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

Why rise to watch Schu?
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.16) Former world champion Michael Schumacher has ruled out even a podium place in today's final grand prix of 2005 in China.

The German, to start the Shanghai round from sixth, told reporters that Ferrari should expect 'no more than points' at the end of the race.

''Fourth to sixth, something like that,'' the 36-year-old added. ''A podium is unrealistic -- too much would have to happen in front of us.

''Perhaps I can fight with (Jenson) Button, but I think the rest will just drive away.''

Why on earth, then, would Italy's Tifosi, or Schumacher's German and European fans, bother to wake up so early on a Sunday morning to watch the grand prix?

''Rise, please!'' Michael grinned.

'''I don't think it will be as exciting as Suzuka,'' he warned, ''but the (constructors') title is still open and you might see some good (overtaking) moves.''

In all honesty, however, Schumacher might well be wishing he was all tucked up in his Swiss mansion and bed. ''With our current level of performance,'' Michael conceded, ''I'm glad the season is nearly over, honestly.''

'Flav' is 'Man of the Year'
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.16) According to F1's own daily paddock newspaper, Flavio Briatore is 'Man of the Year'.

The clever, Red Bull-produced 'Red Bulletin' named flamboyant 'Flav' - boss of the drivers' title winning Renault team - as the standout character of season '05.

An interview with the charismatic Italian had Briatore asking formula one to take 'a hard look at' itself.

''Let's work on our image,'' he urged. ''Let's put on a show. Formula One is complicated, but not as complicated as people would have us believe.

''Drivers must have fun. These are young people. I have never told my drivers what to say in an interview.''

White, blue and red for BMW
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.16) The works BMW cars will be painted white, blue and red in 2006, the F1 paddock has whispered.

Meanwhile, Williams' FW28 next year - after splitting with the Munich manufacturer - will probably be painted mostly blue, it is understood.

In its last blast, the BMW-Williams combination qualified a lowly tenth and thirteen for the Shanghai finale.

Asked if this was satisfactory, BMW motor sport director Mario Theissen - to probably lead the BMW-owned Sauber works team next season - answered: ''Of course not.''

The German added: ''It falls even lower than our expectations.''

Prost hits out at F1
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.16) Quadruple world champion Alain Prost has hit out at formula one, claiming that constant regulation changes keep the sport in a 'permanent state of conflict.'

The 50-year-old Frenchman, who also rain the ill-fated 'Prost Grand Prix' team in 1997-2001, told 'Le Monde' that his least favorite recent rule is the ten-grid penalty for a pre-race engine change.

''It is against the spirit of sport,'' he was quoted as saying by the French newspaper.

''Reliability is important during the race, not in qualifying.

''The consequence is we have a driver, Kimi Raikkonen, who has won more races than the world champion, Fernando Alonso.''

Fellow ex-driver and British F1 commentator, Martin Brundle, agrees that the sport is not making the most of all the paddock's talented minds.

''The sport's marketing and merchandising is poor,'' he told the 'Sunday Times', ''and the fight for control of (F1) ... has driven people to take a course of action they don't necessary believe is right.''

The former Jordan, Benetton and McLaren driver, 46, added: ''I think there are serious issues to be resolved.''

F1 'theme park' in Dubai
(GMMf1NET -- Oct.16) Speculation that F1 will soon be Dubai-bound was bolstered on Sunday when Bernie Ecclestone unveiled $360m plans for a 'Formula One World' theme park in the country.

The project, to be ready in 2008, will be located at Dubai's state of the art circuit.

''I have every confidence it will be an outstanding development,'' said Ecclestone, the F1 supremo, in Shanghai. He said Middle Eastern company 'Union Properties' would be involved.

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