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DATE News (chronologically)
04/01/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Massa may not use new engine in Bahrain
  • Silverstone erects more seats for GP
  • Pressure mounts for Mosley to resign
  • Mosley to cancel planned Bahrain visit
  • No Alonso turmoil at Renault says Piquet

Massa may not use new engine in Bahrain
(GMM)  Ferrari will probably not fit a new engine to Felipe Massa's car for the Bahrain grand prix this weekend.

The Brazilian driver spun into retirement at Sepang just over a week ago, allowing him to use a fresh V8 at the next race without incurring a penalty.

But "at the moment, we will probably run Massa with the same engine he used in Malaysia, even though we could change it," technical director Aldo Costa revealed.

Costa did not go into more detail, but using the Malaysia-spec engine could be advantageous for two reasons.

Costa did say the Maranello based team still has "a close eye" on engine reliability, following the two race failures in Australia.  Massa's Sepang-spec unit proved reliable both in Saturday practice, qualifying, and in the race until he spun, so it is basically a known quantity to the team.

Secondly, using the Malaysia unit as scheduled in Bahrain would clear the way for a fully tweaked engine specification to be debuted in Massa's car in Barcelona, where all teams are planning significant updates for their 2008 packages.

Test driver Marc Gene conducted a straight line test with the F2008 at Vairano last week.

Silverstone erects more seats for GP
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton fever in Britain has prompted Silverstone to erect more grandstand seating for July's grand prix there.

The Northamptonshire-located circuit announced in a statement that "overwhelming demand" for tickets means that race day is now "close to selling out".

Managing director Richard Phillips is quoted as saying Silverstone Circuits Ltd has reacted by adding 2200 extra seats.

Pressure mounts for Mosley to resign
(GMM)  Former triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart insists the sex scandal involving Max Mosley should give the FIA president pause to consider his future.

The pair have a troubled history; Mosley recently branding Stewart a "halfwit" following criticism of the FIA's 'Stepneygate' handling, and the 68-year-old Scot hitting back with threats of legal action.

Now a representative for Williams sponsor RBS, Stewart - when arriving in Bahrain for the grand prix - was asked by the local newspaper Gulf Daily News for comment about the scandal that has some questioning Mosley's future in his post.

"Frankly I don't think it is for me to comment, I would rather hear what he has to say," Stewart said.

"I just think he has to look very carefully at it and address his future," he added.

F1 driver turned British commentator Martin Brundle, meanwhile, is the subject of a writ for libel after accusing Mosley of waging a McLaren "witch hunt" last year.

He commented of Mosley's secretly-taped escapade with five prostitutes: "It's not appropriate behavior for the head of any global body."

1979 world champion Jody Scheckter, who has Jewish roots, said the so-reported 'Nazi sex scandal' is "absolutely" grounds for Mosley's resignation as FIA boss.

"You can't have somebody like this running the sport, or any other sport come to that.

"I really think he ought to go and I would like to see the press having a concerted campaign to persuade him to do just that," the South African is quoted as saying by the Guardian newspaper.

Mosley to cancel planned Bahrain visit
(GMM)  Max Mosley looks set to cancel a planned visit to Bahrain this week.

A British tabloid newspaper at the weekend revealed secret video footage of the FIA president engaged in a Nazi death camp-themed orgy with five prostitutes.

He is now the subject of intense global media intrigue, but until now it appeared that he was vehemently sticking with his plan to travel to Bahrain for a rare appearance at a grand prix.

The first Middle Eastern Motor Sport Business Forum is also taking place on the island Kingdom this week.

68-year-old Mosley's decision to cancel the trip might have been influenced by his fellow F1 powerbroker and long time friend Bernie Ecclestone.

"He shouldn't go, should he?" the F1 chief executive is quoted as saying by the German news agency DPA.

"The problem is he would take all the ink away from the race and put it on something which, honestly and truly, is nobody else's business anyway," he added.

Ecclestone also said the Bahrain royal family might object to the presence of embattled Mosley, the son of the notorious British fascist politician Sir Oswald Mosley.

"They wouldn't like it," the 77-year-old admitted.

No Alonso turmoil at Renault says Piquet
(GMM)  Following the turmoil inside the McLaren team in 2007, Fernando Alonso's current teammate says he is getting along well with the temperamental double world champion.

Brazilian rookie Nelson Piquet, the son of the eponymous triple world champion, told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that Alonso, 26, is a "great teammate".

Alonso fell out spectacularly with his teammate last year, Lewis Hamilton, preceding the Spaniard's decision to break a three year McLaren contract to return to Renault for 2008.

"We are working together very well," Piquet, 22, told El Mundo Deportivo.

"When we're at the circuits he tells me how to tackle some corners, or warns me about the problems of the track -- he is really a great teammate," he added.

Piquet, however, insists that he also has a good relationship with former GP2 title rival Hamilton, but stopped short of saying they are friends.

Asked by El Mundo if Hamilton is his friend, Piquet replied: "Not especially, but you don't tend to have many friends in formula one.

"I have a good relationship with him though, as I do as well with Vettel and Glock," he added.

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