F1Weekly Podcast #162 (05-02-2007)

             


Podcast number 162 
 Gilles Villeneuve tribute.

Motorsports Mondial

McLaren unlikely to race radical wing
More rain likely for last day in Spain
McLaren forks out to ‘inspire staff’
Vettel not guaranteed BMW seat in 2008
Mateschitz rejects Red Bull ‘crisis’
Red Bull hunt for ‘reserve’ stand-in
Another famous son begins racing rise

McLaren unlikely to race radical wing
May 3 (GMM)  McLaren is unlikely to use its unique ‘bridge’ front wing
design at the Spanish grand prix next week.

The Woking based team publicly debuted the innovation at the pre-race
test at Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, and on Wednesday world champion
Fernando Alonso got his first taste of the unique bodywork.

But the Spanish newspaper Diario As reports that 25-year-old Alonso did
not offer promising feedback after using the wing – now painted red
after originally appearing in carbon-fibre black – on the Barcelona
layout.

"The extravagant and revolutionary front innovation did not work as the
team had expected," the report added.

Alonso was fifth quickest in the MP4-22 on Wednesday; a full second off
the pace of the dominant Ferrari steered by Felipe Massa.

‘As’ said Pedro de la Rosa will conclude McLaren’s test on Thursday,
with Alonso due to do an appearance for a sponsor.

—————–

More rain likely for last day in Spain
May 3 (GMM)  After torrential rain washed out day two of the crucial
Barcelona test, the skies above Circuit de Catalunya brought a better day
of weather on Wednesday.

Although some light rain interrupted proceedings for a short time
around noon, warm Spanish sunshine mostly set the scene as Ferrari continued
its dominance of the pace.

Having taken over the Finn’s F2007, however, Felipe Massa trailed
teammate Kimi Raikkonen’s new unofficial circuit record by a few tenths.

A Williams spokeswoman, meanwhile, confirmed that Nico Rosberg was
taken to the local hospital for tests after he crashed his FW29 at high
speed without setting a lap time.

He was not injured.

Due to Tuesday’s bad weather, the initially three-day test has been
extended to include Thursday, but the risk of rain on day four is high.

Along with Williams, Toro Rosso, Super Aguri and Spyker all opted
against staying around for the extra day.

————————

McLaren forks out to ‘inspire staff’
May 3 (GMM)  Some sections of the media dismissed a press release
distributed by the McLaren team last week.

The headline ‘Arts Council Collection teams up with the
McLaren group’ led some to believe that the rest of the document would
outline a typical sponsorship or promotional deal between the two
parties — hardly the stuff of a media scoop.

Team boss Ron Dennis, however, had revealed that he hoped displaying
some of Britain’s top sculptures around the huge and impressive Woking
factory would stimulate workers’ "individual creativity".

It also emerges that, unlike the traditional team-sponsor arrangement
of money in return for promotion, the only party forking out the cash
for this arrangement is McLaren itself.

The team says it wants to help the Arts Council "increase its already
important support of the young and emerging artists working in Britain",
while the English broadsheet newspaper The Guardian revealed that
Dennis is an avid art aficionado and recreational collector.

The sum McLaren pays is unknown, but the Arts Council’s head Caroline
Douglas confirmed that the money "comes without strings and simply
enables us to do more of what we’ve always done".

———————-

Red Bull hunt for ‘reserve’ stand-in
May 3 (GMM)  Red Bull are probably on the lookout for a stand-in
‘reserve’ driver for the upcoming Spanish grand prix.

It is reported that Michael Ammermuller, who usually fills the role in
2007 after last year’s reserve Robert Doornbos headed to race in Champ
Car, is currently nursing a fracture in his wrist.

One possible stand-in for 21-year-old Ammermuller is the Red
Bull-backed and Renault World Series racer Filipe Albuquerque, from Portugal, who
got his first taste of a formula one single seater recently when he
performed a demonstration on the streets of Colombia.

German Ammermuller drives for ART in the GP2 category, but he is likely
to miss next weekend’s round in support of the Spanish GP.

Ammermuller may have aggravated the injury, sustained in an earlier
clash with Kazuki Nakajima in Bahrain, by persevering at the wheel of his
GP2 car without adequate treatment.

He has now undergone surgery in Austria to insert a titanium screw, and
wrist specialist Andreas Priol commented that full recovery is likely
to take several weeks.

————————

Another famous son begins racing rise
May 3 (GMM)  Yet another son of a famous formula one driver is about to
emerge on the single seater scene.

Adrien Tambay is the 16-year-old son of former McLaren and Ferrari
driver Patrick Tambay, the Frenchman who won two grands prix in his
123-race career in the 70s and 80s.

Adrien, an accomplished karter, will make his car debut this weekend in
the opening round of the Formula BMW Deutschland series at
Oschersleben.

Part of BMW’s exclusive Young Driver Scholarship Programme, Tambay will
race in 2007 for JK Racing, the current champions who powered names
including Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil to past title success.

The series’ Nurburgring round in July will support F1’s German grand
prix.

Meanwhile, one of Adrien Tambay’s rivals in karts last year, we have
learned, was Bas Lammers, the son of Dutch former F1 driver Jan.

———————-

Vettel not guaranteed BMW seat in 2008
May 3 (GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has played down suggestions that he has
already been guaranteed a race seat at the BMW-Sauber team for next
year.

The 19-year-old German brought controversy to the garage of the Swiss
based camp in 2007 when boss Mario Theissen insisted that he should
appear in one of the race drivers’ seats on the Friday before every GP.

BMW is now reviewing this questionable policy, but Theissen’s affection
for the youngster is well known and some observers wonder if the Vettel
saga could be linked with Nick Heidfeld’s wait for a new contract.

The news agency ‘sid’, however, insists that Vettel has not been
guaranteed a 2008 seat, even though he seems to be setting up for a long
future at BMW by recently moving his residence from birthplace Heppenheim
(Germany) to a small house near Sauber’s Swiss base.

The teenager himself is keeping quiet: "We will have to wait and see,"
Vettel, who is racing in the Renault World Series this year, said.

He insisted that it is too early to think about what will happen in
2008.

Blonde Vettel, who now sports a cropped haircut after years with a
Beatle-style mop, added: "There has only been three races of this season."

(c) 2007 Global Motorsport Media (GMM)

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