Motegi that reports of an imminent switch to formula one are wide of the mark.

''For me it's very funny,'' Rossi said of the Ferrari technical director's once-a-month statement. ''For me, it's a lot of bullshit. For sure, I don't have time to do a lot of tests in the (Ferrari).''

The 26-year-old, though, has already found time for three days at Fiorano, and it is speculated that Felipe Massa's one-year deal is timed to coincide with the end of Rossi's 2006 Yamaha ride.

Valentino says he hasn't decided what the future might hold.

''I don't know if I go to the car,'' he continued. ''Maybe yes, but maybe no. Speaking about (F1) tests for me is like speaking in ten years. I don't know what I do next week.''

He insists that if he makes the four-wheeled switch, it'll be a clean break. ''But if I am (in MotoGP), I'm here to win,'' Rossi added.

''Maybe Ferrari need to speak with me because I know I haven't made any decision yet.

''Maybe I never race in formula one.''

Teams end testing week
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) Rain affected the last day - Thursday - of the Silverstone test.

Williams' Antonio Pizzonia led lingering runners for Red Bull, Toyota and Jordan ahead of the final 'flyaway' stint of the 2005 world championship.

The Brazilian tester staked a claim to keep Nick Heidfeld's fill-in drive by outpacing rival and rookie Nico Rosberg, but only by a few tenths.

At Barcelona (Spain), BAR wrapped up a lonely three-day program, during which a new aerodynamic and (Suzuka-spec) Honda engine package was trialed.

Similarly, Ferrari finished its own exclusive test at Jerez with Marc Gene, while at Fiorano (Italy), Luca Badoer shook down Brazil-bound cars.

Minardi sale to close avenue
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) Like it or not, the sale of Minardi will close off one more 'pay-drive' avenue onto the F1 grid.

Paul Stoddart's hard-up outfit - much like Jordan, too, in 2005 - usually turned to drivers who offer money first, and then talent second.

But new owner Red Bull, with its own junior driver program, intends to use its second team as a 'rookie' camp. ''The drivers will be there on merit,'' team boss Christian Horner told Reuters.

''Scott Speed is on that program because of his obvious talent, the same with (Italian) Vitantonio Liuzzi.''

This is, of course, a problem for the pinnacle of motor racing. Although some pay drivers are not worth their weight in sponsorship, it is true that Minardi - for example - opened the F1 door for names like Jarno Trulli, Mark Webber and likely 2005 world champion Fernando Alonso.

Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, made his F1 debut for Jordan in 1991 -- with $100,000 of sponsorship in tow.

Horner spelled out the real problem: ''I think there's a desperate lack of teams. In a perfect world there'd be two more.''

Meanwhile, American Scott Speed will race for his country's 'A1' team at the Brands Hatch opener next Sunday.

Ferrari take some blame
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) Ross Brawn agrees that Ferrari, and not only struggling tire supplier Bridgestone, should take some of the blame for the car's poor performance in 2005.

Although the Italian team's Japanese partner has copped a whacking this year, Brawn - the technical director - says the F2005 is also not up to scratch.

''The aerodynamic performance ... is not what we expected,'' he told Autosport.

Unlike its dominant predecessors, F2005 was principally penned not by Rory Byrne, but new boy Aldo Costa.

Brawn's Williams counterpart Sam Michael, though, goes even further in justification of boss Frank Williams' decision to switch from Michelin to Bridgestone next year.

The Australian does not necessarily agree that Bridgestone is as far behind Michelin clad Renault and McLaren as it appears.

''That's difficult to assess,'' Sam mused, ''because we don't know exactly where Ferrari's performance is at.''

Frank fried by former rival
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) Former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan has criticized Sir Frank Williams for not pushing harder to retain BMW's support.

The Irish ex-chief told F1 Racing magazine that 2006 customer supplier Cosworth do not have the clout to win on merit.

''I don't understand BMW and I certainly don't understand Frank,'' Jordan said. ''Cosworth ... can only build an engine with the cash that Williams pays them, which won't match a manufacturer's ... muscle.

''The more you spend, the quicker you go. Cash is king.''

EJ is critical of Frank and team co-owner Patrick Head's apparent refusal to negotiate with BMW. He suggests that the German carmaker might have stuck around if a share of the team had been put on offer.

He added: ''In the current climate, I'd rather be a 50 per cent part of something that's winning than 100 per cent of something that can't win.''

Yamamoto drive in doubt
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) Sakon Yamamoto's Suzuka participation as Jordan 'Friday' driver is in doubt after the Japanese Formula Nippon star struggled to come to terms with the F1 challenger.

At Silverstone this week, the lean 23-year-old floundered six seconds off the pace and admitted that rounding the quick corners was 'difficult'.

''I cannot put my foot down,'' Yamamoto, not used to the higher g-loads in grand prix racing, told Autosport magazine.

''The acceleration of the car is so much higher than I thought. At the moment, even opening my mouth hurts from all the acceleration and braking.''

Rosberg on Williams' 'list'
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) Sir Frank Williams has admitted that Nico Rosberg, son of Williams' 1982 champion Keke, stands a chance of debuting for the team in Japan and China.

The Grove based boss told The Guardian: ''Nico is on a list with quite a few other people.''

20-year-old Rosberg, German and not Finnish like his father, is a frontrunner in the GP2 category this year, effectively ruling him out for the upcoming Brazilian GP.

But Frank may use the opportunity of BMW-bound Nick Heidfeld's injuries to trial the youngster in the last two grands prix, although the seat is presently in the able hands of tester Antonio Pizzonia.

Williams admitted that 'quite a few variables' will be considered before Nico - or someone else - is given the nod. ''One of the variables,'' said the Briton, ''is obviously whether or not Nick is fit.

''No decision has yet been made.''

Minardi to stick with Cosworth
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) Red Bull has quashed speculation that new 'junior' team Minardi will also become Ferrari-powered from next year.

The energy drink company's motor sport advisor Helmut Marko, a former grand prix driver, insisted to Autosport that 'Red Bull Rookie' would stick with Paul Stoddart's signed-and-sealed Cosworth V10 deal, and therefore probably also the PS05 Minardi car.

''It wouldn't make sense,'' Austria's Marko told the magazine, ''to switch to Ferrari V10s next year. It's quite late in the year.

''The first thing is to make this car as reliable as possible, and then make it quicker.''

Minardi's big-brother team, Red Bull Racing, will use Ferrari's new 2.4 liter V8 in 2006.

EJ's Schu plea
(GMMf1NET -- Sep.16) Late last year, Eddie Jordan sat down and wrote seven time world champion Michael Schumacher an impassioned letter.

The former formula one team owner, who gave the great German his grand prix debut in 1991, wrote: ''No-one ever in the history of motor racing will ever achieve such a great target of seven world titles.

''Please go, go while you're on top.''

The Irish ex-chief told The Star: ''He never replied.''

Advice ignored, 'EJ' says Schumacher will probably never now catch up to F1's up-and-comers like Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.

Jordan, who sold his impoverished team ahead of the 2005 season, added: ''I'm a great believer in knowing when to leave something. It's very important that (Michael) doesn't leave it too late.''

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