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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Ecclestone says Rome will not replace Monza
  • Broken foot for Adrian Campos
  • Schu's teammate Rosberg has no plans to flee
  • Heidfeld would rather watch than race at back
  • Angry Bell not ruling out knee-gate protest
  • Fauzy to drive Lotus in Bahrain practice - boss

Ecclestone says Rome will not replace Monza
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has given his personal assurance that Rome is not set to replace historic Monza on the formula one calendar.

"Don't worry: the grand prix of Italy is staying at Monza," Enrico Gelpi, president of the Italian sanctioning body ACI, is quoted as saying by Il Messaggero.

Gelpi sought out Ecclestone, the F1 chief executive, at the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on Thursday.

His informal meeting followed news that Ecclestone, 79, is set to add a Rome street race to the calendar in 2013, with the Italian capital rumored to be willing to pay significantly more than Monza for the hosting rights.

"Ecclestone's assurance, as we have repeatedly confirmed, is that there has never existed the possibility to separate Monza from the Italian grand prix," said Gelpi.

Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said: "Ecclestone's clarification confirms what we have said for some time.  There is no competition between the two races (Monza and Rome)."

Broken foot for Adrian Campos
(GMM)  HRT founder Adrian Campos has broken his foot.

The 49-year-old former Minardi driver, whose Spanish outfit almost collapsed and was taken over and renamed ahead of the 2010 season, remains at HRT as executive vice president.

Campos is currently hobbling around on crutches.

"It was a stupid accident," he is quoted as saying by the German-language Speedweek.

"I tripped and broke my foot at home.  Now I have to wear a plaster for two weeks," revealed Campos.

According to former F1 driver Alex Wurz, HRT should have considered retaining the Campos name.

"In English, HRT stands for Hormone Replacement Therapy," the Austrian laughed in conversation with Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell, referring to the menopause and sex change treatment.

Schu's teammate Rosberg has no plans to flee
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg has revealed he wants to stay at Mercedes GP for "a long time".

After four mainly fallow seasons with Williams, the 24-year-old thought he was switching to Brawn for 2010 to have Jenson Button as his teammate.

Ultimately, amid the Mercedes takeover, the great Michael Schumacher decided to launch a F1 comeback, leaving Rosberg alongside F1's most famous 'number 1' driver.

But the Brackley based team has vowed equality between Schumacher and Rosberg, and it is rumored that the younger German is in fact the most comfortable at the wheel of the new W01 car.

And he told Finland's Turun Sanomat: "I want to continue in this team for a long time.

"It is a real top team, and we have a strong capacity to win championships into the future," added Rosberg.

Heidfeld would rather watch than race at back
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld insists he has no regrets, despite having to sit out the 2010 season on the sidelines.

After gambling on securing a competitive race seat, the 32-year-old veteran - who arrived in Bahrain on Thursday - has ultimately had to settle for the reserve role at Mercedes GP.

And amid much criticism of F1's three uncompetitive new teams, Heidfeld is quoted as saying by the German-language Speedweek: "I stand by my decision to be here at Mercedes rather than standing still at the back."

Timo Glock, who has moved from the departed Toyota to Virgin, tried to quieten some of the criticism of the new teams including Lotus and HRT.

"I think some people have forgotten the difficult times until very recently in F1.  We have only two (car) manufacturers still here.

"The other teams should be happy and grateful that we are making up the field," the German told Auto Motor und Sport.

Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen, at McLaren for the past two seasons, said the din about four second gaps and dangerous closing speeds is just noise.

"It doesn't matter whether it (the laptime gap) is one and a half or four seconds," he told Finland's Turun Sanomat.

"The drivers should be able to control their cars," added the Finn.

Kovalainen has topped one timesheet in Bahrain.  In the FIA test on Thursday to prove a driver can get out of his car within 5 seconds, the 28-year-old leapt out of the green T127 and replaced the steering wheel in a record 3.4s.

Angry Bell not ruling out knee-gate protest
(GMM)  Bob Bell has refused to rule out lodging a protest after the FIA cleared McLaren's controversial aerodynamic trick for the 2010 season.

Within minutes of the green light shining for opening practice at the Bahrain season opener on Friday morning, Renault's technical boss delivered a scathing verdict on what could become known as 'knee-gate'.

Asked about the monocoque air inlet that is triggered by the drivers' left knee on the MP4-25, Irishman Bell said the Woking based team had "driven a concourse through the spirit of the regulations".

He said it was a "joke" and "nonsense" that the FIA had green lighted the "completely illegal" innovation, which will now spark an "arms race" within pitlane.

When asked by BBC radio if Renault will submit an official protest, an angry Bell answered: "I honestly couldn't comment on that, to be honest."

Fauzy to drive Lotus in Bahrain practice - boss
(GMM)  Test driver Fairuz Fauzy will get some track time at the wheel of the Lotus T127 this weekend in Bahrain.

"He will be testing," said team boss Tony Fernandes on Friday before departing Kuala Lumpur for the Middle East.

Malaysian Fauzy, 27, is the new Lotus team's test driver.

Race drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen kicked off running at Sakhir on Friday morning.

Added Fernandes: "He (Fauzy) will be taking the car in the free practice.  He has done an absolutely superb job."

He said Fauzy will also drive in practice in Australia and Malaysia, the forthcoming rounds of the world championship, and hinted that a race seat might be on the future's horizon.

"He is so determined and I think he would be a fantastic role model for all Malaysians.  I hope we will be able to make his dream come true soon," said Fernandes.

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