July 2007


 Ferrari Team

Ferrari is not satisfied that McLaren is not punished. The World Motor Sport Council called by the FIA found McLaren guilty of possessing technical data owned by Ferrari. This has angered Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari’s chief executive Jean Todt is also furious at the ruling. He accused McLaren’s team principal Ron Dennis of signing an agreement of trust between the two teams while at the same time is aware that a spy is working inside Ferrari.

“I replied that I found it impossible to believe him because we had seen that certain commitments had always been disregarded by McLaren,” said Todt. “There was an exchange of views and, believing in their good faith, I agreed to sign this agreement on June 9. So, on the one hand, they had come to say ‘let us trust one another’ and, on the other, they were hiding serious facts but making no effort to inform us as would have been in the spirit and to the letter of our agreement.”

Todt pointed out that since McLaren was found guilty, they should be punished. “There is not even a sign of logic in this verdict. Either they are guilty or they aren’t. McLaren were found responsible of having violated the regulations of F1, of having behaved in a fraudulent manner, but they haven’t been punished,” he shared.

McLaren though was not found guilty of having used the Ferrari data on their cars which would have given them immense advantage over the Italian team. If the FIA punished McLaren that would either come in form of a monetary fine docking points from the team and drivers. Currently, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are leading the race to the championship.

team_mclaren_mercedesAside from that the team’s drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are leading in the drivers’ championship standings. The scandal involved a Ferrari and a McLaren employee.

Nigel Stepney, formerly of Ferrari, is allegedly passing on technical secrets to Mike Coughlan, McLaren’s chief designer. Ferrari documents were found in the possession of Coughlan and being a member of the McLaren team, the team was summoned by the FIA to the council. The British Formula One team currently has 138 points after ten races so far. The hope of the team now lies in the testimony of Mike Coughlan. If Coughlan testified that someone aside from him in the team was aware of the secret dossier, McLaren’s name will forever be tainted.

Stepney was already sacked by the Italian Formula One team.

McLaren is now waiting for the decision of the World Motor Sport Council concerning the Ferrari spying scandal. The team has been summoned at the council to make known their involvement in the alleged spying on rival Ferrari.

David Coulthard of Red Bull

For nine races this season before the European Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing’s highest ever finish this season is a fifth place taken by British Formula One driver David Coulthard. But at the race in Nürburgring, the duo of Coulthard and Mark Webber collected more points than in the nine races combined.

Before the European Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing only has six points. But at the Euro Grand Prix, Webber finished third, his second career podium finish for six points while Coulthard finished fifth for four points. Webber and Coulthard even outpaced the pair of BMW Sauber and Renault. BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld finished sixth and Robert Kubica finished seventh. Obviously, Webber and Coulthard are pleased with their performance. Eventually though, Winkelhock would not finish the race as his car’s hydraulics malfunctioned.

“I am really happy about it – I was leading my home Grand Prix! Unfortunately then we had a hydraulic problem and I had to stop. The target for me was to finish, but I know that not getting there was not down to me, so I am really pleased with what I achieved,” said Winkelhock after the race.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton believes McLaren will be exonerated at next week’s hearing into the Formula One “spy” scandal, reports BBC Sport. Hamilton, teammate Fernando Alonso and the entire McLaren team face the prospect of having points docked or even ejected off the championship competition if they are found guilty of breaking the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile rules. McLaren boss Ron Dennis has unwaveringly maintained his and his team’s innocence in the whole affair since news broke of Coughlan’s suspension on 3 July. It was alleged by the Scuderia team that some of the members of McLaren, including Martin Whitmarsh, were aware of the Ferrari documents. “I know the team is working hard on it,” says Hamilton, who is struggling to overcome a ‘flu bug in time for Sunday’s European Grand Prix in Germany.

“I do feel they are one of the most honest teams out there,” says Hamilton. Meanwhile, Hamilton’s goal will be to get well for Sunday’s Nurburgring race.

Auto production of Japan’s top automakers was interrupted after Riken Corp., a leading auto part supplier, was damaged by a powerful earthquake which hit the territory last Monday. The Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s biggest automaker, stopped production at its Japanese plants Wednesday after the said supplier of transmission and engine parts, sustained heavy damage at its facilities from the quake. Additionally, Toyota also cancelled one shift today and all production at its assembly and components plants in Japan on Friday. Other Japanese automakers might have suffered production curtailments. Honda is assessing the impact of the damage at Riken’s facilities, which supply its Japanese plants but do not ship parts to its North American plants, said David Iida, a Detroit-based spokesman for Honda.

Toyota, for one, produces 1.6 million product lines annually in North America. The rest are imported from Japan.

Meanwhile, Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries, Suzuki Motor Corp., Jatco transmission manufacturer and other customers have scaled production in Japan.

Earlier this year, representatives from about 600 Saturn dealerships converged in Colorado Springs for the annual National Retailer Business Meeting. Under the partnership, Saturn dealerships will be building four environmentally-conscious homes for the Colorado Springs community.

“If a brand does not have a cause marketing relationship or a cause identified as part of its brand, it’s missing the spirit of the brand. The dealers helped in framing four houses. “It was the emotional connection of us and our dealers working together in a team effort,” said Parrottino. The event gave the dealers the perception that Saturn is relating to its consumers. According to Parrottino, Saturn is the greenest brand in General Motors. “(The event gave) us a chance to explore the green side of our brand. Saturn is the greenest brand in General Motors,” Parrottino said.

The event worked out beautifully.

Renaults Giancarlo Fisichella

BMW Sauber is currently third in the constructors’ championship standing behind McLaren and Ferrari. Renault is last year’s champion but is currently caught up in a contest with third place BMW Sauber.

At the Canadian and United States Grands Prix, the French contingent stepped up their game to catch up with BMW Sauber.

Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella is confident that his team has what it takes to overtake BMW Sauber in the constructors’ championship. The plan now is for Renault to catch up with and overtake BMW Sauber.

At the two recent races though, BMW Sauber increased its lead over the French team. The German-Swiss Formula One team now has a 25 point lead over Renault. Renault’s technical director Bob Bell is in agreement with Fisichella.

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