Latest F1 news in brief
- Wednesday set for Renault announcement
- Senna to also test Toro Rosso
- Intrigue surrounds Glock's last lap
- Dennis not thinking about future decision
- Wurz to stay Honda tester in 2009
Wednesday set for Renault announcement
(GMM) "Wednesday is the day" scheduled for the announcement of Renault's 2009 driver lineup.
"We will announce both drivers on Wednesday," said team boss Flavio Briatore reiterated at the Interlagos circuit on Sunday, scene of the last race of the 2008 season.
It is widely expected that former double world champion Fernando Alonso will be retained by the French team, particularly after the Spaniard also told reporters at the weekend that "next week" his plans will be revealed.
Alonso's current teammate is Nelson Piquet, who has had a difficult rookie season in 2008. Renault test drivers Lucas di Grassi and Romain Grosjean have been linked with his seat.
23-year-old Piquet's famous namesake and father was spotted in meetings both with Briatore, and Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger during the Brazilian grand prix weekend.
Senna to also test Toro Rosso
(GMM) Bruno Senna will also test for Toro Rosso in the forthcoming winter period, as the Brazilian lines up his 2009 formula one debut.
It emerged at Interlagos at the weekend that the 25-year-old GP2 runner-up, the nephew of the late triple world champion Ayrton Senna, is to test with Honda at Barcelona next month.
He is in talks with both teams about a seat next year, but told reporters at the scene of the Brazilian grand prix that a deal has not yet been concluded.
"I will test with both teams," Senna said. "It's going to depend on these tests before we can talk about something official."
Intrigue surrounds Glock's last lap
(GMM) "I'm just wondering how much money Timo had on Lewis to be world champion," an online reader of the International Herald Tribune newspaper wryly commented after the decisive Brazilian grand prix.
Had Toyota's Timo Glock not posted a lap time 20 seconds slower than his previous tour of the Interlagos circuit and ceded a place to the Briton, Lewis Hamilton would not have clinched the world championship.
"I am not sure if Glock was trying to do Hamilton a favor or not," said commentator and 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg.
The 'favor' theory is unlikely, given the fact that Hamilton and Glock, following a run-in or two this season, are hardly the best of friends.
"I definitely did not give the place to him (deliberately)," Glock told reporters.
Precisely why Glock had not changed to wet tires in the late rain shower was not explained, but the German apparently revealed after the race that he had made the request to his pitwall.
"Who would have thought that Glock would have stayed out on dry tires? It's all a bit technical, but there doesn't seem like anything dodgy or untoward," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis.
Team chief executive Martin Whitmarsh insisted the team was confident Glock would be overhauled on the decisive lap, but Mercedes' Norbert Haug admits his heart sank when Sebastian Vettel stole the necessary fifth place from Hamilton.
Asked what had gone through his head, the German answered: "A (German swear) word that begins with S-C-H and ends with E!"
Glock said he felt bad for Felipe Massa, whose crew in the Ferrari garage celebrated the title for a few seconds before it became clear that the Toyota had dropped behind Hamilton.
In an interview with ITV, Hamilton laughed when he was asked what he will say to Glock when he sees him next.
"Well, I don't think I ... he did a great job. Thank god he didn't get in my way or we didn't collide. So a big thank you to him for staying out of the way," the McLaren driver said.
Dennis not thinking about future decision
(GMM) With McLaren's first drivers' title since 1999 in the bag, many experts now expect team boss Ron Dennis to step down.
The 61-year-old Briton admitted recently he "agonized" over whether to cede his position to chief executive Martin Whitmarsh last winter, in the simmering wake of the 2007 spy scandal.
And now after seeing stability return to his Woking based outfit, and watching his protégé Lewis Hamilton complete the climb from his days as a McLaren-backed kart driver to F1 stardom, many believe the signs are right that Dennis will take his often-mentioned sidewards step.
"I love formula one," he was quoted as saying by the Press Association on Sunday in Brazil, where Lewis Hamilton clinched the championship by one point.
But in the throes of victory at Interlagos, Dennis insisted the time was not right to make an immediate decision about his future.
"I've not given any thought to anything other than winning a world championship," he said.
"We will first take everything out of this success and enjoy it."
Wurz to stay Honda tester in 2009
(GMM) Alex Wurz is staying as Honda's test and reserve driver in 2009, he said in Brazil on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Austrian retired as a race driver after the 2007 season, but returned to the paddock this year as a tester, a role in which he is often described as the sport's best.
"I had already signed the contract (including 2009) last year," Wurz told the Austrian broadcaster ORF, with whom he also works at grands prix.
Honda has not yet announced its race driver lineup for 2009, amid speculation about the future of Rubens Barrichello, and a possible seat for rookie Bruno Senna.