Latest F1 news in brief

  • Spyker confirms Albers split
  • Piquet lines up Wurz's Williams – report
  • Coughlan's wife copied stolen docs – lawyer
  • Honda confirms Zander appointment

Spyker confirms Albers split
(GMM) Following media speculation, Spyker confirmed on Tuesday that Christijan Albers' contract to race for the Dutch team in 2007 has been terminated with immediate effect.

A statement referred to "commercial difficulties" with the pay-driver, while rumors suggest that India's Narain Karthikeyan and Honda test driver Christian Klien are first in line for the now-vacant seat alongside Adrian Sutil starting at the Nurburgring in less than two weeks.

Spyker said: "An announcement on Albers' replacement and the financial conditions will be made in due course."

It is understood that Klien and Karthikeyan, contracted respectively to Honda and Williams as test drivers, have compiled the biggest budgets for the seat, but that Spyker test drivers Markus Winkelhock and Adrian Valles are also in the running.

Piquet lines up Wurz's Williams – report
(GMM) Christijan Albers has lost his Spyker seat but the Dutch driver may not be the only missing face in the Nurburgring paddock in just under two weeks' time.

The Spanish newspaper 'Marca' is reporting on Tuesday that Alex Wurz's Williams ride is also in doubt, given his conspicuous failure to keep up with his teammate Nico Rosberg in 2007.

Renault test driver and rookie Nelson Piquet Jr, who may even test the Toyota-powered FW29 at this week's Spa Francorchamps test in Belgium, is apparently front of the queue to replace Austrian Wurz, although negotiations between Sir Frank Williams and Piquet's manager Flavio Briatore are still taking place.

21-year-old Piquet's Williams link dates back to 2004, when at the end of that season he tested the famous team's single seater at Jerez, as did Rosberg.

Both are the sons of former world champions and Williams drivers.

Coughlan's wife copied stolen docs – lawyer
(GMM) Mike Coughlan remained silent on Tuesday even though Ferrari's High Court case against him commenced in London.

The suspended McLaren chief designer is now officially accused of receiving stolen and secret documents, and his wife was also named in court by Ferrari's lawyer for allegedly trying to photocopy the reams of Ferrari information at a commercial copying shop.

"Their conduct by taking these documents, knowing they were not entitled to them, keeping them and copying them, on any view they behaved disgracefully," Ferrari lawyer Nigel Tozzi told the court.

He added: "Ferrari would have remained blissfully ignorant of it if not for the tip-off."

The case will resume on Wednesday, when Coughlan has been ordered to explain how he came to possess the documents, allegedly sent to him by sacked Ferrari veteran Nigel Stepney.

Stepney, whose legal action by Ferrari is occurring separately in Italy and involves the police, denied any wrongdoing.

Ferrari may also seek to prosecute Coughlan according to Italian laws, the team's spokesman Luca Colajanni said on Tuesday.

Honda confirms Zander appointment
(GMM) The identity of Honda's latest high profile technical appointment has now emerged — BMW-Sauber chief designer Jorg Zander.

The 43-year-old, who previously worked with Honda between 2002-2005 before switching to Williams, will support Shuhei Nakamoto as deputy technical director, the Japanese team announced in a statement on Tuesday.

At Williams, Honda said Zander "enjoyed a successful partnership with Loic Bigois", who also recently joined Honda to be its new head of aerodynamics.

"This is the latest in a series of key appointments that we have made in order to bolster our team," said Nakamoto.

"With the steady performance improvements we have made over the past few races and a strengthened technical team, I am sure that the difficulties we have seen in the first half of 2007 are now behind us."

Williams' Francois Martinet is another recent appointment, as is BMW's John Owen.

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