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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Chandhok hopes for Red Bull test seat in 2008
  • Williams set to announce 2008 drivers
  • Eleventh hour Prodrive rescue fails - report
  • Rookie Briton makes F1 debut
  • Politician axes F1 demo in Austria
  • Williams confirms 2008 driver lineup

Chandhok hopes for Red Bull test seat in 2008
(GMM)  India's Karun Chandhok is hoping to be named official test driver for Red Bull Racing for the 2008 season.

The Austrian team announced on Tuesday that the 23-year-old GP2 racer will make his F1 test debut at Circuit de Catalunya next week.

A statement explained that Chandhok "will be standing in for regular tester, Sebastien Buemi, who is competing in the Macau Formula 3 race".

But the Madras-born driver told the Indian media that he is hoping for a proper testing role.

"I would like to consolidate my position further with GP2 next year, but what I am looking at is a test driver's assignment with Red Bull for the next season," Indian Express quotes him as saying.

"The two duties will not interfere because there is little clash in dates between the two.  I will be able to manage both if allowed," Chandhok added.

F1 teams' interest in Chandhok stepped up a gear when he became the first ever Indian to win a GP2 race in 2007, at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

But he played down suggestions that, because of his nationality, he will shortly be a leading contender for a 'Force India' race seat.

"Vijay Mallya has always been very supportive of me," Chandhok admitted.  "Also he has been a family friend, and he follows what I do closely.

"Of course, I will have to prove myself and only then can I expect to be on contention for any race post," he added.

Chandhok told the Asian Age that he may do some testing for Mallya's Silverstone based team.

"We both agreed not to speak about a racing seat for one more year.  But I will be involved with the team in testing," the Indian revealed.

Williams set to announce 2008 drivers
(GMM)  British formula one team Williams will on Wednesday or Thursday announce its race driver lineup for the 2008 season.

It is strongly suggested that the Oxfordshire based outfit will confirm Nico Rosberg's existing contract for next year.

Racing in 2008 alongside the impressive 22-year-old German, who had been mentioned as a leading contender to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren next year, will be Japanese rookie Kazuki Nakajima.

Nakajima, 22, is solidly backed by Williams' engine supplier Toyota, and he made his grand prix debut in Brazil last month after replacing Alex Wurz, who entered premature retirement just prior to the 2007 season finale.

Eleventh hour Prodrive rescue fails - report
(GMM)  A last-ditch effort by Prodrive to revive its formula one campaign last month failed, according to a specialist magazine.

'AutoWeek' reports that David Richards' Banbury-based outfit appealed to the FIA for time to modify its plans for the 2008 season, as the legality of using 'customer cars' next year remains unclear.

Richards last month admitted that plans to use an identical McLaren-Mercedes package next year have had to be scrapped.

Amid Williams' legal threats, Prodrive subsequently applied to the World Motor Sport Council last month for permission to debut in the middle of the 2008 season, but the FIA body answered in the negative, AutoWeek said.

Rookie Briton makes F1 debut
(GMM)  20-year-old British youngster Sam Bird recently got his first taste of formula one machinery.

Over the last two weeks, the F3 driver conducted a series of aerodynamic tests for Sir Frank Williams' Grove based team at the Kemble airfield in Gloucestershire (UK).

"He has carried out his duties in the cockpit of the FW29 professionally and competently and I would like to thank him for his contribution to the development program," Williams said.

Bird added: "I have learned a lot in the last two weeks which I am sure will stand me in good stead for my future."

Politician axes F1 demo in Austria
(GMM)  Four years after the grand prix left the country, a federal politician has intervened to prevent Austrian fans from once again experiencing formula one action.

As the centerpiece of the official opening of the A6-Autobahn at the Czech border on 18 November, it was planned that David Coulthard's Red Bull single seater would christen the stretch with a more than 300kph run.

But minister Werner Faymann put the brakes on the plans because it would have sent the "wrong signal" both in terms of traffic safety and the environment, he reportedly told the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten.

Meanwhile, Dietrich Mateschitz's team will in March next year auction on eBay the special-liveried F1 cars raced by Coulthard and Mark Webber in the 2007 British grand prix for the spinal chord injury charity Wings For Life.

Williams confirms 2008 driver lineup
(GMM)  Williams on Wednesday confirmed that Kazuki Nakajima will complete the British team's 2008 race driver lineup alongside Nico Rosberg.

The announcement also ends speculation that Rosberg, who entered formula one with the British team in 2006, might replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren next year.

Grove based Williams said in a statement that the 22-year-old German is a "highly regarded talent" who will "form the mainstay of the team's continued drive towards the front of the field".

Japan's Toyota-backed Nakajima, the son of former grand prix driver Satoru, is also 22, and he joined Williams as a test driver earlier this year before making his race debut last month in Brazil.

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