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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Toro Rosso's Tost rues customer car ban
  • Ecclestone eyes Russian GP at Sochi in 2014
  • Hankook eyes F1 tire supply deal in near future
  • Mercedes still working to improve F-duct
  • F1 must make do with Montreal track facilities - promoter

Toro Rosso's Tost rues customer car ban
(GMM)  Franz Tost believes F1 teams should still be able to run a 'customer car' acquired from active competitors.

Since the Faenza based team was sold by Minardi in 2005, and until last year, Toro Rosso raced a chassis based on the car fielded by sister team Red Bull Racing.

But in 2010, due to a rule clarification, the team had to build up its Italian base and staff in order to design and construct its own car, the current Ferrari-powered STR5.

"Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that this rule is wrong," team boss Tost is quoted in the latest edition of Auto Bild Motorsport.

"With an intensive collaboration between two teams, you could cut the budget in half," adding that the lower half of the grid would also be more competitive.

However, Tost is also happy with the current situation, with Red Bull owning and operating two separate teams.

"It works perfectly: Red Bull going for the world championship, and Toro Rosso working with the next generation.

"Our current drivers Sebastien Buemi and Jamie Alguersuari are on the right track and have great futures," added the Austrian.

Tost also thinks team owner Dietrich Mateschitz is happy.

"At the moment I don't see any signs of a sale.  In the (finance company) Money Service Group from Liechtenstein we also have our first own sponsor," he said.

Ecclestone eyes Russian GP at Sochi in 2014
(GMM)  2014 has been earmarked as a potential inaugural date for a grand prix in Russia.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said in April that up to three venues were in the running for the Russian event, but that there is "a big push" from the resort city Sochi.

Located just north of the Georgian border and fronting the Black Sea, Sochi will also host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"He (Ecclestone) suggests holding the first grand prix in autumn 2014," deputy regional development minister Yuri Reilyan is quoted by the business daily Vedomosti.

He added that Russia is ready to green-light construction of a circuit as soon as Ecclestone can "guarantee that the race will definitely take place, and the circuit will not be abandoned in the future".

The cost of the facility, to be built in the region of the Olympic Park in the Imeretinskaya Valley, is estimated at $200 million.

A draft project has already been agreed with regular F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke.

"It's too early to speak about the budget.  The final project is yet to be worked out, it will be done by an organization committee to be established by the end of this year," said Reilyan.

Hankook eyes F1 tire supply deal in near future
(GMM)  Hankook is no longer in the running to supply tires to F1 teams in 2011, but the Korean company is not ruling out another bid within the next "two or three years".

Michelin, Kumho and Avon were also interested in replacing the sport's departing official supplier Bridgestone, but it is believed Pirelli is now in pole position for the deal.

But executive vice president Hyan Bum Cho told the Sydney Morning Herald that Seoul-based Hankook might be interested in succeeding the Italian marque.

"Currently we do have a little Le Mans team, and some rally teams here and there, and we try to sell some motor sports tires," he is quoted by the Australian newspaper.

"In the future we want to have some hefty market share in that segment.  It's quite profitable, but in order to really leverage from motor sports in terms of brands, you need to participate in either world rally championship or a very high segment in Le Mans, or formula one," added Cho.

"So in the future that's the target that we have, to participate in those segments.  And that's going to cost a lot of money, a lot of development cost, a lot of investment, and also how to run these operations with experience."

Hankook's Cho confirmed that becoming the new formula one supplier next year was discussed.

"Probably you know that Mr. Ecclestone has some trouble with tires this year.  I talked to him personally (but) we decided not to go on with the program.

"He needed a tire very, very quick, and we could not prepare it," Cho admitted.

"But we had a very good talk and maybe we'll have a shot for next term, or another term."

Mercedes still working to improve F-duct
(GMM)  Top teams including Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes are struggling to implement the 'F-duct' concept in 2010.

McLaren pioneered the initially controversial technology with its current car the MP4-25, where the driver triggers an airflow through the rear wing that boosts top speeds on the straights.

Sauber, Williams and Force India have emulated the system, but at top teams Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes, the implementation has been troubled.

Fernando Alonso blames the aero engineers' focus on the technology as a reason for Ferrari falling behind in 2010, while Red Bull tested an F-duct in Turkey but will work on the system at its UK base while the race team is in Canada this weekend.

"We still need to work on our F-duct," Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn said in an interview with Italy's Autosprint magazine.  "It is difficult to make it work well with the (rear) wing."

Theoretically, given the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's long straights, teams with the leading Mercedes engine should be looking forward to Montreal.

"The (track) is all about top speed so we have worked very hard on this, especially as we know that we are not right at the top in that area," admitted Michael Schumacher.

F1 must make do with Montreal track facilities - promoter
(GMM)  The facilities at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are good enough for formula one, according to race promoter Francois Dumonitier.

With 24 teams now squeezed into the modest Montreal pit building, it would be easy to negatively compare the Canadian venue with the likes of Shanghai, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi.

"It is this place that reminds me more than any other track on the F1 calendar of the look and feel of what it was like to go to Mosport to attend the first ever Canadian grand prix in 1967," wrote New York Times correspondent Brad Spurgeon in 2008, F1's most recent visit to Montreal.

But promoter Dumontier insists the world of F1 will need to make do.

"They need to put water in their wine," he is quoted by French language RDS television.

"They are fortunate to go on tours where governments have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities.  The essence is the race track and I think that our facilities are adequate," Dumontier insists.

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