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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Max and Bernie hint cap figure to rise
  • Ecclestone hints McLaren sandbagging
  • Hamilton vows to correct arrogance label
  • Albert Park modified after Glock crash
  • Scoring change to occur in 2010 - Ecclestone

Max and Bernie hint cap figure to rise
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday agreed with Max Mosley that the FIA's 30 million (British pounds) budget cap is not a closed book.

Although the governing body last week introduced the measure as a concrete 2010 regulation rather than a proposal, FIA president Mosley later confessed the actual figure quoted is "provisional".

"I actually think it could be done for 25 million (pounds) but that's just my opinion.  All my advisers think it should be more (than 30 million)."

F1 chief executive Ecclestone on Sunday told the Telegraph in Britain that he thinks 30 million is "too low".

"It should be 40 million.  It's been passed already.  But I suppose in the world everything is (open for negotiation)," the 78-year-old said.

Disgruntled, he dismisses the collapse of his 'winner takes all' scoring system as "the problem with democracy", but the events of the past week have made clear his long relationship with Mosley is fully back on track following the sex scandal.

"It always was," Ecclestone smiled.

Hamilton vows to correct arrogance label
(GMM)  Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has vowed to correct the perception by some that he is arrogant.

By the end of his second formula one season last year, the 24-year-old had become the sport's youngest ever title winner amid waves of acclaim and comparisons with the greatest drivers.

In between testing McLaren's 2009 car this winter, the Briton visited Buckingham Palace to pick up an MBE and was measured for a Madame Tussauds wax statue, but still some observers equate his self-confidence with big-headedness.

"I never want to hear that kind of thing," Hamilton is quoted as saying by British Sunday newspapers.

"I think you (reporters) know I am not.  I know where I am and what I am capable of.  But what I do is, I take it (the criticism) and try to understand why it is being said.

"Everyone makes mistakes and for sure there is maybe a point where I have been arrogant and come across as being arrogant.

"So I have to accept that.  You have to -- you can't say everyone else is stupid.  So you just have to deal with it and correct it," he added.

His critics have almost as loud a voice as those who admire him, but Hamilton assured the British journalists that he heads to Australia a very happy man.

"I have not got stresses from anywhere," said Hamilton, whose MP4-24 will bear the coveted number one at Albert Park and beyond.  "Things are good.

"Sponsors are happy.  My boss is so freaking happy.  And now I've got all that stress off my shoulders.  I love this sport.  I love this job.  It is damn cool."

He hinted strongly that retirement is not in the 5 or perhaps even 10-year plan, but said he acknowledges there is life beyond the paddock.

"I don't want to be here when I am old and grey.  There are so many amazing things you can experience in your life," said Hamilton.

Albert Park modified after Glock crash
(GMM)  Organizers of the Australian grand prix have made changes to the Melbourne layout following Timo Glock's violent crash a year ago.

The German driver left Albert Park in 2008 wearing a bandage on his wrist, after his Toyota ran wide at the high speed turn-12 chicane and was spectacularly launched into the air over an uneven section of runoff.

A week ahead of next Sunday's event at Albert Park, F1's governing body confirmed that the "verge on the exit of turn-12 has been flattened".

The curbs and artificial grass have also been extended at the exit of the chicane, and a similar change has been made at turn 6, the FIA added.

Scoring change to occur in 2010 - Ecclestone
(GMM)  The 'winner takes all' scoring system may have been defeated for 2009, but Bernie Ecclestone says his concept will be introduced next year.

Despite announcing the immediate introduction of the system at its World Council meeting last week, the FIA subsequently had to back-paddle when the teams made clear they did not all support it.

But even though the governing body's own rules precluded such a late change for 2009, there is nothing stopping the FIA from putting the new scoring system back on the agenda for next year's championship.

"It will be supported by the FIA and it will be in the regulations, so when the people enter the (2010) championship, that's what the regulation will be," F1 chief executive Ecclestone told the BBC Radio 5 Live Sportsweek program.

The 78-year-old, the champion of the 'medals'-style concept for F1, admitted he was disappointed it cannot be pushed through for 2009.

"To make any changes when the entries have closed, you have to get a unanimous agreement between all the people that have entered, and it would appear that some of the teams didn't like the idea," said Ecclestone.

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