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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Ferrari near 'guarantee' of success - Alonso
  • Button deserves 2009 title - drivers
  • Buemi admits Toyota talks, to stay with Toro Rosso
  • Toyota fallout signals new era for F1
  • Campos car has passed FIA crash tests
  • BMW-Sauber board member resigns
  • Racing in two series a 'mistake' - Alguersuari

Ferrari near 'guarantee' of success - Alonso
(GMM)  Racing with Ferrari is close to a "guarantee" of success in formula one, according to the famous Italian team's new driver Fernando Alonso.

After winning back to back titles in 2005 and 2006, and squabbling with McLaren in 2007, the Spaniard has struggled for pace during the past two seasons with Renault.

"I can be optimistic now," the 28-year-old told Cadena SER radio.  "With Ferrari you can be calm because you know they will give the maximum.

"Ferrari is a brand made to compete; sometimes they win the title, sometimes not, but there are no disastrous periods.  I think Ferrari is the safest option for any driver," Alonso added.

Button deserves 2009 title - drivers
(GMM)  A number of formula one drivers insist that Jenson Button is a worthy winner of the 2009 world championship.

Briton Button, 29, won six grands prix this season until June, when his pace waned but he still managed to control his points lead through to the Abu Dhabi finale earlier this month.

"I think he's a good champion for formula one and he deserved it," said Fernando Alonso, the title winner in 2005 and 2006.

"Because he didn't score the points that people expected in the second half, you have the feeling that he stepped back a little bit, but I think he did a very good job.

"If you look at the overall view of the championship from race one to the final race, he was the best of us, so he deserved it," the Spaniard added.

Force India's Adrian Sutil, and Toyota's Jarno Trulli, agree.

"I think he always made the best of his possibilities and scored points, a few points, sometimes more points but it was definitely enough for the championship," said Sutil.

Trulli added: "Obviously he's had some ups and downs but he managed to handle the situation; when he had the best car he proved he was a race winner and when he had to defend he just drove well, always keeping his head cool."

2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen said: "Whoever gets the most points deserves it, so he's definitely the right man."

Like Rubens Barrichello and Mark Webber, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was one of Button's challengers, and he has admitted that his own title push was not consistent enough.

"Over the season they did the better job," said the German.

Buemi admits Toyota talks, to stay with Toro Rosso
(GMM)  Sebastien Buemi has given the strongest indication yet that he will still be at the wheel of a Toro Rosso in 2010.

The Swiss rookie, 21, outpaced both his teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Jaime Alguersuari this year, but he revealed recently that he is yet to sign any documentation about next season.

But Buemi has now told the Television Suisse Romande program Sport Dimanche that he is definitely staying put.

"I had some contact with other teams due to my good results at the end of the season," he said.  "Toyota could have been a possibility because they had not yet hired any drivers.

"That was not the only one, and anyway I was always talking with (Toro Rosso owner) Red Bull.  Finally I signed with Toro Rosso for 2010," added Buemi.

He also indicated that his teammate next year will be Jamie Alguersuari, the 19-year-old Spaniard who joined STR mid-season to replace Bourdais.

"I assume that he will team up with me next year," said Buemi.  "I think the team chose to change in the middle (of the season) because we can't really do any testing so he may as well get used to the car now."

Toyota fallout signals new era for F1
(GMM)  A former senior member of Toyota's team has slammed John Howett in the wake of the Japanese carmaker's decision to withdraw from formula one.

"The Japanese trusted the wrong people," said ex head of research Norbert Kreyer, who was fired in late 2004.

"Why did they give a job to a bureaucrat who understood nothing about racing?" he added, specifically naming Briton Howett, the team's president who before moving to Cologne worked for Toyota/Lexus in marketing.

Another former team member is Richard Cregan, who left to oversee Abu Dhabi's new F1 track.  Irishman Cregan, formerly Toyota's team manager, also blames "certain individuals" for the demise.

"There's a well-proven formula on how to go about motor racing at that level," he told the Guardian.  "Ignore that, and you do so at your peril.

"It was not recognized early enough that the direction the team was taking was simply not correct.  But that was pretty obvious to those who knew what the business is all about," added Cregan.

Two insiders are not concerned that the carmaker exodus, following the departures of Honda, BMW and Renault's current deliberations, signal a death knell for the sport.

"F1 at the moment is like a sauna, where the unnecessary ballast is sweated out and afterwards there is a new start," Niki Lauda wrote in a column for Sport Bild.

"I am convinced that Mercedes' (more efficient) philosophy will be adopted by other manufacturers and we could even see new ones coming in over the course of the next few years."

Adam Parr, chief executive of the fiercely independent Williams team, agrees that a new era in F1 is dawning.

"Perhaps this is the end of a decade of manufacturer dominance and what we will now see over the next decade is a sport that resembles much more closely the 1990s," he told Reuters.

Campos car has passed FIA crash tests
(GMM)  The car of the new F1 team Campos has reportedly already passed the FIA's frontal and lateral crash tests.

"Of the new teams, Campos' car is the most progressed," Bruno Senna, the Spanish outfit's first confirmed driver for 2010, told Brazil's Radio Bandeirantes.

The car is being built by the well-known Italian constructor Dallara.

Senna confirmed: "It has already passed the frontal and lateral crash tests, which are the most important ones."

The 26-year-old said he travelled to Italy on Sunday to see the car and to be fitted for any initial adjustments.

BMW-Sauber board member resigns
(GMM)  A long-time member of the BMW-Sauber board has resigned, according to Swiss reports.

Oswald Grubel's tenure dates back to his involvement with the sponsor Credit Suisse prior to the BMW takeover.

The German businessman, who would not comment on the reports, is now CEO of the global financial services company UBS.

Racing in two series a 'mistake' - Alguersuari
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari has revealed he is unlikely to race in both formula one and the World Series by Renault in 2010.

After getting the mid-season call up to replace Sebastien Bourdais at Toro Rosso this year, the 19-year-old Spaniard continued to race in the World Series through to the finale in late October.

"On one hand it was very productive but it was also a complete error," Alguersuari is quoted as saying by Spain's Diario Sport.

"I was investing energy into the two specialties and not able to focus on either," he admitted.

"I would arrive at races and the others were at 120 per cent while I was not.  It was a mistake," said Alguersuari.

In the World Series he finished the championship sixth, and at Toro Rosso he struggled to keep up with his fellow rookie teammate Sebastien Buemi.

But Alguersuari believes his preparation for 2010 will be more ideal.

"There will be six days of pre-season tests and it will be a good foundation, without a doubt, to finish the season seeing the best possible Jaime," he said.

"The start will be hard because I don't know many of those circuits, but by the end I will be good enough."

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