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DATE News (chronologically)
02/22/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • New Campos bosses tell Senna his seat is safe
  • Grosjean lost seat due to mid-season mistake - Petrov
  • Petrov says Campos, Sauber were 2010 options
  • More negative headlines for Flavio Briatore
  • Indonesia not ready for grand prix bid - Todt
  • Too early to say Ferrari in front - Vettel
  • Teixeira considers lawsuit after Campos deal
  • News about Lopez's F1 future expected Monday

New Campos bosses tell Senna his seat is safe
(GMM)  Bruno Senna met with the new bosses of the Campos team on Sunday.

Under the former leadership of Adrian Campos, the nephew of the great Ayrton Senna was signed by the Spanish based team late last year.

But as the rescue takeover by Jose Ramon Carabante and new team principal Colin Kolles was announced, it was said the 2010 driver lineup would be confirmed in "due course".

It raised speculation that Senna, 26, might be dropped in favor of drivers who can bring more direct funding.

Jose Maria Lopez, the well-funded Argentine driver whose 2010 employer USF1 is not ready to contest the first four races of the season, and Indian Karun Chandhok have been linked with Campos under the team's new leadership.

Brazil's Globo reports that Brazilian Senna met to discuss the situation with Carabante and Kolles on Carabante's yacht in Alicante.

They reportedly told the 2008 GP2 runner-up that he will not be asked to obtain more sponsors in order to safeguard his race seat, although additional funding "would be welcome".

Grosjean lost seat due to mid-season mistake - Petrov
(GMM)  Romain Grosjean should not have accepted Renault's offer of a race seat mid last year, according to his successor.

In 2009, the Swiss-born Frenchman Grosjean was paired with Russia's Vitaly Petrov at the Barwa Addax GP2 team.

But after the Hungarian GP in late July, Renault ousted Nelson Piquet Jr and replaced the Brazilian with reserve driver Grosjean.

The 23-year-old, however, failed to shine in the R29 car alongside Fernando Alonso, and after the final seven races of the 2009 season was not retained for the forthcoming season.

Petrov is bringing a reputed EUR15 million in funding to the newly restructured Enstone based team in 2010, and it is believed that if he does not meet a March 1 payment date, he could lose the seat.

The Russian 25-year-old insists it was Grosjean's "mistake" that cost him the full-time Renault role.

"Grosjean erred by landing in F1 in mid-season," Petrov is quoted as saying by France's Auto Hebdo.

"There was much more to lose than to win, especially with a car in which Alonso did not do any good.

"A team asked me in mid-2009 (to race) and I refused, and my father supported me," he revealed.  "It is necessary to start with a whole season (ahead)."

Petrov says Campos, Sauber were 2010 options
(GMM)  Vitaly Petrov has revealed that he could have signed with the Campos or BMW-Sauber teams for 2010.

The Russian rookie, who finished last year's GP2 championship in second place, will made his grand prix debut this season for Renault.

"I chose Renault, just as I could have chosen BMW-Sauber, for one simple reason," said the 25-year-old, whose funding purse is believed to be as high as EUR15 million.

"I will learn more and faster with a team that has been around for a long time," he insisted.

"It's better to be lost in the middle of a big city than in the middle of Siberia!" Petrov added.

More negative headlines for Flavio Briatore
(GMM)  Even in the wake of 'crashgate' and the ensuing saga about his motor racing ban, Flavio Briatore is still making headlines for the wrong reasons.

The 59-year-old Italian had retained his role as chairman of the London football club Queens Park Rangers, but it now emerges that he has stepped down.

Alongside Bernie Ecclestone, he bought into the club in September 2007, but in that time Briatore became known as the mastermind of 10 managerial changes and little progress on the field.

"My three years as chairman have been an exciting and incredible experience.  I'm proud to have helped save this historical club and to have contributed in paving the way to its future success," he said.

Briatore's departure has resulted in the family of wealthy steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal increasing its stake in the club, while Briatore and Ecclestone retain shareholdings.

It also emerges that Briatore is set for a London High Court battle with the former partner of his luxury UK fashion label Billionaire.

According to the Times, designer Angelo Galasso is claiming multi million pound damages because Briatore promised him a formal 20 per stake in the company.

"I'm really, really disappointed," said Galasso.  "Flavio kept saying 'trust me, trust me'.  But he didn't respect the deal.  He didn't respect me."

Briatore's lawyer did not reply to a request for comment.

Indonesia not ready for grand prix bid - Todt
(GMM)  Indonesia is not ready to push for a round of the formula one world championship, Jean Todt said last week.

During the FIA president's recent visit to the fourth most populous country in the world, rumors suggested Indonesia might be contemplating joining the sport's annual calendar in the near future.

Indonesia's premier circuit is the permanent Sental track, located 42 kilometers from the Jakarta toll gate.

"Of course, F1 is the pinnacle of motor sport and I must say it's encouraging to see the evolution of the sport in the region of Asia," Todt said during an interview with the Jakarta Post.

The Frenchman said that despite F1 featuring Asian rounds in Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore and now Korea, Indonesia should instead target a round of the World Touring Car Championship.

"I myself went to the Sentul (International) Circuit, and it was definitely not the standard formula one circuit, but I'm sure with some renovation, this circuit could be and host the touring car championship," said Todt.

He said F1 is not a feasible goal for Indonesia within the next five to ten years.

"Yes, not now," Todt confirmed.  "But the World Touring Car Championship is (feasible).

"It depends from where you start, it's a step-by-step progress.  If you want to make the F1 race you need a standard circuit.  At the moment you do not have one of that standard."

Too early to say Ferrari in front - Vettel
(GMM)  It is too soon to say Ferrari has stolen a march on its formula one rivals with the impressive F10 car.

That is the belief of Sebastian Vettel, after the recent eight days of testing at Jerez - and the previous test at Valencia - showed that the red car is arguably the best of the 2010 field.

The German, who drives for Red Bull, said his team as well as Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes are likely to be "close" together when the circus meets in Bahrain for next month's season opener.

"Ferrari has looked pretty strong," the 22-year-old told Austria's Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

"But all the top teams are making improvements to the cars, so there is more to come," said Vettel.

"It is still too early to assess how strong everyone really is," he added.

But while definitive conclusions might be premature, there are signs emerging about the teams' likely form.

McLaren's Jenson Button followed the new Mercedes car for a time at Jerez last week, and is quoted by Bild am Sonntag as revealing the rear of the W01 as "somewhat nervous" and locking under brakes.

In a form guide, the German newspaper gave full marks to Ferrari, adding that Red Bull is the next-best team followed by McLaren, Mercedes and Force India.

"I would put money on us," Adrian Sutil is quoted as saying, while Sauber, Renault and Williams have also impressed at times.

Peter Sauber told the Swiss newspaper Blick that Toro Rosso "made a strong impression" on him at recent tests with its new STR5 car.

"I think we're (going to be) between 8th and 12th, 8th and 15th," the Faenza based team's Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari told AS newspaper.

The teenager tipped Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren to be currently at the head of the pecking order.

"I think we are together with Renault, Sauber.  We never know what are Mercedes' fuel loads; they can be three or four seconds off the best and sometimes the fastest," added Alguersuari.

Germany's specialist Auto Motor und Sport said the pre-season hierarchy in formula one is as "balanced as it has ever been".

"Even after the third of four tests, no clear favorite for the title has emerged," read a report.

Mercedes' Schumacher said: "Barcelona will be an important test for everyone and give us more information about the performance of our cars."

Teixeira considers lawsuit after Campos deal
(GMM)  Tony Teixeira's lawyers are reportedly examining whether to sue the new formula one entrant Campos.

Amid the Spanish team's financial crisis, it was reported widely that the South African businessman and A1GP boss had agreed a deal to buy into Campos.

But rumors then emerged that Teixeira's money never materialized, and it was confirmed last Friday that team president Jose Ramon Carabante had taken over instead.

Globo claims that Carabante's takeover could be stopped in court, with Teixeira's lawyers looking into a possible lawsuit.

Teixeira reportedly claims he signed a contract with Adrian Campos and presented all the necessary bank guarantees to back up the deal.

News about Lopez's F1 future expected Monday
(GMM)  More could be known on Monday about Jose Maria Lopez's uncertain future in formula one, according to Spanish-language media reports.

The reports, citing "sources close to the" well-funded Argentine driver, said he is investigating his options in the wake of the news that his contracted 2010 employer USF1 is in dire financial strife.

USF1 team principal Ken Anderson acknowledged to the New York Times at the weekend that Lopez will now be "weighing his options", and the Spanish language reports say the prominent one is a switch to Campos.

The sources reveal that Lopez had a meeting with former USF1 investor Chad Hurley last Friday, strengthening speculation that the YouTube CEO is also looking to jump ship to Campos.

Lopez and his advisers are currently in England awaiting developments.

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