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Alonso, Raikkonen answer F1 criticism

July 2, 2007 at 7:17 AM   |   Comments

MAGNY-COURS, France, June 29 (UPI) -- Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will try to deflect headlines from Lewis Hamilton Sunday at the Grand Prix de France Formula One auto race at Magny-Cours.

Hamilton, the first black to drive on the F1 circuit, won the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal June 10 and the U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis June 17.

Alonso, the defending F1 points champion, spent much of Thursday's pre-race news conference tying to explain he wasn't unhappy with sponsor McLaren.

Hamilton is the points leader going into Sunday's race with a 10-point edge on Alonso.

Hamilton's victory at Montreal made him the first rookie to win a Formula One race since Juan Montoya captured the Italian Grand Prix in 2001.

Raikkonen downplayed rumors of the return of former points champion Michael Schumacher, who retired last season.

"I haven't read any magazines for a long time, so I don't know anything about it," Raikkonen said. "I'm in a pretty safe place."

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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