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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Locals wait for reason for Canada GP axe
  • Senna names STR, Honda as 2009 race options
  • Crisis not hurting Merc's F1 plans - Haug
  • Webber 'not keen' on V8 Supercar switch
  • Patrick Head to lead F2 car design team
  • No F1 race for rebuilt A1-Ring - Mateschitz
  • Better weather expected for 2008 Fuji race

Locals wait for reason for Canada GP axe
(GMM)  Jean Charest, the premier of the local province Quebec, has joined organizers of the Montreal formula one race in wanting to know why the Canadian grand prix has been taken off the 2009 calendar.

"We want know from the people at the grand prix what is going on," he is quoted as saying by The Gazette.

In a brief statement, the race organizers, who have a contract to host the event until 2011, said they learned of the decision to cancel the June 7 race via the media.

"The organization will issue no comment until having spoken to Formula One Management (FOM) and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)," the statement reads.

Industry experts are speculating as to the possible reasons for the breakdown, including recalling the serious problems with the surface of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at this year's race.

But a writer for the Vancouver Sun said: "No one knows why Montreal has been dropped after being included on the preliminary calendar issued in June."

Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay said on Radio-Canada that he was extremely disappointed with the news.

"We're talking about losses of some $75 million to the local economy as a result.  This is a large sum," he said, confirming that he has scheduled an immediate meeting with grand prix promoter Normand Legault.

"We'll see in the coming hours what we can do," Tremblay added, recalling 2003, when the race was nearly cancelled over tobacco sponsorship.

"I feel bad, the same way I felt those years ago, but I'm an optimist," he said.

Senna names STR, Honda as 2009 race options
(GMM)  Bruno Senna has singled out Toro Rosso and Honda as his options to make his formula one race debut in 2009.

The 24-year-old Brazilian told the news agency Reuters that his chances "are good" to step straight onto the grand prix grid next year rather than sitting out a year as a test driver.

"I'm doing everything I can to convince them I'm their best option," said Senna, whose uncle Ayrton Senna won three world championships before being killed in the 1994 San Marino grand prix.

"The possibilities are good and the competition in some cases is not that big," he explained.

Senna said that if he does need to initially become a test driver, he would split the role with another season of GP2.

Crisis not hurting Merc's F1 plans - Haug
(GMM)  Despite the global financial crisis and Max Mosley's warnings about the viability of formula one, Norbert Haug says Mercedes-Benz's motor racing program is secure.

"The financial crisis is certainly not helping," the German marque's motor sport president told Auto Motor und Sport, "but motor racing is still highly profitable."

Haug insists that the Stuttgart based manufacturer, in collaboration with the British championship contenders McLaren, has always had its F1 budgets under control.

"In the last ten years," he explained, "we have never exceeded our budget.  On the contrary; we have sometimes spent much less."

Webber 'not keen' on V8 Supercar switch
(GMM)  Mark Webber, the only Australian formula one driver, has hosed down expectations he might reprise his career with a stint one day in the local V8 Supercars touring car series.

The 31-year-old, who currently drives for Red Bull Racing, spent the 10 or so days since the recent Singapore grand prix in his native country, which is preparing for its marquee motor racing event - the Bathurst endurance race - this weekend.

"I'm not that keen, to be honest," Webber told the local Herald Sun newspaper before heading to Fuji for the Japanese grand prix.

"Those cars are very, very different to F1 cars."

Patrick Head to lead F2 car design team
(GMM)  Williams veteran Patrick Head will lead the team that will build the new formula 2 car for 2009.

The famous Oxfordshire based grand prix team, currently eighth in the constructors' world championship, has been commissioned by F2 promoter Jonathan Palmer to design the car for the lost-cost FIA-sanctioned series.

Williams technical director Sam Michael said the team has created a separate department to deal with the F2 project.

"It will be led by Patrick Head and will operate completely independently of the F1 team," he is quoted as saying by sportnet.at.

As well as Head, who is the co-owner of the Williams team and its engineering director, the F2 crew will consist of five other engineers.

The F2 single seater will be powered by a 1.8 liter Audi turbo engine, and built to the F1 standards of 2005.

A prototype is scheduled to make its test debut in November, ahead of the series opener in May next year.

No F1 race for rebuilt A1-Ring - Mateschitz
(GMM)  The reconstruction of the A1-Ring is back on the agenda, but Dietrich Mateschitz has ruled out bidding to reinstate the Austrian grand prix in 2010 or beyond.

We reported last month that, four years after the circuit in Spielberg was demolished, work to get the track back in use was set to begin following years of speculation.

But although circuit owner Mateschitz, who runs the Red Bull energy drinks company, is injecting 70m euros into the project for new pit buildings and grandstands, the Austrian billionaire said linking the circuit with a return to the F1 calendar makes no sense.

He said Germany's DTM series will be the main attraction for the track once it is completed in 2010.

"There will be no MotoGP," he told the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, "and speaking about a return of formula one would be absurd."

Michael Schumacher won the last Austrian grand prix at the A1-Ring in 2003.

Better weather expected for 2008 Fuji race
(GMM)  Following the torrential conditions of one year ago, when the snow-capped peak of Mt Fuji disappeared behind spray and fog, this weekend's Japanese grand prix at Fuji Speedway looks set to be staged in better weather.

BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld recalls: "I enjoy driving in the rain, but with last year's deluge it was just impossible.  Visibility was zero."

Local forecasts for the 2009 edition are calling for mainly dry conditions throughout the weekend, with the highest possibility of showers on Friday and Saturday.

"The location of the track in the mountainous region of Mount Fuji ensures that it is susceptible to weather fronts," warned Honda team boss Ross Brawn.

It is quite likely to rain on Thursday, and the clouds could hang around in the following days, bringing temperatures in the low 20s.

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