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DATE News (chronologically)
05/04/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Todt to visit 2011 hopeful Epsilon Euskadi on Tuesday
  • Mercedes not yet ready to win - Rosberg
  • Mercedes 'could be in front' in Spain - Horner
  • Schu will not 'revive' old form - Briatore
  • Button not among F1's fastest five - Briatore
  • Heidfeld to welcome third child to family

Todt to visit 2011 hopeful Epsilon Euskadi on Tuesday
(GMM)  Epsilon Euskadi could be set to take another step towards becoming F1's thirteenth and final team for the 2011 season.

We reported in March that the Spanish outfit would apply for the berth following the FIA's invitation for expressions of interest.

The initial process ended on 15 April, with interested teams to lodge full applications by the end of June followed by "due diligence leading to a decision in July".

It emerged on Monday that FIA president Jean Todt was set to travel to Spain on Tuesday for a meeting with the Spanish sports minister Jaime Lissavetsky and the head of Spain's motor racing federation Carlos Gracia.

A press conference is then scheduled for the afternoon.

Spain's El Pais newspaper reports that Todt will visit Epsilon Euskadi's Azkoitia headquarters in view of the team making its formula one debut in 2011.

Epsilon Euskadi, involved in junior single seater categories as well as Le Mans with a prototype car, applied to make its F1 debut this year but was beaten to the places by USF1, HRT, Lotus, Virgin and Sauber.

Its boss is Joan Villadelprat, who for decades worked in F1 with McLaren, Ferrari, Benetton, Tyrrell and Prost.

Mercedes not yet ready to win - Rosberg
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg has played down boss Ross Brawn's claim that he is close to winning his first grand prix.

The 24-year-old German has outpaced teammate Michael Schumacher at every race in 2010 so far, finished the last two grands prix on the podium, and is second in the drivers' championship.

"Nico is very close to winning a race," Brawn said, ahead of a substantial car upgrade for the weekend's Spanish grand prix.

But Rosberg told the German news agency DPA: "It would be nice, but we must be realistic.

"At Mercedes we are not yet in a position to win, but in the coming weeks we should make some big steps and I'm hoping to make good progress."

As for the W01 winning in Barcelona this weekend, he insisted: "That would be expecting too much.  But I do hope we can narrow the gap to Red Bull."

Rosberg said earlier this season that, with F1's most famous driver occupying the other side of the garage, he is being very careful with his words in 2010.

When asked on Monday if he is surprised to find himself as Mercedes' number one, he answered: "So far I'm very pleased with how my season has gone.

"I am especially happy to be second in the championship.  I'm happy to have been ahead of Michael so far, but it is still too early to make comparisons."

Asked if he knows why he is faster than Schumacher, Rosberg said: "No.  I only know that I have a good feeling with the car and am able to get a lot out of it."

Mercedes 'could be in front' in Spain - Horner
(GMM)  Christian Horner does not agree that immediately aiming for race wins is an unrealistic target for Mercedes.

The grey W01 car is set to feature major revisions in Spain this weekend, but the team's pacesetter Nico Rosberg has denied that it means victory is now within Mercedes' grasp.

But also amid some reports that are writing off Michael Schumacher's chances of making a big step in Barcelona, Red Bull's Horner said: "They (Schumacher and Mercedes) have already shown what they can do."

The Briton is referring to Schumacher's record tally of 91 wins and seven titles, and the fact that as Brawn GP, the Brackley based team won both the drivers' and the constructors' championships last year.

Red Bull's RB6 until now has been the fastest on the 2010 grid, but Horner said "writing off teams and drivers that have won world championships" is a "mistake you must never make".

"Things can change very quickly," he said in the latest edition of the German sports magazine Kicker.

"That's why Mercedes could suddenly be in front in Barcelona," added Horner.

Schu will not 'revive' old form - Briatore
(GMM)  Flavio Briatore does not think Michael Schumacher will ever again demonstrate the form that netted him seven world titles until his initial retirement.

Three years after vacating his Ferrari cockpit in 2006, Schumacher has so far struggled to match his teammate Nico Rosberg at the wheel of Mercedes' 2010 car.

Pundits are split on whether the 41-year-old is past his prime or simply taking time to get up to speed.

Briatore, no longer involved in F1 in the wake of last year's Renault crashgate scandal, was team boss at Benetton at the time of Schumacher's first back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995.

Italian reports quote the 60-year-old as saying the German "will not revive" the form of his first career.

"I always said that Michael would find it tough against Rosberg," said Briatore.

"This year is going to be uncomfortable for him because there have never been so many good drivers fighting to win grands prix," he added.

Button not among F1's fastest five - Briatore
(GMM)  Flavio Briatore has denied likening Jenson Button last year to a concrete bollard, but admits he does not highly rate F1's reigning champion and current championship leader.

When a younger and less focused Button struggled at Briatore-led Benetton in 2001, the Italian said his British driver was so slow at Monaco it seemed he was scouting for a new place to moor his yacht.

And in 2009, when Button was driving a Brawn and running away with the title amid the double-diffuser controversy, Briatore said the 30-year-old was a "paracarro" -- an Italian word for a concrete roadside post.

But one year later, Button is not only the reigning world champion, he has also impressed the F1 world by showing well alongside the highly rated Lewis Hamilton and winning two of his first four races at the wheel of a McLaren.

Briatore is quoted as saying in Italian reports: "I never said he (Button) was not good, but for me he is not among the five fastest drivers in the world."

Heidfeld to welcome third child to family
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld is set to welcome a third child to his family.

The Mercedes reserve driver's wife Patricia is pregnant, according to the German newspaper Bild.

Domiciled in Stafa, Switzerland, they already have two young children, a daughter Juni (4) and son Joda (2).

"We're really looking forward to our third child," the veteran of 169 grands prix, who turns 33 in a few days, confirmed.

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