Latest F1 news in brief

  • Massa could leave hospital in one week
  • Another bad result and 'we're screwed' – Button
  • Silverstone can wait until December for 2010 GP date
  • McLaren may win again in Valencia – boss
  • Tost excuses Buemi after poor Hungarian GP
  • F1 personnel warned about Valencia robberies
  • Gene not ready to eye injured Massa's seat

Massa could leave hospital in one week
(GMM) Felipe Massa's personal doctor believes the Ferrari driver will be able to check out of hospital in central Budapest within one week.

Dr Dino Altman's prediction to the Brazilian media was backed up by the Hungarian intensive care doctors, who agree that if the current rate of progress continues, Massa should be ready to return to Sao Paulo in between a week and ten days.

"(Massa is) sleepy but he gives adequate and spontaneous answers to questions we ask him," said AEK's chief surgeon Lajos Zsiros.

Massa's father Luis Antonio revealed that his son may be out of intensive care within two days.

"He is doing well and soon he will be giving joy to all in his little red car on the track," Massa's pregnant wife Rafaela told Brazil's Globo.

Zsireos added that the drain for Massa's skull wound was removed, on the same day the period of induced coma was ended and artificial breathing stopped.

"(Massa is) very well and everyone is very happy with his condition," Altman continued. "He wants to know what happened to him and he answered some questions."

Another bad result and 'we're screwed' – Button
(GMM) Jenson Button has likened his championship position to being the wearer of the yellow jersey with tired legs at the foot of a mountain climb.

The Brawn racer is 18.5 points ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber in the drivers' standings, but three difficult races ago he was far ahead and reportedly to cruise to the 2009 crown.

Button, 29, begins his summer break this weekend by contesting the London Triathlon.

"We've got to sort it out. We're leading the championship, but it is inevitable they are going to overtake us if performances keep going like they are," he said.

Three full weekends will pass before the F1 circus heads to Valencia, with factory closures to save money for teams throughout the August summer break.

"If we can't get a good result in Valencia we're screwed," Button added.

"It's like wearing the yellow jersey knowing that when you get to the mountains you're going to be useless and overtaken."

Sebastian Vettel had an even worse weekend in Hungary, starting from second on the grid but clipping Kimi Raikkonen at the start and later retiring with car damage.

The German has fallen 4.5 points behind teammate Webber, while his deficit to leader Button increased to 23.

Asked by the news agency SID if his title hopes can now be written off, Vettel answered: "No, there are still many races to go, and we have seen how quickly the tide turns.

"But it's no big secret that we know we can't afford anything else like this," the 22-year-old added.

Silverstone can wait until December for 2010 GP date
(GMM) The managing director of 2009 British grand prix venue Silverstone says the circuit is prepared to wait until December to know if it can also host the formula one race mid next year.

The event is technically scheduled to switch to Donington Park from 2010, but amid that venue's reported problems, Bernie Ecclestone has indicated Silverstone may remain on the schedule.

"They can't keep us holding on forever, but they can keep us holding on until December with the World (Motor Sport) Council meeting. That would be the latest," said Silverstone's Richard Phillips.

He is referring to the FIA summit when the 2010 calendar is due to be ratified.

"Normally the (provisional) calendar is released in June, but it hasn't appeared yet. We all know there is a lot of politics going on behind closed doors," Phillips added.

He admits the first step is to secure the British GP in 2010, but that the ultimate ambition is for a longer-term contract. Presently, Donington's contract is set to run through 2027.

McLaren may win again in Valencia – boss
(GMM) Having silenced the paddock sniggers, Martin Whitmarsh has dared the formula one community to laugh again at his prediction of more wins in 2009.

In 2004, amid McLaren's last major competitive slump, a British journalist ran around Silverstone almost naked, having derisively wagered that the British team will fail to record a single win.

No one in the media centre has been so foolish in 2009, but mere weeks ago the doubters remained, according to team boss Whitmarsh.

"I guess if you had predicted that result people would have had a good laugh at us," he said, referring to his first appearance on the podium on Sunday as a winning team boss.

It is true that the twisty Hungaroring layout shrouded some of the MP4-24's worst aerodynamic flaws, but the laughter must now be muted when Whitmarsh forecasts that follow-up wins, beginning in three weekends' time in Spain, are possible.

"We've got another upgrade package coming through for Valencia. I think we can potentially win there," he said.

Tost excuses Buemi after poor Hungarian GP
(GMM) Team boss Franz Tost has excused Sebastien Buemi for a poor performance in Sunday's Hungarian grand prix.

The 20-year-old rookie Swiss finished the Budapest race dead last, behind even his debuting Toro Rosso teammate Jaime Alguersuari.

"I have never been that bad," Buemi told Switzerland's Blick, ruing a race full of mistakes. "I can only say sorry to my team who gave me a good car."

Tost ousted Buemi's 30-year-old teammate Sebastien Bourdais after the recent German grand prix for poor performances, but excuses the rookie.

"Sometimes you have days like that in racing," he said. "Sebastien doesn't need to worry too much, it is a normal part of a 20-year-old's development process."

F1 personnel warned about Valencia robberies
(GMM) F1's travelling personnel have been warned about robberies ahead of the next grand prix in the Spanish port city Valencia.

The governing FIA issued an official notice warning specifically against thefts in the airport and the city's hotels, advising that local authorities have also been asked to step up security following recent incidents.

Gene not ready to eye injured Massa's seat
(GMM) Marc Gene has refused to comment on rumors he may be asked to substitute for Felipe Massa while the Ferrari driver's health is the main priority.

35-year-old Spaniard Gene, who last month won the Le Mans 24 hours with Peugeot, is the reserve driver for Ferrari and said to be more likely than his testing colleague Luca Badoer for Massa's seat.

But in his regular column for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the veteran of 36 grands prix for Minardi and Williams said he is not yet turning his attention to the possibility.

"Everyone in the team have been very worried about Felipe," Gene wrote. "We would even wish that he could be in Valencia, but if he is not, the important thing is that he is well.

"I understand that many people want to know what is in the future but right now the only thing that occupies me is my friend," he added.

Gene, meanwhile, is another paddock figure who draws a parallel between the Massa incident and the FIA's decision to ban Renault from Valencia for its wheel problem in Hungary.

"The stewards have been severe with the drivers all year, but this is particularly harsh," the Spaniard said. "Suddenly, after Massa's accident, they want to send a message."

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