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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Malaysia to get earlier race time in 2010
  • Massa return not on the cards yet
  • Briatore 'not trying' to revive career - Piquet
  • GP2 as test-run for new Abu Dhabi track
  • Button selling Bugatti Veyron for $1.5m
  • Cut-price deal for rescued Canada GP - report
  • Schu's doctor says future comeback possible
  • Senna a target for 2010 seat - Campos

Malaysia to get earlier race time in 2010
(GMM)  Organizers of the Malaysian grand prix have succeeded in scrapping the 'twilight' concept for its formula one race in future.

In April of this year, the Sepang event had to be curtailed shortly after half-distance with only half-points awarded, with torrential rain and fading light blighting the race that began at 5pm to better suit the European TV audience.

It has now been confirmed that in 2010, the Malaysian GP will instead begin at 4pm, even if Sepang track boss Razlan Razali said organizers would have preferred an even earlier new start-time.

"Of course, it would have been even better if we stuck to the time we've always had," he told Singapore's Today newspaper.

"We are not keen on a night race but we now have a good compromise and are happy it won't start later," he added.

Massa return not on the cards yet
(GMM)  Felipe Massa is recovering well from his formula one accident but it is too early to be talking about his return, two of the men closest to the Ferrari race driver insist.

As Michael Schumacher gave his press conference in Geneva on Wednesday, he revealed that he has been in regular contact with his 2006 teammate since he began convalescing in Brazil.

"I'm glad that he is recovering so well.

"He's extremely motivated, although he can't prepare in such an intense way as he wants, because the doctors still don't allow it," Schumacher said, after explaining to international press his reasons for no longer replacing Massa, 28, at forthcoming races.

Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, wrote on his Twitter page on Wednesday that he had spent the afternoon at his countryman's Sao Paulo home.

"He is fine and exactly the same person as before, thank God," the Brawn driver, who like Schumacher had visited Massa while he was in the Budapest hospital, said.

Barrichello also posted a photo of his visit with a smiling Massa, whose facial bruising and scar on his left forehead is still visible but not as severe as before.

"On Felipe's comeback we need to be patient, he has to be 100 per cent before driving again (but) he doesn't lack the will," added Barrichello, from whose Brawn car the rear suspension spring that struck Massa in the helmet had fallen off.

The 37-year-old Brazilian added: "I loved the afternoon ... he was so well and in good spirits."

Briatore 'not trying' to revive career - Piquet
(GMM)  Nelson Piquet's tirade against Flavio Briatore is not yet over, after the sacked Brazilian last week described his boss and manager as an "executioner".

It is reported that Renault has put its reserve driver Romain Grosjean on stand-by, should the team be excused from its Valencia ban.

23-year-old Piquet Jr remains under management contract to Briatore, but he told the Brazilian SportTV network that he is not expecting help in reviving a career in tatters.

"A manager, in his view, is someone who takes 20 per cent of the drivers' money," Piquet, whose father and namesake won three world championships, said.

"In our view, it would be someone trying their best for a good contract."

Piquet Jr suggests that while still under contract to Briatore, his chances of returning to formula one in 2010 or beyond are nil.

"Flavio never wanted to be in the role of finding a ride for me in F1, nor will he try," he added, revealing that while talks with some of the new 2010 teams have taken place, a deal is not close.

GP2 as test-run for new Abu Dhabi track
(GMM)  A GP2 race has been scheduled as a test-run for the inaugural Abu Dhabi grand prix later this year.

Mohammad bin Sulayem, head of the United Arab Emirates' motor racing club, told the local Gulf News that the Yas Marina circuit will be ready for both the newly-scheduled GP2 race as well as formula one.

He said the GP2 race, presumably a round of the 2009/10 GP2 Asia Series, will be held on October 23-24, one week before the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Bin Sulayem said the plan for the GP2 event is to have "all systems running" at Yas Marina before the F1 circus arrives.

"Yes, we are on time," he added.  "I know there is a lot of pressure for us to have everything up and running, and this sort of pressure is good."

Button selling Bugatti Veyron for $1.5m
(GMM)  Championship leader Jenson Button has put his Bugatti Veyron road car up for sale.

Only 200 Veyrons, boasting an 8 liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine and capable of more than 1000 horse power and 400kph, have been built to date.

Button's, painted all black and with just 1500 miles on the odometer, is being offered by a Suffolk dealership for 900,000 pounds (sterling), or nearly $1.5m, according to Auto Trader.

The publication said the 29-year-old Briton also drives a Mercedes CLK DTM AMG, a Mercedes C63 AMG, a Ferrari Enzo, an Audi RS6 Avant, a BMW M5, a Smart car, a 1970s 600cc Honda and a VW campervan.

The Brawn driver is currently vacationing with his girlfriend in St Tropez.

Schu's doctor says future comeback possible
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher and his personal doctor on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility the seven time world champion might re-launch plans for a formula one comeback in the future.

The 40-year-old German was visibly disappointed, describing the moment as "one of the toughest" in his long career, at Geneva's Intercontinental hotel as he explained to the world's press that a neck injury prevented his immediate return to replace Felipe Massa.

Numerous questions were posed asking Schumacher to rule in or out the possibility his return has simply been deferred.

"Please understand that I don't want to say anything more," said the former Ferrari driver, having explained that pain caused by his February motorcycle fall made cornering in a formula one car currently too painful.

His doctor Johannes Peil said recovering from the injuries could be a matter of months or years, but that if they did heal then "the possibility of him being able to race in formula one again cannot be ruled out".

Schumacher later said: "If I understood Dr Peil correctly, there are no purely medical reasons why I could not drive formula one races any more.  But it is not currently a topic with which I am occupied."

Presently, his only thoughts are disappointment that his loyalties to Ferrari and Massa could not be delivered, nor his realization that his batteries that were empty in late 2006 are now in a state of replenishment.

"I love riding bikes, jumping out of airplanes, that's the sort of person I am.  I love formula one," Schumacher insisted.

Senna a target for 2010 seat - Campos
(GMM)  Bruno Senna is a leading candidate for a racing seat with the new Campos formula one team in 2010, its chief Adrian Campos has admitted on Spanish radio.

Campos, eyeing an experienced driver like Pedro de la Rosa or Marc Gene for the first seat, told Cadena SER that a young charger like Senna fits the bill to complete his first F1 lineup.

He also mentioned Vitaly Petrov, the well-backed Russian GP2 driver, and said Spaniard Antonio Garcia, currently a sportscar driver and a friend of Fernando Alonso, would be offered a test.

Garcia, 29, won the World Series by Nissan title for Campos in 2000.

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