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Latest F1 news in brief
  • De la Rosa surprised to secure Sauber seat
  • Button trims beard as McLaren career revs up
  • Schu wants to swap race number with Rosberg
  • Alonso only has eyes for F1
  • Kubica out of Monte Carlo Rally

De la Rosa surprised to secure Sauber seat
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa has revealed that until very recently he wasn't sure he would secure the second race seat at Sauber in 2010.

The Swiss team announced on Tuesday that the Spanish 38-year-old, who for the past several years has been McLaren's main test driver, will race alongside Kamui Kobayashi this season.

It is rumored de la Rosa is bringing the sponsorship funds of the Universia brand to Sauber, but reports earlier this week said Ferrari reserve driver Giancarlo Fisichella was the more likely choice for the race seat.

"I am very happy and very excited, especially because yesterday it seemed the possibility had past and then everything changed in the last hours," de la Rosa is quoted as saying by the Spanish news agency EFE.

"It has been like a roller coaster: at some times it looked very close and at other times very far away, so in the end it was a pleasant surprise," he added.

De la Rosa does not rule out returning to McLaren at some point in the future.

"I have spent the best years of my life with them and am leaving many friends.  I do not rule out that if their door is open to me, I work with them again," he said.

Button trims beard as McLaren career revs up
(GMM)  As he turned 30 on Tuesday, Jenson Button spoke to the British press without his characteristically scruffy beard.

The reporters surmised that the 2009 world champion was either bidding to look as young as his 25-year-old teammate Lewis Hamilton, or had been ordered by McLaren to strike a more corporate image.

"I thought I would have a trim because I have a younger teammate now.  I need to look younger," the Briton is quoted as joking to the Daily Express at the team sponsor event in London.

The Telegraph, however, said Button had confided that it was his girlfriend Jessica who persuaded him to shave.

Neither Button or Hamilton, who will sit together for the first time as teammates during meetings at Woking on Wednesday, will give the MP4-25 its track debut at Valencia on February 1.

Even though main tester Pedro de la Rosa has switched to Sauber for 2010, the Guardian newspaper said "a test driver" will be the first at the wheel of the new car in Spain.

Schu wants to swap race number with Rosberg
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher is bidding to switch race numbers before the start of the 2010 season.

Before the seven time world champion decided to come out of retirement this year, Mercedes GP had already signed Nico Rosberg and entered him in the world championship with the number 3.

As things stand, 41-year-old Schumacher was due therefore to take the number 4, but Bild newspaper reveals that the German has asked to swap with Rosberg due to superstition.

Bild said the FIA will shortly approve the change.

"Ross (Brawn) knows that I prefer to have odd race numbers," Schumacher is quoted as saying.

Schumacher won all seven of his world championships with odd numbers: five with the number 1, and once apiece with 3 and 5.

The race number 4, however, has never been driven to a F1 title, and in the last ten years has only recorded 7 grand prix wins.

Alonso only has eyes for F1
(GMM)  While several of his rivals affectionately eye other forms of motor racing, Fernando Alonso only has eyes for formula one.

In the past few years, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Speed and Nelson Piquet have switched to the American world of NASCAR, and Jarno Trulli recently tested a Sprint Cup machine.

Retiring drivers including Mika Hakkinen and Ralf Schumacher went to the German touring car series DTM, and it is a move that David Coulthard is reportedly now considering.

Kimi Raikkonen has shelved his F1 career in favor of world rallying, and this week Robert Kubica has taken a Renault Clio to the famous Monte Carlo Rally.

But Ferrari driver and twice world champion Alonso said: "For me formula one is the top.  Can't see myself anywhere else.  I always wanted to race in F1 since I was a child."

When asked about NASCAR, the Spaniard added: "I like to play it on my Playstation."

Reigning world champion Jenson Button, meanwhile, revealed at the Autosport International motor show last week that he would be keen to contest the famous off-road Dakar Rally after his F1 career, and also said racing at Le Mans "would be okay".

He explained: "If I raced in other formulae it would be because I want to go and have fun.  If you get into one of the top teams and you are racing for them, it is just so much pressure.  I would want to go there (Dakar) and enjoy the race."

Kubica out of Monte Carlo Rally
(GMM)  Robert Kubica's participation in the famous Monte Carlo Rally this week is on the skids, after the engine in his Renault Clio R3 failed.

After the failure just 4km into the icy prologue stage on Tuesday night, the Polish driver was investigating whether he would be able to start Wednesday's action with a new engine, France's Auto Hebdo reported.

But it emerges that the engine will not be changed in time.

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