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DATE News (chronologically)
11/16/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Massa reunites with F60 at Valencia
  • Experts advise Button to stay with Brawn
  • Kubica crashes out of Sicilian rally
  • F1 on Monday: around the 'net
  • Rossi to test Ferrari F1 in January
  • Schu/Benetton eBay auction a hoax - report
  • Lotus not ready to announce 2010 drivers
  • Schu no longer advisor to F1 team

Massa reunites with F60 at Valencia
(GMM)  For the first time since a flying spring struck his helmet in Hungary in late July, Felipe Massa at the weekend returned to the cockpit of Ferrari's F2009 single seater.

Since recovering from his serious head injuries, the Brazilian has completed a few laps in a two-year-old Ferrari F1, but he admits that Sunday's action - about 20 laps of the Valencia circuit for the marque's 'Finale Mondiali' event - was particularly special.

"It was fantastic and I am so happy.  Although I could drive just a little, I really enjoyed being here," the 28-year-old is quoted as saying by the Ferrari website.

"I am very motivated: this today for me is like victory.  It was just like before the accident at the Hungaroring," Massa added.

Due to his ongoing contract with Renault, Massa's 2010 teammate Fernando Alonso was present at the Spanish circuit but not able to drive or even wear official Ferrari clothing.

But he did sit in the back of a Ferrari California with Massa, before the driver Luca di Montezemolo beached the car in a gravel trap.

At the end of the day, Massa dashed to the airport to return to Sao Paulo to be with his pregnant wife Rafaela.

"The doctors confirmed that our child will not be born this weekend, so I decided to make this flying visit here in Spain," he said.

Experts advise Button to stay with Brawn
(GMM)  A number of formula one insiders and experts believe Jenson Button should ignore McLaren's advances and end the salary standoff with his current team.

With the Briton not able to convince Brawn that he should receive a big pay increase for 2010, he travelled last Friday to Woking for a meeting with McLaren's team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

The team is apparently offering more money than Brawn, and Button would take the 'number 1' to the MP4-25, but his teammate would be the 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton.

"I think Jenson needs to be very certain that he wants to go into a team which Hamilton has very much made his own," Niki Lauda is quoted as saying by the Guardian.

"If the money involved is about the same, or even slightly less, then Jenson should stay with Brawn," the triple world champion added.

Another triple world champion, Sir Jackie Stewart, likened Button's move to McLaren to "putting his head into the tiger's den", and revealed that he turned down an offer to be Jim Clark's Lotus teammate for the same reasons in 1965.

"I felt that Jimmy just had his feet too far under the table.  I don't think it would have been the right thing for me to do any more than it would be for Jenson at McLaren," said the Scot.

It is also rumored that Mercedes-Benz and Brawn are poised to announce a major collaboration for 2010 and beyond, which may result in Brawn becoming the new 'works' team while McLaren simply receive the German carmaker's engines.

Commentator and former driver Martin Brundle wrote in his latest column for the Sunday Times: "Button has to get out his crystal ball to work out which team will give him the faster car next year.

"Will McLaren return to top form?  Or has the tide turned, given that Brawn and Red Bull won 14 of the 17 races this year?"

Button's friend David Coulthard switched to McLaren from Williams at the end of 1995, and later admitted he regretted opting for more money over the prospect of the best car on the grid.

"Personally, I wouldn't try to cash in and go for a team with more money but which ostensibly doesn't have a winning car," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Star.

Kubica crashes out of Sicilian rally
(GMM)  Robert Kubica led his class on the opening day, but on Saturday crashed out of the Sicilian Taormina-Messina rally.

The 2009 BMW-Sauber driver, who in 2010 will switch to Renault, led the R3C class on Friday in his DP Motorsports Renault Clio R3, but crashed into a wall and retired on Saturday.

Before crashing, the 24-year-old Pole was quoted by wrc.com as saying: "Yesterday I did not attack, I was trying to learn about driving the car -- today is a longer challenge.

"The only unknowns are the pace notes, I hope to get used to driving in this way.  I must learn to listen."

With the same car, Kubica is expected to tackle the French championship Rallye de Var later this month.

Meanwhile, France's Auto Hebdo reports that 2009 Renault driver Romain Grosjean on Sunday completed a 20km half-marathon in Paris' Boulogne-Billancourt suburb.

F1 on Monday: around the 'net
(GMM)  Having recently tested one of the tin-top racers, Nelson Piquet Jr takes a mobile phone photo from the pitlane at the NASCAR Truck Series race in Phoenix:
http://twitpic.com/pf633

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New Zealand teen Brendon Hartley has been fitted for a seat at Toro Rosso's Faenza factory ahead of his F1 test at Jerez in December:
http://www.drivesouth.co.nz/news/16326/hartley-fizzing-at-chance-to-get-back-in-f1-car

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Daily Telegraph publishes an extract from Jenson Button's forthcoming book My Championship Year:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/jenson-button/6561405/Jenson-Button-Champion-at-last---my-race-to-the-F1-world-title.html

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2009 Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima to drive a Toyota F1 car this weekend at the marque's Motor Sport Festival at Fuji Speedway:
http://www.autohebdo.fr/f1/f1/breve-25-25-4081/141109-trulli-et-kobayashi-dans-la-tf109

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2009 Le Mans winner Alex Wurz wins Austrian motor sportsman of the year award:
http://www.kleinezeitung.at/sport/motorsport/2199815/wurz-oesterreichs-motorsportler-des-jahres.story

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Stefan Wilson, the 20-year-old brother of former Minardi and Jaguar racer Justin Wilson, makes his F1 test debut in a McLaren at Silverstone:
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80151

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Jaime Alguersuari receives the keys to a free car:
http://www.autoindustry.co.uk/news/today#13-11-09_1

Rossi to test Ferrari F1 in January
(GMM)  Ferrari has granted Valentino Rossi's wish by offering the MotoGP rider another formula one test.

After successfully defending his latest two-wheeled title last month, the 30-year-old asked Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali for a favor.

"I have already asked Domenicali via text if I can have another test," he said.

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Ferrari's answer was 'yes', and that the test will take place in January.

Schu/Benetton eBay auction a hoax - report
(GMM)  It made international headlines, but the listing of Michael Schumacher's title-winning 1994 Benetton F1 car on eBay may have been a hoax.

The online auction, offering the actual car that collided with the German driver's championship rival Damon Hill in the Adelaide season finale, attracted bids in excess of 2.6 million euros.

The auction was not due to end until Monday, but the web page has now disappeared.  Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell said it believes the sale of the B194 was not genuine.

Another 1994 Schumacher/Benetton, this time claiming the car is located in England rather than Canada, has been listed for auction at eBay with bids starting at 1.15m pounds sterling.

Lotus not ready to announce 2010 drivers
(GMM)  Lotus has signed one race driver for the 2010 season, but an announcement will not be made until his teammate is also under contract.

Team principal Tony Fernandes wrote on his Twitter page at the weekend that a "public announcement" about drivers will be made "soon".

He told the New Straits Times on Monday: "We will be ready to make the announcement once we've signed the second driver, but other than that I can only say that we've moving along very smoothly."

It is believed the signed driver is Jarno Trulli, but the 35-year-old Italian veteran is testing a NASCAR Sprint Cup car this week and hinting the American series is an option for 2010.

Fernandes for now is giving nothing away, other than to reveal that the Malaysian prime minister Najib Tun Razak will make the announcement.

"I can't say anything.  That's enough.  The PM will be making the announcement soon," he said.

Schu no longer advisor to Ferrari F1 team
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher will reportedly no longer be an advisor to Ferrari's formula one team.

The seven time world champion recently renewed his contract with the Italian marque through 2012, referring specifically to his input into the road cars department.

Whether his ongoing role would involve F1 was not specifically mentioned in the September announcement, but Spain's Diario AS reports that Schumacher will not be involved with the team.

However, the newspaper added that Schumacher, to turn 41 in January, will continue to attend some grands prix, although not as many as before.

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