F1 News 1999-07-13

Alesi questions Ferrari decision Jean Alesi has said that he felt that Luca Badoer should have got the drive, not Salo, according to press reports. "Ferrari's choices are not my business. But in my opinion, any comparison between Mika Salo...

Alesi questions Ferrari decision

Jean Alesi has said that he felt that Luca Badoer should have got the drive, not Salo, according to press reports.

"Ferrari's choices are not my business. But in my opinion, any comparison between Mika Salo and Luca Badoer would have gone Badoer's way. I just can't understand why Salo has been chosen. For me, Badoer would win 1,000-1.".

He went on to say he hadn't wanted the drive himself. "I've never thought about replacing Schumacher. I've never been on the list of possible replacements and it's annoyed me even to hear my name being mentioned in connection with that"

Salo confirmed as replacement

Mika Salo has been confirmed as driver of the No 3 Ferrari at Austria.

Schumacher released from hospital

Michael Schumacher has been released from Northampton General Hospital. Ferrari have issued a statement saying that Michael thanked his fans for their support. His surgeon Dr Bill Ribbons, according to the BBC, said that Michael was on good spirits. He went on to say that he has had a 12" (30cm) pin put in his leg, and had severe blood loss which caused swelling to the leg, and some tissue damage. He also said that he has started physiotherapy already to help rectify this. "If everything goes as we anticipate, he will make a full recovery."

He is expected to go to a private clinic in Switzerland. He will miss at least four races, but is reported to be determined to return before the end of the season.

"I know I'm going to be out of action for two to three months and I realise that I have absolutely no chance of the championship, but I'm lucky to be alive. I'm thankful for the improvements made in the cars over the last few years because that is what has helped me escape with only a broken leg."

Sid Watkins, medical boss of F1, said that Schumacher gave him two instructions after the crash "to call his wife to tell her he was alright, and the other to call Jean Todt to tell him the brakes had failed and to check the other car"

Foulston puts in new bid for Silverstone

In a move that is starting to look like desperation, Nicola Foulston has put in a new bid for Silverstone. The bid is £43m (apx $70m) for a 50 year lease, and £2m for investing in new drivers. This works out at £60,000 ($95,000) per member of the BRDC.

Foulston's BHL Group holds the rights to the British Grand Prix from 2002, but Brands Hatch is not up to hosting the race without substantial investment. At the weekend it was pointed out that Brands Hatch would fit into the area reserved for helicopters at Silverstone.

Mosley defends safety in F1

Max Mosley has defended the safety aspects of F1 motor racing. "What is really remarkable is that despite not being slowed down very much he survived an accident with a disagreeable injury, but not a life- threatening one, If this had happened a few years ago he would have been seriously injured, if not killed."

He went on to explain that the gravel traps do not work in a crash such as the one that happened to Schumacher. "We know that if a driver goes straight through a gravel trap then the car will not slow down much, The standard procedure is to put the car in full lock, then the car will start to slide. For some reason Michael Schumacher did not put it into full lock. There is a theory that the gravel traps should slope upwards. But it is a theory, we have no real evidence on that."

Max went on to explain how the tyre barriers currently work, with a plastic pipe going down the centre. "It is a great, big, thick plastic pipe which slides down inside each pile of tyres like a skewer. That has tremendous energy absorption, it is a far more effective form of energy absorption and in accidents you want to try and get rid of that energy." Schumacher 'I'm lucky to be alive'

Michael Schumacher has said that he is lucky to be alive. "I am lucky to be alive, I am thankful for the improvements made in the cars over the last few years because that is what has helped me escape with only a broken leg. I know I'm going to be out of action for two to three months and I realise that I have absolutely no chance of the championship this year. But I'm confident I'll be back driving a Ferrari in Formula One before the end of the season. I'm not depressed. I'm feeling positive and I'm looking forward even now."

Stephen M Baines http://www.motorsport.org.uk

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Jean Alesi , Mika Salo , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari