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Latest F1 news in brief
  • VW chief plays down F1 foray reports
  • Kubica appears at Jerez test
  • New boss at Germany's Nurburgring
  • Sauber 'confident' of thirteenth 2010 entry
  • French federation blames politics for GP demise
  • Alguersuari likely to keep Toro Rosso seat
  • Barrichello, Massa, honored in Brazil

VW chief plays down F1 foray reports
(GMM)  Another Volkswagen official has played down reports the world's biggest carmaker is set to enter formula one in 2012.

The Wolfsburg based marque's motor racing representative Hans-Joachim Stuck said recently the possible introduction of a 'world engine' would signal an affordable and reliable route onto the grid.

"Building an engine and providing it to a team is the best way," he had said.

But Ulrich Hackenburghas, who is VW's research and development chief, denied to Autocar that a formula one foray has been decided.

At the LA motor show, he instead suggested that moves are afoot for more involvement in racing's junior classes.

"There's been no concrete decision (on F1) but we are developing a global 2.0-litre engine for different racing categories," said Hackenburghas.

Kubica appears at Jerez test
(GMM)  Amid the more unfamiliar faces at this week's Jerez test, Robert Kubica was a conspicuous presence on the Renault pitwall.

The Polish driver, who has signed to switch from BMW-Sauber to the French team in 2010, travelled to the Spanish circuit on Wednesday in the wake of his participation in the recent Rallye du Var.

Still technically under contract to BMW, the almost 25-year-old was wearing casual clothing but taking a keen interest in the radio transmissions and garage goings-on, as Lucas di Grassi and Ho-Pin Tung circulated in the R29.

"I miss F1," Kubica is quoted as saying at Jerez by France's Auto Hebdo.

When asked what he will do if Renault decide to pull out of F1 ahead of the 2010 season, he answered: "I think I've said enough."

McLaren's Gary Paffett, who set his quickest time before a lunchtime shower, topped Wednesday's time sheets ahead of Williams' Nico Hulkenberg.

The young driver test concludes on Thursday, when Belgian Bertrand Baguette - who tested with Renault on Tuesday - gets a late call-up to the cockpit of the BMW-Sauber.

New boss at Germany's Nurburgring
(GMM)  Walter Kafitz is no longer the boss of the German formula one circuit at the Nurburgring.

The local authority said the venue has been taken over by the private Lindner Group, which is headed by Lorg Lindner who already operates a nearby hotel.

59-year-old Kafitz had been in charge at the Nurburgring, which is not scheduled to return to the F1 calendar until 2011 when its current contract ends, for the past 15 years.

The mainly state-controlled Nurburgring GmbH company will also no longer be involved in the daily operation of the circuit.

Sauber 'confident' of thirteenth 2010 entry
(GMM)  A spokesman for Sauber is confident the Swiss team will be granted the thirteenth official entry on the 2010 grid.

It has been suggested that Toyota, a signatory of the 2010 Concorde Agreement while Sauber is not, will hand over its entry to the little-known Serbian outfit Stefan GP.

But the latest rumor is that the FIA is actually leaning towards refusing the Stefan solution in favor of allowing Sauber, whose team has been a continuous presence in F1 since its debut in 1993, to keep racing.

"So far 12 teams have been announced.  We are confident that we will be the thirteenth and that we will soon receive confirmation," a Sauber spokesman is quoted as saying by the German news agency DPA.

The 13th team's drivers will be assigned the race numbers 26 and 27.

French federation blames politics for GP demise
(GMM)  The president of the French motor racing federation FFSA has blamed politics for the ongoing demise of the country's formula one foray.

Nicolas Deschaux's reaction follows the decision of the French region Yvelines to scrap its plans for a circuit at Flins.

"Although South Korea has mobilized to host a grand prix in 2010, we can be surprised that the world's third largest media spectacle after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup is so denigrated in France by politicians," Deschaux, in charge of the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile, said.

His comments also follow those made by French ecology minister Chantal Jouanno, who said the Flins project's demise is "excellent news" on environmental grounds.

Alguersuari likely to keep Toro Rosso seat
(GMM)  Official spokespeople has played down fears that Jaime Alguersuari is set to lose his Toro Rosso race seat.

The recently published FIA entry list reinforced the fact that while Sebastien Buemi will still be on the grid next March, his 2009 teammate Alguersuari's participation is yet to be confirmed.

But a Red Bull spokesperson is quoted as saying by Spain's Diario AS: "Buemi will be racing with Toro Rosso, and Jaime is almost assured (a seat)."

The report named the Australian reigning champion of British F3, Daniel Ricciardo, as an alternative for the second Toro Rosso seat.

AS also suggested that there are some outstanding question marks about Alguersuari's financial contribution to the Faenza based team for 2010.

The young Spaniard is currently training in Fuschl (Austria), and he suggested to the Diario Sport publication that he is not worried about his future.

"Red Bull are the ones that must make the announcements," he said.

In the same report, a Toro Rosso spokeswoman said Alguersuari is "undoubtedly among the favorites" to be Buemi's 2010 teammate.

Barrichello, Massa, honored in Brazil
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello this week received the prestigious Brazilian 'Golden Helmet' F1 motor racing award at a ceremony in Sao Paulo.

The local veteran, who finished the 2009 world championship third with Brawn, shared the honors with his countryman Felipe Massa, who was presented with a special golden replica of his helmet damaged in his Hungarian qualifying crash earlier this year.

"I have the real helmet back in my house, and this (prize) is a gift that will be in my heart for the rest of my life," new father Massa, 28, is quoted as saying by Globo.

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