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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Driver talks are taking place - Haug
  • Canada GP return still not confirmed - Tremblay
  • Germany must stay on F1 calendar - Ecclestone
  • Renault to announce 2010 drivers 'soon'
  • 46,000 tickets sold for Belgian GP

Driver talks are taking place - Haug
(GMM)  Norbert Haug has contradicted McLaren's team boss by confirming that talks with other drivers have taken place.

With Heikki Kovalainen's place for 2010 not secured, Martin Whitmarsh had insisted at Valencia last weekend: "At the moment we have not had, nor are we in, conversations with any other drivers."

But Haug, Mercedes' competition chief who is reportedly pushing for McLaren to sign German driver Nico Rosberg, is quoted as saying by Auto Bild: "We speak with drivers.  I speak with drivers.

"If that was not the case we would not be doing our job.

"At a certain time, but we are not going to say precisely when, we will make our decision about who is driving for us next year," added Haug.

Kovalainen, 27, had a better weekend at Valencia after Whitmarsh said the Finn needed to up his game.  But the British chief then said that while Valencia had been better, the driver still needs to work on his race pace.

Haug confirmed: "He did do a better job (at Valencia) than in some other races.

"He started on the first row of the grid so for sure fourth place is not exactly what he expects but it was his best result so far."

Canada GP return still not confirmed - Tremblay
(GMM)  Contrary to reports, race organizers still have not reached a definitive agreement with formula one officials about reinstating Canada on the 2010 calendar.

We reported this week that, ahead of the European grand prix at Valencia, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone showed team bosses a provisional schedule for next year that featured a round in Montreal.

"The discussions continue and we have good hopes that the grand prix will return to Montreal in 2010," city mayor Gerald Tremblay told Radio Canada.

"There is still no agreement.  We have always said very clearly that we prefer if Montreal does not appear in the provisional calendar so long as the agreement is not finalized," he added.

Germany must stay on F1 calendar - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone says it is important that Germany retains an annual presence on the formula one calendar.

Hockenheim, currently the co-host of an annually alternating event with the Nurburgring, has said it is no longer willing to stage the race and sustain multi million euro losses.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone has stepped in to help find a solution.

"In Germany there must always be a race," the Briton told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport.  "The Germans have put a lot of money into F1 and with Mercedes have a winning team.

"We have to make sure they are there," Ecclestone added.

Renault to announce 2010 drivers 'soon'
(GMM)  Renault will announce its drivers for the 2010 season "soon", but team boss Flavio Briatore answered ambiguously when asked about Fernando Alonso's rumored switch to Ferrari.

It is almost certain that Romain Grosjean, who amazingly still works part-time at a Geneva bank, will be retained by the French team for his first full F1 season next year.

27-year-old former double world champion Alonso, however, is now the subject of intensifying speculation that his Ferrari deal will be confirmed sooner or later.

"For two years people have kept asking me what is going to happen tomorrow," team boss Briatore said in an interview with the German news agency DPA.

"When we have a concrete decision, soon, we will announce it.

"We work very well with Ferrari, we have a very good relationship and we hope it will stay like that.  It is an important team that you have to respect, they have done a lot.  But I try to beat them," Briatore added.

Just 46,000 tickets sold for Belgian GP
(GMM)  Only 46,000 race-day tickets have been sold so far for Sunday's Belgian grand prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Track boss Andre Maes said the number is short of the famous and popular venue's 2009 target of 70,000 spectators, according to RTL Belgium.

"At the moment it is impossible to say if the figure (70,000) will be reached.  We don't know what's going to happen in the next days, nor what the weather is going to be," Maes explained.

Last year, attendance of 52,000 led to a 4 million euro loss.  66,000 attended in 2007.

RTL Belgium said 70,000 is the target because it would allow the Spa promoters to break even.

It is said that 3000 tickets were sold within a few hours of the announcement of Michael Schumacher's aborted comeback, but that only about 50 of those asked for their money back.

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