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DATE News (chronologically)
06/24/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Eyes turn to WMSC for crisis solution
  • Prost ponders FOTA's breakaway chances
  • Toro Rosso budget is 'half' Red Bull's
  • Ferrari to keep KERS in '09 - Massa
  • Was Silverstone turning-point of 2009?
  • Polls show support for FOTA over FIA
  • Schu to collect huge rent for mansion
  • Red Bull not considering using KERS

Eyes turn to WMSC for crisis solution
(GMM)  The eyes of the formula one world on Wednesday will fall on the World Motor Sport Council, amid hopes the FIA body will move to settle the sport's political crisis.

Observers believe FOTA-affiliated figures at the meeting, particularly Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo, will apply pressure on the federation's other members to overrule - or even expel - president Max Mosley.

FOTA figureheads, however, including Flavio Briatore, insist that time has run out for a solution within formula one and that all efforts are now focused on a breakaway series.

"I don't think the World Council will change anything," said the Renault boss.

Meanwhile, a source among the teams alliance insisted to the Daily Mail: "If we hang about waiting for negotiation, we will run out of road."

Mosley wrote to the more than 200 members of the FIA this week and insisted that he will not be pushed out of his role, despite his earlier promise to step down in October before turning 70.

Another source told The Times newspaper: "The teams want him out now."

Prost ponders FOTA's breakaway chances
(GMM)  Former quadruple world champion Alain Prost has denied the claims of formula one powerbrokers that the eight FOTA teams will struggle to establish a rival 'breakaway' championship.

FIA president Max Mosley believes the threat is idle, while Bernie Ecclestone has suggested that if the works teams do attempt to compete with the official series, they will fail and ruin premier open-wheeler racing.

But Frenchman Prost, who also ran a team in the late 90s, told Europe 1 radio: "They will be able to create their championship, but will have to pay some significant sums.

"It is rather easy to find circuits and the TV broadcasters won't be much of a problem either.  What will be difficult is: what will the rules be and how are the teams going to enforce them?"

Prost, now 55, said he sympathizes with the frustrations of the major teams.

"The role of the president is to govern, and Mosley divides in order to reign better.  He likes it if there is perpetual conflict.

"The manufacturers are not always reasonable, but it is them who provide the spectacle," added Prost.

Toro Rosso budget is 'half' Red Bull's
(GMM)  As the media contemplates the opposing fortunes of the two Red Bull teams, Toro Rosso's boss has revealed that the Faenza based outfit operates with a budget about half that of winning Red Bull Racing.

Asked by Switzerland's Blick to comment upon Toro Rosso's budget in comparison with the approximately 200m euros spend of the parent team, Franz Tost answered: "Let's say it's half."

The contrast between the pair, who have moved further apart this year in readiness for next year's ban on customer cars, was never starker than at Silverstone, where Sebastian Vettel won while the similar-looking STR4s battled with the backmarkers.

While Tost is for now holding off fitting a double diffuser because it will cost 500,000 euros, Adrian Newey's British GP update for the RB5 amounted to about 2 million, another Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell said.

Tost said his Faenza office receives all technical drawings from Newey's Red Bull Technology, but "first we need to know if they work (on the) Red Bull".

An initial double diffuser will be fitted to the STR4 in Hungary, while Red Bull Racing race ahead with the third generation of the rear aerodynamic concept.

Ferrari to keep KERS in '09 - Massa
(GMM)  Ferrari will not drop its KERS system for the remainder of 2009 just because three other teams have, Brazilian driver Felipe Massa insists.

At Silverstone last weekend, the Maranello-built cars were the only ones fitted with the controversial energy-reuse technology, after Renault, BMW and now McLaren discontinued their respective versions.

But Massa told Italy's La Stampa: "We will continue to use it, because our design was based on it.  We will probably race it for the rest of the season."

The 28-year-old said the system helped him and teammate Kimi Raikkonen off the line in the British grand prix, but that otherwise the F60-KERS package is "not fast enough".

"KERS has been useful for us especially at the start of races, but in another way, if our car had been better and was starting from the front row, then we would not need the KERS so much," added Massa.

He had an impressive run through the midfield to fourth place last Sunday, but urges the Ferrari team to turn the majority of its attention to the 2010 car.

"We have to continue to work hard and to bring new developments for the next races, but we are finding the limits of the car that we have," said Massa.

"For sure, a car can always be improved, but perhaps the job for next year should be our main concern."

Massa is currently at home in Sao Paulo.

Was Silverstone turning-point of 2009?
(GMM)  After Red Bull's dominance at Silverstone, the debate continues as to whether the British grand prix will be remembered as the turning-point of the 2009 season.

Brawn's Jenson Button won six of this year's first seven races, but was just sixth at Silverstone while Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finished one-two in the visibly updated RB5s.

Championship leader Button, and even Red Bull's car designer Adrian Newey, said after the race that the situation was at least partly due to characteristics of the Silverstone circuit and environmental factors.

But RBR chief Christian Horner insists: "We expected the Brawn to be formidable in the last sector.

"But we managed to appear triple-top all weekend in some of the sector times, in particular sector three which has slow speed changes of direction and slow corners.

"That's very encouraging for the rest of the championship," he said.

Many observers believed Button's 32-point advantage over Vettel before Silverstone was unassailable, but if the Silverstone trend was to continue, the young German could easily mathematically win the title.

"We'll have to wait and see," said Brawn GP's Ross Brawn.  "With all due respect to them ... it was a combination of us under-performing and Red Bull being very strong."

Polls show support for FOTA over FIA
(GMM)  According to the results of fan surveys, formula one's trackside and television viewership supports FOTA in the rebel teams' political stoush with Max Mosley.

While a survey by Italy's Sky TV showing 91 per cent support for the breakaway is an extreme example, even a similar poll conducted by Australia's network 10 showed more than 65 per cent of fans back the teams over the FIA.

At the same time, the British magazine SportsPro has published a list of the world's 200 eminent sports properties, and valued Ferrari higher than the formula one businesses.

In fact, Ferrari was named the most valuable European sports property, followed by Manchester United and then F1.

Schu to collect huge rent for mansion
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher will soon be collecting in excess of an astonishing 19,000 euros per month in rent.

After the German failed to sell his former residence in Gland, Switzerland, he turned to the rental market, according to the local Tribune de Geneve newspaper.

The property features a cinema, fitness centre, indoor pool, horse stables, separate guest house, six garages and 750 square-meter floor plan.

Schumacher bought the house in 1998 but recently moved into a custom-built mansion, also in Switzerland.

Red Bull not considering using KERS
(GMM)  For the time being, formula one's fastest team has no intention of considering installing a KERS system.

Four teams began the 2009 season with the controversial energy re-use technology, but at Silverstone last weekend only the Ferraris still boasted power-boost buttons.

Red Bull, like Williams and Force India, were always considering introducing KERS later this season, but RBR designer Adrian Newey is now stepping back from that possibility.

"At the moment, no," the Briton answered when asked by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport if KERS is on the agenda.

"With Webber we would be over the weight limit, so we could only use KERS with Vettel and it doesn't make sense to race two different cars.

"You could no longer directly compare (the cars) and would learn nothing," Newey added.

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