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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Honda backs 2009 tire blanket ban
  • Mosley wants sex video banned in France
  • Barrichello seeks 2009 Honda contract
  • KERS to phase-in until 2013 - Mosley
  • Ferrari not concerned about 'nose hole' leak
  • Fisichella 'deserves seat' in F1 - Gascoyne

Honda backs 2009 tire blanket ban
(GMM)  The formula one team Honda has backed next year's proposed banning of tire warming blankets.

Active race and test drivers have recently flagged the ban, set to coincide with the return of slick tires in 2009, as a safety concern, after the initial development compounds offered by Bridgestone proved difficult to get up to speed on the test tracks.

But Honda's engineering chief Steve Clark played down the issue at the end of the four day group test this week at Barcelona.

"Running here in warmer conditions, we had no issues with warming the tires up without blankets," he said.

"We are looking forward to the challenge of running the cars next year without tire warmers and reduced downforce.

"It should be interesting," he added.

Mosley wants sex video banned in France
(GMM)  After failing to get the notorious News of the World sex video banned in the London High Court, embattled FIA president Max Mosley has now lodged the same complaint in the French jurisdiction.

The 68-year-old on Thursday filed legal proceedings in Paris, the home of the governing body, to prevent the offending video from being accessed via the internet on French territory.

Mosley also wants paper copies of the British tabloid newspaper seized in France, and 25,000 euros in damages for each offence, the news agency Reuters said after sighting the legal filings.

His lawyer, Philippe Ouakrat, said the video is a "violation of his right to respect for his private life", according to the French news agency AFP.

A judge will examine the case on Friday, with a ruling expected either late in the day or early next week.

In terms of privacy, the French legal system is among the most protective that exists, according to information obtained from the Embassy of France in the United States.

Barrichello seeks 2009 Honda contract
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello this week confirmed that he is seeking a new contract to keep racing beyond 2008.

The formula one veteran's current deal with Honda expires at the end of the season.

According to F1's official website, the 35-year-old matched Riccardo Patrese's all time record of 256 race starts in Bahrain recently.

But even though he will begin establishing a new benchmark in Barcelona next weekend and beyond, the Brazilian said he is not planning to hang up his helmet any time soon.

"I would like to go on for as long as I can," Barrichello is quoted as telling the Schweriner Volkszeitung newspaper.

He said he wants to stay at Honda rather than go on the market for the 2009 season.

"It is no secret that my contract expires at the end of the year," Barrichello added.  "I want to extend it, because I think that with Ross Brawn a new and promising era has begun at Honda.

"2008 is definitely not my last season; now I want to finish with more than 300 grands prix," he said.

Barrichello also revealed that, following Honda's updated RA108 package for Barcelona, the next major revision will be unveiled at the British grand prix in July.

It is reported that, after Silverstone, Honda's focus will then shift entirely to the 2009 car.

KERS to phase-in until 2013 - Mosley
(GMM)  Starting in 2009, the introduction of the energy recovery system KERS in formula one will be gradual, the governing body has confirmed.

In a letter to teams that was seen by the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Max Mosley said the implementation of the ground breaking Kinetic Energy Recover Systems will be in three phases.

Following 2009, the next step will be in 2011, when more energy collected under braking will be permitted to be fed into the powertrain under acceleration by means of a driver-activated boost button.

The final step, involving the recovery of energy from multiple sources, will be in 2013, coinciding with the introduction of a new low cost engine formula; probably involving small turbo engines with about 600bhp, Auto Motor und Sport said.

Mosley's letter said teams and manufacturers are welcome to comment on the proposal before the next World Council meeting in June.

Ferrari not concerned about 'nose hole' leak
(GMM)  A Ferrari team spokesman has downplayed reports that a recent technical leak is being vigorously investigated.

Reports earlier this week suggested that the appearance in testing of the widely-anticipated 'hole nose' at the front of the F2008 confirmed that spies may still be active within the team.

Drawings of the innovation appeared in the pages of the Italian magazine Autosprint even before the 2008 season begun.

But despite technical director Aldo Costa reportedly saying that "very few" staff even knew about the forthcoming nose solution, the spokesman insists that "about one hundred" Ferrari people were aware.

Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni also told Auto Motor und Sport that Autosprint got the leaked information wrong, as the sketches depicted the 'holes' much further down the nose.

"You cannot prevent these kinds of stories," he added.  "The fact that the information was misunderstood proves that the source was only superficially informed."

It is very likely that the piece will debut at Barcelona next weekend, after the revised nose passed the mandatory FIA crash tests this week.

Fisichella 'deserves seat' in F1 - Gascoyne
(GMM)  Mike Gascoyne has backed Giancarlo Fisichella's recent claim that he feels vindicated by his form for Force India so far in 2008.

The 35-year-old veteran said he feels satisfied that his former team, Renault, has struggled to shine in the wake of his forced departure at the end of last season.

"Fisi has shown that he's fully deserving of a place in F1," Gascoyne, Force India's technical boss and also a former Renault employee, told the website of the American broadcaster Speed TV.

Rome-born Fisichella was replaced at Renault this year by the rookie Nelson Piquet, who has so far struggled to keep up with his teammate Fernando Alonso in the difficult R28.

Referring to the recent Bahrain grand prix, Gascoyne continued: "When he was in front of Nelson Piquet he probably had a little bit of an incentive to stay in front of him.

"He drove a superb race, and he's brought a lot to the team," he added, referring to Fisichella, who has consistently outpaced his highly rated young teammate Adrian Sutil.

Gascoyne said Force India's 2008 form has been a shot in the arm for a team that, in the previous Spyker, Midland and latter Jordan guises, struggled for mere survival.

"Really this team hasn't been racing anyone for a few years, so I think we can be very pleased," he added.

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