Thursday, August 2, 2007

McLaren respond to appeal decision

McLaren have admitted they are disappointed that the World Motor Sport Council’s recent decision not to sanction the team for having access to confidential Ferrari data, is to be referred to the FIA's Court of Appeal.

The Council agreed at a hearing last week that, while McLaren had been in possession of documents belonging to rivals Ferrari, there was not enough evidence to prove that the team had made use of the material to punish them. Following a plea from the Italian Automobile Club and Italian Motor Sport Commission (ACI-CSAI) on Ferrari’s behalf, however, FIA President Max Mosley has now referred the case to the Court of Appeal.

“Having considered in great detail the full submissions of both Ferrari and McLaren, the World Motorsport Council determined that there was no evidence that any information, passed by a Ferrari team member to a McLaren employee, had been brought into the organisation or provided any benefit whatsoever to the McLaren programme,” read McLaren’s press release on Tuesday.

“McLaren is not aware of any new information or arguments that have arisen since the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council and therefore assumes that these same materials will now be considered by the FIA International Court of Appeal. Whilst this is both disappointing and time-consuming, McLaren is confident that the FIA International Court of Appeal will also exonerate McLaren and we will in the meanwhile continue to focus on our current world championship programme.”

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2007 FIA Formula One World Championship Race Calendar

01 2007 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne) 16-18 March
02 2007 FORMULA 1™ Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix (Kuala Lumpur) 06-08 April
03 2007 FORMULA 1™ Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix (Bahrain) 13-15 April
04 FORMULA 1™ Gran Premio de España Telefónica 2007 (Catalunya) 11-13 May
05 FORMULA 1™ Grand Prix de Monaco 2007 (Monte Carlo) 24-27 May
06 FORMULA 1™ Grand Prix du Canada 2007 (Montreal) 08-10 June
07 2007 FORMULA 1™ United States Grand Prix (Indianapolis) 15-17 June
08 FORMULA 1™ Grand Prix de France 2007 (Magny-Cours) 29 June-01 July
09 2007 FORMULA 1™ Santander British Grand Prix (Silverstone) 06-08 July
10 2007 FORMULA 1™ Grand Prix of Europe (Nürburgring) 20-22 July
11 FORMULA 1™ Magyar Nagydíj 2007 (Budapest) 03-05 August
12 2007 FORMULA 1™ Petrol Ofisi Turkish Grand Prix (Istanbul) 24-26 August
13 FORMULA 1™ Gran Premio d'Italia 2007 (Monza) 07-09 September
14 2007 FORMULA 1™ ING Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps) 14-16 September
15 2007 FORMULA 1™ Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix (Fuji Speedway) 28-30 September
16 2007 FORMULA 1™ Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai) 05-07 October
17 FORMULA 1™ Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2007 (Sao Paulo) 19-21 October

FIA press conference schedule for Hungarian Grand Prix

Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel and Spyker’s Sakon Yamamoto join three other drivers to answer questions on Thursday, while on Friday Red Bull team principal Christian Horner takes to the stage alongside his counterparts from Renault, Spyker and Super Aguri. The line-up in full…

Thursday August 2, 1500 local time (1300 GMT):
Fernando Alonso (McLaren), Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) and Sakon Yamamoto (Spyker).

Friday August 3, 1600 local time (1400 GMT):
Flavio Briatore (Renault), Christian Horner (Red Bull), Colin Kolles (Spyker) and Aguri Suzuki (Super Aguri)

The qualifying and post-race conferences with the top three drivers will take place immediately after the respective sessions.

As always, will bring you full transcripts.

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Bourdais still hoping for Toro Rosso call Champ Car star free to look at options

Toro Rosso's 2008 'option' on the services of Sebastien Bourdais expired on Tuesday.

No news about the multiple Champ Car title winner's possible future in Formula One was forthcoming, but 28-year-old Bourdais admitted to the media that rumours of a link with a possible switch to NASCAR did have some substance.

"As of right now, I'm trying to pursue everything I can in the F1 world, and we should have some news pretty soon," the Frenchman told the Tampa Tribune.

He added: "If it doesn't come through, then yeah, NASCAR is definitely something I would be interested in."

Bourdais had been strongly linked with American STR driver Scott Speed's seat for 2008, but that will almost certainly now be filled next year by Sebastian Vettel.

His hopes now rest on Tonio Liuzzi also being dropped by the Faenza based team.

Bourdais said the fact that Toro Rosso had yet to take up its option on him just hours before it expired was not necessarily a bad sign.

"They announced Vettel today, I think that was probably enough to occupy them quite a bit, so all it says right now for us is that it doesn't mean it's not going to happen," Bourdais said.

"It means we don't only have a door open at Toro Rosso; now we can try to see if there are other opportunities."

Asked if he already had other F1 opportunities on the table, he answered: "No, not really. But at least now we can talk."

Source GMM
CAPSIS International

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Wurz admits rivals for 2008 seat Well funded drivers approaching Williams

Alex Wurz admits that he faces competition to keep his seat at the Williams Toyota team in 2008.

The Austrian veteran revealed to the news agency APA that he is yet to secure a contract beyond the end of 2007.

"I sleep very calmly at night, although many people are knocking on the Williams door - and some can offer a lot of money," the 33 year-old said.

Current team test driver Narain Karthikeyan, with a swag of backing from India, wants to return to the grid next year, while Nelson Piquet Jr and Giancarlo Fisichella have also been linked with Wurz's seat.

The former long-time McLaren test driver, however, said he prefers to concentrate on his race weekends rather than worry about the future.

"Everything else will then follow naturally," Wurz added. "Anyway, I think it is too early to think about 2008. But that doesn't mean that I cannot keep my eyes open."

Wurz has scored 13 of the team's 18 points secured so far this year.

Source GMM
CAPSIS International

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Punters 'deserting' Hamilton - bookmaker The fickle world of high street gambling

British punters have gone cold on championship leader and rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Following the McLaren driver's disastrous Nurburgring race two weeks ago, where his run of podium finishes came to an end, betting agent William Hill lists 22-year-old Hamilton as only the third favourite to win in Budapest.

London based William Hill, one of the two largest bookmakers in the UK alongside Ladbrokes, is also offering 4/6 odds that Hamilton will lose his slender two point lead to on-form team-mate Fernando Alonso this Sunday.

Kimi Raikkonen and Alonso are joint favourite to win, at 2/1, and the pair is also at 9/4 to start at the front of the grid.

Hamilton, meanwhile, is 10/3 to win and 11/4 to secure pole.

"Punters are starting to desert Hamilton as Alonso hits form - this weekend's result is make or break for Lewis," said spokesman Rupert Adams.

Source GMM
CAPSIS International

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Josef Dubský wins Renault placement 2007 Altran Engineering Academy

On July 30th, the Final Presentation held on the ING Renault F1 Team technical centre in Enstone ended with the announcement of the Altran Engineering Academy’s fourth Laureate: Josef Dubský, from the Czech Republic.

Genuinely surprised, the 25-year-old was at a loss for words when Robin Tuluie, Head of R&D for the Renault F1 Team, called his name at the end of a tense day. Earlier, he had held his own when the jury deluged him with questions following his exposé on Automatic Aerodynamic Optimisation based on CFD. This brilliant presentation, coupled with his on the-spot argumentation, allowed him to get ahead of the competition.

“This year the level of candidates was as high as ever but unfortunately there could only be one winner,” commented Robin Tuluie, Head of R&D with the Renault F1 Team. “I was really impressed by the preparation, the passion and research they had put into their work and I am sure they will all have a successful career. I hope all of them will fulfil their dream one day.

Following in the steps of previous winners from the UK, Spain and Sweden, Josef will return to Enstone in September to begin his six-month placement with Renault F1 Team, working in the Research and Development department under Robin Tuluie. Salary, accommodation and a company car will await him when his dream comes true in a few weeks’ time.

Although the six other finalists did not win the ultimate prize, they did not travel so far for nothing. This once-in-a-lifetime experience courtesy of Altran and Renault F1 Team, coupled with an exclusive factory tour and gift bag, was very well worth the trip from Italy, Germany or even Brazil.

Source Renault
CAPSIS International

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Brawn denies Stepney's breakaway claims Ferrari the only team for Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn, presently on a sabbatical following a long stint as Ferrari Technical Director, on Wednesday denied that he had planned to defect the Italian team to join a rival.

The Briton's sacked former colleague at Ferrari, Nigel Stepney, claimed on Tuesday that Brawn was the ringleader of a band of workers who wanted to take their talents elsewhere in pitlane.

Referring to a breakaway group, countryman Stepney said it 'would have been led by my friend Ross Brawn.'

Brawn responded to the Italian news agency ANSA: "Ferrari is the only team or group with whom I have discussed my future. "

He added: "All the press articles that link me with other teams are either inaccurate or just speculative."

Brawn said he was motivated to speak to the agency because of ‘recent reports about my situation.

He reiterated that he decided to take a sabbatical in 2007 purely for personal reasons.

"After 30 years in motor racing I wanted to dedicate some time to my family and to pursue personal ambitions that I had been unable to do."

Brawn said he has now begun to negotiate with Ferrari in order to explore the ‘possibility to work together again in the future’.

He added: "After ten fantastic years, the people and the culture of Ferrari and Italy are in my heart. Ferrari is my team."

Source GMM
CAPSIS International

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