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New helmet design for Fisher at Homestead  
Sarah Fisher will be sporting this new pink helmet design in Homestead in support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Newey says Renault only engine option for Red Bull  (GMM)  Adrian Newey has acknowledged that his Red Bull cars will almost certainly continue to be powered by Renault engines next year.

The Austrian team is concerned about its horse power deficit that began amid the so-called 'engine freeze', with Mercedes and Ferrari pulling away in that area.

But technical boss Newey told Germany's Sport Bild that Red Bull is likely to stay with Renault.

"Where shall we go?" he is quoted as saying.  "McLaren has stopped us from getting the Mercedes engine.

"So there's only Ferrari.  But we ask ourselves: if we beat them, will we still have the same specification as the Ferrari team?" admitted Newey. More ...

McLaren would sign Vettel admits Whitmarsh  (GMM)  McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted he is still interested in securing the services of Sebastian Vettel.

Whitmarsh was highly critical of the 23-year-old German recently, describing him as a "crash kid" after punting Jenson Button out of the Belgian grand prix.

"Under pressure this year, Sebastian is making just too many mistakes," the Briton said in an interview with Sport Bild.

"Also his collision with Mark Webber in Turkey, for me, was 95 per cent his fault." More ...

track news
Singapore race nears sellout  With less than two weeks to the 2010 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, seven ticket categories are now fully sold out with limited availability in all remaining categories. The Turn 1 Grandstand and Sunday Zone 4 Walkabout tickets are no longer available for sale, in addition to the previously announced sell-out of Pit Grandstand, Esplanade Waterfront Grandstand, Republic (Turn 3) Grandstand, Connaught Grandstand, 3-Day Zone 4 Walkabout and Premier Walkabout.

Of the remaining inventory, tickets are still available for the Bay Grandstand which offers a spectacular view of the Marina Bay, a dedicated Freestyle Trials Bike show and access to the exciting entertainment within Zone 4. Fans can also opt for the Padang Grandstand which offers spectators close proximity to the race action on the track as well as the LG Live at 2010 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX stage at the Padang. More ...

British young guns to go head-to-head for Williams F1 test drive  
Dean Stoneman
Jolyon Palmer
Two of Britain’s best young talents will go wheel-to-wheel for the opportunity of a lifetime at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain this weekend (18/19 September) as they bid to win the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship and a prize test drive with the Williams F1 team.

20-year-old Dean Stoneman from Southampton and 19-year-old Jolyon Palmer from Southwater in Sussex are the two outstanding title contenders in Formula Two, an international single seater series designed to provide rising stars with a cost-effective route into top level motorsport.

The FIA-regulated F2 championship has a close association with Williams F1, who will offer a full day’s test in their 2010 FW32 challenger to the eventual F2 champion. The Formula Two car was also designed by a six-man team from Williams, led by their legendary Director of Engineering Patrick Head.

Stoneman and Palmer have proved the class of the field in 2010, and the pair have enjoyed a fierce season-long battle which has seen the championship lead change several times during the opening 16 races. Stoneman holds the advantage going into the final two encounters following a supreme double victory in the previous round at Oschersleben in Germany. The 20-year-old also recorded victories during F2’s inaugural visit to Marrakech, Morocco in May, along with race wins in Belgium, Portugal and his home circuit Brands Hatch in July. More ...

Q&A with Williams' Sam Michael  The Williams F1 team closed up on Force India in the Constructors' Championship following the Italian Grand Prix last weekend, when Nico  Hülkenberg finished a strong seventh and Rubens Barrichello took tenth to increase the team’s tally to 47 points. Here Technical Director, Sam Michael reviews the weekend.

How satisfying was it to get two cars into the points at the Italian Grand Prix?

It was a good result, one which shows that we are making solid progress with the whole car package. The FW32 was competitive among the top runners, as demonstrated by Nico's fastest lap time, which was just 0.4seconds off the quickest. More ...
FIA delays Korea International Circuit inspection  The FIA will not undertake a final inspection of the Korean International Circuit until September 28, less than four weeks before the scheduled grand prix on October 24.

It was planned Charlie Whiting would visit on September 21, breaking his journey to the Singapore Grand Prix, but it is claimed that has put back a week because of local holidays. The FIA's own regulations state such an inspection should take place 90 days before the race. More ...

NASCAR Richmond TV Rating continues NASCAR's slide  UPDATE ABC's telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, Sept. 11 averaged 5,288,372 viewers with a 3.1 rating down 11.5% from last year's 3.5 final rating.

ESPN2's telecast of Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.2, averaging 1,655,0023 viewers. The rating was slightly down from the 1.3 rating earned for last year's race that also aired on ESPN2.

09/13/10 The overnight TV rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Air Guard 400 on ABC was a 2.8, down 10% from last year's 3.1 overnight rating, also on ABC.
Manufacturers agree to Global Racing Engine  
The GRE engine would have worked with the light Delta Wing car.  The decision to not go that route cost IndyCar the chance to land manufacturers Chevy, Ford, Mazda, BMW and Audi/VW. 
Delta Wing's Dan Partel is convinced the FIA's 'Global Racing Engine' is going to happen. He says each of Chevrolet, Ford, Mazda, BMW and the Volkswagen Group will unveil 'GRE' four-cylinder racing engines over the course of the next year.

"Chevrolet, Ford, Mazda and BMW are up and running and will be available to customers six months after they have raced," Partel commented. "The FIA regulations for the 'GRE' will require the automobile manufacturers to sell or make available to the public the basic components of their engines within six months of entering competition. There's a great variety in the prices but we believe we will be able to buy production engines that would require a dry sump lubrication kit and a few other bits and bobs for $50,000. This whole thing has been well thought-out by the engine manufacturers working with the FIA and obviously they are going ahead with it. It's a cheap, affordable way for the auto manufacturers to go racing across a wide range of categories in difficult economic times." More ...

Delta Wing eyes 2015 IndyCar grid  
Assuming IndyCar is still around in 2015 and the George sisters don’t pull the plug on the whole thing after 2013 if it is still bleeding money, Delta Wing hopes to be allowed to race
Ben Bowlby designed the Delta Wing very much with the Global Racing Engine (GRE) in mind.

"Talk about a perfect fit," Bowlby noted. "All these manufacturers are committed to build Global Racing-type engines but they haven't necessarily got a high-performance outlet. By the end of next year these engines will be readily available and they're not bad pieces at all. For the Delta Wing they're just about perfect other than being not as light as they could be. But all in all, they're a perfect fit for the Delta Wing."

Bowlby stresses that the Delta Wing was designed to accept a wide variety of power sources, including hybrid and electric. Bowlby hopes the Delta Wing can find a place to race where new technology is encouraged. More ...

Title too close to call ahead of Algarve  This season’s topsy-turvy title race continues on September 18/19 when Superleague Formula by Sonangol hits Portimao in Portugal for round nine of the championship.

Superleague Formula’s first visit to the 18-turn, 2.915-mile Aut¢dromo Internacional do Algarve circuit comes at a crucial stage of a season which has proven as unpredictable as it has exciting.

Davide Rigon travels to Portugal’s answer to Spa-Francorchamps as the championship’s form driver. The Italian was the series’ big winner on home soil last time out at Adria where the RSC Anderlecht man made the most of below-par weekends for rivals Craig Dolby (Tottenham Hotspur) and Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan) to turn the 2010 title fight into a three-way battle. More ...

Benjamin Leuenberger returns to Panoz  
Benjamin Leuenberger
At the first weekend of October, Panoz starts into a whole new era with the new Panoz Abruzzi "Spirit of Le Mans", built for the GT2-class. When the new American Supercar starts into his first race on the 2. October, the "Petit Le Mans" at Road Atlanta, Benjamin Leuenberger returns behind the steering wheel of a Panoz and will drive the Abruzzi in the 10-hour endurance race. The Swiss sportscar specialist will share driving duties in the Panoz Abruzzi with Britain’s Ian James.

The première race of the Panoz Abruzzi is a return of Benjamin Leuenberger to Panoz after seven years. Back in 2003, Leuenberger drove the famous "Batmobile", the marvelous Panoz LMP1 Roadster in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the 24h of Le Mans. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Abu Dhabi happy despite losing final F1 slot
  • Team ownership adventure made Brawn millions
  • Heidfeld to leave Pirelli role on Friday
  • Durango confirms Villeneuve's plans to buy F1 team
  • Yamamoto mechanic to sit out next races
  • Ferrari's driver hierarchy stance unchanged - Domenicali
  • Pirelli happy with Heidfeld despite Sauber deal
  • Korea boss says track 'must' be ready for F1

Abu Dhabi happy despite losing final F1 slot
(GMM)  Organizers of the Abu Dhabi grand prix insist they have no qualms about losing the coveted final slot on formula one calendar.

The impressive Yas Marina circuit was scheduled to close the last two calendars, but for 2011 that privilege is reverting to Brazil.

"We're not disappointed at all, we're happy with it," track chief executive Richard Cregan is quoted by local newspaper The National.

"It's always been our intention to feature at the latter end of the calendar, but not to necessarily be the last round.  The penultimate race could well be a championship decider, but that's not our priority," he added.

Meanwhile, Mohammed ben Sulayem, president of the United Arab Emirates' motor racing sanctioning body, said Abu Dhabi is also happy with the event's unique day/night format.

"It went perfectly last year, so why change it?  The day-to-night timing, in terms of international broadcasting and our spectators at Yas, is perfect," he said. More ...

Video: Ken Block Ultimate Playground; l'Autodrome, France  Rally star Ken Block has delivered another piece of wild driving with his latest Gymkhana video--this time carving up the high-banked track at France's Linas at l'Autodrome.  Shot just south of Paris, France in Linas at l'Autodrome de Linas --Montlhéry, this 1.58 mile oval track, built in 1924, features banks as steep as 51 degrees, which is more than double the standard incline of most NASCAR ovals. Chosen by Ken for this specific reason, the ramp-like banking proved to be a unique and exciting challenge. The driving physics for the stunts performed were totally unknown until Ken attempted the maneuvers during filming.

Ford to reduce dealerships  Ford would like to reduce its total number of U.S. dealerships to 3,000, Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president, global marketing, sales and service, said at an investor conference in San Francisco today.

At the end of 2009, Ford had 3,553 dealers in the U.S., but the company is discontinuing its Mercury brand, which will make it difficult for some of Ford’s 276 stand-alone Lincoln Mercury dealers to survive.

Farley said Ford is better able to encourage its dealers to consolidate now because its relationship with dealers has improved in recent years.

“The dealers are full partners in every decision the company makes,” Farley said at a Bank of America investor conference. “When you are trying to consolidate your network from 6,000 down to 3,000, the dealers are on your side, and they will help you participate in the consolidation.”

Brawn GP made $152 million in 2009  In its single year of competition Brawn GP made a profit of $152 million, with its directors, including Ross Brawn and Nick Fry, sharing in $31 million worth of dividends.

Brawn GP won the 2009 drivers' and constructors' titles, after its future was secured just a month before the start of the season by a management buyout. Bloomberg reports that the accounts, filed at Companies House in London by new owner Mercedes-Benz GP on Tuesday, showed a 38% increase in sales for the company between 2008 when it was owned by Honda and 2009.

The directors were paid $10.8 million in salaries over the course of the year and were paid back the $4.6 million they loaned the company to stay afloat in the build up to the season.

The filing also confirmed that Daimler AG's Mercedes and Abu Dhabi fund Aabar Investments PJSC paid $170 million for the team in November; a figure that Fry claims is based on future performances. ESPNF1.com

Japanese fans welcome drivers  Almost 400 racing fans attended a welcome party for Japanese drivers Hideki Mutoh, Takuma Sato and Roger Yasukawa at the Honda Welcome Plaza Aoyama in Tokyo.

The drivers have been in their homeland for much of the past week to promote the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi this weekend. It's the support of the fans that make racing at home special to the drivers.

"Last year, I didn't have the best race because of the accident I had in qualifying. Towards the end of the race, I could see a fan waving a flag and that really gave me power to finish," Mutoh said. "That was the first experience like that. I respect fans but the fans actually gave me power to finish the race. I had a bad race but it was a good memory. I believe I have extra power because of racing in my home country. Hopefully, I can repay them for their support with a good finish at Motegi,"

E.J. Viso of Venezuela also arrived in Japan early to acclimate to the change in time and spent time with Yomiuri Giants star Alex Ramirez and boxer Jorge Linares. Both Ramirez and Linares are natives of Venezuela and live in Tokyo.

Trans-Am Series to Offer Multiple Classes of Racing in 2011  Taking a page from the series’ long history, organizers of the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series announced today that the series will be open to multiple classes of racecars in the 2011 season.

From its inception in 1966 through 1970 and again from 1976 through 1979, the Trans-Am Series had two classes racing at the same time. Under the new-for-2011 format, the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series will be open to three classes.

“We are so proud of the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series’ outstanding history and it was with that in mind that we determined we would begin to offer multiple classes,” said SCCA Pro Racing President & CEO Bob Wildberger. “During our relaunch of Trans-Am, we have worked diligently to plot a course for the future that makes sense for the greatest number of competitors and provides outstanding entertainment for our fans. We have learned a lot and believe the multiple-class structure – together with other positive changes we have planned for the 2011 season – will greatly enhance the series moving forward.” More ...

Testing in Miami  Several Firestone Indy Lights drivers and teams will test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sept. 15 in preparation for the season-ending Homestead-Miami 100 on Oct. 2.

James Hinchcliffe, Adrian Campos Jr., J.K. Vernay, Philip Major, Pippa Mann and Gustavo Yacaman will spend the day testing the 1.5-mile oval.

Briscoe: Power is up to the challenge  
Teammate Briscoe thinks Will Power (above) is up to the task to hold off Franchitti.
"Maybe my advice wouldn't be the best after last year," Ryan Briscoe jokes. That would be at Will Power's discretion, of course, as the Team Penske teammates have commonality heading into the Indy Japan 300 on Sept. 19 at Twin Ring Motegi.

Last September, Briscoe increased his championship points margin from four to 25 over Dario Franchitti and 33 over Scott Dixon following the heart-stopping victory at Chicagoland Speedway - the 200-lap race preceding Japan. This year, Power is the championship leader - by 17 points over Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Franchitti.

"He's just got to keep his cool and be focused, which he is," Briscoe said of Power, who will be making his debut on the egg-shaped 1.5-mile oval. "He's up for the challenge." More ...

Senna movie website goes live  We hear the premier of the Ayrton Senna movie will be the weekend of the Japanese Grand Prix.  Here is the movie page.  Be sure to watch the trailer.
Video: Sakon Yamamoto runs over crew member at Monza  
Q&A with Cosworth's Tim Routsis on their return to F1  Cosworth group chief executive Tim Routsis was on hand in Monza to give his thoughts on the company's return to F1 and on discussions about greener 2013 F1 engines, which he is part of.

Q: What is your overall verdict on 2010?

At the start of the year we set out to produce an engine that was competitive and above all reliable. That was the facet that gave me the most concern. I think we had between six and nine months to get everything ready and get the engines built and obviously the competition had something like 300,000kms each of running while we'd been away. I'm quietly proud of the job everyone's done. But we are now working into the phase of really learning how to use the engine.

Q: Can you expand on that? Do you mean you've been a bit too conservative?

The issue is that the engine is becoming much more integrated into the way the whole car behaves. You've obviously seen things like blown diffusers coming out and we're seeing from the performance of the cars across the whole grid that people who can get the way the engine interacts with the diffuser working well, get some really good performance advantages. But, the type of thing we're having to do with the engines are completely unusual in terms of the way historically engines have been run. It's true to say that some of the strategies debated would be almost guaranteed to blow the engine up very quickly and so working out how you can really get the benefits on the car without destroying the engine have been quite a lesson for everybody. More ...

racing news
Video: John Paul Jr's fight with Huntington's Disease  Huntington's Disease (HD) has affected John Paul Jr., once one of the nation's top professional race car drivers.  HD is a devastating genetic disorder that causes uncontrollable body movements and deprives people of their abilities to walk, talk, eat and think rationally. This disease is currently incurable and it is fatal.

The gene that causes HD is a mutant of a normal gene. The defective gene causes chemical changes in nerve cells that damages brain structures leading to symptoms. The process that causes nerve cells to die in HD may have similarities to other, more common, disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Insights into HD may prove useful to understanding these other disorders. More ...

Chip Ganassi Radio Interview  Here's a link to an hour long radio interview that Chip Ganassi did with a local Pittsburgh radio station. If you are a Chip Ganassi follower, you'll know he lives in Pittsburgh, even though his teams are based in Indy and Charlotte. Recently, Pittsburgh even declared Chip Ganassi day! This interview is from a business perspective, and so gives a lot of the background on how he got started, and how he continues to succeed.
Indianapolis 500 is focus of Stephen Low IMAX 3D film project  The Stephen Low Company is pleased to announce the development of a new IMAX 3D motion picture project focused on the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, which takes place annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the evolution of motorsports.

The 3D film will be directed by giant-screen filmmaker Stephen Low and produced and distributed by The Stephen Low Company in association with Ralph Hansen of Pegasus Marketing Group. Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials endorse the venture and will consult on the content of the film and companion education outreach program, and also provide access to the world-famous racing facility for filming.

The production will be an independent documentary celebrating the auto racing experience and its historical and enduring connection to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indianapolis 500. The Speedway was constructed in 1909, and the first "500" took place on May 30, 1911. More ...

track news
Daytona repaving a no-pothole guarantee  Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III ventured to Richmond International Raceway last weekend to update national media about the Daytona repaving project.

"I hate to use the word guarantee, but I'll guarantee there will be no potholes (for 2011 Speed Weeks)," Chitwood said. "This process we've gone through has been pretty substantial."

The $20 million project, started on July 5, should be finished by Jan. 1, 2011. Chitwood said he's feeling more pressure for completing this project than building Chicagoland Speedway in 2000.

"When you think about Daytona and how special that brand is for NASCAR and ISC, there's a little more pressure as it relates to this, and being ready for the Daytona 500," he said. More ...

Gary Anderson head judge for F1 in Schools  The F1 in Schools scheme has announced that Northern Ireland's Gary Anderson, the semi-retired car designer who has previously worked for the Jordan, Stewart and Jaguar Formula 1 teams, will be at the forefront of this year's Chair of Judges.

Anderson left the Formula 1 paddock full-time at the end of 2003 following two seasons with Jordan, which in-turn came after almost eight seasons with the Silverstone-based squad between 1991 and 1998 plus time with Milton Keynes' Stewart/Jaguar outfit between 1998 and 2000.

The finals in Singapore will see school finalists from across 18 countries competing for various trophies presented by the F1 teams plus the main gong, the Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy, to the winners. More ...

Capirossi ruled out for Aragon  
Loris Capirossi in blue and American Nicky Hayden in red crash at Misano
Alvaro Bautista will be the sole Rizla Suzuki representative in Round 13 of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship at Aragon this weekend, after Loris Capirossi confirmed on Monday that he will not ride at the Spanish circuit this coming weekend.

Capirossi underwent reconstructive surgery to the little finger in his right hand last Monday in San Marino after injuring the digit in a fall on the opening lap of the race at Misano. The 37 year-old had been hopeful of being fit in time to ride at Aragon, but a week after the operation has been advised to continue to rest.

“I am extremely disappointed not to be racing at Aragon, but the surgeon has told me to rest the hand for another week,” explained Capirossi. “I am still feeling a bit of pain and I’m going to the hospital every day to have the wound cleaned and dressed, so although I could possibly be able to ride I wouldn’t be fit enough and it might jeopardize my attendance and competitiveness at Motegi if I did – so it’s best to stay at home.”

“I wish Alvaro all the best for the weekend and hope that he gets a good result for us – we certainly need one. I’ll be back for the trio of races next month and will be looking to get some good results at circuits where I know we can go well.”

It's official - Nick Heidfeld replaces Pedro de la Rosa  (GMM)  Sauber confirmed on Tuesday morning that Pedro de la Rosa is leaving the Swiss team with immediate effect.

The Hinwil based outfit said the Spanish veteran will be replaced for the forthcoming Singapore grand prix and beyond by former team driver Nick Heidfeld.

The 33-year-old German's contract will run "until the end of the season", added Sauber in a media statement.

The deal begins on Friday, presumably so Heidfeld can test one more time with Pirelli this week in Spain.

"It was a hard decision for me to make and I want to thank Pedro for his professionalism," said team boss Peter Sauber.

"By signing Nick we have a driver we know extremely well who will help us to further judge the comparative potential of our car." More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Toro Rosso test F-duct again for Singapore debut
  • Webber manager Briatore says Red Bull must assign no.1
  • Five-way title sprint thanks to Hamilton gaffe - Lauda
  • F1 drivers mark end of formula BMW series
  • Line-up delay due to 'Hulkenberg situation' - Barrichello

Toro Rosso test F-duct again for Singapore debut
(GMM)  Toro Rosso is back in action this week as the Italian team bids to get its blown exhaust and F-duct up and running as soon as possible.

At Monza on Friday morning, six grands prix from the end of the 2010 season, the Faenza based squad became the last of the established teams to run the technical innovations.

"We are just beginning to test it and it still requires a lot of work," said Sebastien Buemi, who debuted the new parts during a straight line test at Vairano last week.

The Swiss said the F-duct was taken off the STR5 "after a few laps" at Monza.  "It was never our intention to run it for the (whole) weekend," confirmed chief engineer Laurent Mekies.

It now emerges that the F-duct will make another appearance at Vairano this Thursday, this time in the hands of Buemi's teammate Jaime Alguersuari.

"Maybe we can have it on the car for Singapore," said Buemi.

"If we continue like this I hope to be able to fight fair and square with the Williams and Mercedes in the final races," he added. More ...

Rookie Maroney Takes Second Win  
Mile Maroney
Buttonwillow, Calif. – The sun continued to shine on Sunday for Round 10 of the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care and shone brightly on rookie Miles Maroney as he claimed his second victory of the season. 

Running with VARA as part of their Oktoberfest Race meeting, the series was again greeted with clear skies and warm temperatures as the morning qualifying session began. Just as it was on Saturday the battle was between the three PR1 Motorsports teammates to decide the pole. Scott Rarick was the first to put in his fast time on lap 4 before running wide at the exit of Riverside ending his session and wound up in second.  Next up was Maroney who did not have the pace of the previous day and ended up fourth after spinning to a halt in the sweeper.  This left David Cheng to take the pole with a lap of 1:36.469. Saturday’s race winner Ira Fierberg managed to put up the third fastest lap to squeeze in between Rarick and Maroney to start on the inside of row two.  Completing the grid were Peter Hastrup, Les Phillips, Peter West, Michael Murphy and Bob Negron who did not get a timed lap in due to electrical problems and will start at the back of the field. More ...

Heidfeld: Tire knowledge will help for 2011  Nick Heidfeld has admitted that he hopes the knowledge he is currently gaining from working with Pirelli’s 2011 F1 tires will open the door to him returning to the F1 grid next season.

The withdrawal of BMW at the end of last season saw Heidfeld left without a drive, with the German instead signing up to a role of test and reserve driver with Mercedes.

A lack of testing opportunities thanks to the in-season ban on testing meant Heidfeld spent the first half of the year kicking his heels on the sidelines before the chance arose to join Pirelli as a test driver as the company works on development of the tires it will for its return to F1 next year. More ...

Horner seeks answer for slow starts  
Horner ponders why his cars are so slow off the line
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner is eager to resolve "a weakness" which is undermining his team's Formula One title tilt.

Horner has become concerned at the starts made by both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel which has almost certainly cost them points of late.

In Germany at the end of July, Vettel dropped from pole to third by the first corner as he was slow away, falling behind the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Just 15 days ago in Belgium, Webber made an atrocious getaway from pole, citing a technical issue on the formation lap that failed to resolve itself once the five red lights disappeared as he crashed to seventh. More ...

Kobayashi ECU problem under review  
The reason for Kamui Kobayashi's Italian Grand Prix retirement was a faulty electronic control unit (ECU), with the Japanese driver having had to abandon his car in the pit lane shortly after the start.

Setting off from 13th on the grid, Kobayashi had hoped to challenge for a points finish in Italy although he was eventually forced to start from the pit lane before coming back in at the end of the first lap.

“I’m very disappointed,” he said. “I think I would have easily scored points here, because my car was good in race conditions, but already on my first installation lap I realized there was something wrong with the car and then I had problems with shifting. More ...

Ganassi team picks up new associate sponsor  Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. today announces that it has partnered with CNC and machining technology leader Okuma to become an associate sponsor during the 2011 racing season on the No. 9 and No. 10 Indy cars driven by Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti in the IZOD IndyCar Series, in addition on the No. 01 Daytona Prototype driven by 2010 series champions Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.

As part of the relationship, the Indianapolis-based race teams will utilize Okuma CNC and machining technology to construct the parts and equipment that have contributed to more than 100 race wins across Indy car and sports car racing.

IndyCar's Randy Bernard quotes  IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard was the guest on Sunday night’s Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, where Despain and guest co-host Robin Miller asked about IndyCar’s recently announced 2011 race schedule and the reason behind the changes. Below are select quotes from the show:

On choosing to partner with Bruton Smith’s SMI tracks over ISC tracks:
Bernard: “… we didn’t set out to say we wanted to get rid of all the ISC tracks. What we had to do was look at our promoters, look at the ones that want to get aggressive and really focus on the ones that want to create a strategy where we can move IndyCar to the next level. I think Bruton Smith stepped up to the table and said, ‘Hey, I’m here and I’m willing to step up and promote’ and that’s what I wanted to hear. He had some tracks that we wanted – Loudon – and hopefully Las Vegas. More ...

HRT used Monaco wings for high speed Monza  (GMM)  A mark of the struggling Spanish team HRT's fragile financial situation was clearly on display during the Monza weekend.

The Cosworth-powered F110s, last on the grid and a full second shy of the next-quickest Virgin cars, tackled the Italian grand prix with its conventional bodywork package -- used throughout the season so far, including at Monaco.

According to GPWeek, Hispania is therefore the first team "in decades" not to design a bespoke low-downforce package for the ultra high speed straights of the Autodromo Nazionale.

Bruno Senna said that, because of a lack of testing, making a last-minute modification for Monza would have compromised safety. More ...

Brazil Coffee to sponsor IndyCar finale  At a time when U.S. corporations remain conservative in sports sponsorship spending, the IndyCar Series has looked abroad and found a title partner from Brazil for its final race of the season.

The Oct. 2 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be known as the Cafés do Brasil Indy 300. The Brazilian coffee industry’s title deal, its first major sports sponsorship in the U.S., is designed to raise consumer awareness for its name and logo. Brazil produces more coffee than any other nation, but trails Colombia in terms of consumer awareness.

Terms of the deal were not available, but IndyCar race title sponsorships are typically valued between $300,000 and $500,000.

The sponsorship, one of the first significant partnerships signed by Cafés do Brasil, gives the Brazilian coffee industry 2,500 grandstand tickets, retail promotional rights and the opportunity to do sampling at the event.

“We never promoted this logo, and they wanted to put their name out there,” said Silvia Pierson, the operations manager in the U.S. for the Apex-Brasil agency, which signed the agreement on behalf of Brazil’s coffee growers.  Read more: Miami Indy race gets Brazilian flavor - South Florida Business Journal

Will the new IndyCar be faster than old Champ Car?  Some people say IndyCar is less exciting today because the cars no longer set track records.  Let's see how today's cars compare to the mighty IndyCars (Champ Cars) of years gone by.


CART Champ Car F1 / IndyCar / ALMS / Jet
Sebring (1.67-mile) 49.806(2008 Panoz-Cosworth) 52.420(2008 IC Dallara-Honda)
Indianapolis (2.5-mile) 37.895 (2005 Reynard Cosworth*) 38.839 (2003 IC Dallara-Honda)
Cleveland (2.106-mile) 56.283(2006 Lola-Cosworth) -
Toronto (1.755-mile) 57.143(1999 Reynard-Honda) 1:00.271(2010 IC Dallara-Honda)
Edmonton (1.973-mile) 58.403(2007 Panoz-Cosworth) 1:00.713(2010 IC Dallara-Honda)
Mid-Ohio (2.258-mile) 1:04.952(1999 Reynard-Mercedes) 1:06.681(2009 IC Dallara-Honda)
Laguna Seca (2.238-mile) 1:05.880(2007 Panoz-Cosworth) 1:06.309(2006 F1 Toyota)
Long Beach (1.968-mile) 1:06.886(2006 Lola-Cosworth) 1:09.319(2010 IC Dallara-Honda)
Montreal (2.709-mile) 1:18.959(2002 Lola-Toyota) 1:12.275(2004 F1 Williams-BMW)
Surfers (2.795-mile) 1:30.054(2007 Panoz-Cosworth) 1:34.507(2008 IC Dallara-Honda)
Road America (4.048-mi.) 1:39.866(2000 Reynard-Honda) 1:46.935(2008 ALMS Audi R10)
Standing Mile Acceleration 24.2 s @ 203.3 mph(2005 Lola-Cosworth) 23.6 s @ 308.3 mph(F-18 on afterburner)
* Arie Luyendyk set the mark for IndyCar with a used Champ Car

Williams reduces staff  The Williams team is changing at the moment as the team tries to claw its way back to the front in Formula 1. In part the changes are due to cost-cutting measures and in part because the new generation of management is not appreciated by some of the older staff, who have been around in the days when Williams was winning World Championships. Amazingly it is now 13 seasons since Williams last won a title and six since the team won a race.

The latest two departures are the team’s head of communications Liam Clogger, one of the most respected figures in the F1 PR world. More ...

Fierberg Claims Surprise Victory in Round 9  
Ira Fierberg
Pacific Coast 2000
Buttonwillow, Calif. – Beautiful sunny skies greeted the field as qualifying for the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care got underway.  Running with VARA and their Oktoberfest Race meeting, qualifying was delayed as the track required an extended clean up period and from the green flag to begin the session to the end the race for the pole was on between the three PR1 Motorsports drivers, Scott Rarick, Miles Maroney and David Cheng.  Maroney having been fastest in testing on Friday continued that pace to take the pole from Rarick by 0.358 of a second with a lap of 1:35.519. David Cheng managed third with Ira Fierberg, fastest of the DFR team in fourth just over a second off the pole. Completing the grid were Bob Negron, Peter Hastrup, Bill Kincaid, Les Phillips, Peter West and Michael Murphy. More ...
HRT crew member survives terrifying incident, team fined  UPDATE
A Hispania team radio engineer receives first aid after being hit by a wheel of driver Sakon Yamamoto during the Italian Grand Prix
Luca Bruno/Reuters
Hispania have been fined $20,000 after Sakon Yamamoto hit a member of his own crew during a pit stop at the Italian grand prix today. Video footage showed the man, possibly a radio engineer, leaning over to fix something while the rest of the pit crew stood back. He then appeared, as Yamamoto was released, to be struck by the rear wing and tire, flung into the air and left crumpled on the ground.

09/12/10 (GMM)  An HRT mechanic is not seriously injured on Sunday despite a terrifying incident during the Italian grand prix.

Video footage has emerged of a German mechanic called Marcel being thrown violently to the ground by Sakon Yamamoto's car as the Japanese left the pits at Monza.

The mechanic was adjusting Yamamoto's radio when the lollipop-man let the driver go too early.

HRT said Marcel never lost consciousness as he was taken to the medical centre. More ...

Hard Rock cafe signs on as presenting sponsor in Surfers  The Hard Rock brand has once again confirmed its support for international and Australian artists, announcing its support of ‘600 Sounds’ – part of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 – today.

The music festival will feature 16 international and Australian acts including Ian Carey, international legends the Beach Boys, Empire of the Sun and Sneaky Sound System at the Broadwater Parklands across three nights October 22-24 as part of the Rock N Race format of the Armor All Gold Coast 600. More ...

Brawn denies media fabricated 'Schumacher car' rumor  
Ross Brawn dismisses another media fabricated rumor
Responding to rumors totally fabricated by the F1 media (mostly British who want to see German Michael Schumacher fail) Mercedes has denied it is building a car especially tailored to Michael Schumacher's driving style for the 2011 season.

The seven time world champion has struggled on his return to formula one this season, with a car designed essentially by Brawn when the Brackley based team thought Jenson Button would be driving it.

Schumacher has openly written off the rest of the 2010 campaign, amid suggestions he is waiting for the W01's successor that will be tailored to his driving style.

"We are not building a car around Michael; we just want to develop a good car," team boss Ross Brawn is quoted by the SID news agency.

"There is no special characteristic," he insisted.  More ...

Brake problem slowed Vettel before Webber pass  (GMM)  It was not an engine problem that slowed Sebastian Vettel and allowed teammate Mark Webber to pass him during the Italian grand prix.

The conspiracy theorists' eyes widened during Sunday's Monza race when the RB6 driven by Vettel, who is behind Webber in the world championship, temporarily slowed but then recovered pace after the Australian had passed him.

The young German was heard on the radio complaining of a loss of engine power, to which BBC pundit Eddie Jordan recommended him for a Bafta -- a British acting prize. More ...

Cosworth confirms termination of engine supply for Lotus  UPDATE (GMM)  Lotus will not be powered by Cosworth in 2011, the British independent engine maker has announced.  After the Italian grand prix at Monza, team owner and boss Tony Fernandes hinted strongly that a deal had been struck to end Lotus' existing engine deal so that the cars could be powered by Renault V8s next year.

Cosworth confirmed that an agreement to end its collaboration with Lotus has been reached "in principle".  "This agreement is subject to contract and until the agreement is signed, neither party will be making any further comment," the statement added.

German reports on Sunday quoted Cosworth's managing director Tim Routsis as saying the marque would like to sign another customer team for 2011.

09/12/10 Cosworth has reached an agreement in principle with Lotus Racing whereby the team’s Cosworth engine supply agreement will come to a conclusion at the end of the current Formula One season.  This agreement is subject to contract and until the agreement is signed, neither party will be making any further comment.  Cosworth PR
Video: Fun with Hamilton, Humphrey, and Hamilton  
Webber leads title but Alonso wins in Italy  (GMM)  Mark Webber re-captured the lead of the world championship on Sunday, despite finishing the Italian grand prix in just sixth place.

The Australian had yet another poor start and then a frustrating race, gesticulating angrily as Williams' Nico Hulkenberg went off the track but refused to yield.

"We underperformed as a team," Webber told Belgian TV RTBF.

He might also have been disappointed to finish two positions behind his teammate Sebastian Vettel, despite the young German losing position earlier in the race with a coughing engine. More ...

Red Bull initially failed new floor tests  (GMM)  The intended configuration of Red Bull's car for the Italian grand prix failed the FIA's more stringent floor flexibility tests.

It emerged earlier this weekend at Monza, where Sebastian Vettel was ultimately the team's highest placed finisher in fourth, that the key competitors all passed the tougher tests.

Indeed, the RB6, as well as the Ferrari and McLaren, were tested by official FIA scrutineers at various points on Friday and Saturday and were all deemed legal.

But it has emerged that, prior to the official tests, Red Bull and McLaren – who both admitted to making modifications before travelling to Monza – asked to use the FIA's new testing equipment and methods in the scrutineering bays. More ...

Schumacher not about to abandon comeback - spokeswoman  (GMM)  Michael Schumacher's spokeswoman has played down rumors the seven time world champion is reconsidering his decision to return to formula one.

The rumors were triggered at Monza by the German's former team boss Eddie Jordan, who now stalks the paddock as a pundit for British television BBC.

Jordan said on Saturday that he thinks Schumacher, 41, is in danger of vacating the Mercedes seat after spotting multiple team bosses, drivers and managers entering and exiting the German team's motor home at Monza. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Ecclestone to travel to Bulgaria for GP talks
  • Virgin plays down 2011 di Grassi exit talks
  • Briatore denies links with F1 supplier Pirelli
  • Buying team order for $100,000 'stupid' - Whitmarsh
  • Return to form for Schu depends on Pirelli - Brawn
  • Vettel predicting hard race with Renault engine
  • Montezemolo not opposed to Rome street race

Ecclestone to travel to Bulgaria for GP talks
(GMM)  Bulgaria's hopes of joining the formula one calendar continue to increase.

The southeast European country's economy minister met with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone at Monza this weekend.

The meeting followed a scandal that broke out between Bulgaria and an Abu Dhabi company, who denied agreeing to fund a grand prix circuit.

But according to the Standart newspaper, Ecclestone will be travelling to the Bulgarian capital Sofia next week.

There, he will "discuss the grand prix project with representatives of the government," added the report. More ...

Vietoris sprints to victory, Maldonado champion  Christian Vietoris has taken his first main series win with a storming start which caught his rivals napping, and a controlled drive thereafter under extreme pressure, to greet the checkered flag ahead of Jerome d'Ambrosio and Sam Bird, while Pastor Maldonado failed to finish but nevertheless claimed the 2010 GP2 driver's championship.

The victory was set up as the lights went out: with the front row starters very slow to get away, Vietoris made a flyer and threaded the needle to lead the field into the first turn before tearing away into the distance. Adrian Zaugg also made a good getaway but was unable to find a way through, dropping back as d'Ambrosio went wide around everyone to slot into second behind the German. More ...

Canadian Robert Wickens wins Monza race 2  Status Grand Prix’s Robert Wickens won his third race of the season at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza today reaffirming his second place in the Series. 

Canadian Robert Wickens finished his strong season on a high today after his disappointment on Saturday for losing the GP3 Series title to Esteban Gutierrez: starting from seventh, the Series Vice Champion made a stellar start to take control of Race 2 and snatched his third win of the season.

The start of the final 2010 race didn’t run completely to plan. Carlin’s Josef Newgarden started from promoted pole position after RSC Mucke Motorsport’s Nigel Melker was sent to the back of the grid – the Dutch driver stalled before the lights turned green and prompted a second formation lap. It was eventually a clean start, but Newgarden found himself bogged down off the line and was passed by Atech CRS GP’s Roberto Merhi, Addax Team’s Mirko Bortolotti and Wickens.  Fast starting Wickens flew from seventh to second off the line and at turn 2 passed Merhi for the lead. More ...

TV news
Sunday on Wind Tunnel  UPDATE SPEED has added two more guests for Sunday night’s show

Featured Interview      Greg Biffle (Sprint CUP Title Contender)
Featured Interview      Clint Bowyer (Sprint CUP Title Contender)

This Week’s Line-up
Guest Co-Host              Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter)
Featured Interview      Greg Biffle (Sprint CUP Title Contender)
Featured Interview      Clint Bowyer (Sprint CUP Title Contender)
Featured Interview      Randy Bernard (CEO, IZOD IndyCar Series)

Guest Co-Host Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter)

It’s a Robin Miller night this Sunday September 12th. And even though Robin has filled in for Dave Despain as host a couple of times this year, he has not co-hosted with Dave since last season. In addition to previewing the IndyCar Series championship, Robin and Dave will talk about a variety of racing subjects including this year’s Chase for the Sprint CUP whose field will be locked in after Saturday’s race in Richmond. More ...

track news
Homestead President comments on IndyCar's departure  Statement on the 2011 IndyCar Schedule from Matthew Becherer, President of Homestead-Miami Speedway:

The Indy Racing League will not be returning to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 2011 season. This conclusion comes after months of discussion between the IRL and Homestead-Miami Speedway parent-company International Speedway Corporation.

Having grown up in Michigan as a passionate fan of IndyCar racing, I'm with the many IndyCar drivers and fans we've heard from in recent days in being personally disappointed that we won't run IndyCar at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2011. But in hosting 280-plus events a year at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it's imperative that we make sound business decisions, and currently IndyCar has business objectives for the 2011 season that are not consistent with ours. Should these align in the future, we'd certainly welcome the idea of IndyCar's return to Miami. More ...

Ave To Start from Trans-Am Pole at VIR  
Tony Ave (No. 4) will start from the pole position for the seventh time in the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series season at VIR
Mark Weber/SCCA
SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series championship leader Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., took his easiest pole position of the season on Saturday at Virginia International Raceway when qualifying was canceled due to rain.

By virtue of his 137-point lead in the point standings, 1,030-893, over RJ Lopez, Ave will start his No. 4 Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette from the pole position for the seventh time in nine races this season. Ave is hoping to clinch his first Trans-Am Series title on Sunday, which he will do if his lead in the championship standings is 139 points or more following the race. More ...

Gutierrez wins GP3 race 1 in Monza  Today in Monza, Esteban Gutierrez proved some more why he is a worthy GP3 Series champion by battling throughout the thirty minute race to reclaim the lead he lost at the start and score what will be remembered as his hardest-earned win of the season. The ART Grand Prix driver was clean away from pole when the lights went out but he couldn’t hold back a flying Robert Wickens in Turn 2 who moved up from fifth to second soon passing Gutierrez for the lead. Nico Müller was next to pass the newly crowned champion rapidly followed by Atech CRS GP’s Roberto Merhi.

With Gutierrez down to fourth spot, a race long battle for the lead begun. Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto and RSC Mucke Motorsport’s Renger van der Zande, who had a slow start from the front row, completed the top six, and soon the leading pack were pulling away from the rest of the field. More ...

Bird wins GP2 race at Monza  Englishman Sam Bird has claimed his maiden GP2 win in fine style, keeping his head through the chaos all round him to claim the checkered flag ahead of ART teammate Jules Bianchi and countryman Oliver Turvey, while series leader Pastor Maldonado put one hand on the trophy when Sergio Perez was punted out of the race on the third lap. 

Lights out and the ART pair had slow but solid starts: Bird was better placed for turn one and when Bianchi cut the corner slightly the lead was his. Behind them chaos was descending, with Alvaro Parente and Dani Clos cutting the curb (for later drive through penalties) ahead of a drag to the next chicane, where Luca Filippi ran too deep and took out Giedo van der Garde, prompting a safety car to clean up the mess. More ...
Bulgarian minister meets Ecclestone at Monza  (GMM) Bulgaria demonstrated it is serious about joining the F1 calendar by sending a senior government minister to the Italian grand prix.

A scandal erupted recently after reports said an Abu Dhabi company was going to fund a formula one track for the southeast European country.

The Abu Dhabi interests reacted angrily, declaring the announcement incorrect and inaccurate and vowing to cancel all its Bulgarian investments. More ...
IRL panned in Watkins Glen  Upon learning that the IndyCar series was dropping Watkins Glen from the schedule, Watkins Glen President Michael Printup was disappointed. But, more than that, he was upset.

Upset with the reasons the series gave him for not returning in 2011. Upset with the timing of the decision.

Upset with the way the race track had been treated. Make no mistake, a look at the stands during the race on July 4 made it clear that the attendance wasn't what IndyCar, or Watkins Glen, had hoped it would be. There are a number of factors that likely caused the attendance problems. More ...
Red Bull concerned about power at Monza  
Sebastian Vettel is complaining about lack of power from his Renault engine at Monza
(GMM)  'Power' is a keyword in the Red Bull camp on Saturday, after qualifying day for the Italian grand prix.

2010 pole specialist Sebastian Vettel, fast all weekend at Monza and never off the first two rows of the grid all season so far, qualified just fifth on Saturday afternoon.

"I don't know where the speed went," said the German.

"I was around 3 or 4 kph quicker yesterday than I was this afternoon with less fuel," he added.

"There are a lot of straights in Monza, so it was quite costly." More ...

Ekstrom & Sorenson to share #83 ride  Red Bull Racing plans to have Mattias Ekstrom and Reed Sorenson share the #83 Toyota the rest of the year but decisions about 2011 as far as crew chief for Kasey Kahne and what happens with #82-Scott Speed remain looming for the organization. Red Bull Vice President Jay Frye said Friday that there has been no determination on Scott Speed for next season or whether the organization could expand to three teams. Red Bull already has Kahne scheduled to drive one of its cars. Brian Vickers has been sidelined because of blood clots since May He must remain clear of blood clots, which he said the doctors have told him have been eliminated because of the heart surgery, to return. That would seem to leave Speed, who drives the #82 Toyota, out of a ride. He has a contract with the team that currently does not allow him to seek another ride. "Having three teams is still possible," Frye said Friday at Richmond International Raceway. "A lot of this dictates [on] Brian. Right now, everything looks great, which is great, but he is only halfway through the process so we're keeping our different options open. The doctors have said everything looks good, but we don't know until the process is done. We're optimistic about it." As far as Kahne's team for next year, Frye said he has not finalized who will crew chief the car for Kahne. More ...
Racing News
GoDaddy Is up for sale  GoDaddy.com, the closely held website that registers Internet domain names, has put itself up for sale in an auction that could fetch more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Qatalyst Partners, the boutique firm run by veteran technology banker Frank Quattrone, has been hired to shop the Go Daddy Group Inc., which runs the world's largest domain name registrar, these people said. Private-equity firms are expected to bid for the company, which currently has more than 43 million domains under management. More ...

Monza: Hamilton over Vettel in practice 3  
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped final practice session for the F1 cars this morning at Monza with a best time of 1m22.498s.  Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was just 0.047s down on the McLaren driver.

Mark Webber on Saturday morning suffered yet another technical problem in preparation for the Italian grand prix.

In the final practice session before qualifying, the Australian's Red Bull ground to a halt at Monza – just as it had due to a loss of water pressure on Friday.

Team boss Christian Horner said the championship challenger had suffered a "complete loss of power", amid suggestions it was an engine problem.

His teammate Sebastian Vettel, who has been on the pace all weekend so far, was once again quick on Saturday morning, mere hundredths behind race favorite Lewis Hamilton's McLaren. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Senna expecting to keep HRT seat for now
  • Rome GP will hurt Monza says circuit director
  • Hulkenberg hopeful on new Williams deal
  • Whitmarsh not expecting flexi sagas at Monza

Senna expecting to keep HRT seat for now
(GMM)  Bruno Senna at Monza said he is expecting to keep his race seat at HRT for the rest of the 2010 season. The Brazilian sat out the British grand prix in July in deference to the highly-sponsored Sakon Yamamoto, but after returning at Hockenheim insisted he will finish the season with the struggling Spanish team.

But Yamamoto, now replacing earlier HRT regular Karun Chandhok, said recently that while he is staying put in 2010, he is not sure whether Senna or Chandhok will be in the sister car.

"I am assuming I will be in the car until the last race," Senna said.  I have a firm place all the way to Abu Dhabi."

But beyond that, he admitted his place for the 2011 season is not yet secure.

"I would like it to be in the bag, but that's not the case," said the 26-year-old.  "Hopefully I can find a place soon.  All I can do is my best, as I have done, and hope it's good enough to continue in formula one," added Senna.

He also said he is refusing to look on the negative side of HRT's situation, with a lack of finances meaning the F110 is not being developed.

"It's not really ideal but I'm making the best of it," Senna explained.  "That's the only way to be in this situation.  If I look at it negatively, I'll lose motivation.  I need to be doing my best for whoever will hire me (for 2011)." More ...

Gutierrez wins GP3 title  
Mexican Esteban Gutierrez
Esteban Gutiérrez has been crowned the inaugural GP3 Series champion after claiming pole with the perfect lap at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

Mexican ace Esteban Gutierrez proved this morning that he was a worthy champion: his mission for qualifying was to claim pole position – his third of the season – to clinch the inaugural GP3 crown. He kept his cool and put his head down to complete a flying lap in a 1:43.425, almost three tenths clear from Renger van der Zande.

In the first half of the final qualifying session of the season, it wasn’t the ART man who was dominating though as Jenzer Motorsport’s Nico Müller set the pace early, closely followed by local man Mirko Bortolotti. Dutch van der Zande, Gutierrez, Josef Newgarden and then title contender Robert Wickens were also quick straight out the pits, but Müller looked strong and it wasn’t until the final ten minutes of the session that things really heated up on track. More ...

McLaren running split F-duct setups for Monza  (GMM)  F-duct or no F-duct?  That is the question on qualifying day at the Italian grand prix.

It has emerged that McLaren is running a split strategy for Saturday's final practice session, with Lewis Hamilton not using the downforce-stalling device while Jenson Button keeps the bigger wings and F-duct.

Force India, however, has definitely decided not to run the system this weekend, while Williams, Mercedes and Red Bull are using the F-duct at Monza.

"We're going with the F-duct," confirmed Red Bull's Helmut Marko to Auto Motor und Sport. More ...

Drivers bicker as F1 team orders debate rolls on  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are back at odds, this time bickering over the deployment of team orders in formula one.

Alonso and Ferrari escaped penalty this week at the FIA's disciplinary panel, and the Spanish driver insisted he will feel like a true champion if he now ends up winning the 2010 title.

"When you win the title, you win the title," he said.

But Hamilton, who in 2007 clashed memorably with Alonso when they were McLaren teammates, said he wants to win championships without the help of clandestine orders from the pitwall. More ...

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