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DATE News (chronologically)
10/05/09
f1
Latest F1 news  in brief
  • Button insists more pressure on title rivals
  • Button disappointed with Rosberg's penalty escape
  • Ecclestone cool on Rome, eyes Korea, India and NY
  • Whiting in Abu Dhabi to approve circuit
  • Fauzy ready to accept 2010 Lotus race seat
  • Top teams would allow BMW-Sauber 14th entry

Button insists more pressure on title rivals
(GMM)  Jenson Button insists that more pressure is on his title rivals as the 2009 world champion winds down to a battle of two races.

But the fact remains that if there are two more points-outcomes like Sunday's Japanese grand prix at the forthcoming Brazil and Abu Dhabi finales, the Briton will not be world champion.

Some pundits have compared the situation to 2007, when Lewis Hamilton did not emerge with the prize, despite a 17-point advantage with two races go to.

"Vettel is now closer than Kimi Raikkonen was when he won the championship," observed David Coulthard.

Button was asked by reporters after finishing just eighth in Japan how he can avoid the same thing happening to him.

"For whatever reason he (Hamilton) didn't score the points," he answered.

"It's about not making mistakes.  That's the important thing.  I don't feel under pressure.

"The closer we get to the end of the season, the more pressure there is on the people chasing me," added Button.

Germany's Bild newspaper published a photo-shopped image of Button, 29, wearing a Brawn-branded nappy, after Red Bull's Vettel closed the points gap by 9 points by dominating at Suzuka.

Fastest car aside, another advantage for the 22-year-old German is the full support of his out-of-contention teammate Mark Webber, while Button has to contend with Rubens Barrichello as his closest rival.

"We will do everything to support Seb," confirmed Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Yet another challenge for Button at the next crucial race is that it takes place at Interlagos, a stone's throw from his teammate Barrichello's birthplace, and also home to fervent countrymen still mourning the loss of Felipe Massa's title to another Briton a year ago.

"It's an interesting situation," Button acknowledges, "but Rubens and I get on well so we'll see what happens when we get there.  I'm not worried.

"I like Sao Paulo and I'm looking forward to the weekend.  I still have a 14 point lead, let's not forget," he said.

Button disappointed with Rosberg's penalty escape
(GMM)  Championship leader Jenson Button has expressed disappointment after FIA stewards chose not to penalize Nico Rosberg in the wake of Sunday's Japanese grand prix.

The Brawn pair argued that they lost positions to the German driver when he went too fast during a late safety car period at Suzuka.  A demotion for Rosberg would have guaranteed the constructors' title for the Brackley based team.

A penalty would also have limited the points damage inflicted by Red Bull's title challenger Sebastian Vettel, who dominated the event while Button could finish just eighth.

The FIA officials acknowledged that Rosberg drove too quickly, but said it was due to him not being able to read his dashboard display.

"I respect the decision but it's disappointing when you think someone has done something wrong and they don't get penalized," Button told reporters.

The 29-year-old had himself been penalized for a similar safety infringement on Saturday, when he sped past a yellow flag hazard in qualifying.

But he insisted he is not going to dwell on Rosberg's escape.

"It's not going to change anything massively I don't think.  Life goes on," said the Briton.  "That's the decision.

"I don't know all the information while the FIA and the stewards, they have got all the information in front of them so whatever their decision, that's what it is," Button added.

Ecclestone cool on Rome, eyes Korea, India and NY
(GMM)  Rome's hopes of staging a formula one grand prix in the near future have taken a backwards step.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Bernie Ecclestone enthused about forthcoming new grand prix venues including Korea, India and New York.

"In 2010 we are going to Korea and the year after to India.  We are also trying to organize a grand prix in New York," said the F1 chief executive.

But when asked about the Italian capital, the 78-year-old Briton answered: "There are too many places wanting to have a race.  We will see."

Whiting in Abu Dhabi to approve circuit
(GMM)  Charlie Whiting has arrived in Abu Dhabi to approve the venue ahead of F1's 2009 season finale.

The new Yas Marina circuit has only just been handed over from the construction company to the race organizers, as FIA race director Whiting touches down to give the venue the final approval of the sport's governing body.

He headed to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, direct from Suzuka, the scene of the weekend's Japanese grand prix.

"The initial inspection has already been done.  Whiting comes here on October 5 to do the final tick-off of the boxes," race boss Richard Cregan told Gulf News.

Fauzy ready to accept 2010 Lotus race seat
(GMM)  Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy has revealed he has not yet been offered a race seat for 2010 with the new Lotus F1 team.

The outfit is set to debut next year with Malaysian ownership, and acting team principal Tony Fernandes recently confirmed that the 27-year-old World Series by Renault driver is a candidate for a seat.

"Of course, if the offer comes, it will be like a dream come true, and I'm more than ready to take it up," Fauzy, who has also raced in GP2 and the A1GP series, and tested in 2007 for the F1 team Spyker, said in the New Straits Times.

The other prominent Malaysian driver Alex Yoong, who raced in F1 with Minardi in 2002, is linked with a role as Lotus' deputy team principal.

Top teams would allow BMW-Sauber 14th entry
(GMM)  McLaren and Ferrari would allow BMW-Sauber to enjoy a guaranteed position as formula one's fourteenth confirmed team in 2010, it has emerged.

At Suzuka last weekend, it became clear that Williams is opposing the move to expand next year's grid beyond 26 cars.

As allowing Sauber a 14th grid spot would require a change to the confirmed 2010 rules, it means every existing team has veto power.

Williams is once again a member of the FOTA alliance, and the group got together at Suzuka and briefly discussed the issue of BMW-Sauber's 2010 entry.

Deputy John Howett emerged from the meeting and told reporters that it is "not a FOTA issue", despite the association saying in an August media statement that it will "support any initiative" to help Sauber keep racing beyond BMW's withdrawal.

Ultimately, the debate may be academic, if as is rumored one or more of the 13 confirmed teams for 2010 ultimately pull out.

But BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen said: "The earlier we get a positive answer, the better it is.  Every day counts," he told Reuters.

It is believed that Ferrari does not oppose the team being granted a guaranteed 14th team spot for 2010, and McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh said at Suzuka: "Our position is that we wouldn't wish to block Sauber who are an established FOTA member.

"If it gives clarity to Sauber, I think it would be right to agree to there being 14 teams in the event that one of them is Sauber.  But I think 14 is too many teams, frankly," he added.

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