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DATE News (chronologically)
01/13/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • 2009 entry reserved for Honda F1 team
  • Ferrari still undecided after KERS track debut
  • Ferrari approves of Kimi's rally outing
  • Schu still has Ferrari role to play
  • Silverstone wins MotoGP race from Donington
  • No F1 staff cuts yet says Ferrari
  • Also US doors close for Bourdais

2009 entry reserved for Honda F1 team
(GMM)  F1's governing body has reserved two spaces on the 2009 formula one grid for a team to potentially be bought from Honda.

In the official FIA entry list, cars 18 and 19 are reserved because the Brackley based squad has formally entered the forthcoming world championship.

"The FIA understands the team is now for sale," an addendum to the statement said.

The list featured no surprises, with only Sebastien Buemi's teammate at Toro Rosso the only other unconfirmed space on the grid.

Kimi Raikkonen has been allocated the higher racing number (3) at the Ferrari team, despite Felipe Massa failing to win the drivers' title from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by a single point.

Following the end of its supplier relationship with Ferrari, Force India is to be now known officially as a constructor as Force India-Mercedes.

Ferrari still undecided after KERS track debut
(GMM)  Ferrari has confirmed that a decision about whether to use a KERS system in its newly launched F60 has not yet been taken.

As Felipe Massa on Monday put the first kilometers on the new single seater at Mugello, he also marked the Maranello based outfit's track-debut of the controversial energy-recovery technology.

Ferrari has had a troubled development phase with its KERS system, developed in conjunction with Magneti-Marelli.

"When we realize that the performance guaranteed by KERS is up to expectations, then it is our task to use it," team boss Stefano Domenicali said.

The team was satisfied with the F60 roll-out, but Brazilian Massa acknowledged to the Italian newspaper La Stampa that a few expected "little problems" did crop up.

"We used KERS a little at the beginning, gradually increasing the power and so far it has been positive," he said.

Domenicali said he expects KERS to continue to be a challenging topic for Ferrari, and declined to give a "yes or no answer" as to whether the system will be fitted to the car in Melbourne in 72 days.

"Reliability played a very heavy burden on us last season, so the first objective is to understand the potential of KERS and then solve all the reliability problems," the Italian explained.

Ferrari approves of Kimi's rally outing
(GMM)  Ferrari has no problem with Kimi Raikkonen contesting Finland's famous Arctic Lapland Rally later this month, team boss Stefano Domenicali has insisted.

Formula one teams often baulk at drivers' requests to engage in dangerous off-season activities, but it emerged last week that Raikkonen, the team's title winner of 2007, has entered himself as the driver of a Fiat Abarth S2000 in the event later this month.

"This is the traditional attitude we take to our drivers," Domenicali said at the launch of the team's new 'F60' single seater for 2009.

"We always try to have a very open attitude to what they do.  I see this as an extra two days of testing for Kimi."

Schu still has Ferrari role to play
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher has an "important contribution" to play in the development of Ferrari's new formula one car for 2009, team boss Stefano Domenicali said at the launch of the F60.

With all testing to be banned from the beginning of the forthcoming season to the end, it had been anticipated that former seven time world champion Schumacher's role as an occasional test driver might be put on hold.

But Domenicali said on Monday that the German, still under contract to the Maranello based team for the duration of 2009, can still play a role.

"Michael is the only one with experience with slick tires and, together with (test driver) Luca Badoer, he will give an important contribution," the Italian said.

Schumacher, 40, was present at the launch of the F60, as were Ferrari's race drivers, and testers Badoer and the Spaniard Marc Gene.

Silverstone wins MotoGP race from Donington
(GMM)  Silverstone, the current home of the British formula one grand prix, has secured a five-year contract to host motorcycling's premier MotoGP series from 2010.

Following this year's British GP at Silverstone, the single seater category is scheduled to move in 2010 to Donington Park, currently the scene of Britain's MotoGP event.

Reports indicated that Silverstone simply outbid Donington.

"It's very disappointing but given the need for a flagship event in 2010 to replace formula one, we understand the importance to Silverstone of gaining the rights to MotoGP from a business perspective," Donington chief Simon Gillett said.

Silverstone, which will have to make modifications to its Northamptonshire venue to accommodate MotoGP, last hosted premier motorcycle grand prix racing in the 70s and 80s.

No F1 staff cuts yet says Ferrari
(GMM)  Ferrari's formula one team is not yet laying off staff, despite recent changes to the regulations designed to slash operating costs in the sport.

F1 teams' engine and aerodynamic programs have been forcibly cut back by the new measures, and all testing between late March and November banned.

But technical director Aldo Costa said Ferrari will not rush into any changes to reduce staff numbers, which at some teams bulge at close to 1000.

"The rules have changed only recently so before taking decisions too quickly, like reducing the number of staff, we need to pay close attention to our working methods and then not take too radical decisions," he said at the launch of the new F60 single seater.

It is understood that most other teams are also yet to cut back staff numbers in any serious way, although the expected number to depart during the course of the following months is about 100 per big team.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali said one of the discussions of the teams' FOTA alliance is "when and how" to put a cap on the number of staff that travel to races.

"It is clear the aim must be to do it in a way where it doesn't affect us from a technical point of the view," he said.

US doors close for Bourdais
(GMM)  After just a single season in formula one, Sebastien Bourdais' immediate future in premier single seater racing seems clouded.

The 29-year-old Frenchman, a multiple recent champion in the now defunct Champ Car series, raced in F1 for Toro Rosso in 2008 but on Monday did not feature on the FIA's official entry list for the forthcoming season.

According to earlier rumors from the US, however, Bourdais was being considered by the famous IndyCar team Penske as a possible replacement for Helio Castroneves.

But Penske said on Tuesday that Australian driver Will Power will replace Castroneves in testing while the Brazilian is engaged with a tax evasion court case.

Bourdais' old Champ Car team Newman/Haas, now racing in IndyCar, had been suggested as another alternative for Bourdais, but Dutchman Robert Doornbos is now widely believed to have secured the team's second seat for 2009.

Another IndyCar seat at HVM remains vacant for 2009.

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