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DATE News (chronologically)
11/06/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Toyota say no to selling F1 team
  • Silverstone deadline set to pass without deal
  • Todt has taken 'charm lessons' - Williams
  • Ferrari still wants third car for Schu
  • No joy yet as Sauber waits for FIA
  • Kobayashi eyes F1 lifeline at Lotus
  • Teams still in running for sponsor Petronas
  • Raikkonen eyes lucrative sabbatical in 2010
  • Massa to be father next week
  • Brawn surprised USF1 not yet crash-testing

Toyota say no to selling F1 team
(GMM)  Toyota has "rejected" the idea of following the example of fellow carmakers Honda and BMW.

When Honda withdrew from F1, the Japanese carmaker agreed to hand over its Brackley based team to managers including Ross Brawn and Nick Fry for a symbolic British pound.

And when BMW made the decision to leave the sport, it was sold to the Qadbak consortium.

But team president John Howett said those options have "already been discussed and rejected" by the Toyota Motor Corporation.

"Maybe these ideas can be reopened but, at the moment, it would appear not," he told the Times.

Silverstone deadline set to pass without deal
(GMM)  The 48 hour deadline issued by Bernie Ecclestone is likely to pass without a deal for a 2010 British grand prix in place.

It was reported earlier this week that the F1 chief executive was giving Silverstone bosses a "day or two" to sign his contract before the British race is pulled from next year's calendar.

The Times reports that the Northamptonshire track's management was "surprised" by the ultimatum, which is now set to end.

"Their puzzlement is such because they say Silverstone is waiting for Ecclestone to respond to amendments to the contract, not the other way round," the London based newspaper said.

Todt has taken 'charm lessons' - Williams
(GMM)  Sir Frank Williams says he is not worried that Jean Todt will revert to his "hard" ways in his new role as FIA president.

Todt's former rival Williams, 67, knows the Frenchman best from his 14 years in charge of Ferrari.

"His methods weren't methods that we would use," he said in an interview with Arabian Business.

"He was then a difficult character," Williams added.  "Very hard to get on with."

But Williams believes Todt, 63, has had to adopt a difference approach now that he is in charge of the sport's governing body.

"I met him recently (and) I think he has taken some charm lessons," he said, smiling.

Williams, meanwhile, described Todt's predecessor Max Mosley as "seriously unfairly clever" and "almost impossible to beat in any argument".

Ferrari still wants third car for Schu
(GMM)  Ferrari is still pushing hard to arrange a third formula one car for Michael Schumacher to race in 2010.

With BMW and Toyota now departed, Renault thinking about following suit and the famous Italian team scornful of the sport's new entrants, Luca di Montezemolo has renewed his campaign to have the rules changed.

"This is perhaps an opportunity to have a third car for each team," the Ferrari president told Bild newspaper.  "I will do everything I can.  And naturally we are thinking of Michael Schumacher for our third car."

At the same time, Schumacher - despite calling off his return in Felipe Massa's car in August due to injury - is not ruling out making another bid to come back to the grid.

"Let's put it like this, I do not see a reason why I should confirm or rule out anything," the seven time world champion told Gulf News.

However, Sir Frank Williams doubts the 40-year-old German is serious.

"Not a chance.  No," said the Briton, who believes Schumacher decided against returning this year after underestimating his fitness.

No joy yet as Sauber waits for FIA
(GMM)  Toyota's F1 exit has been unofficially hailed as the savior of the Sauber team, who were waiting for a spot to open up on the 2010 grid.

But as yet the Hinwil based team has made no formal comment.

Founder Peter Sauber tells Switzerland's 20min.ch: "The (takeover) contract between BMW and Qadbak is only in force if the FIA officially confirms the entry for 2010.

"BMW is still the owner and is therefore responsible for the communication.  Personally I'm in the passenger seat at the moment," the Swiss added.

In the wake of Toyota's announcement this week, the FIA said it was studying the legality of the move because it has "a direct bearing on the admission of any future 13th entry".

Kobayashi eyes F1 lifeline at Lotus
(GMM)  Kamui Kobayashi is not yet booking his flight back to his father's sushi restaurant.

The Japanese rookie, who impressed during Toyota's last two grands prix, has said he will need to return to Japan if he doesn't stay in F1 in 2010 because he has "no budget" for GP2.

"Obviously, my place at Toyota is lost," the 23-year-old is quoted as saying by the French press.

"I was close to signing a contract for 2010, but there are four new teams and still options," Kobayashi added.  "If I could choose a team I would choose Lotus."

He also revealed that, in the wake of Toyota's announcement, the carmaker has offered to assist both him and Kazuki Nakajima find alternate employment for 2010.

Teams still in running for sponsor Petronas
(GMM)  Lotus, as well as other formula one teams, are still in the running to capture the support of long time BMW-Sauber sponsor Petronas.

It was reported this week that, with Sauber's new owners Qadbak looking likely to be admitted to the 2010 grid, Petronas was happy to stay with the Hinwil based team in 2010.

But Malaysian-owned Lotus F1's new chief executive Riad Asmat said the team as well as its rivals are also vying to win the Petronas logos.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the entire F1 grid had approached them, because from our understanding Petronas was not obliged to remain as sponsor of Sauber," he told the New Straits Times.

"Everyone basically knew that this was the last year of Petronas with Sauber," he added.

Petronas, to continue as the main sponsor of the Malaysian GP next year, confirmed to the Bernama news agency that the existing BMW-Sauber deal has now finished.

"Petronas' partnership with the BMW-Sauber team, which is a progression of its earlier relationship with Sauber, has now come to an end following BMW's decision to exit formula one at the end of the season," the company said.

Raikkonen eyes lucrative sabbatical in 2010
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen stands to make more money in 2010 if he takes a sabbatical.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that if the Finn accepts McLaren's current offer, he will earn 15 million euros in 2010, as opposed to 17m if he has a season on the sidelines.

According to his termination deal with Ferrari, the Italian team has promised to pay Raikkonen, 30, 17 million if he does not race in F1 next year, and 10m if he finds suitable employment elsewhere.

Realizing this, McLaren has reportedly offered Raikkonen just 5 million for the 2010 seat, concluding that 15m in total earnings is a very healthy amount for the 2007 world champion.

Presently, Raikkonen's management team of Steve and David Robertson is demanding that McLaren pay a full retainer, plus agree to a reduced amount of sponsorship days for their charge.

Nick Heidfeld has been touted as McLaren's 'plan B', and in an interview with spox.com, the German was asked about Martin Whitmarsh's recent statement that the 32-year-old is perhaps F1's most underrated driver.

"At the moment I'm not ruling out any team," he answered.

Massa to be father next week
(GMM)  Felipe Massa, having survived an horror qualifying crash in July, is set to imminently enjoy the pleasures of parenthood.

"Next week I become a father," the Ferrari driver is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

Brazilian Massa and his wife Rafaela are having a boy, and he will be named Felipe.

Brawn surprised USF1 not yet crash-testing
(GMM)  Ross Brawn has expressed surprise at the news that USF1, one of three start-up new teams for the 2010 season, has not yet commenced internal crash-testing of car components.

The publications Blick and Auto Motor und Sport revealed the news this week, to which Brawn replied: "We have been crash testing for the new car for the past two months, to be ready for the official tests.

"A new team should be doing the same if it wants to be ready for the beginning of the season," the Briton added.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport estimated the chance that the Charlotte based team will be ready to race in 2010 at "zero".

It has been rumored that one possible outcome for USF1 is the sale of its 2010 entry to another team.

The reports said that at a recent FOTA meeting, all team bosses with the exception of USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor wanted to forbid teams from selling their official entries.

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