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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Renault choose Petrov to race, Tung to be reserve
  • Barrichello to debut FW32 on Monday
  • Massa to give new Ferrari track debut on Friday
  • Renault, Williams, fire up 2010 cars
  • Sauber race numbers to be decided on Monday
  • Valencia to donate ticket proceeds to Haiti
  • Weber plans Ferrari future for Hulkenberg

Renault choose Petrov to race, Tung to be reserve
(GMM)  Renault has reportedly selected Vitaly Petrov to be Robert Kubica's teammate in 2010, while Ho-Pin Tung will be the reserve driver.

France's Auto Hebdo said Russian GP2 driver Petrov's deal will be unveiled at the launch of the R30 at Valencia on Sunday.

The news means that the top three finishers in last year's GP2 championship - namely Nico Hulkenberg (Williams), Petrov (Renault) and Lucas di Grassi (Virgin) - will all be rookies on the 2010 grid.

Auto Hebdo also said the Dutch born Chinese Ho-Pin Tung, a Gravity Sport-managed driver, will be Genii Capital-controlled Renault's reserve driver this season.

Barrichello to debut FW32 on Monday
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello will give Williams' 2010 car, the FW32, its maiden track outing at Valencia on Monday morning.

The Brazilian veteran, who joins the Grove team after finishing third last season with Brawn, has been selected to drive the new Cosworth-powered single seater on the first two days of the opening test of the pre-season.

His rookie teammate Nico Hulkenberg will then take over on the final day of the Spanish session, according to Brazil's Globo.

"I arrive in Spain on Saturday," 37-year-old Barrichello said.  "I cannot wait to drive the new car.

"I think Valencia will give some evidence about what will happen in Bahrain, but this winter it will be even harder to tell (the pecking order) because of the larger fuel tanks," he added.

Williams' single seater will feature existing team sponsors including AT and T, RBS, Oris, Philips, Randstad and Hell energy drink.

Massa to give new Ferrari track debut on Thursday
(GMM)  Felipe Massa is scheduled to give Ferrari's 2010 car its maiden outing on Thursday afternoon.

The single seater, codenamed 281 but set to be given a different official title, will be launched at the team's Maranello base in the morning.

It will then be fired up for a short run at the Fiorano test track "for a promotional video", Ferrari said, "weather conditions permitting".

"Otherwise Felipe will drive on Friday and, shouldn't the weather conditions improve, the debut on the track will happen on Monday" at the beginning of the Valencia group test, the famous team added.

Brazilian Massa, 28, is scheduled for the first test day in Spain, to be followed on Tuesday and Wednesday by his new teammate Fernando Alonso.

Friday's car launch begins on Thursday at 10.30am, to be broadcast live on the official Ferrari website and also by the Italian channel RAI2.

Renault, Williams, fire up 2010 cars
(GMM)  The 2010 season is edging tantalizingly nearer.

Within the next five days, Ferrari, McLaren, Sauber, Renault, Toro Rosso, Williams and Mercedes will all have revealed and begun testing their new cars.

Renault has confirmed that the R30 was fired up for the first time last Friday.

"The sound of that V8 engine revving away was pretty sweet for everyone who played a part in getting it ready on time," said the Enstone based team.

Williams spokeswoman Claire Williams said the new Cosworth-powered FW32 was to be fired up for the first time "some time" on Wednesday night.

The new American team USF1, meanwhile, has released images of the first completed full monocoque of its 2010 'Type 1'.

McLaren has been releasing teaser images of the MP4-25, including a mock-up throttle pedal, a close-up of the carbon tub, and a silver bracket.

"There is a really exciting buzz about the place, and we are desperate to share!  Only two days to go now," the Woking based team said on its The Fifth Driver Twitter page, referring to Friday's car launch in Newbury.

Sauber race numbers to be decided on Monday
(GMM)  The race numbers to be allocated to the Sauber team in 2010 are still uncertain.

At the end of November, and in the wake of BMW's withdrawal, the FIA issued an entry list prior to the confirmation of the Swiss team's ongoing participation.

BMW-Sauber finished the 2009 season in sixth place, meaning that in theory the Hinwil based team's drivers should this year wear the race numbers 11 and 12.

Fifth placed Toyota, however, has withdrawn, meaning that Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa may receive the numbers 9 and 10.

The team's desire to have the numbers 9 and 10, rather than 26 and 27, could explain the reluctance so far to apply to change the official name from BMW-Sauber, even in the wake of the German carmaker's complete withdrawal from F1.

But this will have implications for Williams, Renault, Force India, Toro Rosso and all four of F1's new teams, who would have their confirmed race numbers pushed back by two at short notice.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the issue will be discussed at Monday's Paris meeting of the F1 Commission.

Also reportedly to be discussed is a possible reduction in each driver's allocation of tires, with Bridgestone proposing a reduction from 14 to 10 sets.

The teams are reportedly proposing to compromise by settling for 11 sets per driver.

Valencia to donate ticket proceeds to Haiti
(GMM)  Some of the proceeds of the ticket sales for next week's Valencia test will be donated to the victims of the recent Haiti earthquake.

The news was confirmed by the director general of the Ricardo Tormo circuit, Julio Garcia.

Ticket prices range from EUR5 to EUR25.

Seven of F1's 13 teams - namely Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Renault, Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso - have confirmed their participation in the opening group test of the 2010 pre-season.

"Fans who buy a ticket for the tests in Valencia also perform a humanitarian act to help after a tragedy," Garcia said.

Haiti was struck by a catastrophic earthquake on 12 January, with in excess of 150,000 dead and an estimated 3 million people affected.

Weber plans Ferrari future for Hulkenberg
(GMM)  Willi Weber is already looking ahead to Nico Hulkenberg's next move in formula one.

Reigning GP2 champion Hulkenberg, 22, will make his formula one debut in March at the wheel of a Williams.

Last month, the German revealed that his manager Weber, who also manages Michael Schumacher, held talks with Ferrari in the wake of Felipe Massa's 2009 accident.

"In the end I was able to focus on GP2 and win the title and now I enter F1 with the appropriate preparation.  It's probably good that it did not work out," he said.

But manager Weber is hoping a move to Ferrari, where Schumacher won five consecutive world championships, works out eventually for Hulkenberg.

"Within three years, Ferrari will have Nico," Finland's Turun Sanomat quotes Weber as predicting.

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