Latest F1 news in brief

  • Tennis beat 'Hamilton hysteria' on British TV
  • Lewis' fast life in the gossip columns
  • Still no deal as Indy deadline looms

Tennis beat 'Hamilton hysteria' on British TV
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton may be the British media's new favorite, but Fernando Alonso is still a bigger draw within Spain.

British broadcasters ITV and BBC were locked in a battle of the viewers last Sunday as the grand prix at Silverstone clashed with the men's tennis final from Wimbledon.

But, despite pole sitter Hamilton's media saturation throughout the weekend, it emerges that Roger Federer's five-set triumph over Spaniard Rafael Nadal actually attracted more Britons to their TV sets.

The BBC broadcast recorded a peak audience of 7.3 million, which is 2.2m more than for the grand prix, covered by ITV.

Incredibly, F1's peak audience of 5.1m only narrowly beat the mixed doubles final, at 4.9m.

In Spain, meanwhile, an average of 5.4 million tuned in to Telecinco to watch Alonso finish second to Kimi Raikkonen, while only 2.1m saw their countryman Nadal get beaten by Federer.

Lewis' fast life in the gossip columns
(GMM) Having won over the specialist motorsport – and even mainstream – media, Lewis Hamilton is now the latest British star to feature regularly in the gossip columns of UK's Fleet Street 'papers.

The McLaren rookie and championship leader's girlfriend Jodia Ma recently moved back to her birthplace Hong Kong, which has left 22-year-old Hamilton at the mercy of journalists wanting to link him with a string of fast-paced women.

London's Daily Star says 43-year-old American rocker Courtney Love, the ex-wife of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, "thinks Lewis is just gorgeous. She has been emailing people who know him in the hope they will arrange for her to be introduced to him."

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, published photos recently of Hamilton attending a party on the arm of British popstar Natasha Bedingfield, leaving Lewis needing to deny rumors of a fling as he prepared for the recent British grand prix.

The newspaper added: "Racy Natasha appeared to be making some fast moves on (Hamilton)."

The widely-circulated The Sun then took full responsibility after Hamilton failed to win his home grand prix, headlining that a 'Sun stunner distracted Lewis'.

Accompanying the story was a photo of a topless woman who was supposedly Lewis' grid girl at Silverstone.

"He looked me up and down and winked," she said of their encounter on the pole position slot.

The Evening Standard, meanwhile, reports that Hamilton once dated model and former Celebrity Big Brother housemate Danielle Lloyd, who was at the British grand prix on Sunday.

She recalled: "We were both out with friends, but there was a bit of a spark and we swapped numbers."

Still no deal as Indy deadline looms
(GMM) On the eve of a self-imposed July 12 deadline, organizers of the US grand prix are no closer to reaching a deal for a race at the Indianapolis circuit in 2008.

Talks have been going on between the fabled Motor Speedway's chief executive Tony George and his F1 counterpart Bernie Ecclestone since the existing contract expired last month, but a spokesman on Wednesday said a decision will not necessarily be made by the looming deadline.

Indianapolis' Ron Green said: "We'll get the word out as soon as we know."

The US organizers are seeking a new long term contract, but – also criticizing a lack of promotion – Ecclestone said recently that his sport can live without Indy.

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