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The 2007 News Review, Part Two - April to June 17 Dec 2007

Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Indianapolis, USA, Thursday, 14 June 2007 Christian Albers (NLD), Spyker Formula One Team. Spyker F8-VII vs F-16 Jet Fighter, Royal Netherlands Air Force Volkel, The Netherlands, Friday 20 April 2007. © 2007 Spyker Formula One Team, Peter van Egmond
Bridgestone tyres.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 7 April 2007 New Honda "elephant ears" front wing on the car of Christian Klien (AUT) Honda RA107. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Barcelona, Spain, 3 May 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Second place finisher Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren and race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren celebrate with the champagne. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Race, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2007

From Spyker’s Christijan Albers taking on a jet fighter plane, to new races in Valencia and Singapore, we take a look back at the news that made headlines from April to June in the second instalment of our four-part feature…

Toro Rosso announce the appointment of Giorgio Ascanelli as the team’s new technical director. After the white dot used on Bridgestone’s softer specification tyre at the opening round in Australia was considered too difficult to spot, the tyre manufacturer announces it will paint a white line within one of the tyre’s grooves to distinguish the compound.

After Honda’s poor performance in Melbourne, Jenson Button says he’s hopeful of an upswing in pace. The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) becomes the first Grand Prix venue to receive the prestigious FIA Institute Centre of Excellence award. Ferrari praise Felipe Massa for his Bahrain victory after the Brazilian bounced back from his Malaysian trails and tribulations.

Spyker announce they plan to launch a B-spec version of the F8-VII ahead of schedule. A new company headed by Bernie Ecclestone takes over the running of the Istanbul Park circuit, venue for the Turkish Grand Prix. Spyker’s Christijan Albers takes on the might of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, racing an F16 fighter jet in a straight-line speed contest at a Holland air base. Albers loses out by little more than two car-lengths.

FIA President Max Mosley insists that introducing ‘customer cars’ to Formula One racing is an obvious course of action if smaller teams are to remain competitive. Williams' Alex Wurz speaks to the United Nations World Youth Assembly calling for a more proactive approach to educating young people about driving and road safety.

Toyota reveal that team principal Tsutomu Tomita will be replaced by Tadashi Yamashina in June. BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld makes history by becoming the first driver in over 30 years to tackle the legendary Nordschleife track at the Nurburgring in a Formula One car. Heidfeld completes three demonstration laps of the 20.8 kilometre circuit, clocking a best time of 8m 34s on his second run.

Renault, meanwhile, look to the future after announcing plans to become the first Formula One team to join online 3D world ‘Second Life’.

Honda takes the prize for the 'most unusual-looking aerodynamic device of the season' during testing at Barcelona, debuting two large and highly-sculpted winglets attached to either side of the RA107’s nosecone. The winglets are quickly dubbed ‘elephant ears’ by the media.

BMW Sauber confirm they will not use a third driver during Friday practice sessions, consigning Sebastian Vettel to the role of reserve driver for the foreseeable future. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso attends a karting challenge event ahead of the Spanish Grand prix, chatting to young competitors and offering tips. The Spanish city of Valencia announces it will host a round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship on a newly-constructed harbourside street circuit.

A day later Singapore joins the fray, confirming it will host a round too. The race, which will be held on a street circuit, will be the first night-time event in Formula One history. Super Aguri celebrate their first ever championship point after Takuma Sato finishes the Spanish Grand Prix in eighth place.

After impressing in December, then three-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais tests again for Toro Rosso. Honda Racing’s Young Driver Programme member James Rossiter is announced as Super Aguri’s new official tester.

McLaren celebrate their 150th Formula One victory, after Alonso finishes first in Monaco, ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton. The FIA investigates claims that team orders played part in the Spaniard’s win, but decide that the team’s strategy was legal. Outgoing Toyota team principal Tomita announces he will become the new Chairman of the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway circuit in Japan.

Renault kick off their 2007 roadshow programme in style with Heikki Kovalainen wowing a crowd of 80,000 with a demonstration run in the Polish capital, Warsaw. Kimi Raikkonen insists he is still in with a shot at the title, despite trailing joint leaders Alonso and Hamilton by 15 points. Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella announces plans to open the world’s first academy dedicated to motorsport.

Trouble reigns in Montreal ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, with Red Bull’s Mark Webber reprimanded by stewards following a collision with Toro Rosso’s Scott Speed, and Kovalainen succumbing to an engine failure in Saturday practice. BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica, meanwhile, escapes serious injury after crashing heavily in the Montreal race.

Although Kubica is out of hospital within hours, he is replaced by Sebastian Vettel for the United States Grand Prix a week later for medical reasons. Vettel impresses on his Indianapolis debut, becoming the youngest man to score a world championship point after a first-rate drive to eighth place. McLaren’s Hamilton, meanwhile, takes a second consecutive victory.