Latest F1 news in brief – Friday

  • Schumacher family stops publication of hospital photos
  • F1 in shock as plane crash piles doubt on Russia GP
  • Raikkonen hits back at calls for Hockenheim ban
  • Uncertainty ends as all teams remove 'Fric'
  • Interwetten partners with Lotus F1 Team

Schumacher family stops publication of hospital photos
(GMM) With Michael Schumacher fighting for recovery in a Swiss clinic, his family has also been fighting on another front.

EFE news agency reports that the publisher Hubert Burda Media, owner of the German news weekly Bunte, has been legally banned by a Munich court from publishing certain photographs of Schumacher's wife Corinna.

The photos of Mrs. Schumacher were reportedly taken in Grenoble on January 3, the day the former Mercedes and Ferrari driver turned 45 whilst in a coma just days after his skiing accident.

The news agency said that, at lawyers representing the Schumacher family's instruction, the court found that the photos are private and therefore not eligible for publication.

A spokesman for Hubert Bunte Media said it will consider the ruling but probably appeal on the grounds that the judge did not properly assess its arguments.

EFE said Schumacher lawyers are also taking action against other media outlets in Cologne, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

F1 in shock as plane crash piles doubt on Russia GP
(GMM) The F1 paddock in Hockenheim has joined the rest of the world in shock at the terrible news emerging from violence-torn Ukraine.

Almost 300 people are dead after a Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed, apparently after the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down by a missile fired by pro-Moscow Russian separatists.

"The news has really got to me," Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde, a Dutchman, said on Twitter.

"I've been on a MH flight from Amsterdam to KL often. Thoughts go out to everyone involved."

The shocking development will put more pressure on organizers of October's inaugural Russian grand prix, who were already fending off rumors the deepening Crimean crisis could force the race's cancellation.

At least 27 Australians were on the doomed flight MH17, and federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has described their deaths as "murder".

Prime minister Tony Abbott, meanwhile, called on Russia to "fully cooperation in this investigation", even though his counterpart Vladimir Putin is clearly blaming Ukraine.

"Undoubtedly," he said, "the state on whose territory this happened is responsible for this awful tragedy."

Raikkonen hits back at calls for Hockenheim ban
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen has hit back after critics called on him to be banned for his British grand prix crash.

The Finn has recovered from a bruised ankle, knee and ribs after the 47G crash at Silverstone, in which Felipe Massa was also involved and Max Chilton's head narrowly avoided a flying tire.

"Why does he come in balls out like that and crash?" F1 legend Niki Lauda had said at Silverstone, referring to the way in which Raikkonen rejoined the circuit after running wide.

Jo Ramirez, the former McLaren team manager, said Raikkonen's driving was "ludicrous".

"He could have seriously hurt himself," the Mexican told motorline.cc, "or worse, he could have hurt Massa as well. And yet he gets away without any punishment.

"I thought Derek Warwick was the steward so I wrote to him, but it was Nigel Mansell. But Warwick replied to me 'You're right! Raikkonen should have been punished!'" Rarirez revealed.

"If it would have been Maldonado or Grosjean, they would have sat out Germany, for sure," he charged.

At Hockenheim, however, Raikkonen dismissed his critics, telling the Finnish broadcaster MTV3 that punishments are not necessary "every time a driver goes off the track".

"Of course, everyone can have their opinion," said the Finn, "but usually it's people who have never driven who are the first to say someone should be punished."

Uncertainty ends as all teams remove 'Fric'
(GMM) The 'Fric' saga could be nearing an end, as it emerges every F1 team has removed the controversial suspension technology ahead of the German grand prix weekend.

Until now, it had not been clear if all teams would heed the FIA's warning about the potential illegality of the systems, or lodge protests against rivals daring to continue to use 'front and rear interconnected' suspension.

But with scrutineering now complete at Hockenheim, the governing body's technical delegate Jo Bauer confirmed that "no car is fitted with a (Fric) system of any sort".

The only question now is whether some teams will be more affected by the Fric ban than others.

"I hope it brings the field closer to Mercedes," Red Bull's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel admitted in Germany, "but it's difficult to say.

"I think it has to be seen this weekend and also probably next week in Hungary. After those two races I think you can have another judgment," he added.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso said he is not expecting the Fric saga to have a major impact on the pecking order.

"I think little (effect) or nothing," he is quoted by Italy's Autosprint from Hockenheim.

"It's like going from soft to medium compounds. You go slower, but as a driver it doesn't change much. I think we'll be a couple of tenths slower," the Spaniard added.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo mused: "We need more like a second" to catch up with Mercedes.

However, Fric aside, Red Bull is hoping to gain from another new blend of fuel supplied by partner Total this weekend.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the power boost is in the range of one and a half per cent, or about 12 horse power.

Interwetten partners with Lotus F1 Team
Lotus F1 Team will feature the branding of the online entertainment company Interwetten for this week’s German Grand Prix and next week’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Interwetten has taken the prestigious sidepod placement for their promotion as the team tackles the tortuous twists of the Hockenheimring and Hungaroring in the final back-to-back combination of races before the summer shutdown.

Matthew Carter, Lotus F1 Team CEO:
"We are delighted to welcome a new sponsor for this season’s German and Hungarian Grands Prix. Interwetten is a dynamic and exciting company who recognizes the value of joining us at this point in the year for two very popular and well supported races. The E22 is the best looking car on the grid and the Interwetten logo is a suitable adornment as we continue our fight on track."

Werner Becher, Interwetten Speaker of the Board:
"We are delighted to partner with Lotus F1 Team for the races at Hockenheimring and Hungaroring. For us, an international player with a long tradition in and passion for motorsports, these two races offer the ideal platform in order to present our brand in the spotlight, both in Europe and internationally. Just as Formula 1, we offer our customers sports and entertainment on the highest possible level."

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