Latest F1 news in brief
- No Bulgarian GP, FIA's Todt insists
- Merc GP structure not a recipe for tension - Haug
- Le Mans on hold as Klien eyes F1 return
- F1 journalist to reprise naked jog
- F1 on Monday: around the 'net
- Sauber's Qadbak takeover to collapse - report
- Donington administrators welcome Ecclestone comments
No Bulgarian GP, FIA's Todt insists
(GMM) Bulgaria was never close to organizing a round of the F1 world championship, FIA president Jean Todt insists.
It was reported that, before scrapping the plans on financial grounds, the Bulgarian Motorcycling Federation held meetings with Bernie Ecclestone and even received a race contract for 2011-2015.
But while in Bulgaria to discuss the southeastern European republic's world rally round for 2010, Todt revealed that the FIA never received a formal request to sanction a Belgian grand prix, according to the news agency Sofia.
Merc GP structure not a recipe for tension - Haug
(GMM) Norbert Haug has played down fears that Mercedes GP's new management structure is top heavy.
The German marque has retained Brawn's bosses Ross Brawn and chief executive Nick Fry, while competition director Norbert Haug switches from the McLaren garage.
Haug insists the new structure will not lead to tension.
"On the contrary," he told Germany's Bild am Sonntag. "Ross is the team boss, I am the sporting boss responsible for all of Mercedes-Benz's motor racing activities. We will complement each other."
Britain's Independent newspaper claims that, amid the takeover negotiations, Mercedes demanded that Brawn's management structure remain in place.
"It was part of the attraction for Mercedes that the management team remains," Brawn modestly confirmed.
"Obviously we will become subject to their budget discussions, but the racing decisions will continue to be made by us. As with everything in life, if we do a good job that will stay the same, and if we do a bad job things will change," he added.
Le Mans on hold as Klien eyes F1 return
(GMM) Christian Klien has revealed that he cannot sign on with Peugeot to contest the 2010 Le Mans 24 hour race until it is clear he has not secured a seat on the formula one grid.
The 26-year-old Austrian, who this year was BMW-Sauber's reserve driver, is hoping to return to racing in 2010 to add to his tally of 48 grands prix.
When asked about the possibility of another Le Mans outing with Peugeot next June, Klien said: "At the moment I am focusing all my options on F1.
"Therefore, right now I cannot commit to Peugeot for Le Mans 2010 because of the June 13 date conflict with the Canadian grand prix."
Klien's best chance of a race seat next year are reportedly with the Qadbak-owned Sauber team, as well as the new entrants Manor, USF1 and Lotus.
F1 journalist to reprise naked jog
(GMM) At the 2005 British grand prix, a formula one journalist jogged semi-naked around the Silverstone circuit.
It was Bob McKenzie, having promised in his Daily Express column a year earlier to run naked around the Northamptonshire layout if McLaren won a race with its initially uncompetitive 2004 car.
Kimi Raikkonen's Spa victory meant that, on the next British GP race day, McKenzie spent 37 minutes honoring his promise wearing nothing more than silver body paint and a sporran.
Having apparently not learned his lesson, it emerges that McKenzie promised to reprise his naked jog in the event that Jenson Button elected to spend his championship year as Lewis Hamilton's McLaren teammate.
This time, he promised to strip off at McLaren's Woking headquarters.
"If someone came up with a big enough offer for charity – and it would have to be bloody big – then I might get the sporran out again," McKenzie told the Guardian.
F1 on Monday: around the 'net
(GMM) Toyota fans farewell formula one foray at Fuji:
Bernie Ecclestone says December 9 is the deadline for a 2010 British grand prix deal:
80s and 90s GP driver Gabriele Tarquini wins the World Touring Car Championship:
Sauber's Qadbak takeover to collapse - report
(GMM) Sauber's takeover by the Qadbak group is on the verge of collapse, according to the Swiss weekly newspaper Sonntagszeitung.
The report said the main figure behind the consortium is Russell King, who has spent time in jail for insurance fraud and had assets frozen by court.
In the wake of BMW and Toyota's withdrawals from formula one, Sauber is waiting to be given an official FIA entry to race in 2010.
The newspaper claims that, contrary to speculation, Qadbak's F1 investors are in fact not funded by wealthy Middle Eastern sources.
The lack of real financing could explain the FIA's hesitance in granting the team its 2010 entry, with even BMW's legal department reportedly surprised to learn about King's apparent inability to fund the project.
It is suggested that Dubai based King was counting on BMW-Sauber's commercial income after finishing sixth in the 2009 season, while the FIA wants assurances about the team's pre-prize money backing.
Reports in September said King attempted to found a Dubai based F1 team some years ago, and that it was this failed foray that led to some existing teams' concerns about Sauber's Qadbak buyout.
The FIA is expected to publish the definitive 2010 entry list at the end of November.
Donington administrators welcome Ecclestone comments
(GMM) Donington's administrators are encouraged after Bernie Ecclestone left the door open to a future British grand prix deal.
Following its failed bid to organize formula one races for 2010 and beyond, the operators of the Leicestershire track were placed into administration.
"We are looking for a purchaser for the business and the potential opportunity to bring formula one to this part of the Midlands by funding the work that needs to be carried out to the circuit," administrator Nigel Price said last week.
F1 chief executive Ecclestone, who is threatening to remove Britain from the 2010 calendar if a deal with Silverstone is not in place by 9 December, told BBC radio at the weekend there is a chance Donington could resurrect its plans "if someone comes along with the right ideas and funding".
"I think it's tremendously encouraging," Price is quoted as saying by the Evening Standard. "Without meaning to prejudge anything Bernie might wish to do, he's clearly shown a desire in the past to put formula one at Donington.
"Therefore, if we can find someone with the financial clout and drive to get something done and quickly, I'm sure Bernie would consider doing that still," he added.