Latest F1 news in brief
by Andrew Maitland
October 6,  2005

'Schu talks tough in Tokyo
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Michael Schumacher talked tough when he urged Bridgestone employees to help Ferrari fight out of the competitive ditch it finds itself in this year.

The German, as well as teammate Rubens Barrichello and boss Jean Todt, visited the tire company's Tokyo base ahead of Sunday's Japanese grand prix.

''It is during these tough moments that you show what you can do,'' 36-year-old Schumacher told a Q&A session for employees. ''Can we fight or not?

''Are we motivated or not?

''There is a saying: 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going'.''

BAR-bound Barrichello, meanwhile, was moved nearly to tears when Bridgestone CEO Shigeo Watanabe gave him a trophy commemorating his record as the longest-serving F1 driver on the Japanese rubber.

''This is an emotional moment for me,'' the Brazilian admitted.

The silver plate's inscription made mention of Bridgestone's 'sincere gratitude' for Rubens' contribution to tire development since the marque entered formula one eight years ago.

Renault dumps Montagny
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Renault has dumped Franck Montagny, after the Frenchman served as F1 test driver for three years.

In a statement posted on his website, the 27-year-old said he would now intensively negotiate with Jordan-Midland, after he 'Friday' drove the yellow car at the Nurburgring.

''(The test) was said to be an excellent job by team manager Mr. Colin Kolles,'' the statement read, ''however his F1 future will also need the financial support of ... partners.''

Montagny's statement also laid out the 'great disappointment' of missing out on the Renault race drive to Jacques Villeneuve late last year.

The news is almost certainly to the benefit of young GP2-driving Finn Heikki Kovalainen, Renault's top young development driver and favorite to land the 2006 test seat.

Rossi to test rally car
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Valentino Rossi's four-wheeled exploits will soon turn to rally cars, when the MotoGP champion tests a Subaru.

Spain's 'AS' newspaper said the 26-year-old might even race the world rally-spec Impreza in November's Monza event.

It is revealed that Rossi, who entered the British rally two years ago, visited Subaru HQ in late July and may have settled a test for the blue machine.

''My interest in rallying never gets as many headlines as my interest in formula one,'' said the colorful Italian.

'AS' added that Rossi might even contest more than one rally.

Heidfeld 'still injured'
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Nick Heidfeld says he is still injured and that is why he will not race again for Williams.

The German, who pulled out of the Monza event in September after a high speed shunt, explains that he was subsequently struck by a motorbike while cycling in Switzerland.

Although conspiracy theorists insist that Heidfeld's absence has more to do with BMW/Williams politics than a broken shoulder, 'Quick Nick' begs to differ.

''I can still apply only 50 per cent of my usual strength in the simulator,'' the 28-year-old told Motorsport Aktuell.

''If I try to make jerky movements, I have no force at all.''

Heidfeld, who will drive for the new BMW works team next year after steering a BMW-powered Williams in 2005, insisted that he can also hardly move his left ring-finger.

He revealed that he had entered into 'intensive negotiations' with BAR-Honda about 2006, but instead opted to accompany compatriot carmaker BMW to Hinwil based Sauber.

Second Indian racing to F1
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) A second Indian driver may soon be knocking on the door of the pinnacle of world motor sport.

On the shirt tails of Jordan driver Narain Karthikeyan's 2005 debut, Karun Chandhok moved a step closer to the sport this week by signing a management deal with CSS Stellar. Like Juan Pablo Montoya, the 21-year-old's manager will be Julian Jakobi.

A 'CSS' statement said Chandhok - representing India in the A1 series - had been singled out as 'one of the leading young talents in motor sport'.

World rally star Sebastian Loeb and IRL champion Dan Wheldon are also managed by the sports management company, as were formula one legends Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

''My goal is to reach the top of the ladder of motor sport,'' said Chennai born Chandhok.

Red Bull rip Japan
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Japan is an 'unusual' place, according to Red Bull's now traditionally comical and culturally critical F1 'preview'.

While Tokyo is a bit like the movie Blade Runner, the formula one team's creative PR department muses, Suzuka itself - scene of the weekend's grand prix - does not feature on the tourist map.

''Unless you happen to be into heavy industrial machinery,'' it read.

The Red Bull preview amusingly recalls a Japanese cover band 'with Elic Crapton' on guitar, and warned taller Europeans to watch their step on the way into a traditional restaurant.

''Enter these establishments with an open mind,'' it advised, then added of the very low doorways: ''Taller ones ... might do this unwittingly.

''Most food here is delicious, but occasionally you will taste something that makes you wish you had eaten the plastic replica in the window.''

Piquet 'lives' for F1 dream
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Nelson Piquet Jr, just like his father nearly three decades ago, has only one life ambition -- to conquer formula one.

The Brazilian, who was recently the class of the inaugural 'A1 grand prix' field at Brands Hatch, is a step or two away from emulating his triple champion Dad and graduating to the big league.

''Getting into formula one is my dream,'' said the 20-year-old, a regular in the GP2 paddock and who has tested a Williams.

''It's what I live for.''

So how long might it take for Brazil's 'Nelsinho' to break into grand prix racing with what he describes as a 'solid' seat.

''It can take a year,'' he told the Guardian, ''it can take four years. It is going to happen as the results come.''

Alonso is 'a new Michael'
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Flavio Briatore is not the only observer who thinks Fernando Alonso might prove a match for the achievements of formula one's most successful driver.

As the Renault boss gushes with plaudits for the youngest ever drivers' champion, so too do less biased eyewitnesses like Sir Frank Williams and David Richards.

''Fernando is a very deserving world champion,'' said Williams. ''He won his title by being quick enough always to be there, close enough to keep the pressure on the quicker McLarens, and able to take advantage of his position when they faltered.''

Former BAR chief Richards, meanwhile, now puts 24-year-old Alonso a cut above rivals like Kimi Raikkonen, and in the league of seven time world champion Michael Schumacher.

''If you'd asked me six months ago, I'd have said that Alonso and Raikkonen would emerge together,'' he remarked.

''But (in Fernando),'' DR added, ''I think we're witnessing the emergence of a new Michael.''

Frank and David, of course, will hear no argument about their claims from Briatore, Alonso's team boss and manager.

But, to the Guardian newspaper, Flav also pats himself on the back in reference to Alonso's triumphs.

''It is a feeling,'' said Briatore, ''to know which driver has the unique quality. You either have it or you don't -- and I have it.''

Mercedes boss wants F1 gong
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) The constructors' championship is an important trophy for McLaren-Mercedes to win, Mercedes' Norbert Haug insists.

After Renault boss Flavio Briatore earlier claimed that the drivers' crown is the only one worth winning, Germany's Haug told the 'SID' agency that the silver camp has a keen eye on the teams' gong.

The German smiled: ''Flavio doesn't want (the championship)? Then we'll gladly have it.

''It is the highest achievement a formula one team can reach,'' he added. ''It tells everyone that collectively we are the best and it also tells Stuttgart that our direction is right.''

McLaren has won nine grands prix to Renault's seven in 2005.

Carlos Pace
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Grand prix winner Carlos Pace was born sixty one years ago today.

The promising Brazilian got off to a good start in the 1977 championship, finishing second in Argentina and qualifying on the front row at Kyalami on the fifth of March.

Two weeks later, however, news struck that Pace, 32, had died in a light plane crash in his home city of Sao Paulo.

On a happier October 6, meanwhile, future world champion Nigel Mansell - also 32 - won his first of 31 career grands prix, in a Williams at Brands Hatch (1985).

Fisi to stay at Renault
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.6) Giancarlo Fisichella's manager has confirmed that the Roman will again drive for Renault in the 2006 season.

Asked by Italian business magazine 'Capital' if his 32-year-old formula one charge would stay at the same team next year, Enrico Zanarini reportedly replied 'Assolutamente' ('absolutely').

Meanwhile, buried in the title celebrations of his teammate Fernando Alonso, Fisichella - who had qualified well - put in a poor race performance at Interlagos a fortnight or so ago.

''Fisi did not have a great race,'' technical director Bob Bell admitted, ''but that just happens sometimes. He has clearly proved that he is as good as anybody on his day.''

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