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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Bahrain to host big F1 names for Forum
  • F-India to continue arbitration case
  • Bahrain to consider F1 night race
  • Webber tells Aus to fight for night race
  • Sauber cars to be auctioned in Zurich
  • 112,700 expected at first Valencia GP
  • Van der Garde hopes for Force India test seat

Bahrain to host big F1 names for Forum
(GMM)  Bahrain's formula one circuit will host the first Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East on April 1 and 2 -- the week of the grand prix in Sakhir.  Team principals for McLaren, Honda, Red Bull, Williams, Force India and possibly Ferrari, and 500 delegates, will be there, organizers said.

It will be the first time the annual event takes place outside of Monaco.

F-India to continue arbitration case
(GMM)  Even after the sale of the Spyker team to Force India, team boss Colin Kolles is determined to press ahead with a legal claim against F1 rivals Super Aguri and Toro Rosso.

Almost one year ago, Kolles announced that he would pursue the teams in arbitration for the alleged illegality of their 2007 single seaters, arguing that they are nearly direct copies of cars designed and built by their parent teams.

The case is presently before the Swiss based Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Sources close to the team's new owner Vijay Mallya have told the Indian press that the Spyker arbitration will continue in the Force India guise.

Sources at Mallya's brewing empire UB Group insist that the Silverstone based team is "intent on pursuing (the) arbitration case", according to the publication DNA India.

"We are of the opinion that Aguri and Toro Rosso cannot be part of F1 as per the provisions in the Concorde Agreement.

"Given a choice, we want them out, for sure.  The lesser the competition, the better," the UB source said.

Honda-powered Super Aguri would not comment.

"We have been advised by the legal team not to comment on the matter," a spokeswoman for the team said.

Bahrain to consider F1 night race
(GMM)  Bosses of the Bahrain grand prix are discussing the possibility of following in the footsteps of Singapore and Malaysia in organizing a formula one night race.

The Sakhir circuit's chief operating officer Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa told the local Gulf Daily News that, unlike race chiefs in Melbourne, Bahrain is "not opposed" to the concept of lighting up the track.

"It is only natural that we have been gathering information about it, trying to determine its advantages and disadvantages," he said.

Singapore will stage F1's first ever floodlit grand prix this September, while the race in Malaysia next year is likely to also be held in local hours of darkness, primarily to aid television viewers back in Europe.

Gulf Daily News said a benefit to Bahrain of a night race is that, as well as cooler temperatures, spectators would be able to attend after work, as Sunday is a normal weekday in the kingdom.

Shaikh Salman added: "I have no knowledge of it being proposed for Bahrain, but it is a very interesting concept.

"Right now, it makes most sense more for host countries further east.  Here, it is debatable and we would have to go through lengthy discussions with Formula One Management before we can seriously consider it," he said.

Webber tells Aus to fight for night race
(GMM)  Mark Webber has urged Australians to fight to retain their grand prix.

The Melbourne race is currently in serious doubt beyond 2010, with organizers of the Albert Park event unwilling to meet Bernie Ecclestone's demand for the grand prix to be held under lights.

31-year-old Webber, Australia's only current formula one driver, told the local Herald Sun newspaper that race bosses should consider the night race option.

"We should try to make night work.  It could be exactly what the event needs -- who knows?" the Red Bull driver said.

Webber was also quoted as telling Adelaide's Sunday Mail: "We should fight to have a night race."

But while insisting that F1 is crucial to Melbourne's international reputation, Webber can also see the sense in Ecclestone's hard line stance.

"You can't constantly keep having the same toys in the sand pit," he said.

"He's (Ecclestone) certainly got his head screwed on and he will do what is best for the sport," Webber added.

Sauber cars to be auctioned in Zurich
(GMM)  Fans of the grand prix team formerly run by Peter Sauber will soon be able to get their hands on one or more of the Swiss outfit's single seaters.

It is reported by the German language news agency SID that several Sauber F1 cars will be up for grabs at Zurich's Kloten airport as of February 19.

Among the Saubers to go under the hammer is a racer piloted by Jean Alesi, and also the first formula one car Kimi Raikkonen drove in 2001.

Sauber, taken over by BMW for the 2006 season and now called BMW Sauber, raced in formula one between 1993 and 2005.

112,700 expected at first Valencia GP
(GMM)  Organizers of the inaugural European grand prix at Valencia will make available 112,700 tickets for the August street race.

The Spanish sports newspaper Marca reports that the tickets, which if all sold will make the event one of the best attended in formula one, will become available at the end of February.

Vicente Rambla, a spokesman for the Valencia regional government, said construction of the circuit near the city's port is proceeding well.

He said the works are "going so well that in some parts we are ahead of schedule".

Van der Garde hopes for Force India test seat
(GMM)  Giedo van der Garde is hoping to secure a new contract to test with the Force India team in 2008.

The Dutch 22-year-old was forced to the sidelines last year, after a contractual dispute between Super Aguri and Force India's predecessor Spyker meant he was unable to obtain an FIA superlicense.

But with that obstacle seemingly now behind him, van der Garde has declared that he is currently in talks with Silverstone based Force India about a new role in 2008.

"At the moment we're negotiating with the team to get a contract as the team's test driver," said van der Garde, who will again race in the World Series by Renault this year.

"Formula one is my main goal as a race driver so if I can continue to test (there) I can get more experience," he wrote on his website.

Force India has already signed Vitantonio Liuzzi to be its main test and reserve driver in 2008.

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