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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Honda chiefs turned down Bernie's help
  • Ticket demand decline in Malaysia
  • Raikkonen 17th after second rally
  • F1 'copying' A1's ideas - Teixeira
  • Renault in talks with Indian sponsor
  • Webber confirms 'middle' range salary

Honda chiefs turned down Bernie's help
(GMM)  Honda team bosses turned down Bernie Ecclestone's financial help for their attempted management buyout.

In an interview with News of the World, the F1 chief executive revealed he offered to assist Nick Fry and Ross Brawn to complete the deal, which also would have given him a voice inside the FOTA alliance.

"They should have taken what I offered," said the 78-year-old, amid reports that Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is now close to buying the Brackley team.

"It was a very good offer for everybody concerned.  It gave them complete protection but they wanted to do things on their own.  Now all we can do is hope and pray," Ecclestone added.

The Briton said he does not know what is going to happen, but expressed frustration that the uncertainty is also threatening the unconfirmed debut of Bruno Senna.

"It would be fantastic for everybody to have the name Senna back in F1," said Ecclestone.

Ticket demand decline in Malaysia
(GMM)  Compared with the same time last year, 20 per cent fewer tickets have been sold for the forthcoming Malaysian grand prix.

To the New Straits Times newspaper, the Sepang circuit's chief executive Razlan Razali confirmed that the global financial crisis has had an effect on the organization of the 2009 event.

"It is a 20 per cent drop in ticket sales compared to the same period last year, but we expect walk-in sales to increase as we move closer to the race," he said.

The circuit, located near capital Kuala-Lumpur, is scheduled to host round two of the 2009 calendar, on 5 April, a week after the Melbourne season opener.

Raikkonen 17th after second rally
(GMM)  F1's Kimi Raikkonen this weekend completed his second professional rally in 17th place.

Earlier this winter, the Ferrari driver finished 13th on his rally debut, having entered a Fiat Abarthe Grande Punto S2000 in the Arctic Lapland Rally in his native Finland.

He reprised the rally with the next round of the Finnish Rally Championship, the Vaakuna Rally in Mikkeli, again with the Tomi Makinen Racing-prepared Abarthe.

Raikkonen, 29, was eight minutes behind the rally winner Jari Ketomaa at the finish, but had been seventh overall at one stage prior to an off.

F1 'copying' A1's ideas - Teixeira
(GMM)  Tony Teixeira, chairman of A1 GP, wants formula one to buy his series "instead of copying all our ideas".

At Kyalami for this weekend's round of the self-styled 'World Cup' of motor racing, he accused Bernie Ecclestone and the most famous single seater category of taking their recent cues from the 3-year-old A1.

"Instead of copying all the ideas from A1GP, just buy me out!" he pleaded to the local The Times.

"Everything we are is what formula one is trying to be," Teixeira added.

He admits that the global financial crisis will have an impact on A1 this year, eradicating an earlier forecast profit.

But he said F1 pilfered A1's ideas; like using a single tire supplier, similar specification engines, and the Force India-style concept of national team pride.

This year's standard A1 car is based on the 2004 formula one Ferrari.

Renault in talks with Indian sponsor
(GMM)  Renault is in talks to replace the outgoing title sponsor ING with an Indian multinational, an official has told the Indian news agency PTI.

In the wake of the Dutch bank ING's decision to withdraw from the sport at the end of the season, a senior official of Renault India said negotiations for its replacement are already taking place.

PTI said a possible visit by Fernando Alonso to India this year would be indicative of Renault's desire to widen its fan base in the populous country.

"Currently, talks are on with a major Indian multinational for sponsorship," the Renault India official is quoted as saying.

He did not go into details beyond saying the talks "are ongoing".

The most prominent Indian sponsor already involved with F1 is Tata, currently with Ferrari but previously affiliated with Narain Karthikeyan at Jordan and Williams.

Webber confirms 'middle' range salary
(GMM)  Mark Webber's F1-derived income of 4.3m euros is about average for the sport, the Australian driver has confirmed.

Asked by The Times to confirm reports he made about $8.5m Australian dollars last year, the Red Bull driver said the figure "sounds about right".

"But I am in the middle of what the F1 guys earn.  I am probably not the best paid but probably not one of the worst," the 32-year-old said.

Webber also provided some insight into the financial workings of the pinnacle of motor racing, revealing that his first of two career podiums at Monaco in 2006, then with Williams, was the most lucrative work he has ever done.

"It's a one hour and 40 minutes race but the bonuses are pretty solid.  The bonus is split between the team and myself," he revealed.

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