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Button threatens to quit F1 over team orders  
Jenson Button is all about 'me' not about 'we'
Jenson Button will fight to keep his world championship hopes alive this weekend on what may turn out to be his last appearance at Monza’s cathedral of speed.

For the world champion, preparing for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, is giving serious consideration to retiring from Formula One if team orders are legalized.

Button has rarely, if ever, spoken as fervently as here. The paddock was buzzing with the FIA’s contradictory ruling that although Ferrari broke the rules in shuffling their drivers around so that Fernando Alonso could win in Germany seven weeks ago they should escape with a meaningless £65,000 fine. More ...

Esteban Gutiérrez fastest in GP3 practice  Esteban Gutiérrez showed his determination to claim the inaugural GP3 Series crown, topping the time sheets in this afternoon’s practice session at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza ahead of Carlin’s Josef Newgarden and Jenzer’s Nico Müller.

In soaring 27 degree heat, the GP3 Series took to the track for the final practice session of the 2010 season, and it was local man Mirko Bortolotti who led the way in his #19 Addax Team car – the Italian no doubt spurred on the ever enthusiastic Tifosi. Renger van der Zande, Michael Christensen, Dean Smith and Series contender Robert Wickens joined the Addax driver at the top of the time sheets during the first part of the session.  More ...

Harvick wins Nationwide pole  Kevin Harvick won the pole for tonight's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond Int'l Raceway.

Harvick grabbed his third NASCAR Nationwide Series pole of the season with a lap speed of 123.990 mph around the .75-mile speedway. It's his second pole at the track but first while piloting the Kevin Harvick Inc. No. 33 Chevrolet.

In 19 previous starts at the track, Harvick has racked up four victories and 15 top 10s. He has yet to score a victory with his own team in six starts there, but he is coming off five consecutive top-10 finishes.

Harvick will be joined on the front row at the start of tonight's race by his Sprint Cup teammate, Clint Bowyer. Bowyer led two of the three practices heading into the race and narrowly missed the pole with a speed of 123.887 mph.

Ave Moves to Top of Time Charts at VIR  After posting the sixth-quickest time in the first SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series practice session at Virginia International Raceway on Friday morning, championship points leader Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C. restored order in the second session on Friday afternoon by running the fastest lap of the day.

On his first flying lap of the session, Ave turned in his best time at 1:47.077 (109.939 mph) in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette. It was the quickest lap of the day by more than half a second, but Ave’s session came to an early end shortly thereafter when he made contact with the barrier at the famous VIR “Oak Tree” turn, otherwise known as Turn 11. More ...

'All teams' secretly support team orders - Sauber  
Peter Sauber
(GMM)  "All teams" either openly or secretly support the deployment of team orders, Peter Sauber said at Monza on Friday.

But when it came to supporting Ferrari at the FIA's disciplinary hearing earlier this week, only the Swiss and fellow veteran Sir Frank Williams would write an actual letter.

"All the teams are for team orders when they make sense, but no one admits it openly!" Sauber is quoted at Monza by the Blick newspaper. More ...

Rome inks five-year F1 race contract on Friday  (GMM)  A five-year contract for a formula one street race in the Italian capital was signed at Monza on Friday, Rome grand prix officials have announced.

Ahead of Italy's existing race near Milan, they said that Rome would also feature on the calendar in 2012 or 2013, after the agreement was signed by Bernie Ecclestone and organizer Maurizio Flammini on Friday.

"Congratulations for the results he (Flammini) has delivered," said Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno.  "I hope Rome's grand prix can start in 2012."

The only obstacles are the objections of residents of Rome's EUR district, and opponents who are fiercely protective of historic Monza remaining the only Italian F1 event.

Alemanno insisted: "The Monza race will remain -- it won't be destroyed by Rome's."

Rivals say McLaren turned down tougher flexi tests  
Jenson Button
(GMM)  Red Bull and Ferrari hit back at McLaren on Friday as the flexible wing saga continued to run.  It is the British team that has been the most vocal about the wings on the Red Bull and Ferrari cars this year.

But technical bosses Adrian Newey and Aldo Costa told reporters at Monza that they were ready to agree to an even more stringent flexibility test -- and it was McLaren that turned it down.

"We are happy to further increase the stiffness if we want a front wing that is double the stiffness," Ferrari's Costa said. More ...

New FIA system, marshal to blame for Massa mistake  (GMM)  A new transponder system and an wayward marshal are to blame for Felipe Massa's Spa head-start not being noticed in Belgium two weeks ago.

The Brazilian driver explained at Monza that he did not realize he had overshot his grid box because he sits so low in the cockpit of his Ferrari.

But why the FIA's technology, and observers at the side of the track, did not notice the error is currently the subject of an investigation.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the automatic jump-start detection system in 2010 is new. More ...

3M extends deal with NASCAR  3M has "extended its sponsorship relationship" with NASCAR, "adding new brands to market under a five-year, multimillion-dollar deal." The agreement runs through 2015 and "follows a five-year deal that ends after this year." NASCAR officials said that the new pact is "slightly larger in size on an annual basis than the current deal." 3M VP Mark Fenner said, "We see this as an area of opportunity. There's a lot more we can leverage out of our NASCAR involvement."
Top three F1 teams look strong at Monza  (GMM)  Championship chargers McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari appear to all have competitive packages at Monza for this weekend's Italian grand prix.

McLaren was fastest in the morning practice session, Red Bull in the afternoon, while Ferrari's F10 was just hundredths of a second off the pace.

Mark Webber, 3 points adrift Lewis Hamilton's title lead, had a slight afternoon scare with a water pressure alarm.

"We had to turn off the engine to prevent any damage," said the Australian. More ...

NASCAR Atlanta TV Ratings down  UPDATE As predicted, the final 'national' TV rating for last weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta, was a 3.4, not the 3.9 cable only version put out by the ESPN PR machine.  Even though the two ratings are different (3.4 vs. 3.9) the number of viewers are the same.  The difference is that the national overall rating includes all the TV households, not just the cable TV households.  Similar the Nationwide race TV rating was a 1.2, not a 1.4 as previously reported by ESPN.

09/08/10 ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night, Sept. 5, earned a final national household coverage rating of 3.9 (will probably go lower as this is a cable national rating), averaging 5,516,601 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race, the first Labor Day weekend event at Atlanta, earned a 4.1 rating 5.9 million viewers.  In other words they lost 400,000 viewers in one year.  Ouch.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series continued its run of ratings success this season with Saturday night’s Atlanta race earning a final national household coverage rating of 1.4 on ESPN2, averaging 1,893,361 viewers. Last year’s race also earned a 1.4 rating. Six of the last 10 Nationwide Series races have seen ratings growth over the corresponding event last year, while the other four were even.
2011 IndyCar Schedule announced  The Izod IndyCar Series released its 2011 schedule today, which includes eight oval races and nine road/street events. The lineup includes the return of the Milwaukee Mile and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The season will begin on March 27 on a temporary street course in St. Petersburg, Fla, as it did for years until last year Brazil opened the season. The season finale has not yet been announced, but reports indicate that the race will be held at either Las Vegas Motor Speedway or Auto Club Speedway in California.

The race at Kentucky Speedway this year will shift from Labor Day weekend to Oct. 2 to make way for the inaugural street race in Baltimore. IndyCar will mark the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29th.

March 27
Streets of St. Petersburg
1.8-mile street course
April 10
Barber Motorsports Park
2.3-mile road course
April 17
Streets of Long Beach
1.968-mile street course
May 1
Streets of Sao Paulo
2.536-mile street course
May 29
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
2.5-mile oval
June 11*
Texas Motor Speedway
1.5-mile oval
June 19
The Milwaukee Mile
1-mile oval
June 25*
Iowa Speedway
0.875-mile oval
July 10
Streets of Toronto
1.755-mile street course
July 24
Edmonton City Centre Airport
1.973-mile airport course
Aug. 7
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
2.258-mile road course
Aug. 14
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
1-mile oval
Aug. 28
Infineon Raceway
2.303-mile road course
Sept. 4
Streets of Baltimore
2-mile street course
Sept. 18
Twin Ring Motegi
1.5-mile oval
Oct. 2
Kentucky Speedway
1.5-mile oval
*Denotes night race                                        Schedule subject to change
Bianchi heads ART 1-2  Jules Bianchi has proven that he is back on top form by claiming pole position in this afternoon's qualifying session in Monza, albeit by the tightest of margins: the Frenchman pipped ART teammate Sam Bird and Jerome d'Ambrosio by less than a tenth of a second. The Frenchman set his best time of 1:30.269 when conditions were at their best: the session opening under hot conditions following the second F1 practice, with plenty of their rubber on track allowing the field to set scorching times right from the start.
Historic GP cars may run in Austin  There hasn't been a Formula One Grand Prix race in the United States since 2007, when the sport finished its eight-year run in Indianapolis, but owners and drivers continue to race F1 cars in this country.

Three weeks ago, they roared around Infineon Raceway about three hours before the start of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma in California. The week before, they competed in the final race at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the Mazda/Laguna Seca Raceway. What's more, the Historic Grand Prix is eyeing Austin, site of the planned 2012 U.S. Grand Prix.

"We would absolutely be interested in coming," said James King, co-director of Historic Grand Prix. "We'd have 30 cars at least." More ...

Webber's Red Bull stops as pace heats up at Monza  (GMM)  Mark Webber's Red Bull ground to a halt during the final quarter of the afternoon practice session at Monza.

The championship contender pulled off the track with a water pressure problem that should be easily fixed, a representative of the Austrian-owned team said.

His teammate Sebastian Vettel fared better, adding a P1 to his competitive time set in the earlier morning session. More ...

Hamilton hits out at FIA super license threat  (GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has hit out at the FIA's plans to penalize formula one drivers for road traffic infractions.

It is almost certainly the McLaren driver's so-called 'hoon driving' in Melbourne earlier this year that has moved the governing body to act in this area.

In Paris earlier this week, the FIA agreed that F1 drivers risk losing their jobs if they lose their normal road driving license.

And if a driver commits a "serious road traffic offence", the FIA "may issue a warning or refer the matter" to the World Motor Sport Council. More ...

Monza: Vettel and Alonso lead 2nd practice  Both Ferrari drivers gave the Tifosi something to cheer about Friday afternoon in Monza by finishing 2nd and 3rd quick.  Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel spoiled the party for the Italian team by turning the fastest lap, but just barely.

After McLaren led early, Fernando Alonso finished 2nd quick, less than a tenth off the fast Red Bull of Vettel and Felipe Massa 3rd in 3rd was 0.222s back. More ...

Van der Garde tops free practice  
Giedo van der Garde
Giedo van der Garde has shown that Addax are the team to beat in Monza, heading this morning’s practice session at the fabled Italian circuit ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and local hero Luca Filippi.

The Dutchman led for most of the session, and was in contention throughout: his best time of 1:30.654 was set just 12 minutes in when he reclaimed the top spot with a lap that was not to be bettered. More ...

What is NASCAR buying with the Danica hype?  Where I live in South Jersey, you will occasionally see billboards for upcoming races at Dover Speedway. A few days ago I drove by one with Danica’s face plastered on the billboard even larger that the words “Dover Speedway”. It’s the first time I can recall either of two things happening: a Nationwide race being advertised on a billboard, and a driver being mentioned on a billboard for an upcoming event. I’m not saying that it’s never happened, just that I haven’t seen it.

All this for a driver whose best finish in six races is 24th. Who has yet to finish a race even as much as one lap down.

Google “Danica Patrick” and the first thing that will appear on your computer screen are eight photos, or at least that’s what showed up on my screen. Two of them show her in a firesuit, one shows her undressing out of a firesuit with little on underneath, and the rest show her in various types of lingerie. It’s hard to know whether she’s a racecar driver or a supermodel posing as one. More ...

Monza: Button tops opening practice  UPDATE
Jenson Button
McLaren got off to a strong start at Monza on Friday morning, despite testing a rear wing that looked more suited to a high-downforce track.

While many rivals were running more conventional for Monza 'tea-tray'-style wings for the Autodromo's long straights, observers were surprised when the MP4-25 emerged from the pits with a very big rear wing.

After the British team hinted it might not use an F-duct at all this weekend, the wing was indeed used on Friday morning in conjunction with the downforce-shedding innovation.

The implication is that McLaren achieves high straight-line speeds by activating the F-duct on the straights and stalling the wing, while in the corners the car gains a competitive advantage by producing higher-than-normal downforce.

Jenson Button topped the morning timesheets at the Italian circuit, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton was third quickest in the sister car. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Losing two teams would be 'just fine' for F1 - Parr
  • Williams, Sauber, backed Ferrari in team orders hearing
  • Hamilton 'far more complete' than Vettel - Lauda
  • No Sauber decision until later in 2010 - de la Rosa
  • Red Bull, most teams, running stronger floors at Monza
  • Schumacher dismayed by altered Monza curbs

Losing two teams would be 'just fine' for F1 - Parr
(GMM)  12 teams is enough for formula one, and 10 would also be a healthy number, according to Williams' chairman Adam Parr.

The Jacques Villeneuve/Durango bid, as well as the Spanish Le Mans team Epsilon Euskadi, have been turned down by F1's governing body after applying for the final 13th spot on the 2011 grid.

"I don't think we should have 13," Parr is quoted by the Texas newspaper American Statesman.

"I think that 12 is a maximum and personally I think we should have a maximum of 10 teams," he said.

Currently, the F1 grid is composed of 12 teams, but there are fears about the financial situations suffered by several of them.

"I think it's a very real possibility that we could lose a couple of teams," Parr admitted.

"Part of the evolution of formula one is that teams come in and they go.  Since 1970 we've lost, I think, 55 teams.  It's sort of a brutal competition and not everyone makes it.

"If things fall out so that we have 10 teams competing next year, personally I think that would be just fine," he added. More ...

Munter voted NASCAR's hottest driver  
Leilani Munter
"The blare of revving engines, the squeal of tires leaving pit row, it's not an atmosphere where you'd expect someone to be touting the benefits of vegetables, recycling, composting and canvas bags. And that's exactly what makes rising star race car driver Leilani Munter so interesting."

A biology graduate turned race car driver, Munter began racing stock cars 10 years ago, and now competes in both NASCAR and IndyCar. She's been voted "the hottest woman in NASCAR," and is only the fourth woman in history to compete in the Indy Lights Series.

Read Elam's full interview with Munter, and hear how she manages her ironic dual identity of race car driver and environmentalist. The blare of revving engines, the squeal of tires leaving pit row, it's not an atmosphere where you'd expect someone to be touting the benefits of vegetables, recycling, composting and canvas bags. And that's exactly what makes rising star race car driver Leilani Munter so interesting -- and so important in these times.  More ...
Fans can watch Earnhardt test for free  On Saturday, the driver field will be set for NASCAR’s 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, which culminates this fall at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Ford Championship Weekend. And THIS MONDAY, race fans are invited to a FREE preview of the Championship-finale Ford 400, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. headlines a foursome of Sprint Cup drivers on track for tire-testing.

NASCAR’s most popular driver will be behind the wheel of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports car at THE Championship Track. Drivers scheduled to join him include A.J. Allmendinger, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, the favorite to claim NASCAR’s Nationwide Series Championship in Miami during Ford Championship Weekend. Fans are invited to watch drivers take to the 1.5-mile, variable-banked oval for FREE from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the 4th-Floor Speedway Club grandstand seats. More ...

Horner questions FIA ruling  Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner feels the FIA have set a dangerous precedent following yesterday's ruling in the team orders controversy.

The governing body's World Motor Sport Council opted not to punish Ferrari further for what unfolded during the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on July 25.

Instead, the WMSC chose to uphold the punishment imposed by the stewards, who fined Ferrari 100,000 US dollars after Felipe Massa ceded first place, and ultimately victory, to team-mate Fernando Alonso after coded messages were relayed to the Brazilian.

The WMSC have also referred the regulation relating to team orders being prohibited to the Formula One Sporting Working Group for review at the end of the season, and there is now every possibility the rule will be abolished. More ...

IZOD IndyCar Series teams load up for Japan  By land, sea and air, the IZOD IndyCar Series is en route to Japan for the Sept. 19 Indy Japan 300.  The 13,000-mile round-trip adventure for the 25 IZOD IndyCar Series entrants making the trip begins at the Indianapolis International Airport, where they unload their cars and equipment from their transporters onto metal car racks and place it a staging area on airport tarmac, where the cars and the team's equipment will be swallowed by two behemoth Nippon Cargo Air 747-400B airplanes.

The IZOD IndyCar Series' shipment isn't the heaviest (both planes can total up to 450,000 takeoff weight) that Nippon Cargo Air deals with, but is among the highest in volume. Forty-five race cars, pit and garage equipment and consumable items are meticulously packaged, arranged on a pallet and wrapped in plastic by teams for the trip. More ...

racing news
Penske shows his appreciation  Penske Racing took some time on Tuesday to show appreciation for all its employees as the organization’s teams prepare for the stretch run of a remarkable racing season.

With the support of its partners, Penske Racing hosted a special lunch for all of its 400-plus employees at Penske Racing headquarters. All of the team’s drivers that compete in the NASCAR Cup Series and Nationwide Series, as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series, were in attendance for the lunch that was held on the main floor of the 425,000 square-foot facility located in Mooresville, N.C. More ...

Massa did not see Spa starting grid line  
Felipe Massa
(GMM)  Felipe Massa on Thursday said he overshot his starting box on the Spa grid two weeks ago due to a visibility problem.

The FIA is currently investigating how it did not notice the Brazilian driver's Ferrari get a head-start in the Belgian grand prix.

"I think I am one of the drivers who sits lowest in the cockpit and the front of our car is quite high, so I definitely did not see the line on the grid very well, which is why I was a bit over it," Massa said at Monza.

"To be honest I was lucky that this was not noticed during the race!" More ...

Drivers want clarity over team orders ban  (GMM)  F1 drivers on Thursday said the FIA needs to clarify the ban on team orders in the wake of Ferrari's Paris hearing more than 24 hours ago.

At Hockenheim in July, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa swapped places in a move that stewards – imposing a $100,000 fine – deemed a breach of the team orders ban.

The breach was referred to the World Motor Sport Council, but on Wednesday in Paris the governing body did not apply further sanctions, apparently due to a lack of evidence.

The FIA released the full dossier of its decision on Friday, revealing that while it thought Ferrari had breached the rule, there were likely "many examples" of similar or better-veiled breaches in recent years. More ...

Honda to sponsor Barber race  American Honda Motor Company, Inc., announced today it will be the title sponsor of the April 8-10 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.

The multi-year agreement with event promoter ZOOM Motorsports of Birmingham, Alabama, adds the 2.38-mile Barber road course to a roster of Honda-titled IndyCar events that includes the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida and Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course north of Columbus.  More ...

Watkins Glen confirms dropping of IndyCar race  
You could have shot a cannon in the Watkins Glen grandstands and not hit anyone.
“The decision has been made for the IndyCar Series to not return to Watkins Glen International in 2011. This is a joint business decision between WGI and the Indy Racing League.

I cannot speak for the series but can say that when evaluating events that we host at Watkins Glen International, there are a variety of factors that must be considered.  Factors contributing to these decisions include the cost of competition, operational expense, paid attendance, both sponsor and market support, and future growth potential. 

We know our track has experienced enthusiastic reviews by the competitors, drivers and fans of the IndyCar Series for the past six years. We continue to enjoy a good relationship with the Indy Racing League and will keep our door open for future discussions with the series that may make sense for both businesses beyond 2011.”  Watkins Glen PR

De la Rosa, Sutil, muse F1 futures at Monza  (GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa on Thursday said he is expecting to wait a few weeks until his plans for the 2011 season can move forward.

Sauber has confirmed that Kamui Kobayashi has retained his seat for next season, but the same it not yet true for the rookie Japanese's 39-year-old teammate de la Rosa.

The Spanish veteran returned to the grid this season after a long period as a test driver, but insists he feels "no pressure" despite the fact his team is not yet willing to sign a new deal.

"I'm very happy with the season I've had," he added.

Also asked his future at Monza on Thursday was Force India's Adrian Sutil, who has been linked with a possible move to a rival team for 2011. More ...

FIA should use photo evidence for flexi wings - McLaren  (GMM)  Despite quietening in recent days, the flexible front wing saga could be set to ramp up once again.

McLaren and Mercedes figures said after Spa-Francorchamps two weeks ago that, with the FIA now employing tougher scrutineering tests, they thought Ferrari's and particularly Red Bull's wings were flexing less visibly in Belgium.

But Germany's Auto Motor und Sport has published a photo, taken at Spa, showing the front wing on Mark Webber's RB6 almost scraping along the track.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is reportedly angry. More ...

'Dangerous' to make Webber number 1 - Vettel  (GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has rebuked his teammate's suggestion that the time is nearing for Red Bull to choose a number 1 driver.

Mark Webber, just 3 points off the championship lead with six races to go, is 28 points clear of Vettel in the drivers' standings.

After finishing second at Spa two weeks ago, the Australian suggested that Red Bull might be wise to favor him if the team wants to win the 2010 title.

But German Vettel, 23, hit back at that plan in an email interview with the Associated Press published on Thursday. More ...

F1 looks like clowns as Ferrari fined $100,000 to generate 'free PR'  UPDATE As we predicted below, the British F1 media would end up looking like clowns (they hate Ferrari because they have a history of beating their beloved British teams) because there was zero evidence to prove Ferrari was guilty of giving team orders.  We have been proven right and all the press this generated must have wasted a thousand man-hours of journalistic time that could have been put toward more productive things. Former Ferrari boss Todt, whose team order at the A1-Ring in 2002 famously triggered the imposition of the ban, admitted he suspects a similar order was in effect when Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso swapped places at Hockenheim. "I tend to agree as well," said the Frenchman when told that many people believe July's events constituted a rules breach. Before you say you are guilty, you need to be able to prove that you are guilty," said Todt in a video interview with the BBC.

He said the Maranello based team "denied" Massa had slowed down to let Alonso past as the result of a team order. But, away from the FIA's headquarters at Place de la Concorde, Ferrari would clearly like to see the team orders rule repealed.

07/25/10 (GMM)  Ferrari has been fined $100,000 and now faces the wrath of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council.

A furor erupted after Sunday's German grand prix, in which Felipe Massa moved aside for winner Fernando Alonso after the Brazilian's engineer told him the Spaniard was faster.

Team management, and later the drivers, were summoned by the stewards, where Ferrari blankly denied the incident was a clear breach of the rule prohibiting result-altering team orders.

The result stands, but a report will be sent to the FIA's decision-making council, due to the alleged team orders breach and a charge of disrepute.

Ferrari denies that race engineer Rob Smedley's radio message to Massa prior to the Brazilian letting Alonso pass amounted to team orders. More ...

FIA rejects all 13th team applications  The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile), Formula One's governing body, said yesterday it has turned down all the entries from teams hoping to fill the vacant 13th constructor slot in the 2011 season.

The 13th slot arose following the collapse of the US F1 team before the start of the 2010 season. Among the teams applying included a joint-partnership between ex-world champion Jacques Villeneuve and ex-GP2 team Durango.

"Following the press release of 19 March 2010 calling for expressions of interest to participate in the 2011 and 2012 seasons of the FIA Formula One World Championship, a number of interested parties expressed their interest," an FIA statement read. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief Thursday  
  • Press angry after Ferrari team orders verdict
  • Decision paves road to team orders ban axe
  • Ferrari issued radio message to 'motivate' Massa
  • Alonso puts Contador cycling team plans on ice
  • Vettel vows to keep attacking amid criticism
  • Chandhok needs cockpit before 2011 Indian GP
  • 13th entry 'not only way' to enter F1 - Epsilon Euskadi
  • Rain at Monza but dry F1 weekend expected
  • F1 prospects improve for Hartley, Grosjean
  • Bahrain hopes to keep role as first race beyond 2011
  • Williams' Parr tours US GP host in Texas
  • Williams' Parr would be 'proud' to be FOTA chairman
  • Law firm sues HRT for unpaid fees

Press angry after Ferrari team orders verdict
(GMM)  Sections of the international media were angry after the FIA controversially decided not to further penalize Ferrari for imposing team orders at Hockenheim.

The full reasons for the decision have not yet been released, but the Daily Express in Britain said upholding the $100,000 stewards fine and ordering the paying of costs amounted to a "slap on the wrist".

"It was like giving a 40 (pound) parking ticket to a supercar owner who finds it easier to break the law by parking outside Harrods than find a legal spot," said the newspaper.

Moreover, the team orders ban has been referred back to the Sporting Working Group for review, moving the Daily Mail to muse that F1 has decided to "rip up its own rule book".

One photograph, published at Brazil's Globo website, depicted a Ferrari with a large FIA sponsor decal on its otherwise blank engine cover.

The Maranello based team, whose drivers were available for testimony by video link but ultimately not called upon, reacted officially to Wednesday's verdict by expressing its "appreciation" to the FIA.

"People used to think the FIA stood for Ferrari International Assistance," remarked an angry Eddie Jordan.  "Ferrari are important, but they must treat everybody with respect."

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport said the events in Paris, ahead of the grand prix at Monza, was Ferrari's "first victory of the week".

Indeed, 'Ferrari International Assistance' became a major trending topic on Twitter as the news broke, and BBC anchor Jake Humphrey said his feedback from fans was "not positive". More ...

Ferrari statement on FIA ruling  Ferrari has taken note of the decision of the FIA World Council, relating to the outcome of this year's German Grand Prix and wishes to express its appreciation of the Council's proposal to review article 39.1 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, in light of what emerged during today's discussions. Now, all the team's efforts will be focused on the next event on track, when the Italian Grand Prix takes place at Monza this weekend. Ferrari PR
Hartley gets GP2 nod  Former Red Bull Formula 1 test driver Brendon Hartley will make his GP2 debut with Coloni at Monza this weekend and again for Abu Dhabi season finale.

The New Zealander, who  was dropped from Red Bull's young driver program earlier this year, will now return to single-seater racing to complete the GP2 season for Coloni, getting his first taste of the car in Friday practice in Italy.

"GP2 is F1's best feeder series so I'm really happy to debut in the championship, even though it will be a big challenge to do so at Monza," said Hartley. More ...

Video: A virtual lap of Monza with Mark Webber  
Safety Team members honored  Jim Norman, who has been a member of the Holmatro Safety Team since 2004, was recognized Sept. 6 with the Championship Drivers Association Award for service.

Norman, a chief for the Nashville (Tenn.) Fire Department and safety director at Nashville Superspeedway, is the fire control officer in Race Control for IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights race weekends.

Mike Bray, who has been a member of the Holmatro Safety Team since the Indy Racing League's second race in its inaugural season, was recognized for his service. Bray, who is retiring from the safety team at the end of the season, has been part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway safety team since the 1960s. He helped develop the Motorsports Safety Class in the 1980s and has been part of the Holmatro Safety Team's education staff that trains track safety workers at each Indy Racing League event.

A volunteer firefighter with the Lawrence (Ind.) Fire Department, Bray is general manager of the Permanent Magnet Co. in Indianapolis.

track news
Staten Island site still an albatross around ISC's neck  Daytona Beach-based International Speedway Corp. and KB Marine Holdings have extended their negotiations on the sale of ISC's Staten Island property.

This is the second time the closing date for the deal has been extended, this time to Nov. 30, according to a news release from the companies Tuesday.

"Negotiations were still continuing," said Dan Houser, ISC chief financial officer. "We remain cautiously optimistic about this closing."

"The other party involved remains extremely interested in it," Houser said. "It's a great project, creating a deep-water harbor." More ...

Rahal Keeps Up with The Kardashians  IZOD IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal will be featured this week on Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E! Entertainment Television.

The behind-the-scenes show details the Indianapolis 500 as the Kardashian family partnered with Rahal Letterman Racing through Quick Trim, which sponsored Rahal's 12th-place-finishing car.

Race weekend saw the Kardashian family come to Indianapolis to meet Rahal and the race team, take a high-speed ride around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and attend all of the parties, parades and events that make the Indianapolis 500 one of the most prestigious events in American sport.

The show, which chronicles the day-to-day exploits of the Kardashian family, will air the episode from their visit to the Indy 500 at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Sept. 8; 2 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sept. 9; and at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 10.

Catching up with Bertrand Baguette  
Bertrand Baguette
First-year IZOD IndyCar Series driver Bertrand Baguette recorded his first top-10 finish of the season Sept. 4 in the Kentucky Indy 300, which followed his previous best of 12th a week earlier at Chicagoland Speedway.

Baguette, 24, of Belgium, gained one position in the standings and is third in the Rookie of the Year race.

"I think it was a good race for us, starting P6 and running third for a while," said Baguette, driver of the No. 34 RACB Conquest Racing car. "It felt good for the team and for me to be in that position. We've been continuously improving, which is good, and hopefully we can do even better at the next one." More ...

Graham Rahal also reads AR1.com  Hot on the heels of IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan saying that AutoRacing1.com is one of the top 3 websites he reads regularly comes this interview with Graham Rahal who also lists AutoRacing1.com as one of his top-3.  We guess we're doing something right and hope you agree too.  If not be sure to let us know.  We have had good feedback on our iPhone app.  Check it out if you have an iPhone, iPad or iTouch from Apple.

Ferrari escapes penalty, FIA to review team order ban  (GMM)  As the 'team orders hearing' broke in Paris on Wednesday evening, it emerged that Ferrari has escaped further penalty.

The disciplinary panel decided not to add to the Italian team's $100,000 fine for imposing team orders, despite former FIA president Max Mosley and others insisting recently that Ferrari deserved an additional sporting sanction.

In fact, the governing body has instead ordered a review of the regulations, which is an indication that the team orders ban will be amended or scrapped altogether.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, as well as FIA president Jean Todt, were present for Wednesday's proceedings. More ...

Villeneuve not giving up on F1 team plans  (GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve on Wednesday said he has not given up on heading his own formula one team in 2011.

Earlier in Paris, the FIA ruled that neither Villeneuve's collaboration with Italian racing outfit Durango, or the Spanish applicant Epsilon Euskadi, had satisfied the requirements for the vacant 13th place on next year's grid.

"Now we turn to our plan B, which is to take over one of the existing teams," the French Canadian said in a telephone interview with French language Rue Frontenac.

But the 1997 world champion admitted he is cautious.

"It is probably going to be a bit more expensive and we must ensure we have a free hand," said 39-year-old Villeneuve. More ...

Italian GP weather forecast  There may be rain in Monza today but it should clear up ahead of the 14th race weekend of 2010.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all expected to be dry with temperatures in the mid-to-low 20s.

The EUMETSAT weather radar shows the band of rain in the region at the moment will clear up over the next 24 hours leaving a dry track for practice.

FIA announces 20-race 2011 F1 schedule  The FIA has unveiled the calendar for the F1 2011 World Championship following the reunion of the governing body's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Paris today, with the schedule expanding to 20 races for the first time in the sport's six-decade history.

Broadly the same as the 2010 calendar, next season's schedule will begin in Bahrain in mid-March and conclude unusually late in Brazil at the end of November – two weeks later than this year – to include the inaugural Indian Grand Prix along the way on 30 October, 'subject to the homologation' of the Jaypee Circuit, 50km from the country's capital of New Delhi.

That race will slot in between the new-for-2010 Korean Grand Prix in Yeongam County and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which has lost its season finale status after only two campaigns back to Brazil, whose popular Interlagos circuit is often regarded as a natural amphitheatre for title-deciders. More ...

Pirelli bows out of WRC  Michelin will return to the World Rally Championship next year while current supplier Pirelli has finally decided it will not return to the sport as a result of new tire rules.

“In December, we tendered for another three-year deal to supply tires to the WRC,” said Pirelli's motorsports director Paul Hembery. “Once again, our tender included finance for continued investment in the Pirelli Star Driver scheme, which we financed from its inception in 2008. That three-year tender was rejected and we were offered a one-year extension on the same terms as the current three-year deal. But that was then changed again to a one-year deal under brand-new conditions, which at this point became unacceptable. Finally, we were presented with the current regulations, which we feel represents neither a control tire nor competition.

"It's our belief that these rules have serious limitations, and we've communicated our concerns to the FIA, which is why we will not be supplying tires to the WRC next year.”

McLaren backs 4-cylinder engines for 2013  (GMM)  McLaren on Wednesday said it is happy with F1's new engine formula for 2013, amid reports Ferrari is not supporting the 4-cylinder plan.

It is believed most teams are backing the introduction of 1.6 liter turbo engines, with restricted fuel flow, to replace the thirsty 2.4 liter V8 engines of today.

But Italian reports said Ferrari wants a 1.8 liter V6 engine, because it would essentially involve simply lopping two cylinders off the current designs.

The famous team's engine boss Luca Marmorini said there is not enough time between now and 2013 to design an all-new engine "with the necessary reliability to have only four units (per driver), as they would like". More ...

Latest F1 news in brief Wednesday - 2  Fittipaldi returns as steward, Monza alters curbs
FIA confirms no 13th team, 20 races in 2011
Ferrari figures arrive for team orders hearing
Pundits split over Vettel's title chances
Webber almost quit F1 during Williams days

Fittipaldi returns as steward, Monza alters curbs
(GMM)  Emerson Fittipaldi is resuming his role as a special formula one steward at this weekend's Italian grand prix.

The 63-year-old double world champion kicked off his FIA duties in the fourth steward role at Montreal in June.

Also confirmed by F1's governing body ahead of the Monza event are reported changes to the chicanes.

The FIA, meeting for a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Wednesday, said the areas behind the apex curbs at turns 1 and 4 have been laid with a ramped concrete section.

The sections will ensure that the chances of a car becoming airborne after running over the curbs are minimized. More ...

American Star Mazda champion eyes Road to F1  Newly crowned Star Mazda champion, Conor Daly, will spend the weekend in Monza, Italy, as part of a fact finding mission as he decides where his career might take him in 2011. The final two rounds of the GP3 championship will support the Italian Grand Prix and Daly is keen to see the races and meet the teams. "This is really a fact finding meet-n-greet for me this weekend. This time of any season is usually a little blurry as potential opportunities come to light. I have some great opportunities with Mazda for next year and I just want to decide slowly what would be the best move for my career" said Daly. "I need mileage in race cars and tough competition for the coming years and I want to really challenge myself to learn as much as possible". More ...
Bodine and Busch feud  UPDATE Bodine interview quotes from Frontstretch.com:
No. 18 Kyle Busch races fellow Toyota driver Todd Bodine hard at Kentucky Saturday night
Q: What did Kyle say to you in victory lane?
Bodine: He was just upset I called him out on TV for the way he drives and things he did on the track. He doesn't have to do those things. He doesn't have to race that way. He's a hell of a race car driver, probably one of the best the sport's ever seen and for him to be driving like that -- he doesn't just do it in Trucks, he does it in every division he runs, so he doesn't discriminate. You don't have to do those things, you don't have to drive that way, but that's what he chooses to do. I finally called him out on it, nobody else will and I did.
Q: Do you regret saying it on television?
Bodine: Absolutely not. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of -- Bristol, perfect example. The kid should have been black flagged in Trucks and Nationwide and (NASCAR) didn't do a damn thing about it, so now he just thinks he's going to get away with it more. What he did to me, technically, was nothing wrong. That was racing, that's part of it, but you don't have to do it. We don't have a gentleman's agreement in the trucks, but we all know in the Truck Series you have to give more room alongside somebody because you're going to get pulled around. They are way more aero-sensitive than the cars are in side-drafting and if you don't give room you're going to suck somebody around. We all try to give room because we all have a lot [smaller] budgets. We don't race for the money they race for in the other two divisions. We can't afford to be wrecking trucks and tearing stuff up. We understand that and try to give each other room.
Q: Pennell: How frustrating is it being the points leader and being in the situation you are in -- running in this series and having to worry about Kyle Busch?
Bodine: That's the frustrating part. He has no respect. No respect for anybody else on that race track and that's wrong.  See complete interview at Frontstretch.com More ...
Another NASCAR driver busted on drugs  UPDATE Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway is reporting that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Jack Smith has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR after being arrested and charged with three felony counts of fraudulently attempting to obtain a controlled substance in Wentzville, Missouri last month. NASCAR was reportedly informed by Wentzville Police on July 23 that Smith had been arrested the previous day after allegedly attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraudulent means on July 11, July 14 and July 22, 2010. He was suspended for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book, and is scheduled to appear at a Bond Appearance Hearing on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 before Judge William T. Lohmar in St. Charles (WI) Circuit Court. Sirius-Speedway PR

09/08/10 Jack Smith, driver of the No. 63 truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. The violation occurred July 23. NASCAR PR
Latest F1 news in brief Wednesday - 1  
  • FIA would be 'wise' to go easy on Ferrari - Hill
  • Domenicali not ruling out title revival for Ferrari
  • FIA still to decide on 13th team spot - Villeneuve
  • Ferrari not happy with 2013 engine formula
  • Buemi admits targeting Webber's seat for 2012
  • Marko hints preferred status unlikely for Webber
  • Calder Park not eyeing Australian GP
  • Red Bull won't stop Newey from racing - Horner

FIA would be 'wise' to go easy on Ferrari - Hill
(GMM)  The FIA would not be "wise" to severely punish Ferrari at Wednesday's disciplinary hearing.

That is the opinion of 1996 world champion Damon Hill, who at Spa in 1998 won the Belgian grand prix after then team boss Eddie Jordan ordered teammate Ralf Schumacher to hold station.

But that was before F1's governing body banned team orders in 2002, after Ferrari so crudely ordered Rubens Barrichello to give up a deserved win to Michael Schumacher in Austria.

The Italian team imposed a similar order at Hockenheim in July, in the form of Rob Smedley's radio message to Felipe Massa that "Fernando is faster than you".

According to Britain's Daily Express, Ferrari has "spent a lot of time" since Hockenheim quietly explaining that its behavior was not unusual.

The newspaper said McLaren sent a coded message to Lewis Hamilton in one race, informing the British driver that the "cat was out of the house" before he drove past compliant former teammate Heikki Kovalainen.

"Every team in the pitlane gives team orders," David Coulthard is quoted by the Wall Street Journal.  "Anyone who says they don't is lying."

It's for that reason that Hill, speaking to the Telegraph, thinks the World Motor Sport Council should go easy on Ferrari.

"(The FIA) flexing their muscles because they can is not necessarily wise," he said, when considering a severe sporting sanction as the potential outcome of the hearing.

"I don't think a punishment that big would fit this particular crime," added Hill.

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport is hoping not only that Ferrari escapes Wednesday intact, but that the team order regulation is looked at in order to spare teams from having to sidestep it.

"Perhaps there can be a clarification which overcomes this hypocrisy, so that team orders are allowed as long as they don't harm other competitors," said the sports daily. More ...

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