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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Raikkonen's pay demands 'much too high' - Howett
  • Red Bull engine decision still looming
  • 'Five or six hundred' attend champ Button homecoming
  • Silverstone reveals small profit for 2008
  • Other teams also oppose 14th entry - Head

Raikkonen's pay demands 'much too high' - Howett
(GMM)  Toyota will not reach a deal with Kimi Raikkonen for the 2010 season unless he drops his exorbitant pay demands, team president John Howett insists.

The Cologne based team has made Finn Raikkonen, 30, an offer, Briton Howett revealed last weekend in Brazil.

"He gave us back a figure that is much too high," he is quoted as saying by the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell.

"He says he has two options, so we are going to wait," Howett added.

It is believed that Raikkonen will receive about 25 million euros from Ferrari for agreeing to end his 2010 contract, while his management is asking about the same amount from both McLaren and Toyota.

Red Bull engine decision still looming
(GMM)  After the Brazil GP deadline came and went, Red Bull is now expected to finalize its choice of engine supplier for 2010 by next weekend's Abu Dhabi season finale.

The energy drink company's motor sport adviser Helmut Marko said at Interlagos that the decision had been delayed for about another week, but Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that Abu Dhabi is actually the new deadline.

The magazine said the FIA has now approved the application for a fourth Mercedes engine supply, but the German marque's exclusive partner McLaren is currently vetoing the Red Bull deal.

It is said that McLaren's decision hinges on Mercedes' precise plans for a closer involvement with Brawn, but Marko said: "Time is running out."

With Mercedes out of the picture, Red Bull's choice is between either staying with Renault or - like Williams - switching to Cosworth.

Renault, also with a works team, is said to be pushing hard to retain its competitive partner, perhaps promising to bundle a sponsorship deal with the oil company Total.

Cosworth's ace up its sleeve, however, is that it is the only engine supplier allowed to work on its 2010 engine, and the result could be the most powerful V8 in the field next year.

"Engine performance is one thing," said German driver Nico Rosberg, "but in 2010 the fuel efficiency and reliability will play a big role.

"It is very difficult for Cosworth to master all three disciplines in so short an amount of time," he added.

Moreover, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says he has been impressed with the Renault engine in the wake of the reliability problems of earlier this season, with well-used units serving his drivers well at recent events.

'Five or six hundred' attend champ Button homecoming
(GMM)  Jenson Button had an inglorious homecoming as F1's new world champion on Tuesday morning after touching down in Britain on board his teammate Rubens Barrichello's private jet.

The Virgin sponsorship date had been set prior to his title triumph at Interlagos last weekend, but even so the local media noted the irony of his informal coronation as world champion in the surrounds of the Bluewater Shopping Centre.

Located in Kent, The Times called the location "grim and facile", and the reporter disputed claims that 2000 countrymen were present in the cold weather.  "It looked more like five or six hundred to me," he said.

Silverstone reveals small profit for 2008
(GMM)  The Silverstone circuit has announced a million dollar profit for 2008.

Vying to retain the British grand prix next year amid new venue Donington's reported troubles, managing director Richard Phillips said: "We remain one of the few venues in the world that produce a small profit from our blue riband event."

Meanwhile, there are frantic efforts at Donington Park to beat Bernie Ecclestone's Friday deadline to remedy its breach of the 2010 GP contract.

A spokeswoman for the local Derby Telegraph said an announcement on Friday is likely, with boss Simon Gillett "optimistic" in his attempt to attract enough eleventh-hour investors to fund the circuit renovation.

Other teams also oppose 14th entry - Head
(GMM)  Williams is not the only team objecting to the expansion of the grid to 14 teams for the 2010 season.

With BMW-Sauber's new owners Qadbak not guaranteed a spot in pitlane next year, it was believed the reason was the objection not only of Williams but also the new Campos team.

However, Mario Theissen said recently that in fact Williams are the only objectors, adding that he does "not understand" his former colleagues' position.

But Patrick Head, who along with Sir Frank Williams owns the Grove based team, said: "From what we understand there are at least half a dozen other team principals who have declared to us that they hold exactly the same (view).

"They're all saying 'well done Frank, you said exactly what we think and good on you for doing it'.  It is not true that we are the only (opposing) team," he added.

Williams said recently that his objection was in part due to the unknown nature of Sauber's buyer, and there are also financial concerns, such as the distribution of F1's commercial income.

But Head said the logistics of a potentially 28-car field is a major problem.

"I understand some of the new teams coming in have been have been asked to operate their pit out in the open on the grass in Australia next year," the Briton revealed.

"It's nothing against Sauber, nothing against Peter Sauber, nothing against BMW," Head said.

"It wouldn't matter who the 14th team was, we don't feel it's appropriate," he added.

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