Latest F1 news in brief

  • Hamilton sports bump on lip for home race
  • Alonso wants to drive for Ferrari – Brawn
  • Rain forecast for British grand prix
  • BMW to be next to track-test KERS system
  • Another potential site for future French GP
  • F1 news briefs: Wednesday

Hamilton sports bump on lip for home race
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton displayed a battle-scar as on Tuesday his $20m personal Reebok endorsement deal was unveiled in Amsterdam.

The McLaren driver was sporting a bump on his lip, apparently sustained in a slight slip whilst kayaking near his home on Switzerland's Lake Geneva at the weekend.

Despite his back-to-back penalties at Montreal and Magny-Cours last month, however, the 23-year-old Briton insisted he is not out of sorts in the run-in to his home grand prix at Silverstone.

"If anything, I've been more in form in the last two races than I ever have before," he said.

Hamilton also rejected suggestions that, notwithstanding the hype surrounding the British grand prix, the venue is actually more a 'Ferrari-circuit' than one on which McLaren might dominate.

"People make those comments and I beg to differ," he said. "I mean for sure, it's a track where Ferrari seems to excel, they have done in the last couple of years, (but) I think our car is good enough there."

Alonso wants to drive for Ferrari – Brawn
(GMM) Fernando Alonso would be welcome at Honda but his preferred employer is Ferrari.

That was the admission this week of Ross Brawn, team principal at the Honda team, whose current drivers are out of contract at the end of 2008.

Amid speculation at Magny-Cours two weeks ago that Brackley based Honda could be Spaniard Alonso's next destination, Brawn now admits that "every team" would be interested in the services of the former double world champion.

"Honda is no different, of course," he is quoted as telling the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell.

"Fernando is a very good driver that everyone would like to have sitting in their car," said Brawn, who until the end of 2006 was technical director at Ferrari.

Brawn, referring to the famous Maranello based squad, continued: "I know what team he would like to go to, everyone does.

"The reality is that, before we can talk seriously with him, the situation with Ferrari must be resolved."

If Alonso, 26, ultimately does go on the market for a different team, Brawn makes it clear that Honda is unfazed that his relationship with McLaren last year ended so badly.

"There would be no problem, not at all; the truth is that it would be a fascinating challenge," he said.

"Broadly speaking, everyone who has worked with him speaks highly of him. With McLaren it was obviously difficult, but the people at Renault regard him very highly," Brawn added.

Rain forecast for British grand prix
(GMM) As has been a trend for a few races now, the pre-grand prix weather forecast is predicting rain.

Local prognosticators for the recent Monaco, Montreal and Magny-Cours events had similar adverse forecasts, as it now emerges that a high chance of rain exists for the British grand prix at Silverstone.

The first rain of the event could fall on Thursday, with a lesser chance for the opening day of practice a day later.

Saturday, however, could be a wash-out, with some forecasts envisaging up to a 100 per cent chance of rain.

Heavy showers – up to a 75 per cent likelihood – could also fall on Sunday, when a sell-out crowd will gather at the Northamptonshire venue.

BMW to be next to track-test KERS system
(GMM) BMW-Sauber is to become the next formula one team to run a KERS energy-recovery system, to be allowed in formula one from 2009, on a test circuit.

We reported in May that Honda was the first team to track-test the technology in an initially basic form.

"In the middle of May we did a few laps at Silverstone, to check the function of our KERS system," team boss Ross Brawn confirmed.

The German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reports that BMW will conduct its own initial trial run in the middle of July on the German marque's proving ground at Mirimas in southern France.

Then, at the Jerez test following the forthcoming German grand prix, a KERS system is expected to be fitted to the team's 2008 car, the F1.08.

Mercedes-Benz competition director Norbert Haug, meanwhile, reveals that McLaren has no immediate plans to follow suit, explaining that the team wants to spend more time developing the technology in the factory.

It is therefore expected that a KERS system will not be fitted to a McLaren at a test circuit until September; a policy that may also be adopted by key championship rival Ferrari.

Renault, meanwhile, is not expected to test KERS technology until the new year.

Another potential site for future French GP
(GMM) The mayor of Sarcelles, in the northern suburbs of Paris, has put the commune forward as a potential venue for a French grand prix in 2010.

Race promoter, the FFSA, recently confirmed that the event is likely to move away from Magny-Cours after next year's grand prix.

"We are very well located," said Sarcelles mayor Francois Pupponi. "We are 20 kilometers from the Eiffel Tower, near hotels and the airport, and well served by the highway."

Reportedly, two private investors have expressed interest in the project.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is keen to see the race move to Paris, and has put forward the Disneyland site as a potential venue, but venues including Le Mans and historic Rouen have also expressed interest in hosting the race.

The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, is opposed to a street race.

"It's a shame, because it would be a great event," said Eric Barbaroux, chief executive of the French grand prix.

The FFSA has invited interested sites to attend a meeting in October.

F1 news briefs: Wednesday
(GMM) Mark Webber has been busy since the French grand prix. The Australian went to a Speedway event in Wales last Saturday, contested an amateur mountain bike race on Sunday, and watched tennis at Wimbledon on Monday. Webber, 31, also said he will keep an eye on the start of the Tour de France as he races at Silverstone this weekend.

"I am a big general sports fan and, while MotoGP is probably my second favorite sport, I do enjoy the Tour, especially the mountain stages," the Red Bull driver said in his latest column for the BBC.

He clashed memorably with Fernando Alonso just a year ago, but Lewis Hamilton says he is getting on famously with his 2008 McLaren teammate, Heikki Kovalainen, who also lives in Switzerland.

"We sometimes train together, even go out to dinner," the Briton said in interview with the newspaper Blick.

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