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Latest F1 news in brief
  • De la Rosa doubts new Ferrari engines ready for Sauber
  • Huge motor homes absent in Barcelona paddock
  • Alonso hopes for dry weekend in Barcelona
  • HRT to build own car for 2011 - Kolles
  • Schu admits 'more relaxed' but still 'serious' about F1
  • HRT is 'small step' back into F1 - Klien
  • Icelandic ash cloud threatens European skies again
  • FIR-TEX (Far Infrared Rays TEXtile) joins Red Bull Racing
  • Mercedes team extends deal with STL

Pedro de la Rosa
De la Rosa doubts new Ferrari engines ready for Sauber
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa does not think Ferrari's engine modifications will feature in the rear of the Sauber cars in Spain this weekend.

In the wake of several reliability problems at the first four races of 2010, Ferrari got clearance from the FIA to implement a design fix for Barcelona and beyond.

The Italian team said the "modifications will be fitted to the engines to be used in Spain".

But when asked if Sauber will also benefit at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend, de la Rosa said: "I very much doubt it."

The 39-year-old, however, said he did think the revised engines will be available for Sauber at subsequent grands prix.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that he and Michael Schumacher have had a questionable relationship in past years, de la Rosa thinks recent criticism of the German's F1 comeback this year has been unfair.

"I wouldn't so quickly judge someone who has won seven world championships.  I know him well and how good he is and I expect him to react," said de la Rosa, who returned to the grid in 2010 after a long stint as test driver.

Huge motor homes absent in Barcelona paddock
(GMM)  The impressive motor homes of the Red Bull, Mercedes and Force India teams are absent in the paddock of the first European grand prix of 2010.

After the initial run of overseas or 'flyaway' races, the Barcelona event is usually the F1 world's first annual glimpse of the teams' imposing temporary paddock buildings.

But in 2010, the Circuit de Catalunya event is followed just one week later by the prestigious Monaco grand prix.

Because there is not enough time to dismantle the huge structures and transport them several hundred kilometers across Europe, Red Bull and Mercedes have taken alternate hospitality units to Spain.

Red Bull's Barcelona solution is to use its test motor home, while Mercedes will be housed this weekend in one of its DTM buildings.

Switzerland's Blick newspaper reports that Red Bull's huge Energy Station is already being erected in the Monaco harbor.

McLaren's 'Brand Centre' is however standing in the Barcelona paddock, but Force India's refurbished three-storey structure will not be seen in Europe until the Turkish grand prix at the end of the month.

"In the meantime we will use a temporary motor home in Spain and Monaco while the new improved motor home is driven direct to Turkey," said team manager Andy Stevenson.

Alonso hopes for dry weekend in Barcelona
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso has admitted he is hoping for a dry grand prix this weekend.

The Spaniard won the dry opening race of the 2010 season, and despite also qualifying in the top three in Australia and China finished just fourth at the end of those chaotic rain-affected events.

In Malaysia, meanwhile, the Ferrari driver was caught out by the worsening weather in qualifying and started from a lowly 19th.

Forecasts have flagged the possibility of rain in the vicinity of the Circuit de Catalunya this week, even though the latest reports predict light rain on Saturday before a sunnier race-day.

"I hope it is dry," Spaniard Alonso said on Wednesday, "because the rain has really affected things in the last three grands prix.

"There has only been one normal weekend (in Bahrain) and we won," added the 28-year-old.

"Of course, winning again is the goal and the dream (this weekend) but a podium would satisfy me.

"After Bahrain we had a couple of fourths and a retirement, so three or four podiums in a row now could put us in a pretty good situation for the world championship," he is quoted as saying at a sponsor event in Madrid.

HRT to build own car for 2011 - Kolles
(GMM)  HRT will build its own car for the 2011 season, according to the new Spanish team's boss Colin Kolles.

After the car commissioned by the team's founder Adrian Campos and designed and built by Dallara was heavily criticized, Kolles confirmed that the contract with the Italian constructor has ended.

HRT's Romanian-born chief is believed to be close to announcing a deal with a wind tunnel, so the team can develop the Dallara car throughout 2010.

Kolles told sport1.de in an interview: "The next step is that we get our own development program running and then for 2011 build our own car.

"We are going to try to improve this car as much as possible.  But eventually we will have to draw a line and focus on next year," he added.

Kolles likened his vision for HRT to the team he formerly led at Silverstone, which since being sold by Jordan in 2004 is now a respected midfield outfit called Force India.

"For Force India it took five years.  We are going to try to do it in three," he said.

Kolles said he is the right man to be in charge of a fledgling F1 team.

"I cannot afford to do F1 personally, so I create value for other people.  I did it for Midland, for Spyker and the Mol family, and so on.  The team always sold for more money because it had developed.

"And people who know about it know that I am the only one who can do it.  I don't mean that arrogantly, it's quite simply because no one else has the infrastructure and the know-know," added Kolles.

He said James Key, the new technical director at Sauber, is a good example.

"I made him from simply an engineer into a technical director.  This is the strategy," said Kolles.  "We cannot afford superstars."

Schu admits 'more relaxed' but still 'serious' about F1
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher admits he is more relaxed now but denies this new attitude explains his lack of performance after returning to formula one in 2010.

In an interview with Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung, the seven time world champion said until his retirement in 2006 he was immersed in the "negative aspects" of formula one.

"It absolutely wore me down," said Schumacher, who has struggled to match the pace of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg so far this season.

He continued: "I believe people have noticed that how I was extremely dogged in the past I am now more calm, in a way that previously I was only able to be sometimes."

But as the criticism mounts, particularly after China where Schumacher struggled notably, he insists: "I have not lost any focus or my determination.

"I am still taking it seriously and am still very hard on myself.  In that way nothing has changed," said the record winner of 91 grands prix.

Schumacher admits his biggest problem with today's formula one is the tires.

"The narrower front tires, both for the dry and for the rain, I don't know from my past.  Each driver needs to learn how they behave and so my colleagues have a head-start."

He explained that where previously he would be using practice sessions to work on fine-tuning for the race, he is now feeling uncertain on Fridays as to how the weekend will develop.

HRT is 'small step' back into F1 - Klien
(GMM)  Christian Klien is happy to be back with an official role in formula one, but he acknowledges that being a third driver at HRT is a "small step".

Despite Sakon Yamamoto recently signing on in a similar capacity, the new Spanish team on Wednesday said 27-year-old Austrian Klien has been appointed as another test and reserve driver.

Austrian media reports quote him as saying: "I realize that it is only a small step to be third driver with a team at the back of the field.

"But it's a step in the right direction," added Klien.

The former Jaguar, Red Bull, Honda and BMW driver, as well as Japanese Yamamoto who has raced with Super Aguri and Spyker, have been referred to as 'reserve driver' by HRT.

Klien says it is "speculation" to assume that it will be him who is selected to replace Bruno Senna or Karun Chandhok should either of the race drivers be unable to drive.

"If one of them is unable to race, the FIA regulation is clear: the driver may be changed until Saturday before qualifying."

A team spokeswoman, meanwhile, said it has not yet been decided whether it will be Senna or Chandhok making way for Klien on Friday morning.

"I'm not wasting any thoughts on it," insisted Klien.  "The team, led by Colin Kolles, will decide what is best for the team."

The nomination must be made on Thursday before 4pm local.

Icelandic ash cloud threatens European skies again
(GMM)  The famous and unpronounceable Icelandic volcano could be set to once again disturb the travel plans of the formula one world.

European airports ground to a halt due to the dangerous ash cloud nearly three weeks ago, stranding the sport's travelling circus in China.

On Wednesday and early on Thursday, it emerged that the ash is threatening to once again drift over the north of Europe, and multiple British airports have already had flights cancelled.

When contacted, the European air traffic agency Eurocontrol admitted that hundreds of other flights across Europe could also be affected.

The Civil Aviation Authority said main airports serving London have not yet been disrupted, but the Icelandic Met Office warns that the volcanic eruptions "will continue at full force in the next days".

However, the situation is now far less severe for F1, in the wake of the initial 'flyaway' segment of the 2010 calendar.

The bulk of the equipment is transported by the teams to European venues by road, even if many of the personnel travel by plane for convenience.

FIR-TEX (Far Infrared Rays TEXtile) joins Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce that FIR-TEX (Far Infrared Rays TEXtile) has joined the team as an Innovation Partner. The agreement means that Red Bull Racing’s Pit Crew will wear FIR-TEX’s revolutionary FIR-VEST underneath its team clothing during the 2010 Grands Prix.

Shown to improve circulation, balance and wellbeing, the FIR-VEST is one of the new products produced by FIR-TEX. Using Far Infrared Rays (healthy radiations) which ‘switch on’ when activated by body heat, the vests have been shown to protect the wearer from stressful electromagnetic radiation and increase power and endurance – important aspects within the demanding world of Formula One.

Far Infrared Ray products are normally created with just three or four mineral oxides, but FIR-TEX products include dozens of the best quality mineral oxides which, when used together, have demonstrated unequalled performance results. In line with Formula One technology, every single one of FIR-TEX’s new formulas, specific oxides and application modes are kept completely secret.

Iwan Postel, co-founder and CEO of FIR-TEX Ltd said: “Everybody will agree that Formula One represents the peak of technological innovation, Red Bull is not only one of the best teams at the moment, but is also excellent at marketing. There was therefore no better partner for FIR-TEX as it starts unveiling a series of INNOVATION and ENDORSEMENT agreements.”

Mercedes team extends deal with STL
MERCEDES GP PETRONAS and STL Communications Limited are pleased to confirm an extension to their team partnership agreement which has seen the communications company work with the Brackley based Formula One team since its establishment in 1998. 

STL supports voice and data communications services including an Avaya Aura telephone system at the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS headquarters and on location at Grand Prix circuits around the world. The team uses STL GreenMinutes service, the environmentally sustainable lines and calls system that helps organizations work smarter and greener. 

Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS, commented: "We are delighted to extend our partnership with STL who have worked for the team for a considerable period of time. This experience and knowledge enables STL to understand our business intimately and achieve the tight deadlines that Formula One requires. We look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with them over the course of the 2010 season." 

Brendon Cross, Managing Director of STL Communications Limited commented: "We have supplied communication solutions to the team for over a decade now and are delighted to be continuing our relationship with MERCEDES GP PETRONAS. As the team's supplier of voice and data communications, STL has a thorough understanding of the requirements needed to support a successful Formula One team at race venues across the world from the factory in Brackley. The continuing collaboration between STL and MERCEDES GP PETRONAS demonstrates an important synergy between two organizations who share the drive for success through technology, innovation and team work."

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