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DATE News (chronologically)
06/02/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • BMW not ready to scrap 2009 campaign
  • Massa doesn't blame KERS for Ferrari struggle
  • Also Toro Rosso apologized for Piquet shunt
  • New teams held back by budget cap crisis
  • Crisis won't influence Mosley's personal plans

BMW not ready to scrap 2009 campaign
(GMM)  BMW-Sauber is not considering scrapping development of its 2009 car, technical director Willy Rampf insists.

It emerged on Monday that McLaren-Mercedes, also grappling with a difficult championship campaign, is contemplating the move, after Honda made a similar decision last year and gave birth to the dominant Brawn car.

The case of BMW's F1.09 is starker even than McLaren's.  After three consolidation years, the Hinwil based squad wanted to challenge for the titles in 2009, but instead is just eighth in the constructors' championship.

But when asked if the season should simply be written off in favor of turning early focus to 2010, Rampf said: "Currently we are not thinking about or discussing this scenario.

"Ok, next year will be a different car because we have a higher amount of fuel, so a slightly different car concept, but since the aero regulations are not changing then things you learn this year you can use next year," he told GP Week.

"It's not so easy to say that you will stop this project and concentrate on next year.  There's no guarantee that will work," added Rampf.

Massa doesn't blame KERS for Ferrari struggle
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has refused to blame Ferrari's competitive struggle in 2009 on the decision to use KERS.

The new and controversial energy re-use technology was the talk of the winter period, but so far a KERS-equipped car has failed to win a single race this year.

BMW, Renault and McLaren also kicked off the season with respective systems fitted to their cars, but at present only the latter has used KERS consistently this year.

BMW is working on an improved version to reintroduce later this season, while Renault quietly dropped KERS some races ago and has failed to even mention the technology ever since.

It is suggested that, in contrast to competitive cars like the Brawn and Red Bull, the Ferrari, BMW and McLaren were designed around the KERS concept and it was this decision that constrained their development progress.

Moreover, Ferrari's unit has been particularly challenging in the reliability stakes.

But Brazilian Massa, 28, refuses to accept that KERS can therefore be attributed as a mistake for Maranello based Ferrari, winner of the 2008 constructors' championship.

"Just like McLaren, BMW and Renault, we wanted to use the new technical rules to the maximum benefit," the Ferrari driver told Germany's Die Welt.

"It would have been embarrassing if the other manufacturers had used KERS systems successfully and we were at the back without it.  So we had to go for the KERS option," added Massa.

"At the moment we have the best car that has KERS.  Unfortunately the Brawn is better without it," he said.

Toro Rosso also apologized for Piquet shunt
(GMM)  Even Sebastien Buemi's formula one team apologized to Renault after the incident at the recent Monaco grand prix.

It emerged after the race in the Principality that rookie Buemi, 20, sought Nelson Piquet out in person to say sorry for taking his Brazilian rival out of the race.

Renault's Piquet had hit out at "young drivers" in the wake of the rear-end shunt, while Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost also told off the young Swiss Buemi by accusing him of not having "the discipline to wait" while negotiating a train of cars.

This week, Renault's engineering boss Pat Symonds praised the improving 23-year-old Piquet for his outing at Monaco, indicating he was "very unfortunate" to be taken out in the race.

"There was absolutely no blame attached to Nelson and quite unusually we received an email from Toro Rosso apologizing for the incident," the Briton revealed.

New teams held back by budget cap crisis
(GMM)  The ongoing dispute between existing teams and F1's ruling bodies is thwarting prospective new competitors' plans to enter the world championship next year.

The latest hopeful to throw his hat into the ring for 2010 is Alex Wurz, the recent Honda test driver who has lodged an official entry for a budget-capped team backed by Superfund.

But as the FOTA team alliance refuses to accept Max Mosley's announced rules, Austrian Wurz, 35, admitted he cannot realize his plans for Team Superfund until the crisis is resolved.

"A lot depends on what happens," he admitted to the Daily Telegraph.

"We will need to get up and running quickly so we have a plan for both scenarios; either receiving assistance from existing teams or setting up as an independent team.

"However nothing can be fully decided until it becomes clear what are we allowed and not allowed to do for 2010 and years to follow," added Wurz.

Another touted 2010 entrant was Ray Mallock Ltd (RML), currently involved with Le Mans racing and the British and World touring car championships.

But RML actually did not submit its application by the deadline last Friday.

"The recent uncertainty regarding the details of the application of the budget cap and participation of the other teams and manufacturers has meant that we were not in a position to lodge an entry prior to the 29 May deadline," read a statement.

Another new entrant was to be F1 veteran Joan Villadelprat's Spanish team Epsilon Euskadi, which is understood to also have missed the May 29 deadline.

Villadelprat, whose outfit involves another familiar face in the form of former Benetton, Sauber and Arrows engineer Sergio Rinland, said the loss of the budget cap provisions in the 2010 rules would leave their F1 foray in "financial problems".

The same is believed true for the leading British GP2 team iSport, but principal Paul Jackson has so far this week declined to comment.

Crisis won't influence Mosley's personal plans
(GMM)  Max Mosley insists his decision about whether to contest another FIA presidency election will not be affected by the current battle with formula one teams.

The Briton, 69, is due to make his decision later this month about standing or not for a fifth consecutive term when the elections are due in October.

He told an interview with Germany's Deutsche Presse Agentur that "just about everyone in the FIA" is urging him to stay.

"Some of the formula one teams are not, but that doesn't matter, they don't have a vote.

"So it's a difficult decision," Mosley said.

Mosley is currently embroiled in arguably his biggest F1 challenge since he emerged in the early 90s from a power struggle with control of the FIA's now defunct sporting arm, FISA.

But he says the outcome of this battle will have little bearing on whether or not he retires.

"Not an awful lot, because it will certainly be resolved one way or the other before any election, and hopefully before I have to decide," said Mosley.

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