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DATE News (chronologically)
04/16/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Icelandic volcano affects F1 world in China
  • Few miles for Ferrari's F-duct in China
  • Massa says no in-race team orders at Ferrari
  • Upright failure caused Buemi crash - team
  • Friday news briefs from China
  • Kolles plays down criticisms of HRT's Dallara car
  • De la Rosa not worried about rumors of losing seat

Icelandic volcano affects F1 world in China
(GMM)  An erupting volcano in Iceland has affected the world of formula one.

The dark cloud of smoke from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano that is now shrouding most of north Europe forced thousands of flights to be cancelled.

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan is one high profile regular stranded in Britain due to the airport strife, and it is believed that Williams did not run its new F-duct in first practice because the parts could not be flown to China from the UK.

It is believed that Virgin is missing some staff and last-minute parts.

The situation could also affect the F1 circus' return to Europe after Sunday's race.

"For several days you'll have crews and planes in the wrong places," said a British Airways spokesman.  "It will take a few days to sort it out."

Few miles for Ferrari's F-duct in China
(GMM)  Ferrari's new F-duct system did not get many miles under its belt during initial Friday practice in Shanghai.

The McLaren-type device was fitted only to Fernando Alonso's F10, and the Spaniard did not even complete a timed flying lap before his engine failed.

Ferrari referred to the F-duct on Friday morning as a "blowing rear wing system", and said the one running on Alonso's car in China is "not the complete one".

Meanwhile, it emerges that Williams did not use its own new F-duct on Friday morning, perhaps because the parts were held up in Europe due to the Icelandic volcano smoke cloud.

It was also rumored in Shanghai that, while Red Bull continues to deny having any such device aboard the RB6, Ferrari's drivers might be altering the ride-height of their cars during the pitstops.

This solution, because the change is not occurring during parc ferme conditions or while the car is in motion, would theoretically be legal, and Felipe Massa welcomed the FIA's recent rule clarification.

"I think it is important that the conditions are the same for everybody," said the Brazilian.

Massa says no in-race team orders at Ferrari
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has denied that standing team orders are in place at Ferrari.

It is rumored that when Red Bull's drivers are running first and second this season, they are not to attack one another, while the leading driver is given first call on the timing of his pitstop.

But when asked if the same arrangement exists between himself and Fernando Alonso at Ferrari, Massa said in China: "No.

"Neither of us will do something stupid, that's obvious, but we are fighting against each other, just like everyone else on the track," he is quoted as saying in the Spanish media.

"But we respect each other, for sure."

Massa also indicated that Ferrari is deciding on a "race by race" basis about the drivers' pit strategies.

Upright failure caused Buemi crash - team
(GMM)  An initial investigation has identified the cause of Sebastian Buemi's frightening incident during first practice in China.

The 21-year-old Swiss driver speared into the barrier and then the gravel trap after both front suspension assemblies and wheels sheared off under heavy braking.

The Faenza based team is said to have identified the cause as an suspension arm failure on a front-right upright on the STR5.

The SID news agency said the left suspension assembly simultaneously failed because of the loads placed on it due to the original failure.

The suspension pieces were new and also newly designed, so an older design will be fitted to both Buemi and teammate Jaime Alguersuari's cars for second practice.

"I think it was a material error, or errors in the handling of the material.  But we can only investigate it in the factory," said team boss Franz Tost.

Buemi was declared unhurt after a brief visit to the circuit medical centre.

Friday news briefs from China
(GMM)  As he returned to his practice driving duties on Friday morning in China, Paul di Resta was presented with a special pair of racing boots.

The rookie reserve driver turns 24 on Friday, and Force India marked the occasion with custom boots bearing the Scottish saltire and a leaping tiger.

Sir Frank Williams turns 68 on Friday.

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On the way to the start of the Rally of Turkey, Kimi Raikkonen drove past the F1 circuit in Istanbul, but insists he does not miss the sport he conquered in 2007.

"If I missed it I wouldn't be here, I'd be there," said the Finn, amid rumors he could replace Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2011.

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McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is sporting a short beard on his chin this weekend in Shanghai.

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Friday's weather in Shanghai is better than it was on Wednesday and Thursday, but it is still uncharacteristically cold in China's largest city.  There is 20 per cent chance of rain on Sunday.

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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has welcomed the settlement reached between the FIA and Flavio Briatore, who was previously banned for life over the crashgate scandal.

"I am pleased for Briatore," the Italian is quoted as saying by La Stampa.  "Jean Todt's decision is wise and timely."

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Robert Kubica is wearing a black armband in China this weekend, while a picture of a Polish flag is on the headrest of his Renault car, to mark the recent death of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski's wife and 94 others in a plane crash last Saturday.

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A big bump in the braking zone of turn 1 was causing headaches during first practice in China on Friday.  The bump broke a front wing on a Virgin car, while something also broke off a Lotus.  Virgin said on Twitter that "lots of people" had similar problems.

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Felipe Massa in China reiterated that he is not overly worried about the rumors linking Robert Kubica with his Ferrari seat for 2011.

"First it was Valentino (Rossi) coming, then it was Alonso and Vettel.  With Fernando they were saying it three years ago, and what changed for me?  Nothing," the Brazilian is quoted as saying in the French press.

Kolles plays down criticisms of HRT's Dallara car
(GMM)  Colin Kolles has played down reported criticisms of HRT's car designer Dallara, but confirms that the contract with the Italian company has been terminated.

The team's new technical boss Geoff Willis was the first to criticize the quality of the F110 car, and earlier this week business affairs boss Manfredi Ravetto slammed Dallara's contribution as a "total mess".

It is now suggested that the Spanish team will embark on its own development program for the car, rather than rely any longer on Parma-based Dallara.

"These plans (of HRT) have nothing to do with criticisms of Dallara," team principal Kolles said in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"These are two different things.  The criticisms, after I spoke with the people (involved), were perhaps misinterpreted and misquoted," he added.

"That is point number one.  Point number two is how the team will work in the future.  It was clear from the outset that the contract with Dallara is completed.

"It ended on the date on which we ran our cars.  That we might consider continuing with Dallara is only one out of three or four options," said Kolles.

De la Rosa not worried about rumors of losing seat
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa has played down rumors he could soon lose his Sauber race seat.

After several years as McLaren's test driver, the Spanish 39-year-old was drafted in for his experience by Peter Sauber.

But Sauber, 66, recently expressed doubts about the Swiss team's 2010 lineup, and particularly the time it is taking de la Rosa to reacclimatize to racing.

"It is best to ask Peter Sauber but it (Sauber's comments) is something that does not worry me," de la Rosa is quoted as saying by Spain's AS newspaper.

"I am very calm, I want to be here for as long as possible and I want to improve -- that is my concern.  Making the car faster (is important), not getting into rumors that just waste time," he added.

De la Rosa denies that he is struggling at the wheel of the C29.

"I think I took three days to get back into it, when I said that I was a little rusty.  From then I feel very good and that I have been driving well.

"What has happened is we have had very poor reliability, but that is down to isolated cases, so I'm concentrating on my work and on getting points when we can."

It has been suggested that Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, with some big sponsors in tow, would be first in line for de la Rosa's seat, but the Spaniard dismissed it as "just a rumor".

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