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DATE News (chronologically)
05/15/08
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Piquet must up his game - Renault chief
  • Dog incident unavoidable, Turkey GP insists
  • FIA proposes 150m EUR budget cap for 2009
  • Schu to continue motorbike racing
  • Williams plans to stick with Toyota

Piquet must up his game - Renault chief
(GMM)  Nelson Piquet risks dropping out of formula one if he cannot up his game, Renault's sporting boss has admitted.

The 22-year-old made his grand prix debut with the French squad in March, and over the first five races of 2008 he has failed to score any of Renault's nine points or outqualify his teammate Fernando Alonso.

Renault's sporting manager Steve Nielsen agrees with those pundits who believe the Brazilian youngster needs to start turning in some good drives.

"He needs to start having more good bits than the bad bits, and he needs to start doing that as soon as he can," he confirmed.

"Formula one is a business, it's a very cutthroat business, and if people don't deliver, they go the obvious way," Nielsen added.

Piquet himself, who dropped out in the 'Q1' section of qualifying in Turkey, admits that it is taking him some time to learn the ropes at the pinnacle of racing.

"Hopefully race to race I am going to improve myself and get more comfortable with everything and we'll get there.  The team are very supportive, they are trying to help me as much as I need so I have nothing to complain about," he is quoted as saying by Reuters.

Piquet is scheduled to take over Renault's single car at the Paul Ricard test on Thursday and Friday, even though the weather forecast is predicting possible rain.

Dog incident unavoidable, Turkey GP insists
(GMM)  The operators of Turkey's grand prix circuit have defended their actions following the FIA's strong response to the stray dogs incidents that marred the GP2 race last Sunday.

F1's governing body has launched an investigation into the incidents and is not ruling out imposing sanctions, after Bruno Senna's car struck and killed one of two dogs that crossed the circuit just hours before the formula one race.

In a statement, Istanbul Park Organizasyon - which last year was taken over by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone - said it takes circuit safety "very seriously".

"We took all possible measures to manage the problem and we cooperated with the FIA race director throughout the grand prix," the statement to Reuters added.

"We regret the incident involving Bruno Senna's car and we are far from complacent about it but, with the best will in the world, it isn't possible to eradicate the problem altogether," the circuit operators said.

Istanbul Park insists that the problem is the endemic presence around the Turkish city of stray dogs, which are attracted to the circuit by F1 teams' own catering units.

The operators said humane traps were already on site before the Senna incident, as was a team of vets to catch and relocate the dogs.

"But this is of itself a dangerous task because some of these dogs are feared to carry rabies and appropriate precautions need to be taken."

Interestingly, when Anthony Davidson struck a groundhog at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last year, the FIA took no action.

FIA proposes 150m EUR budget cap for 2009
(GMM)  F1's governing body is proposing a three-stage imposition of the annual teams' budget cap, beginning next year.

The German magazine Auto Motor und Sport cites the information of independent team co-owner Sir Frank Williams in revealing that the proposed cap will be made more severe every year until 2011.

In 2009, the cap is proposed to come in at 150 million euros, reducing to 130m and 110m respectively over the next two years.

Driver and team boss salaries, as well as engine and marketing costs, will reportedly not be included in the cap.

Williams supports the introduction of budget caps.

"Otherwise our team is going to stay where it is: at the back of the field," the Briton said.

Schu to continue motorbike racing
(GMM)  Retired former seven time world champion Michael Schumacher is set to continue his motorcycle racing hobby.

The German newspaper Bild reports that the 39-year-old has entered this weekend's Oschersleben round of the IDM (Internationale Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft) German motorbike championships.

Schumacher, who is still an occasional Ferrari test driver and advisor, has entered the race under the false identity of Marcel Niederhausen, of Stuttgart.

He will race for the team of the current IDM champions, Holzhauer Racing, after obtaining the necessary premier riding license.

Williams plans to stick with Toyota
(GMM)  Williams has no plans to split with its engine supplier Toyota in the near future.

The British team joined forces with the Japanese manufacturer last year, and now collaborates with Toyota's works formula one outfit on such matters as gearbox design, and advice about formula one politics.

But even though the relationship is not the same as Williams' past works alliances with Honda, Renault or BMW, team co-owner and principal Sir Frank Williams says he is happy with the current situation.

"Toyota cares for us very well," the 66-year-old told Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell in an interview.

"We are in no way insecure.  They have really very good people.  We are very happy with them and look forward to a long collaboration with Toyota," Williams added.

At the Turkish grand prix last weekend, however, Williams acknowledged the difficulty of being a private team in formula one at the moment, and said it is unlikely that Super Aguri's garage will be filled any time soon.

"If a privateer was trying to enter, financially you would find it very difficult right now, assuming you read the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, to raise money, to raise capital," Sir Frank explained.

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