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