LITESPORT London Lite Tuesday, 28 July 2009 31 Hamilton progress gives Red Bullwings RED BULLS racing boss Christian Horner believes McLarens sudden improvement is a help rather than a hindrance to their world title bid. Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are closing in on long- time championship leader Jenson Button, while the battle for the constructors championship is also no forgone conclusion. And Horner is confident that an increase in the level of competition will see Brawn slide further down the grid. He said: There is the step that McLaren has made, I think Renault has also made a step and Williams, in fairness, their car also looks very promising. So for us the best thing is to have the most cars between us and Brawn as we possibly can. Red Bulls RB5 is now viewed as the fastest car in the field, despite Hamiltons victory at the Hungaroring, and Horner thinks it should start to excel once the calendar returns to more traditional high-speed venues. I think once we get back to more classic tracks well start to see hopefully a similar performance from our car to Silverstone and the Nurburgring and it will be interesting to see where the Brawns are, he said. England, the 2015 hosts with the most Catt only let out inanemergency LONDON IRISH have told World Cup winner Mike Catt, at 37 the oldest player in the Guinness Premiership, he will only play this season in emergencies. With Chris Malone, signed from Harlequins and Doncasters Jamie Lennard both recovering from injury quicker than expected, Exiles boss Toby Booth said: As a player, we are putting Catty (left) behind a piece of glass which says Only break in an emergency! He did a lot of coaching on our training camp in Italy, but you would never say never in terms of playing next season. ENGLAND are expected to be confirmed as hosts of the 2015 Rugby World Cup today and charged with the job of reviving the games finances by generating a record 300m surplus. With the 2011 Cup in New Zealand predicted to create a 20m loss the first in the history of the tournament which the NZRFU and Government have agreed to cover the Rugby Football Unions financial power is seen as the only way to get the event back into the black. The 2007 Cup in France generated a 122m surplus thanks to sponsorships, tickets sales (2.2m), television revenue, hospitality (100,000 packages) and merchandising returns the New Zealanders cannot match. The IRB is committed to spending 150m over the next four years to boost the sport world-wide and will need a massive cash injection in 2015. It takes 95 percent of the World Cup revenue with Deloitte claiming the host union gains economic benefits of up to 2.1bn The RFU believe they have the financial model to produce that 300m surplus 60m more than other bidders predicted and were forced to guarantee 80m just to earn the right to stage the Cup, the first to be solely under the control of a single home Union. The RFU will use Twickenham, Wembley, Old Trafford and other major football grounds to bring in more than two million fans during the tournament along with the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, although Wales are not part of the 2015 bid. BY HARRY LANE MICHAEL SCHUMACHER is not ruling out the possibility of standing in for stricken Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. TheBrazilianisrecoveringinhospitalafter suffering a fractured skull at the Hungarian Grand Prix last Saturday and is likely to be out for the rest of the year. Schumachers spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said today: The whole thing will be consid- ered by Ferrari. If they approach Michael, then he will consider it. Seven-times world champion Schumacher, who retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2006 season, still trains every day but Kehm pointed out: Michael had a motorcycle accident in February when he had a neck problem -- and I really cant tell you if his neck would be fine to drive an F1 race. If Ferrari asked him whether he would consider driving, he would have it checked. But remember, he is 40. Schumacher, who won a record 91 Grands Prix, is under contract to Ferrari in a con- sultancy role and though Massa is recover- ing,thereisnodoubttheteamwillbeadriver down when the European Grand Prix takes place in Valencia on 23 August. Ferrari legend Niki Lauda said: Who is available? There is nobody available any- where near Michael. Ferraris test drivers are useless. The 38-year-old Italian Luca Badoer, who failed to score a point in 49 races between 1993 and 1999, and 35-year-old Spaniard Marc Gen are Ferraris official reserve drivers. They could also turn to Italian Formula Two driver Mirko Bortolotti, 19, who impressed during Testing last year. Staff attheAEKHospitalinBudapesttoday denied reports suggesting Massa, 28, will never race again and said he could be fit enough to walk out in 10 days. PeterBazso,thehospitalsmedicaldirector, said it was too early to tell if Massas sight had been affected after a metal spring unit from the Brawn GP of Rubens Barrichello, smashedintohishelmet.Bazsosaid:Wecan givenopositivenornegativeanswer,because at this stage the vision cannot be examined. Hes spending more and more time awake, danger is decreasing by the day. Massaspregnantwife,Raffaela,saidhope- fully: Felipe is doing good. Soon, he will be giving joy to all in his little red car. Bullish: Lewis can help Webber Schumacher to consider replacing injured MassaBY NEAL COLLINS WHO WILL FILL THE HOT SEAT? MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (main pic) Injured his back on a motorbike in February but has been karting since LUCA BADOER (top left) Two years younger than Schuey at 38 but pointless in 49 Grands Prix MARC GENE (top right) Spaniard did once manage sixth for Minardi in 1999 but at 34, no rising star MIRKO BORTOLOTTI (left) Won the Formula Three title last year but at 19, hes one for the future Freak accident: Felipe Massa index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html