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DATE News (chronologically)
10/01/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Webber involved in new GP3 team
  • Massa says Alonso's Singapore win was title 'robbery'
  • Vatanen 'will lose' FIA election - Mosley
  • Silverstone not keen on single GP deal for 2010
  • Toyota 'committed to F1' through 2012 - spokesman
  • Button wants to win title fairly

Webber involved in new GP3 team
(GMM)  Mark Webber is getting involved in the world of motor racing team ownership.

The Australian driver has teamed up with his Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner for the Arden entry in the new GP3 series, which is set to support European grands prix in 2010.

The series confirmed that 'MW Arden', one of ten three-car teams for next season, will race with an Australian license.

"It's something Mark has talked about for a while -- putting something back into the sport and supporting young Australian drivers," Horner said at Suzuka on Friday morning.

Massa says Alonso's Singapore win was title 'robbery'
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has got his 2010 pairing at Ferrari with Fernando Alonso off to an awkward start, asserting that the Spaniard's controversial win in Singapore last year "robbed" him of the world championship.

The Brazilian, who is recuperating from serious head injuries and set to return as Alonso's teammate next season, suggested that the 28-year-old should have been disqualified as the winner of F1's first night race over the 'crash-gate' affair.

"All of what happened was robbery -- but regarding the race nothing has happened, the result remains the same.  This is not right," Massa, who like Alonso is 28, told Brazilian Globo television.

"The robbery changed the outcome of a championship and I lost (the title)," he added, referring to Ferrari's botched pitstop that was triggered by the safety car period to clear Nelson Piquet's deliberately crashed Renault.

Massa said he cannot understand why F1's results are set in stone just weeks after the end of each championship, even when serious race-fixing later comes to light.

"I have seen in football how a referee took money to throw a game and all the suspect results were annulled," he charged.

"In Italy, Juventus were relegated.  But here (in F1) they just sent Briatore home.  I don't get it and I don't think it was right."

Vatanen 'will lose' FIA election - Mosley
(GMM)  Just weeks before he steps down as head of the FIA, Max Mosley has stepped up his campaign against the presidential candidate Ari Vatanen.

Briton Mosley, 69, believes former Ferrari boss Jean Todt should succeed him, and in a new letter accuses Finn Vatanen of making "insults" and predicts the former world rally champion will "lose badly" the forthcoming democratic election.

He was responding to former European parliamentarian Vatanen's assertion that F1's governing body is presently being run as an "autocracy".

"It is not possible to make statements like Vatanen's and then expect the victims of those insults to forget what has been said," Mosley wrote in the letter addressed to Prince Faisal, a member of Jordan's royal family who is an advisor to Vatanen's campaign.

"The simple fact is that Vatanen will lose the election and lose badly, not least because he chose to denigrate the FIA and those currently in office," Mosley added in the letter which was published by the Guardian newspaper.

Faisal, expressing "grave concerns" at the letter's "insinuations", reportedly revealed the letter at a meeting of motor sport governing bodies in Amman, the Jordan capital.

Silverstone not keen on single GP deal for 2010
(GMM)  1996 world champion Damon Hill has indicated he is not keen on Silverstone stepping in next year as simply a temporary replacement for contracted new British grand prix venue Donington.

Donington's struggle to raise the funding for its necessary track revamp is well known, and F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has indicated that Silverstone would step in if the Leicestershire circuit is not ready for July next year.

But if Donington's plans do fall through, Hill - president of Silverstone's track-owning British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) - has told the Guardian newspaper that Ecclestone should secure a new long-term future for the race.

"If Donington does not happen, then you have to ask yourself what that says about the decision to look into it in the first place," he said.

"And in those circumstances it would be nice to think that we could get round a table with FOM and put to bed once and for all the uncertainty over the future of the British grand prix," Hill added.

Ecclestone said recently in Singapore that an extended deadline of October 3, Saturday, had been imposed on Donington's efforts to secure a bank guarantee for its circuit upgrade, but that there is still "no guarantee" the race would revert to Silverstone.

"If it's going to be Silverstone - and there's no guarantee it will be, if it's not Donington - they want to get on, get the race prepared, and sell tickets," he said.

The report in the Guardian said Silverstone has "little interest" in hosting a race just for 2010 in order to give Donington more time to get its plans together.

Toyota 'committed to F1' through 2012 - spokesman
(GMM)  Toyota is committed to formula one until at least 2012 and is investigating widespread media reports that the Japanese carmaker is considering pulling out, according to a team spokesman.

At a media event in Tokyo earlier this week, team principal Tadashi Yamashina was quoted as saying the Cologne based team's future is "unclear" and dependent on the "financial results" of its parent.

But in less widely-circulated reports of the same Japanese news conference, Yamashina apparently actually said that Toyota has signed the 2010-2012 Concorde Agreement and is therefore committed to staying in F1.

Then on Thursday, Toyota announced the signing of a supplier agreement for the 2010 season "and beyond", with Yamashina explaining that "development and planning for next season has already begun".

A Toyota spokesman said the team is looking into how Yamashina's other controversial comments, which were translated by major wire agencies from Japanese, came about.

"As far as the team is concerned, we are committed to F1 through 2012.  We are making inquiries about the reported comments.  The feeling is that something may have been lost in translation," he is quoted as saying by the Guardian newspaper.

Button wants to win title fairly
(GMM)  Jenson Button says he is not interested in winning the world championship at all costs.

The Briton can wrap up the title at Suzuka this weekend, and was asked by the press corps to reflect on the manner of the circuit's controversial championship deciders involving Prost and Senna.

"It matter what sort of person you are.  I would feel like I have cheated myself and I am not the only driver who feels that," said Button, 29, also referring to contentious titles won by Michael Schumacher against the likes of Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve.

"That was Schumacher, not me," Button added.  "I don't think it means so much to me.  I would also be cheating the people watching.  What is the point?  It's like doing a running race and taking a short cut."

His comments coincide with a report in the Daily Mail newspaper claiming that Rubens Barrichello is still worried former Ferrari tactician Ross Brawn may be favoring Button.

It is believed Barrichello said over the radio "what are you doing to me now?" when his car stalled during his pitstop in Singapore a week ago.

Button insists he will not be involved in any underhanded tactics.

"If Rubens was a different character or if I was in a situation with a teammate I hated, maybe I would think differently," he said.

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