F-1 Newsline: Friday

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The Association of European Carmakers met with Pope John Paul at the Vatican, Friday, and officially announced it will launch a rival Formula One series by 2008.

The ACEA met with the Pope in honor of his 81st birthday, and then signed the deal, a Fiat spokesperson said. Fiat managing director Paolo Cantarella will head the company.

“The goal of the manufacturers is to promote the interest of the sport, to make sure that the races are made freely available to the broadest possible public worldwide,'' said a statement released by the ACEA.

Many of Formula One’s major competitor’s are in the ACEA, including Ford and Jaguar, DaimlerChrysler and McLaren-Mercedes, Fiat and Ferrari, BMW and Williams, and Renault with Benetton.

The carmakers first threatened to form their own series earlier this year after they began to doubt F-1’s future on free TV. The ACEA fears F-1 will move to pay TV after German media giants Kirch and EM.TV purchased 75 percent of SLEC, the TV rights to the worldwide racing series.

Reportedly, media mogul Leo Kirch is taking the threat of a rival F-1 series “very seriously.”

“Over the next few days, the shareholders of SLEC and Mr. Ecclestone will consider what it actually means,” he said. “We are still prepared to hold talks with the automakers about their taking a stake and exercising influence within SLEC.”

Hello Moscow, Goodbye Brazil?
It’s no secret that the Brazil Grand Prix is Sao Paulo is the one of the least favorite races on the Formula One circuit.

Now, with a Grand Prix of Russia on the way to Moscow, the Brazil race may be axed. At least that’s if people like British American Racing managing director Craig Pollock has anything to say about it.

“I don't want to see any (races) go,” said Pollock. “But if you did it by racetrack and facilities, then I think somewhere with the smallest garage facilities and the most difficult conditions to work in is Brazil. But then again it's a great race.

“Personally I'd prefer to see 25 races and no testing at all, but that's a personal opinion.”

Raikkonen Stock Rising
Sauber rookie Kimi Raikkonen’s fourth place finish in Austria surprised some people, but not team boss Peter Sauber, and definitely not Raikkonen.

If you ask him, he should have more than just four points this season.

"It's been a long wait since Melbourne, so I'm very happy not just to score another three points but to take Sauber's overall total beyond 100,” he said. "I had a very good race, though maybe there was some luck at the start. The car was good all the way through and I could keep pushing hard.

"People are making a lot of fuss because I have the same points now as Mika Hakkinen but what matters to me is that as a team we had another great result."

Raikkonen is second in points among F-1 rookies, behind Juan Pablo Montoya’s six points.

Race Center

Grand Prix of Brazil

@ Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sunday, November 24, 2013

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