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Latest F1 news in brief
  • BMW mechanic goes home after electric shock
  • McLaren employee sues company, Ron Dennis
  • Judge to rule on Mosley case on Thursday
  • Struggling Vodafone won't axe F1 backing
  • KERS - 2009 start-date may be called off
  • Toro Rosso ready to set Red Bull pace - report

BMW mechanic goes home after electric shock
(GMM)  The BMW-Sauber mechanic who received an electric shock during Jerez testing earlier this week was released from hospital and returned home to Switzerland on Wednesday.

After being thrown to the ground when he touched Christian Klien's KERS-equipped car at the Spanish circuit, the unnamed mechanic received treatment in the on-site medical centre for an injured hand and grazing.

He later went to hospital for checks when he complained of dizziness.

"He was subsequently released by the doctors who were happy with the results of their tests," the German team said late on Wednesday.

"The mechanic is on his way back to Switzerland this evening," a media statement added.

McLaren employee sues company, Ron Dennis
(GMM)  A former McLaren employee has brought legal action against team boss Ron Dennis.

The employee claims unfounded rumors that he was gay led to him being unfairly sacked last September.

The 27-year-old, who worked as Dennis' private jet steward, appeared over the matter in a Southampton (UK) employment tribunal this week, the British newspaper Daily Telegraph reports.

He said his relationship with Dennis, the F1 team principal and McLaren Group chairman, broke down "dramatically" amid rumors among colleagues he is gay.

The sacked employee, also claiming sexual discrimination and victimization, alleges things got "nasty" amid the furor, with a private investigator allegedly sent to his home to threaten him about the return of his Mercedes company car.

Lawyers for Dennis and McLaren Group companies argued that the employee was sacked because he "kept on falling asleep and was rude".

However, they accept he should have been given three months written notice of his dismissal.

A full hearing will be held after the F1 season, in January of 2009, so that Dennis can appear.

Judge to rule on Mosley case on Thursday
(GMM)  The London High Court judge David Eady will rule on the Max Mosley privacy case on Thursday.

The five-day trial, brought by the FIA president following the British tabloid News of the World's expose about his party with five prostitutes, concluded last Monday.

Numerous media sources have tipped a victory for Mosley, who is seeking compensatory as well as unprecedented punitive damages after the newspaper described the sadomasochistic session as a "sick Nazi orgy".

The legal editor for the Daily Telegraph predicts a damages sum for Mosley in the six-figure range.

The expected High Court decision coincides with new claims in The Independent newspaper that Mosley was "set up by (his) formula one enemies" in connection with the negotiations for a new Concorde agreement.

The Independent also said that if Mosley wins his High Court case, "it is likely (he) will sue the newspaper in French and Italian courts".

Struggling Vodafone won't axe F1 backing
(GMM)  The departing CEO of Vodafone, the largest mobile phone company in the world, has denied rumors the British firm might withdraw its major sports sponsorships such as the title backing of the McLaren formula one team.

The company suffered a major plunge in its share price earlier this week, moving chief executive Arun Sarin - who hands over to his successor early next week - to launch a number of cost-saving measures.

"But he insisted this was unlikely to lead to either big redundancies or an end to (Vodafone's) sport sponsorship," the British newspaper The Sun reports.

KERS - 2009 start-date may be called off
(GMM)  Following the problems encountered by teams in the development of KERS systems for 2009, it is now suggested the voluntary debut of the technology might need to be delayed.

The highest profile problems experienced by teams include the recent smoke and fume incident at Red Bull's UK factory, and the electric shock sustained by a BMW-Sauber mechanic at the Jerez test this week.

Toyota engine boss Luca Marmorini tells the German magazine Sport Bild: "All teams are having problems at the moment.

"Building a safe system is proving a difficult thing.  For 2009, time is running out," he added.

"To me, it would be more logical to test it for a year before we use it at the races.  For us at Toyota, safety has the highest priority," Marmorini said.

Williams driver Nico Rosberg explained: "For the first few races (of 2009), no team will be on the grid with KERS.

"It is Williams' plan to introduce it for the first race, but that is a big task," the German driver added.

Honda team principal Ross Brawn is believed to have said a similar thing.

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore told the German newspaper Bild-Zeitung: "If the system is not safe, we will not put it on the car."

Speaking for the drivers' safety union the GPDA, Mark Webber said: "Some teams are having problems with the chemicals that are used for the batteries.

"It is important to us that it is safe, when we are driving at 300kmh, or in the event of a heavy accident."

Toro Rosso ready to set Red Bull pace - report
(GMM)  Toro Rosso may be speeding past Red Bull's senior team, according to a Spanish newspaper.

Diario AS claims the Italian team, currently backed by the energy drink baron Dietrich Mateschitz as a junior incarnation for Red Bull Racing, may be ready to consistently set the pace of the four Adrian Newey-penned chassis at grands prix.

STR's Sebastian Vettel has been a consistent performer at races of late, since the Gerhard Berger co-owned team recently received the latest RB4 -- designated the STR3 for Toro Rosso.

Albeit with 2009-spec slick Bridgestone tires on Wednesday, the German youngster has topped the times at the Jerez test all week so far.

Spain's AS claims Toro Rosso, although under a cloud given Mateschitz's desire to offload his 50 per cent share, is now moving clear because its Ferrari engine is more powerful than the Renault V8 used by the senior team.

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