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DATE News (chronologically)
11/24/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Silverstone 'very close' to British GP deal
  • Rosberg deal done before Merc takeover - Fry
  • F1 on Tuesday: around the 'net
  • Brawn again plays down Schumacher rumors
  • Brawn not backing Ferrari's three-car push
  • Paris court to hear Briatore appeal on Tuesday
  • Renault's Ghosn admits 'concerns' about F1
  • Jani not confirming Force India test
  • Campos reports progress with 2010 car
  • No Indian drivers for India's Jerez test

Silverstone 'very close' to British GP deal
(GMM)  Silverstone is close to securing a long-term deal to keep hosting the British grand prix, according to the circuit's managing director.

Bernie Ecclestone has imposed a December 9 deadline for a deal to be reached, and left the door open to Donington resurrecting its failed race plans.

But Silverstone's Richard Phillips, who earlier this week welcomed a government delegation to the circuit, told BBC Radio Northampton that the track is close to securing the future of the British GP.

"I don't think there are any real stumbling blocks, we're going through the last details of the deal," he said.

"I'm pretty convinced that it will be run at Silverstone next year."

Phillips said the delay is explained by the need to tread carefully when reaching long term and "high level" agreements.

"There is a lot of detail to go through, so if you make a mistake, there's a long time to repent," he said.

"You can come to high level agreements quickly, but the devil is in the detail.  We're very, very close.

"We certainly would like the contract to be for more than 10 years -- that's the minimum," added Phillips, indicating that a new pit and paddock complex will be ready for the 2011 race.

Rosberg deal done before Merc takeover - Fry
(GMM)  Even if Mercedes had not bought Brawn, Nico Rosberg would have switched to the Brackley based team for 2010, chief executive Nick Fry insists.

The 24-year-old former Williams driver on Monday was revealed as the newly renamed Mercedes GP's first signing for next season.

But it has been rumored for months that Rosberg, 24, is heading to Brawn, and Fry confirmed that the talks had been held during the 2009 season.

"Nico was due to join Brawn under any circumstance," he told reporters, amid suggestions Rosberg's signing is an early indication about the influence to be exerted by the team's new owners.

"We are extremely pleased that the circumstances have worked out as they have done but the negotiation was done principally with the Brawn team and myself and Ross (Brawn)," added Fry.

Some insiders regard Nick Heidfeld as the most likely choice to become German compatriot Rosberg's teammate, but also linked with the second seat are Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen.

Robert Kubica may also be a possibility, depending on the outcome of Renault's current deliberations about its commitment to F1.

F1 on Tuesday: around the 'net
(GMM)  Sebastien Buemi pictured karting in Las Vegas:
http://www.tororosso.com/Team/Sebastien-Buemi/News/Viva-Las-Vegas/

-

Adrian Newey raced a BMW M3 in the Vallelunga 6 hour race:
http://www.corrieredellosport.it/Notizie/Moto/87476/Auto,+Valentino+Rossi+in+pista+a+Vallelunga

Brawn again plays down Schumacher rumors
(GMM)  In the face of ever-mounting speculation, Ross Brawn has once again moved to play down suggestions that Michael Schumacher is set to return to F1 next year with Mercedes GP.

Fellow team chiefs Norbert Haug and Nick Fry added fuel to the fire on Monday by declining to echo Brawn's earlier rejection of the 40-year-old German's reported link to the Brackley squad.

"I spoke with Michael about his plans over a beer in Abu Dhabi," Briton Brawn, 55, told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"He told me he would have only made a temporary comeback with Ferrari.  We are looking for a long-term condition.  So I don't think we are going to be together," he added.

Nevertheless, other figures are not reinforcing Brawn's attempts to quieten the rumors.  Schumacher's manager Willi Weber, for instance, is quoted by rtl.de as playing down the former seven time world champion's neck injury.

"I recently spoke with (Schumacher's doctor) Dr Peil.  He said Michael is making good progress with his recovery.  He is very content," Weber added.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais referred this week to Schumacher's media "omnipresence" since his retirement in 2006, and Mercedes' Norbert Haug did not disagree that the latest rumors make for good PR.

"If you can have good stories every week it is good," the German admitted, after new world champion Jenson Button defected to McLaren.

Brawn not backing Ferrari's three-car push
(GMM)  Ross Brawn has played down the likelihood that F1 teams will be allowed to field third cars in the near future.

The Mercedes GP team boss' former employer Ferrari has been running a high profile campaign for the rule change.

But Brawn told Bild newspaper: "I do not believe in three cars.  Ferrari keeps the dream alive, but the starting grid is filled completely normally with at least 20 cars and there is no space for more."

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo insists the Maranello team would offer Michael Schumacher a full time cockpit if Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were allowed to have another teammate.

"We are not in a position to offer him a spot even if we would be in favor of having a third car on the track," the Italian said in a radio interview with La Politica nel Pallone on Monday.

Paris court to hear Briatore appeal on Tuesday
(GMM)  A Paris court will on Tuesday hear Flavio Briatore's appeal against his lifetime motor racing ban.

It emerged recently that, in the wake of the 59-year-old's sanction by the FIA over the so-called crash-gate scandal, the Tribunal de Grande Instance would hear the case on November 24.

He is also seeking a million euros in damages and is reportedly backed by Pat Symonds, the long-time engineering chief at Renault who was banned for only five years amid the same race-fixing allegations.

French-language reports said the hearing will take place in the Tribunal's 5th civil chamber.

Ferrari president and FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo said in a radio interview with La Politica nel Pallone on Monday that he thinks Briatore's penalty was "excessive".

Briatore and Symonds did not attend September's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, and thereafter did not exercise their right to challenge the decision in the FIA's International Court of Appeal.

Renault's Ghosn admits 'concerns' about F1
(GMM)  F1 risks becoming unimportant to more of its participants if the sport does not change, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has warned.

Amid speculation concerning the French carmaker's commitment to formula one, Ghosn announced recently that a decision about the future will be made before the end of 2009.

In a new interview with Forbes India, the 55-year-old referred to "challenges" faced by F1.

"(They are) challenges on how fair it is and how do you marry F1 with the environmental concerns.  Can you bring zero emission through technology?  So there are lots of questions about F1," said Ghosn.

Asked whether F1 is still going to be important to Renault in the future, he answered: "I don't think it is going to be very important for anybody if it doesn't answer some of the concerns.

"I notice that in the last year, three car manufacturers have bowed out of F1.  Three in one year!  That means there are a lot of questions that we need to resolve," added Ghosn.

Jani not confirming Force India test
(GMM)  Neel Jani says he cannot confirm reports he is scheduled to test a Force India at the three-day young session at Jerez early next month.

"It's not yet official," the 25-year-old Swiss, whose father is Indian, said in a French-language interview published by tsr.ch.

"At the moment nobody really knows who is going to do these tests," Jani added.

The former Sauber and Toro Rosso test driver, however, confirmed that he recently tested at Force India's behest in McLaren's driving simulator.

Jani, with experience in GP2, A1GP, Champ Car and Le Mans, indicated that Paul di Resta is likely to be testing with Force India in the December test.

But he does not completely agree that the arrival next year of four new teams is an opportunity for hopeful drivers.

"If you have money, then yes, but that's not the case for me.  They say it costs between 6 and 15 million euros to afford a F1 seat, because of the state of the global economy.

"For most teams, the first criteria (for selecting drivers) is money," he said.

Jani played down rumors of a possible seat at Hinwil based Sauber/Qadbak.  "Personally, I can assure you that I never spoke with them," he added, explaining that he is in talks with the sports car team Speedy Racing.

Campos reports progress with 2010 car
(GMM)  The first homologation of the new Spanish team Campos' Dallara-built formula one car has been signed off by the governing FIA, according to a report on Brazil's globo.com.

The team, having already signed Bruno Senna for its 2010 grand prix debut, is reported to have received the confirmation about its chassis tests last week.

Boss Adrian Campos, who raced with Minardi in the 80s and later ran a GP2 team, was quoted as saying there is still "a long way to go" but added that the team is "confident about being ready to contest the first race" of 2010 in Bahrain.

No Indians for Force India's Jerez test
(GMM)  Force India on Tuesday confirmed speculation that no Indian-linked drivers will test for the team during December's three-day young driver session at Jerez.

It had been rumored that Indian GP2 driver Karun Chandhok, and the Swiss Neel Jani - whose father is Indian - might drive the Mercedes-powered VJM02 at the Spanish circuit.

But while confirming reports that the Mercedes DTM driver Paul di Resta is scheduled to test, Force India said in a statement that the Scot will be joined at Jerez by Indy Lights champion JR Hildebrand, a 21-year-old Californian.

Chandhok and Jani tested recently in McLaren's driver simulator, but Force India said di Resta and Hildebrand were selected for Jerez "after outstanding performances in the team's simulator".

"Should they perform well, we will look at a permanent role for one within the team in 2010, potentially as a test and reserve driver," said team boss and owner Vijay Mallya.

"As we've always said, nationality isn't the primary selection criteria -- it's talent and dedication to the cause and we have seen enough to know that these two have both," he added.

Di Resta, 23, has twice tested a McLaren, while Jerez will be Hildebrand's F1 car debut.

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