Latest F1 news in brief

  • Overnight rain lashes Singapore circuit
  • Bomb scare in BMW-Sauber pits
  • Whiting orders curb solution
  • Buemi says F1 deal 'not done'
  • Title would not be tainted – Massa
  • Kovalainen free to decide team role
  • Kubica confirms clear-the-air BMW talks
  • Winner Vettel aims for points in Singapore

Overnight rain lashes Singapore circuit
(GMM) Amid F1 drivers' fears about a wet race under artificial lights, Singapore's skies opened with a fury as Thursday became Friday at the scene of the sport's first night GP.

Fierce showers of rain lashed the formula one paddock, and reports suggest that parts of the small city-state were even under water.

The rain eventually did stop on Friday morning, but the forecast for tonight's three hours of practice is very uncertain.

Bomb scare in BMW-Sauber pits
(GMM) BMW-Sauber experienced a rare and frightening problem in its F1 paddock areas on Friday night — a bomb scare.

The Swiss newspaper Blick reports that, shortly before 9pm, upon instruction by the police, the mechanics and engineers had to abandon the pits and paddock pit building.

They shortly returned to work.

Whiting orders curb solution
(GMM) It is understood that FIA race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting has ordered high curbs at Singapore's turn 10 hairpin be modified ahead of Friday free practice.

Many drivers had expressed concern about the 'turtle'-like bumps on the verge of the curbs.

"We worry that if we have to go over them, it could damage the bottom of the car," said former double world champion Fernando Alonso.

"If you damage one car it's not a problem as you can take the T-car but if you damage two you go home," the Renault driver added.

Buemi says F1 deal 'not done'
(GMM) Red Bull test and reserve driver Sebastien Buemi has played down reports that he will definitely make his grand prix debut with Toro Rosso in 2009.

Following his test with the Faenza based squad at Jerez last week, team principal Franz Tost told a Swiss newspaper that the teenager will almost certainly replace Sebastian Vettel next year.

Buemi said: "Nothing is done, but I have a good chance."

Title would not be tainted – Massa
(GMM) Felipe Massa believes he would be a "worthy champion" in 2008 despite the recent overtaking controversy that cost his title rival Lewis Hamilton six points.

The saga means Ferrari's Massa is officially just one point behind the McLaren driver with four races to go, causing some to wonder if a similarly close result after November's Brazilian grand prix might taint the outcome of the championship.

"If I win by one point, I am the winner. It doesn't change anything," Massa, 27, said in Singapore.

The Brazilian backs the FIA's decision to reject the McLaren appeal earlier this week at the International Court of Appeal.

"Looking at the rules, it was going to be very difficult for them. The result was pretty fair," Massa said.

Kovalainen free to decide team role
(GMM) Heikki Kovalainen insists he is not under instructions to actively back McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton's championship challenge.

The situation between Ferrari's two drivers has been the subject of intense speculation, with world champion Kimi Raikkonen unlikely to defend his title, but reluctant to fall in line with Felipe Massa's close points tussle with Hamilton.

Fellow Finn Kovalainen, 27, said in Singapore it has been left up to him how to handle the situation.

"The good thing is the team has not given me any instructions to do something particular, so I will see how the situation is," he said.

It is a slightly different story at Ferrari, with president Luca di Montezemolo and team boss Stefano Domenicali making it clear that the team takes precedence.

"If it means doing everything we can to have Felipe as the winner, we will do it," Domenicali said.

"Our drivers deal with that easily because this is the way Ferrari have always done the races."

Kubica confirms clear-the-air BMW talks
(GMM) Robert Kubica has confirmed that clear-the-air talks with BMW-Sauber's team management recently took place.

The talks followed his public criticisms, including about the time dedicated to his teammate Nick Heidfeld, his flagging championship chances, and the general difficulties the team has faced in developing the car in the second half of the 2008 season.

"We talked, but nothing has really changed," the 23-year-old Pole, who is still an outside bet to win the championship from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa, said in Singapore.

"Lately the gap has gotten bigger," Kubica explained. "At the beginning of the season we could fight with them sometimes, but then the top teams became stronger, Renault got closer to us, the same with Toro Rosso."

He confirmed his belief that the F1.08 single seater has not developed as quickly as the 'big two' teams.

"I don't know why," Kubica said. "We made some mistakes with some parts but recovered very fast from that. The reaction of the team was very good.

"But we somehow did not succeed in finding what really makes the car faster," he added.

Winner Vettel aims for points in Singapore
(GMM) Monza winner Sebastian Vettel has warned the world not to necessarily expect him to return to the winner's rostrum in Singapore.

The 21-year-old German won the weather-affected Italian grand prix from pole position, drawing widespread praise for both his efforts and those of his midfield team Toro Rosso.

But he said in Singapore: "If we go into the points here, that would be a success.

"The midfield is so close that two or three tenths makes a huge difference. Perhaps twelfth place here would be a good result for us," Vettel added.

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