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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Boss says Williams move not political
  • Massa eyes F1 record at next GP
  • Toro Rosso's Ascanelli in demand
  • Webber to contest 160km cycle race
  • Locals complain after Renault testing

Boss says Williams move not political
(GMM)  Team chief executive Adam Parr insists Williams' decision to sign up for the 2010 world championship was not politically motivated.

The move this week led to the former champions' suspension from the formula one teams association FOTA, whose previously total unity has therefore been weakened.

At the same time, questions about Parr's personal friendship with FIA president Max Mosley, also a former barrister, have been raised.

"There is no agenda on the part of Williams," he insisted to the Daily Telegraph.  "We are not trying to split the teams.  We are not even trying to dissuade them," Parr said.

In a media statement on Wednesday, Williams said it broke ranks and signed up because it is a "racing team" that is "legally obliged" to compete next year and until 2012 due to an existing agreement with the sport's ruling bodies.

Parr explained: "As a team we have a certain philosophy and this is an inevitable and necessary development.  It may well be that other teams have a different view.  I completely respect that.

"We feel there is a huge chance to resolve this and very much hope that all the existing teams, plus one or two new ones, will be on the grid with us next year," he added.

Massa eyes F1 record at next GP
(GMM)  Felipe Massa could join an exclusive club of very illustrious talent if he manages to win next weekend's Turkish grand prix.

With the exception of the inaugural Istanbul event in 2005, the Brazilian driver has won every Turkish grand prix.

Only four other drivers in the history of formula one - Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Michael Schumacher - have won four successive races at the same venue.

The dominance of the Brawn team and Jenson Button is likely to be a spanner in the works of Massa's hopes, but Ferrari's flagging form took a big step forward last weekend in Monaco.

And Massa, who won his first grand prix in Turkey in 2006, "loves" the Otodrom layout, also securing pole position in the last three years.

"It is a fantastic track for me, a very pleasurable track for me to drive, like the big turn eight, very challenging," he said.

Only one driver in F1's history has won five consecutive races at the same track: Ayrton Senna at Monaco (1989-1993).

Also in Turkey next weekend, drivers' title leader Button could if he wins a sixth race in seven attempts snatch Schumacher's record for the best ever start to a championship campaign.

In 2002, German Schumacher won five of the first six races with his Ferrari, but finished second to David Coulthard at the seventh.

Toro Rosso's Ascanelli in demand
(GMM)  Toro Rosso may be facing competition to keep its technical director Giorgio Ascanelli.

The Italian has had an illustrious formula one career, initially as a race engineer with Ferrari, Benetton and McLaren, and famously behind some of Ayrton Senna's most memorable grand prix wins for the latter team.

Now as a leading technical boss, he is in demand, receiving offers from many current teams including Ferrari, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost commented: "We have a contract with Giorgio."

Webber to contest 160km cycle race
(GMM)  F1 driver and outdoor fitness enthusiast Mark Webber is to contest a 160km cycle race this weekend.

To feature some of Britain's top cyclists, the Cycling Plus Sportives event will start and finish at 2010 grand prix venue Donington Park and wind around England's Peak District.

Australian Webber, 32, drives for Red Bull Racing.

Locals complain after Renault testing
(GMM)  Local residents have complained about the noise of Renault's recent straight-line testing near the Cambridgeshire village of Duxford (UK).

Recently, the French team conducted two days of running, including on Wednesday this week, at the site of the Imperial War Museum.

The Cambridge News said a local councilor has arranged to meet with the venue's boss to discuss noise concerns next week.

"I have some sympathy with people about the noise," said team manager Steve Nielsen.  "We have eight of these days a year and three of them have been done outside the UK already."

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