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News Round-up: Pre Interlagos

News Round-up: Pre Interlagos

Felipe Massa - 2007 Spanish Grand PrixThis is it – the big one. With rain forecast in Brazil this upcoming weekend, fans around the world will be glued to their TV sets to witness either Fernando Alonso taking the hat-trick, Lewis Hamilton becoming the first rookie champion, or Kimi Raikkonen finally getting what he’s worked so hard for so long for. Of course, I’m talking about the finale to the 2007 Formula One season. The drama doesn’t end there though, as many stories have hit the headlines this week. Here’s a quick run down of some of the most important items.

Massa Extends Ferrari Stay

Felipe Massa has signed an extension to his Ferrari contract and will remain at Maranello until the end of the 2010 season. The news, surely welcomed by the little Brazilian, comes just days before he races in front of his home crowd. Last year Massa won the event in his patriotic overalls, and this time around his morale will be at an all-time high.

The news does quell any rumour of Fernando Alonso buying an Italian phrase book though, as Ferrari are now locked in with a Massa and Raikkonen pairing until the end of 2009 at minimum. Although the red team had tried to say previously that they had no interest in Alonso, the questions were still being asked. This news will provide both Ferrari drivers with piece of mind this weekend, but will only further the speculation surrounding Alonso.

Fisichella Rules Out Retirement

Continuing with the Alonso predicament, the only viable option left to the Spaniard other than status quo is his old stable Renault. Reggie boss Flavio Briatore has discussed the matter with Alonso earlier in the season and before he was publicly implicated in the spy scandal. The rumours of the fallout with Ron Dennis of McLaren have surely been exagerrated, but it is clear that Alonso is considering another switch.

It is because of this that Giancarlo Fisichella is now on “stand-by” at Renault. The Italian has done a reasonable job this year, considering the car is not as good as previous attempts. Perhaps that is down to Fisichella’s inability to provide decent feedback to further develop the car, although I personally feel that the R27 just didn’t start out right in the first place. Either way, Renault seem to be considering retaining Fisichella, hence the reason why his in stand-by. But should Alonso decide to move back, that will leave Fisichella high and dry, surely? Toyota and Williams are the only available alternatives aside from Spyker.

I am on standby, as requested from Renault. I would be very happy to stay. I have done a good job – the best given the circumstances! I have a strong feeling I have to finish the job. Giancarlo Fisichella.

When asked about the possibility of retirement, Giancarlo immediately rebutted with an exclaimed “No way!” while being interviewed for Formula One’s official website.

Quick Snippets

Oh, and Pitpass have an exclusive piece regarding the “fair play Tsar” who will be keeping a close eye on the McLaren team this weekend. Apparently all the teams are now going to be getting one…

Formula One, F1, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault

Oliver White

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