News from Sepang – 1

  • Todt counts Ferrari out of 'silly season'
  • Van der Garde's father-in-law buys Spyker stake
  • Nakajima spins, Massa fined

Todt counts Ferrari out of 'silly season'
(GMM) Team boss Jean Todt has spoken up early to ensure that Ferrari drivers do not feature in the looming and inevitable 'silly season'.

Even though the 2007 season has barely begun, rumblings within BMW and Toyota are already being heard, presumably leading Todt to state clearly that stability is the buzzword for Ferrari's new driver lineup.

"I have no reason to think about other drivers," Todt told the newspaper Suddeutschen Zeitung.

He admitted that Felipe Massa does not get along with Kimi Raikkonen as well as he did with the departed Michael Schumacher, but added: "They do however have a very good relationship and a lot of respect for each other.

"I have a great relationship with Felipe. With Kimi I do not know him so well, but I only need to look into his eyes to see that he is happy.

"And we are (happy) too."

Todt, 61, said that by having top drivers who are only in their mid-twenties, Ferrari can afford to not think seriously about the driver question for "perhaps ten years".

He is, however, impressed with McLaren's even younger lineup in 2007, agreeing that world champion Fernando Alonso is an "elite" driver.

And he said of the rookie Briton Lewis Hamilton, who is 22: "I am impressed. He seems to be a very strong guy."

Van der Garde's father-in-law buys Spyker stake
(GMM) The contractual tussle between Super Aguri and Spyker threw a spanner in the works of Giedo van der Garde's plans this year to be a Friday test driver.

But the Dutchman still has a reason to smile, because his future in formula one moved a step closer to certainty after a piece of news broke on Friday.

The magazine Formule 1 Race Report claims that Dutch entrepreneur and investor Marcel Boekhoorn bought a 5.7 per cent stake in Spyker Cars; the Silverstone based F1 team's road car arm.

The $10 million investment is significant for van der Garde because Boekhoorn is his girlfriend's father.

Nakajima spins, Massa fined
(GMM) Williams' Friday test driver Kazuki Nakajima provided the major incident of Friday's first 90 minutes of Malaysian grand prix practice when he spun.

With Alex Wurz sitting out the morning session at Sepang to make way for the Japanese, Nakajima had to abandon the Toyota-powered FW29 in the last corner after just fifteen laps.

Felipe Massa predictably set the pace in his dominant Ferrari, but hitting a whopping 84.2kph in the speed-limited pit lane cost the Brazilian 4,800 Euro, payable to the stewards.

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