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DATE News (chronologically)
02/18/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Red Bull won't block Vettel's title path
  • F1 teams should own sport - Mateschitz
  • Barrichello still 'waiting' on Honda news
  • Stray dogs hold up Bahrain testing
  • Tomczyk not running for FIA president
  • Montezemolo calls for calm as sponsors depart

Red Bull won't block Vettel's title path
(GMM)  Red Bull will not become a roadblock to Sebastian Vettel's F1 title aspirations, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has promised.

The 21-year-old German has inked a two year contract to race with the energy drink company's senior team in 2009 and 2010, but F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has been vocal about his desire to see the highly rated driver in a truly competitive car.

Red Bull has high hopes for the promising new Adrian Newey-penned RB5, but Mateschitz is realistic about wanting the most promising product of his young driver program to succeed.

"We have a two-year contract with Sebastian," the Austrian billionaire told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"Should we be unable to give him a top car, we will certainly not want to stand in his way to the world title," added Mateschitz.

F1 teams should own sport - Mateschitz
(GMM)  The competing teams should own the business of formula one, according to Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz.

The Austrian billionaire, who owns two of the ten teams entered in the 2009 world championship, waded into the argument about the commercial governance of the sport in interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"The teams are the ones who firstly make up F1 and also bear the financial risk," he said.

"They are the ones that not only have the expertise necessary, but also the passion.

"For me, therefore, there is only one logical and morally acceptable partner for F1 -- the teams."

With the unified teams' FOTA alliance already established, Mateschitz said a joint "takeover bid" is the "next logical step" in the discussion about the future of the sport.

Max Mosley is a known friend and ally of Mateschitz, but the FIA president recently said the commercial governance of the sport belongs to Formula One Management and CVC, because the FIA sold those bodies the rights.

"It's not something I should get involved in but I would make the remark that the idea that F1 belongs to the teams is fallacious," he said earlier this month at a media lunch in London.

"You don't get to own a restaurant by eating in it every night -- and they haven't even eaten in it every night, apart from Ferrari," he added.

Mosley said that if the teams are not happy to agree with F1's existing commercial arrangement, they can set up a rival championship and the FIA would be obliged to sanction it.

Barrichello still 'waiting' on Honda news
(GMM)  While his record-setting formula one career hangs in the balance, Rubens Barrichello last week travelled to America to play golf.

The Brazilian, as well as former motorcycle racer Kenny Roberts, contested the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tournament in California, and admitted he is still waiting to know if he will be on the Melbourne grid in less than 40 days.

"The Honda team hopes to be sold," the 36-year-old veteran of a record 271 grands prix told the local Monterey Herald newspaper.

"Waiting for news from the team is tough," he added.

Stray dogs hold up Bahrain testing
(GMM)  Stray dogs running across the track brought out the red flags on Tuesday as three formula one teams continued to test in Bahrain.

The two dogs had found their way into the Sakhir circuit, the scene of the fourth round of the 2009 world championship this April, from the surrounding desert area, local media reported.

A spokesman for Bahrain International Circuit said the animals were captured without incident and released unhurt.

F1's governing FIA took a very dim view of the Istanbul circuit last year after Bruno Senna's GP2 car struck and killed a stray dog during a support race.

Tuesday's action in Bahrain also gave Ferrari reason to test its safety emergency procedures for a KERS failure, after the energy re-use system aboard Kimi Raikkonen's car overheated.

"This unexpected incident was a useful experience for the future," a report on the Ferrari website read.

The Finnish driver nonetheless posted the fastest time of the day, followed by Jarno Trulli (Toyota) and Nick Heidfeld, who also experienced a awkward moment when his BMW-Sauber stopped on track and automatically triggered the fire extinguishing system.

Tomczyk not running for FIA president
(GMM)  A figure mentioned as a possible successor to FIA president Max Mosley has ruled himself out of the running for the role.

Hermann Tomczyk, a high-ranking German motor racing official, regular F1 steward, current FIA vice-president and member of the World Motor Sport Council, was last year linked with Mosley's job amid the sex scandal.

It is still possible that 68-year-old Mosley will not contest this year's election, but 58-year-old Tomczyk said he is not interested in taking on the Briton.

"For sure not," he said in interview with spox.com.  "I already have a very extensive agenda.

"I find the office (of FIA president) quite exciting and perhaps I would have thought about it if I was a few years younger.  The challenge would be very great."

Tomczyk, the current sport president of the German automobile club ADAC, said he can imagine that Mosley will stay in office for a fifth consecutive term.

"I can imagine that, even though we have not spoken about it," he added.

Montezemolo calls for calm as sponsors depart
(GMM)  Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has urged the world of formula one to not panic despite the departure of key sponsors.

Renault's title backer ING Group has said it will depart after 2009, amid speculation major Williams sponsor the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) might follow suit.

BMW-Sauber has already lost Credit Suisse, while Petrobras, the multiple Baugur brands and some others are no longer involved with the sport, perhaps indicating a commercial exodus amid the global financial crisis.

But McLaren boss Ron Dennis earlier this week insisted that F1 remains a "hugely attractive sponsorship proposition, and Ferrari's Montezemolo has now made similar comments.

"There are some (sponsors) that will go and others that will come," the Italian, also chairman of the F1 teams' alliance FOTA, is quoted as saying by Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

In the wake of ING's announcement, Renault team boss Flavio Briatore said it is FOTA's goal to continue to slash costs in order to "guarantee a solid future for our team and for formula one".

Montezemolo continued: "This is a difficult moment, but we have lived through others.  The important thing is to not dramatize things.

"I believe that F1, which is more and more international and involving many manufacturers and many teams, with strong cost reductions will always remain a strong place for sponsors," he added.

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