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DATE News (chronologically)
12/21/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Grosjean still hoping for Renault race seat
  • Montezemolo wants cost cuts but freer rules
  • F2 champion Soucek struggles to find F1 seat
  • Schumacher is 'super-fit' - manager
  • Citroen's Quesnel says no to Renault role - report

Grosjean still hoping for Renault race seat
(GMM)  Romain Grosjean has not given up on retaining his race seat at Renault.

The Swiss-born Frenchman made his formula one debut following Nelson Piquet's ousting only seven races ago, but similarly failed to impress alongside Fernando Alonso.

Renault's future has since been secured by the majority Genii buyout, and 23-year-old Grosjean told L'Equipe that he hopes clarity about his own future is to shortly follow.

"Now we know who is Renault's new partner and we know that the brand will continue in grands prix, I trust them to not let me down after all the work we did together since 2006," he said during his first race weekend of the Andros ice-racing trophy.

"I gained a great deal of experience last season with the seven grands prix as Fernando Alonso's teammate.  We couldn't manage to take victory, but for me Fernando was the best driver of the year.

"To be three tenths behind him, I'm not ashamed in terms of my performance against his.  It gives me great confidence for my future," Grosjean added.

As well as the vacant cockpit at Renault, there are also potential vacancies on the 2010 grid at Sauber, Toro Rosso, Mercedes, Campos and USF1.

Montezemolo wants cost cuts but freer rules
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo insists Ferrari is not opposed to sensible cost cutting in formula one.

As the famous marque's president and also chairman of the FOTA teams association in 2009, Montezemolo was at the forefront of the argument with former FIA president Max Mosley.

Although stridently opposed to the budget cap proposal and publicly prepared to pull Ferrari out of F1 if it had been introduced, Montezemolo has told reporters that he is open to other methods for reducing costs.

He is however totally opposed to some of the current measures: for instance, the testing ban and the engine development freeze, which according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport he derides for "going against the spirit of formula one".

Instead of that, and the budget cap, there should be a limit on "the number of people (staff) and the number of working hours, and within these limits everyone can do what they want", added Montezemolo.

After just a single season with the current rules, FOTA has voluntarily banned the use of KERS systems for 2010, but Montezemolo clarifies that Ferrari is not opposed to the technology.

"We must also think about fuel consumption, C02 emissions and energy recovery.  KERS was a good idea, only the execution was bad.

"I am for a new engine formula starting from 2012, but with KERS as an integrated component of the engine, not a freely selectable add-on," added the Italian.

F2 champion Soucek struggles to find F1 seat
(GMM)  Andy Soucek is frustrated that, as the new champion of the FIA Formula Two series, he is struggling to find a seat on the F1 grid.

The Spanish-Austrian, who is 24, performed well as he recently claimed his prize of a full test with the Williams team.

He is well backed by sponsors, but admitted recently that he cannot afford to race for the new Spanish team Campos.

By the Spanish sports newspaper AS, Soucek was asked about Max Mosley's concept about F2 being an affordable route into formula one.

"F2 was created to be the step before F1, but it is also true that Mosley is no longer the president," he said.

"I believe that Todt and the FIA want to follow on with Mosley's ideal, but it's a question of what they can do.  They can't force the teams to have the champion of F2," Soucek added.

If he cannot secure a race seat, Soucek admitted that becoming a reserve driver is "an option", but not his preferred one.

"I believe that it will not go longer than two weeks more," he said of his current negotiations with teams.

Schumacher is 'super-fit' - manager
(GMM)  A recent medical check with his sports doctor Johannes Peil showed Michael Schumacher to be in a high state of health, the German's manager Willi Weber has revealed.

Intense rumors suggest the seven time world champion is on the cusp of announcing his return to the grid next year with Mercedes GP.

But it is also rumored that the German, to turn 41 in less than two weeks, will conduct some sort of track test prior to making his final decision.

The Cologne newspaper Express said the outcome of Schumacher's recent checks with Dr Peil was "positive".

"Michael is super-fit.  Dr Peil said he has made giant progress," said manager Willi Weber, referring to earlier this year when Schumacher had to call off his return to replace the injured Felipe Massa due to neck pain.

Weber revealed that Schumacher is currently skiing with his family in the French alps.

Citroen's Quesnel says no to Renault role - report
(GMM)  Another potential full-time successor for the departed Renault team boss Flavio Briatore can be scratched from the list.

Former F1 drivers Alain Prost and Gerhard Berger have been linked with the role, and although it is believed the quadruple world champion is still interested, Berger denies that talks even took place.

Former team technical director Bob Bell is currently standing in as temporary team principal, but it has not been confirmed that he will retain the role into 2010.

Frederic Vasseur, a partner of Nicolas Todt with the leading GP2 team ART, has also been connected with the job, as have David Richards and Craig Pollock.

59-year-old Olivier Quesnel, meanwhile, is the sports boss for Peugeot and Citroen, including the latter's successful world rally foray.

But Finland's Turun Sanomat reports that although the Frenchman was short-listed to succeed Briatore at Renault, he has ruled out a switch to formula one.

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