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Latest F1 news in brief
  • No early contract release for Button - Fry
  • Button switched for less money and 'new challenge'
  • F1 on Friday: around the 'net
  • Mercedes GP in no hurry to replace Button
  • Neel Jani to test Force India at Jerez
  • Still no deal for 2010 British GP - Ecclestone
  • Sauber waits while FIA considers Toyota penalty
  • WRC options emerge for Raikkonen

No early contract release for Button - Fry
(GMM)  Angry Brawn chief executive Nick Fry has announced pre-emptively that Jenson Button will not be released to commence work for his new team McLaren in the remaining days of 2009.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the 29-year-old new world champion is under contract until the last day of December.

"Jenson will not be doing anything at all for McLaren until the end of this calendar year," said Fry.

"And if he does, we will be looking on it very dimly."

He suggested that Brawn/Mercedes' position, after their title successes of 2009 and a cooperation dating back seven years, was prompted by Button's "signing process" with McLaren.

It is rumored, for example, that Button's recent visit to McLaren's Woking headquarters was technically in breach of his existing contract.

"There are other constraints on what Jenson can do between now and the end of the year which we will be rigorously enforcing," Fry added.

A McLaren spokesman told the Daily Mail: "We haven't asked Brawn GP to release Jenson early, so this isn't really an issue for us."

Button switched for less money and 'new challenge'
(GMM)  Jenson Button made a final farewell visit to Brawn's Brackley headquarters this week, prompting "sadness and anger", according to the Daily Telegraph.

In the wake of his switch to McLaren, the speed of the new world champion's relationship breakdown with his 2009 team is demonstrated by the fact that Button's 'My Championship Year' book features a foreword by Ross Brawn in which the driver's "loyalty" is praised.

But while in London to promote the book, Button said he now just hopes to remain friends with Brawn, 55.

Button told BBC's Five Live radio that he switched to become Lewis Hamilton's new teammate for the challenge.

"I am actually earning less than I would have been at Brawn so it's not about the money.  It's because it's something new," said the Briton, whose retainer is about half the size of his countryman teammate's.

He explained to Reuters Television that after winning the championship, "I thought 'so, what happens now?  Where do I go from here?'.

"I've been very comfortable within that (Brawn) team and it (moving to McLaren) is taking me outside of my comfort zone.  That's why I am doing it.

"I'm not going because it's going to be easy, I'm going because it's going to be tough," added Button.

F1 on Friday: around the 'net
(GMM)  Ferrari confirms two-day Jerez test for Jules Bianchi next month, with three Italian F3 drivers to share the F60 on the third day:


F1 scoop shows internet overtaking print newspapers:


F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel awarded:


Quadruple world champion Alain Prost to race a Dacia Duster on ice:


With Eric Clapton's help, Sir Jackie Stewart honored by sons with 70th birthday tribute song:


MotoGP's Valentino Rosso to race Ferrari F430 in 6-hour race of Vallelunga:


9-round calendar for 2010 Formula 2 championship revealed:


Teenager Jaime Alguersuari says friends aren't made in the F1 paddock:


Roldan Rodriguez reveals regular contact about 2010 with a couple of formula one teams:


Expert believes McLaren to benefit commercially from 2010 driver lineup:


Aerial helicopter video footage shows Donington in no state to host international motor racing:

Mercedes GP in no hurry to replace Button
(GMM)  Boss Ross Brawn has hinted strongly that the newly rebranded Mercedes GP team is only on the market for a single driver for 2010.

It is believed, but not confirmed officially, that German Nico Rosberg has already been signed to the Brackley based outfit.

"We are not in a hurry to find a replacement for Button," Brawn is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, after the team's 2009 champion this week defected to McLaren.

Most strongly connected with Button's vacated seat are Kimi Raikkonen, Nick Heidfeld, and even Michael Schumacher.

"It would be stupid to jump now into a fast decision," Brawn continued.  "We will carefully analyze the list of potential candidates.

"I believe our free cockpit is the most attractive one on the market," he added, suggesting strongly that the identity of at least one Mercedes GP driver for 2010 is already internally secure.

Mercedes' Norbert Haug indicated that he is keen on Kimi Raikkonen.

"He has my number.  He can call me at any time," Haug said, referring to the 30-year-old Finn.

Neel Jani to test Force India at Jerez
(GMM)  Neel Jani will test a Force India at the young driver test at Jerez early next month.

Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell said that alongside Jani, a Swiss driver with Indian ancestry, could be Karun Chandhok, although the Indian driver's appearance is yet to be confirmed.

It emerged earlier this week that Scottish DTM driver Paul di Resta, under contract to Mercedes-Benz's motor sport program, will also test with Force India at Jerez.

Jani, 25, is a former test driver with Sauber and Toro Rosso, and he has raced in GP2, A1GP, Champ Car and Le Mans.

Still no deal for 2010 British GP - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has warned that, if next month's World Motor Sport Council were to be held today, the British grand prix would be scratched from the 2010 calendar.

After Donington's grand prix bid collapsed, the F1 chief executive and Silverstone have been locked in apparently stalled negotiations about the commercial terms of a long term contract.

A final race calendar for next season is set to be rubber-stamped by the governing FIA at its Paris meeting on December 11.

"The World Council will meet and we will just pull it (the British grand prix) off -- we will have to," the 79-year-old told The Times newspaper.

"We'll have no other choice, if we don't have a contract," Ecclestone added.

"I've been spending an awful lot of time trying make sure it does happen, but there is no chance of an exceptional contract for Silverstone.  Why should there be?"

However, after Donington's operating administrators this week flagged selling the lease holding as a going concern, billionaire Ecclestone raised the prospect of a mere one-year absence for the British GP.

And he said Silverstone is "close" to being able to sign the agreement.

"It's not the terms and conditions so much as whether the investors are prepared to bankroll them and take the risk," said the Briton.

Sauber waits while FIA considers Toyota penalty
(GMM)  The FIA is contemplating a penalty in the wake of Toyota's decision to withdraw immediately from formula one.

The Cologne based team had only recently signed the 2010-2012 Concorde Agreement, a tripartite contract binding F1's competitors with its commercial and regulatory bodies.

Toyota's exit means theoretically that Sauber/Qadbak can take its official spot on the 2010 grid, but this is yet to be confirmed officially by the Paris based FIA.

Specialist publications Auto Motor und Sport (Germany) and Blick (Switzerland) believe the confirmation is pending a decision about a penalty for Toyota's contract breach.

Blick mentioned a figure of 20 million Swiss francs for each of the contracted 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons not contested by Toyota, amounting to nearly $60m.

Auto Motor und Sport said a resolution will take at least another week, during which time Sauber cannot contract drivers or sign sponsors.

The money of the Qadbak consortium, meanwhile, will reportedly not flow until Sauber is officially granted a 2010 entry.

WRC options emerge for Raikkonen
(GMM)  Two potential options for a switch to the World Rally Championship for Kimi Raikkonen have already emerged.

Finland's Helsingin Sanomat reports that Norwegian team owner and driver Petter Solberg has confirmed that a space may be available for Raikkonen in his WRC team.

Citroen has also been mentioned this week by the press, with Spain's Diario Sport initially reporting talks regarding the French marque.

France's Auto Hebdo has now followed suit, claiming that a Raikkonen/Citroen deal could involve the backing of the Finn's existing drinks sponsor Red Bull and a C4 WRC car.

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