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DATE News (chronologically)
06/09/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • FOTA not commenting on Mosley letter
  • No team orders yet, Ross Brawn confirms
  • Button dominance 'bad' for F1 - Ecclestone
  • Vettel 'too green for title' - press
  • Piquet smiling despite lowly result
  • Teams asked to 'adopt' new entrant - Williams
  • Hamilton wants to 'spray the Brawn silver'

FOTA not commenting on Mosley letter
(GMM)  F1's teams association is yet to comment on a letter from Max Mosley that emerged late on Tuesday.

With the FIA set to publish the 2010 entry list on Friday, the Paris federation's president urged the eight active FOTA members to quickly sign up and then sit down to discuss changing next year's rules.

In the letter, seen by sections of the specialist media, Mosley said article 66 of the International Sporting Code prohibits the FIA from tearing up the 2010 rules, including the plans for a budget cap.

But he said that if the FOTA teams drop the conditional status of their entries, all the confirmed competitors for next year can then unanimously make amendments to the document.

The Briton indicated that most of the alternative FOTA rules will be accepted.

"We have already canvassed the views of some of the likely new entrants regarding the proposed measures and the feedback is broadly positive so a solution should be relatively simple to achieve," Mosley wrote.

He is asking for a response on Tuesday, and Toyota president and FOTA vice-chairman John Howett told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I cannot comment on the letter."

Meanwhile, it is believed that FIA lawyers are concerned that the '$50m pledge' agreement signed by the FOTA manufacturers contravenes anti-competition laws.

The agreement was drawn up so that the major teams could not be tempted to break ranks and individually sign up for the 2010 world championship.

No team orders yet, Ross Brawn confirms
(GMM)  There are presently no team orders at Brawn GP, but the Brackley team's boss has refused to rule out rethinking the policy later this season.

Ross Brawn confirmed reports that Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button met with him before the Turkish grand prix to request they be free to race at Istanbul.

Button is leading the world championship and is 26 points ahead of his Brazilian teammate, but Brawn agreed that Barrichello would not be asked to hold station behind the sister car.

"There are phases early in the season when you can't favor one driver over the other and you should let the season run," Brawn told the Daily Express.

"Of course, you may reach a phase towards the end where you have to make decisions, and we'll make those decisions if we have to, but at this stage there is no wish to make those decisions," he added.

It is believed that 37-year-old Barrichello's fears about playing second fiddle to Button are stirred by his six years underneath Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.

Throughout his Ferrari career, Brawn was Ferrari's technical director and chief race strategist.

But Brawn said: "I've been lucky enough to win world championships and now perhaps winning in a certain way is more important to me."

Button dominance 'bad' for F1 - Ecclestone
(GMM)  In the eyes of fans seeking an unpredictable sporting spectacle, the result of Sunday's Turkish grand prix was "very, very bad".

That is the view of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who on one level is enjoying Jenson Button's dominance so far in 2009.

"Very, very good result in one way," he told the Daily Express, when considering that only Michael Schumacher and Jim Clark managed the feat of six race wins in a season's opening seven races.

"It is obviously super for him but it is not great for the spectacle, the championship," Ecclestone added.

Some statisticians have calculated that, if 29-year-old Button's run of form continues, the 2009 championship could be mathematically over with six races to spare.

Ecclestone said: "You like to see superstars doing the job like this but I wish there was a bit more of a challenge.  Might come yet."

No one in the paddock would be betting against Button, but as Mark Webber pointed out in Turkey, "two DNFs changes things obviously".

The Australian added: "Even if he's cruising and picks up a lot of results, not on the top step, it's going to be a long, long time for people to get that back."

Vettel 'too green for title' - press
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel is not ready to mount a challenge for the world championship, according to Italy's authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The sports daily believes the 21-year-old is "too green for the title", as evidenced by his mistake at the start of Sunday's Turkish grand prix.

Despite starting from pole position, the Red Bull driver ran off the road on the first lap, opening the door to runaway championship leader Jenson Button.

La Gazzetta said: "The question is no longer whether Button becomes world champion, but when.  Vettel is still too green for the title."

Referring to the Istanbul error, the newspaper added: "The Red Bull talent ruined everything with his fourth mistake of the season."

Spain's Marca agreed: "With his driving error, Vettel presented victory to Button on a silver tray."

Ross Brawn was asked by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport about Vettel's mistakes, but also the apparent strategy error committed by Red Bull in Turkey.

"I don't want to criticize my opponents, so all I will say is that they are behind in the championship, so it is logical that they have to take more risks."

In contrast, Brawn's Button is making perfect use of the best car in the field, former triple world champion Niki Lauda believes.

"The package is brilliant.  But even then there can still be mistakes but he does not make mistakes.  He is fully in control of every situation," the Austrian legend added.

Lewis Hamilton is the youngest world champion in F1's history, and like Vettel has sometimes been accused of making too many mistakes.

Speaking to Bild newspaper, the Briton said of Vettel: "He is only 21 years old and has already won three races.  The pressure on him must be enormous, also because the Germans are looking for a new Michael Schumacher."

Piquet smiling despite lowly result
(GMM)  Nelson Piquet finished a lowly 16th in Turkey, but on Sunday the Brazilian did enough to fend off speculation about his future.

On the face of it, allied with his spin into the gravel in 'Q1' at Istanbul, it was another poor result for the young Brazilian.

But according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, the 23-year-old was quietly smiling afterwards.

Piquet overtook reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton in a daring and spectacular duel, and believes he would have finished higher than teammate Fernando Alonso's tenth place.

"If I had not had the brake problem in qualifying, and then not lost 15 seconds with a pitstop refueling problem, the speed was there for a points finish," he said.

Moreover, for the first time in 2009, his best lap of the race was marginally quicker than former double world champion Alonso's.

Teams asked to 'adopt' new entrant - Williams
(GMM)  One solution to the F1 crisis may be for established teams to 'adopt' a new entrant, Sir Frank Williams has confirmed.

It was rumored in the Istanbul paddock last weekend that, to satisfy Max Mosley's desire for small new teams, some of the current teams could agree to invite a newcomer onto their site and then share staff and expertise.

It is believed that the FIA president was pushing for the concept to complement the budget cap, but if enough teams agree, it may be a good solution to the FOTA standoff.

"We are looking closely at doing that with a young team with enough money, we hope, to do a serious job for a couple of years," Williams, no longer part of the FOTA team alliance and signed up for the 2010 world championship, said.

The 67-year-old veteran said he would normally recoil at the concept of helping a competitor, "but it's a question of having enough good teams in case some of the others disappear".

Hamilton wants to 'spray the Brawn silver'
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he felt like a volcano set to erupt when he discovered his new McLaren was not a race winner.

The 24-year-old became the sport's youngest ever title winner last year, but even team figures now agree that the MP4-23's successor is not a tool with which the Briton can defend his championship.

"After the first three races I was still extremely annoyed," Hamilton said in an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper.

He was speaking from Stuttgart, where the title-winning MP4-23 was added to Mercedes-Benz's car museum.

He said he only accepted one month ago that his current MP4-24 is never likely to win a race.

"Your expectations are so high and yet no matter what you do you cannot fulfill them.  The disappointment was enormous; I could have exploded, like a volcano, but I had to leave it inside and it ate away at me."

Hamilton said he let his expectations drop at the Spanish grand prix and "since then I have relaxed a bit".

"I have a new goal," he revealed.  "There are ten races left, and at some point I want to challenge Jenson Button.  I want to beat him or at least have one podium place, and then for me my season would be saved."

When asked what he would do if he was able to design his own car, Hamilton said: "I would take the Brawn - it already has the super Mercedes engine - I would add our KERS, and then spray the thing silver!"

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