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DATE News (chronologically)
11/02/07
f1
Latest F1 news in brief   
  • CRB to rule on contract conflict for Glock
  • Rival state approached to poach Melbourne GP
  • Prodrive entry should be reopened - Jordan
  • Kimi deserves title says Mercedes' Haug

CRB to rule on contract conflict for Glock
(GMM)  The immediate future of newly crowned GP2 champion Timo Glock's formula one career is currently in the hands of the sport's Contract Recognition Board (CRB).

The German newspaper Bild-Zeitung reports that Toyota recently lodged a contract with the board so that Glock, 25, can race alongside Jarno Trulli in 2008.

But the CRB subsequently informed BMW-Sauber of the development, because the Hinwil based team has the first option on Glock for next year to retain him as a test driver.

BMW's Mario Theissen, who has already confirmed that Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica will stay in the race cockpits next year, has told Glock that he is free to race in 2008, but apparently only after his new team seeks permission to sign a contract with the German rookie.

Bild claims that Glock's potential Toyota deal is worth more than (US) $7 million -- ten times his potential retainer if he stays as a BMW-Sauber tester.

"Timo has a contract," Theissen clarified to Bild.  "We were informed by the CRB that a conflicting contract was filed.  We will wait for their decision."

Glock's manager, Hans-Bernd Kamps, commented: "In the interests of Timo, we are hoping for a reasonable solution as quickly as possible."

Rival state approached to poach Melbourne GP
(GMM)  Melbourne's grand prix crisis has deepened even further, with reports that formula one officials have approached a rival Australian government with a proposal to move the race from Albert Park.

Following revelations of record losses and the flagging support of the Victorian government, the newspaper Gold Coast Bulletin claims the Queensland government was contacted some time ago by representatives of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

The Queensland government said it would give any proposal "appropriate consideration" but is reluctant to take on "someone else's (A)$35 million bill".

Melbourne's current grand prix contact runs until 2010.

Queensland Events Corporation chairman Des Power confirmed: "It was a clandestine approach but the price tag was enormous."

It is presumed that the possible venue of a grand prix on the Gold Coast would be the street circuit that is currently used annually for the American open wheeler series Champ Car.

Power added: "If we were again approached by F1, obviously in collaboration with (Champ Car race) chairman Terry Mackenroth, any proposition would have to be given appropriate consideration."

Prodrive entry should be reopened - Jordan
(GMM)  The twelfth garage vacancy in F1's pitlane should be reopened if Prodrive fails to join the action in 2008, according to Eddie Jordan.

David Richards' Prodrive outfit was selected by the FIA last year out of multiple other applicants to debut in 2008.

But with Prodrive's plans facing serious problems in the form of uncertainty about the 'customer car' rules, Jordan - who was among the unsuccessful applicants for F1's twelfth team slot - says he and others should be given another chance to apply.

"What is disappointing is that several teams – some of proven F1 calibre – applied for this extra slot and the FIA, after careful deliberation, chose Prodrive," Jordan, who sold his struggling Silverstone based team in 2004, wrote in his latest column for the British magazine F1 Racing.

"David Richards is my friend and mustn't take this personally, but I'd like to ask questions," the Irishman added.

"Once, when Toyota told the FIA they were unable to compete in the agreed year, there was a hefty fine.

"Will Prodrive be fined if they don't enter in '08?

"And what of the other, rejected, teams?  Surely the FIA must now allow them to reapply?"

Interestingly, Jordan says he backs figures like Sir Frank Williams who believe teams should not be allowed to compete with a car that is designed and built by an existing rival.

The Prodrive situation was set to be clarified with a Court of Appeal hearing late last month, but it is understood that the FIA called it off because Williams intended to pursue the case civilly irrespective of the result.

"We can never let teams sell off technology so newcomers can pass themselves off as part of the elite.  It's just not F1," Jordan agreed.

Kimi deserves title says Mercedes' Haug
(GMM)  Norbert Haug has conceded that former McLaren-Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen is a worthy 2007 world champion.

The Woking based team is appealing Brazilian GP stewards' inaction over the 'cool fuel' issue, and will accept the decision if the title is later this month handed from Raikkonen, who drives for Ferrari, to McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton.

Haug, who is the competition director for Mercedes-Benz, admits that it was frustrating to see Hamilton and his teammate Fernando Alonso fail to win in Brazil last month despite leading the titles for most of the season.

But the German told sport1.de: "We also have to see things realistically.  Had Kimi's car not repeatedly failed this season, his points deficit before the last two races would not have been 17 points.

"He deserves the title, so again I say congratulations to him," Haug added.

Haug nonetheless pointed out that Hamilton and Alonso collectively scored more points in 2007 than did Ferrari's Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.

He also insists that a McLaren "never retired from a race with a technical defect".

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