News briefs from Valencia

(GMM) Lewis Hamilton on Thursday was fined 5000 euros for arriving two minutes late for the FIA press conference at Valencia.

The inaugural European grand prix in the eastern port city could be a sombre affair, after the Spanish government on Thursday three consecutive days of nationwide mourning in the wake of the Madrid air crash.

Flags at the urban street circuit were flying at half-mast in deference to the 153 dead, including 22 children.

Heikki Kovalainen told reporters he hopes he does not have to support his McLaren teammate and championship leader Hamilton's title quest over the final seven races of 2008.

"Certainly I'm not planning to help him," the Finn, who won three weeks ago in Budapest but is 24 points behind, said at Valencia. "If I have a chance to win another race then I will go for it."

Rubens Barrichello confirmed that Honda is in talks with former double world champion Fernando Alonso about 2009. "I think the team is definitely talking to Fernando but that's the question mark," said the Brazilian, the most experienced driver in F1 history whose contract expires at the end of the season.

"The conversations are there and I am talking to the team, I am talking to all the teams. I want to be racing," he added.

Jarno Trulli, who has been with Toyota since the end of 2004, admitted that he is likely to stay at the Japanese team next year. "We have a contract in place, so we believe we can stay together," the Italian said.

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