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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Teams work hard on refining own F-duct systems
  • Raikkonen still not ruling out F1 return
  • More Hamilton breaches will be penalized - Alonso
  • Valencia GP future not in doubt - official
  • Spanish official eyes sponsors for beleaguered de la Rosa

Teams work hard on refining own F-duct systems
(GMM)  Ross Brawn has conceded that Mercedes' full 'F-duct' system might not be ready to debut in Barcelona next weekend.

The Brackley based team introduced an initial "passive" version of the downforce-spoiling rear wing device in China, as efforts to fully emulate McLaren's innovative system continue at the factory.

Unlike McLaren's system, Mercedes' Shanghai F-duct was not operated by the driver, with air instead being cleverly 'flicked' at increasingly higher speeds through a slot in the rear wing.

"We're still working on the proper system which we're having in Barcelona or Istanbul.  There's no point in having it in Monaco," said Brawn.

"It is complicated to get to work properly," the team boss added.

It is a similar story at Ferrari, where only some parts of a full F-duct system appeared on the F10 car in Shanghai.

"We are working on the F-duct and more progress could be made for Barcelona, although that's not confirmed yet," Fernando Alonso is quoted as saying by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.

"It is not an easy system, but I know the team is working hard to make it available as soon as possible," the Ferrari driver added.

Meanwhile, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that a further development of Sauber's China-specification F-duct will be debuted on the C29 in Spain next weekend.

Williams also had problems with its initial F-duct in Shanghai, and technical director Sam Michael is not expecting a quick fix.

"I expect it will take us a couple of months to get it working properly," said the Australian.

Raikkonen still not ruling out F1 return
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen insists he still has not made a decision about returning to formula one in 2011.

After agreeing to end his Ferrari contract a year early late in 2009, the Finn signed on with Red Bull and Citroen and then endured a difficult and crash-laden start to his new career in the World Rally Championship.

But early this month in Jordan, 30-year-old Raikkonen became the first driver since Carlos Reutemann to score points in both F1 and world rallying.

And then shortly after declaring he is not missing formula one, he finished less than 7 minutes behind winner Sebastien Loeb in Turkey for fifth place.

But when asked if his recent results make it more likely he will stick with rallying in 2011, Raikkonen told Turun Sanomat newspaper: "It has not turned in any direction.

"There is no rush for me to make decisions.  We'll have to see what are the possibilities and what for me is the most interesting -- what I enjoy the most and what it is I most want to do," he added.

"We will see at a point some time later this year," said Raikkonen.

Famously not fond of F1's off-track activities and pressures, and ruing the lost days of characters like James Hunt, Raikkonen's observers agree that he seems happier in the rallying world.

"If the F1 world could go back 20 years, it would be the same as rallying now," he said.  "It (rallying) is still professional but in just a bit more of a relaxed style."

More Hamilton breaches will be penalized - Alonso
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton will be penalized if he does not tidy up his driving, according to Fernando Alonso.

The pair clashed memorably during Alonso's ill-fated single season at McLaren in 2007, but have since confirmed their professional friendship is now intact.

But three years after the turmoil of 2007, the Spanish press is generally no fonder of Hamilton.  At a media event in the country this week, Alonso was asked if he thinks the British driver is favored by F1 officials.

In Malaysia, Hamilton received a warning for weaving in front of Vitaly Petrov, and then in China he was merely reprimanded for his pitlane stoush with Sebastian Vettel.

"No, I don't think Hamilton is in any kind of privileged position," Ferrari's Alonso is quoted as responding by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.

"The truth is that perhaps the decisions have been a little inconsistent, because other times it (Hamilton's moves) would be punishable, but I don't think it's important.

"Lewis has had some warnings and if he does something in the next race, however little, there will be penalties because of the last two races," added Alonso.

Valencia GP future not in doubt - official
(GMM)  The future of the European grand prix at Valencia is not in doubt, Spanish motor racing chief Carlos Gracia insists.

At the second running of the race around the port city's streets last August, attendance was so low that it was rumored Valencia might soon drop off the calendar.

Promoter Valmor's race contract runs until 2014.

But members of the F1 circus as well as spectators have bemoaned a lack of atmosphere at the venue, and last year's 57-lap race staged not even a single conventional overtaking maneuver.

Within Spain, it has been rumored that even Valmor have been recently less than enthusiastic about the future of the event.

But Gracia, the head of Spain's motor racing federation, said he is hearing a different message from Valmor after a recent meeting.

"Last year they were not positive but now they have told me that they are fulfilling religiously all the years they have left on the contract," he is quoted as saying by AS newspaper.

Spanish official eyes sponsors for beleaguered de la Rosa
(GMM)  Spain's motor racing federation is helping Pedro de la Rosa to secure some personal sponsorship.

Carlos Gracia, a friend and supporter of the Spanish driver and also president of the Real Federacion Espanola de Automoviliso (RFEDA), was responding to yet more speculation about the future of de la Rosa's Sauber race seat.

After boss Peter Sauber expressed dismay with the time it is taking the 39-year-old to reacclimatize to racing, pay drivers including Pastor Maldonado and Luca Filippi have been linked with his job.

"Today there is no indication that he (de la Rosa) will not finish the season with them," Gracia is quoted as saying by AS newspaper.

He added: "In Pedro's contract he does not have to contribute money, but we are working on getting some sponsors."

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