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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Mosley says Goodwin rumors 'nonsense'
  • Mosley tempted by fifth term as FIA president
  • Todt to vacate FIA World Council seat
  • FIA can't guarantee British GP - Mosley
  • Swiss veteran slams F1 powerbrokers
  • Test-ban relaxation unlikely - Mosley
  • Mosley firm over F1 Superlicense dispute
  • Red Bull healthy amid financial crisis
  • Renault likely to use KERS in Oz - Alonso
  • Stuck says 'USF1' team reports good news
  • Senna denies gambling on 2009 F1 debut
  • Race for Ferrari, Mosley tells Hamilton

Mosley says Goodwin rumors 'nonsense'
(GMM)  Recent reports and speculation linking Sir Fred Goodwin with the FIA presidency was "nonsense", Max Mosley said on Wednesday.

Rumors indicated that Goodwin, the controversial former chief executive of the struggling Royal Bank of Scotland, was being lined up for Mosley's role at the expiry of his current term later this year.

"Last week Sir Fred called me to say it was all nonsense," Mosley, who is considering standing for re-election, is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

"He was obviously rather embarrassed," the 68-year-old added at a media lunch in London.

Although he did not specifically name the former triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, Mosley hinted strongly that he suspects the origin of the Goodwin speculation.

"It has to be someone with some kind of connection to F1.  He's got to have some connection with Scotland.  He's got to have no understanding of how F1 or the FIA work, and he has to be unusually stupid.

"There's at least one person who ticks all those boxes," Mosley said.

Mosley tempted by fifth term as FIA president
(GMM)  Max Mosley on Wednesday said he feels tempted to stand for a fifth consecutive term as FIA president.

The 68-year-old, embroiled in a sex scandal last year, has often said he intends to stand down in October, but he now confirms that he is considering contesting the next election.

Mosley told reporters at a media lunch at the Poissonnerie de l'Avenue restaurant in Chelsea that he will make up his mind by June.

Asked if he is tempted to stand for a fifth term, he answered: "Yes.  If a lot of people say to you, 'you should stay', it's churlish in a way not to.

"People have indicated they want to go on with the status quo and that is pretty widespread.

"That is nice and flattering, but I've got to ask myself if that's what I really want to do," said the Briton.

Figures including former Ferrari boss Jean Todt, and 56-year-old Ari Vatanen, the 1981 world rally champion-turned European parliamentarian, have been named as possible alternatives to Mosley.

Mosley said he expects "six or seven" candidates to be in the running.

"(The role) needs someone with experience to guide formula one, but it would be presumptuous of me to think that I'm that person," he explained.

Todt to vacate FIA World Council seat
(GMM)  Jean Todt is set to shortly depart as a member of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council, Max Mosley confirmed at a media briefing and lunch in London on Wednesday.

Todt stepped down as Ferrari team boss at the end of the 2007 season, subsequently also handing over the role as the marque's CEO.

However, he stayed as a director of the board, and remains contracted to the Italian marque for several "special appointments".

But it emerges that Todt's current tenure is set to end in March, meaning that Ferrari will have to nominate a replacement for the 62-year-old Frenchman to represent the Italian team on the 26-member Council.

FIA can't guarantee British GP - Mosley
(GMM)  F1's governing body has only limited power to safeguard historic destinations on the annual calendar, FIA president Max Mosley told journalists in London on Wednesday.

With traditional host nation France missing from the 2009 calendar, it is now feared that the forthcoming switch of the British grand prix rights from Silverstone to Donington could result in another established nation dropping out of F1.

It was believed that the FIA has the power to step in and prevent F1's commercial rights holder from replacing certain of the sport's traditional races with new venues.

But Mosley insists it is not as simple as that, revealing that while the FIA does have a say, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is not bound to preserve historic venues.

"We have to be reasonable as to the financial terms and facilities (of races on the calendar)," the 68-year-old Briton said.

"The FIA can't put pressure on Bernie to race in the UK for less than other countries would pay for us to race elsewhere."

Mosley did, however, seem to express concern about the endangerment of the British round, describing the country as "the home of grand prix racing", having hosted the very first world championship race in 1950.

Swiss veteran slams F1 powerbrokers
(GMM)  Marc Surer, a Swiss grand prix driver of the 80s, has issued a damning appraisal of formula one's powerbrokers Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley.

The 57-year-old, today a German-language television pundit and commentator, told the Swiss car magazine Automobil Revue that he thinks Ecclestone, F1's long time chief executive, has now passed "his zenith".

"In the beginning, when he began taking money for the delivery of races, he fought also for formula one.  Today it seems nearly completely about the money," Surer said.

He is most scathing about the 78-year-old billionaire's recent tendency to replace customary grand prix hosts with those of "sheikhs".

Surer is also critical of Max Mosley, president of the FIA since 1993; particularly his ideas about how to contain costs in F1.

"When I hear about Mosley's plans, I think the FIA should not be designing the cars.

"It is not for them to prescribe how an engine should perform and make everyone use the same transmission.  I hope F1 does not move towards being a spec-series because I think the interest would reduce."

Surer also said he thinks the stewards hand down too many penalties to the drivers.

"Formula one should be about action, and overtaking is already difficult enough without punishing it when it happens."

Test-ban relaxation unlikely - Mosley
(GMM)  The FIA is unlikely to sanction the dilution of the recently-decreed 2009 testing ban, set to take effect shortly before the Australian grand prix and run throughout the season.

The ban was introduced with the agreement of the formula one teams' FOTA alliance, but concerns about the troubled development of KERS systems has sparked suggestions that up to three official tests may be exempted this season.

It is reported that the teams will argue for the tests on the grounds that the KERS concerns could lead to mass retirements from early races this season.

But all the FOTA members would have to unanimously vote for the modification, and Max Mosley told journalists on Wednesday that the FIA would "probably not agree".

"But obviously we'll have to listen to the proposal from FOTA," he said in London.

Mosley firm over F1 Superlicense dispute
(GMM)  FIA president Max Mosley has admitted little sympathy for formula one drivers refusing to pay for this year's more expensive Superlicences .

It emerged last month that the drivers' representative union, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), asked fellow drivers to hold off renewing their mandatory credentials for 2009 following the latest price hike.

After the large price increase at the beginning of 2008, the FIA is for this year charging an additional 400 euros per license, and 100 euros per point.

But Mosley on Wednesday dismissed their position as "silly", warning that having an up-to-date Superlicense is compulsory for participation at grands prix.

"The drivers are the principal beneficiaries of all the money invested in safety measures," he told journalists at a media lunch in London.

"They told me it was causing hardship, but that's a complete nonsense.  To earn tens of millions, live in a tax haven and complain about having to pay 2 per cent of your income (for the license), it's just so silly," Mosley added.

He confirmed that no driver has yet submitted their application for a 2009 license but said "that doesn't usually happen for a while anyway".

Last month, the 68-year-old Briton offered to engage with the drivers on the issue, but only if they reveal precise details about their incomes.

"They don't seem to want to give me that information," Mosley said.

Red Bull healthy amid financial crisis
(GMM)  While many F1 stakeholders struggle amid the global financial crisis, it seems the energy drinks company Red Bull remains in good financial health.

The Austrian company, owner of two formula one teams, revealed this week it sold more cans of the drink in 2008 than ever before and is planning to expand into more new markets this year.

Sales growth, however, slowed from nearly 17 per cent the year before to just under 8 per cent in 2008, and Dietrich Mateschitz told Austria's Salzburger Nachrichten that revenue will further slow to just 3-5 per cent in 2009.

The comparative health of the company, however, means there is "no pressure" on Red Bull to fast-track the sale of its junior team Toro Rosso, Mateschitz insisted, and he also welcomed the latest moves to cut costs within the sport.

"For both teams we can save 100 million euros," Mateschitz told the newspaper.

Elsewhere this week, bad news emanated from Panasonic, the Japanese electronics giant, despite the recent renewal of its title sponsorship with Toyota.

Panasonic projects multi-billion euro loss for the latest twelve month accounts, and the need to cut 15,000 jobs and close 27 factories around the world.

Following Honda's F1 withdrawal, meanwhile, yet another Japanese manufacturer this week has cited the economic crisis for deciding to pull out of motor racing.

Mitsubishi said it is withdrawing from cross country rallying, including the famous Dakar Rally, because of the need to focus "resources more tightly".

Renault likely to use KERS in Oz - Alonso
(GMM)  Renault will probably begin the 2009 world championship with a functioning KERS system aboard the R29, according to the team's Spanish race driver Fernando Alonso.

The French team has been a vocal opponent of the energy re-use technology's introduction this year, and has developed its system in collaboration with Magneti-Marelli, who are believed to have struggled with its battery-based units.

Renault is even yet to fully turn on its KERS at a winter test track, but 27-year-old Alonso told Eurosport in Spanish: "Our system is truly competitive, it is working well with no problems.

"I think we will start the championship with it and without many concerns, but we have to test it first.

"I hope ours is better than the others," he is quoted as saying in Paris.

Red Bull Racing will also use Renault's KERS as part of its customer engine package in 2009, but the drinks company's motor sport advisor Helmut Marko would not confirm if the debut of the system will be made in Melbourne.

He told Austria's laola1.at: "As soon as it is reliable and offers a competitive advantage, we will use it."

Stuck says 'USF1' team reports good news
(GMM)  Hans-Joachim Stuck, a famous German motor racing figure, has welcomed news that an all-American formula one team is targeting a grand prix debut in 2010.

It emerged on Wednesday that 'USF1', to be principally based in the US and showcase American technology and drivers, is set to be officially launched later this month.

Stuck, who contested grands prix in the 70s and now heads up Volkswagen's racing activities, said more American involvement in formula one would be a good thing.

"A world championship without the United States is not a real world championship," he told sport1.de, also referring to the absence from the calendar of a single North American round.

"So we can only wish them all the best that this works out.

"As long as there is no race and no American team, the interest (from the US) will always be low," the 58-year-old said.

Last year, we reported speculation that the prospective American team was in talks with Honda, after Ken Anderson attended the Montreal race and met with team chiefs Ross Brawn and Nick Fry.

With Honda's Brackley based team now for sale, Stuck said it would make sense for Anderson and his reported business partner Peter Windsor to now enter talks to take over the outfit.

"(Buying) Honda would be better than Toro Rosso, because of the superior infrastructure," he said.

Senna denies gambling on 2009 F1 debut
(GMM)  Bruno Senna has denied reports that he has ruled out returning to the F1 feeder category GP2 in 2009.

The 25-year-old Brazilian was the series' runner-up last season, and had been linked strongly with a formula one debut for the Honda or Toro Rosso teams this year.

A report in the British specialist press on Wednesday said he will definitely not be staying in GP2 in 2009.

"I have only told the iSport team that at the moment I cannot promise them anything, because I want to keep waiting to see if there is a possibility in formula one," Germany's motorsport-magazin.com quotes the nephew of the great Ayrton Senna as saying.

It is clear that Senna rates a Honda takeover as his best chance of a 2009 F1 seat, after talks with Toro Rosso broke down amid the Red Bull-owned team's demands for a pay-driver.

"I wanted a test but I would have got one only if I had paid for the complete season," he said.

Race for Ferrari, Mosley tells Hamilton
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton should not rule out one day switching from McLaren in order to race in formula one with the famous Ferrari team.

That is the advice to the 23-year-old British driver of FIA president Max Mosley, who on Wednesday met for a media briefing and lunch with journalists in London.

Hamilton, F1's new reigning world champion, has stated his total commitment to Mercedes-powered McLaren, explaining that he can imagine always driving for the team.

But Mosley said: "If I were Hamilton I would be happy to be at McLaren and I would be happy to move to Ferrari (in the future)."

The 68-year-old Briton said he has no idea how Hamilton's career will actually pan out, but believes most drivers harbor an ambition to drive for the sport's oldest and most famous team.

Mosley mentioned his friend Gerhard Berger, who spent two separate spells at Ferrari in both the 80s and 90s, and also drove for McLaren, as recalling "no better feeling" than "winning at Monza in a Ferrari".

Max Mosley admitted: "If I was a racing driver I would want to have driven a Ferrari for at least one season."

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