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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ferrari slams Williams, more on Michael, and other F1 news

Ferrari used its official Web site to hit back at Williams after the team blocked Ferrari’s request to have Michael Schumacher test in an F60 prior to the European Grand Prix.

Italian Formula One Grand Prix: Qualifying


“Guess who opposed the test with the F60? A team that hasn't won anything for years and yet didn't pass over the opportunity to demonstrate once more a lack of spirit of fair play.”

Lost in the flap is that Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso owner Dietrich Mateschitz has also come out in opposition to the test. AUTOSPORT reports.

“We asked for a test permission for Alguersuari before the Hungarian GP and it was turned down. So why should we approve an exemption for a seven-time-champion after this?”

Red Bull motorsport coordinator Helmut Marko concurred.

“To let him do an extra test is not in the spirit of the regulations. If he indeed did his run last week on GP2 rubber it will make a huge difference. We have the same opinion as stated in the rules, therefore we cannot agree with Michael getting a test exemption. And we are not the only ones to have this opinion.”

Ferrari also pointed out it supported giving Alguersuari a run ahead of his debut last week in Hungary.

Meanwhile, Bernie Ecclestone believes Schumacher will give a driving lesson at Valencia.

Count the F1 supremo among those surprised by the return of the seven-time world champion, as he related during a press conference. Reuters reports.

“I think I was just as surprised as Willi Weber - his manager - he didn't know he was coming back (either). I think it was (Ferrari president) Luca di Montezemolo that convinced him.”

But the Ferrari chairman is being much more conservative in his estimate of what he is expecting from Schumacher, according to quotes from Germany’s Die Welt newspaper and picked up by ITV-F1.

“We are not expecting miracles from him, and neither do the fans. Of course, I won’t deny that I hope this is a positive morale boost for the entire team. The engineers can’t wait to work with him. They were all hoping that Schumacher would come back. It’s a win-win situation.”

Di Montezemolo was surprised to have convinced Schumacher to return, and chalked it up to the German’s loyalty.

“Personally, I was a bit skeptical about managing to convince him... He has seen that his team, a team with which he spent 10 successful years, had an emergency and urgently needed help. You don’t give up on your old friends when they are in trouble. And someone like Schumacher certainly wouldn’t do that.”

Schumacher says he has lost three kilos so far in his preparation for his return, and admits to concerns about his neck on his official Web site.

“I'm currently in the midst of my preparations for the upcoming race. I already lost three kilograms even if it is also important to me to build up muscles. So all in all, the practice works pretty well. I only have to admit that my neck pinches a bit. We have to get a grip on that as health has priority - that's the clear arrangement made with Ferrari and, by the way, with my wife, too.”

Serbian firm complains about F1 selection process

Grandprix.com reports a Serbian engineering company is complaining to the EU over the process used to select three new entries for the 2010 season.

Belgrade’s AMCO Corporation has issued a press release under Stefan Grand Prix saying its “rights for fair and equal competition are violated.”

Full story at grandprix.com.

Doornbos leaves Newman Haas Lanigan

Ex-F1er Robert Doornbos has left the Newman Haas Lanigan IndyCar team, Autoweek reports.

Doornbos is 15th in the championship but first amongst rookies.

The Dutch driver says he had an option in his contract to leave after 12 races, which he exercised, and that he would like to remain in IndyCar. Rumors have him moving to HVM Racing.

Brawn faces driving ban

Ross Brawn may be banned from driving after a speeding charge in May, ITV-F1 reports.

The F1 boss was clocked doing 100mph in a 70mph zone near his home in the UK.

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