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DATE News (chronologically)
06/23/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief
  • Red Bull to stay with Renault, eyes 2011 KERS deal
  • Briatore takes back possession of seized yacht
  • Alguersuari happy with 'best' team Toro Rosso
  • Race date change boosts Valencia ticket sales
  • Horner not ruling out gearbox change for Vettel
  • FIA to respond to Hamilton fuel incident with new rule

Renault RS27 engine
Red Bull to stay with Renault, eyes 2011 KERS deal
(GMM)  Red Bull will "probably" remain with Renault engine power into the 2011 season, team consultant Helmut Marko has revealed.

Team principal Christian Horner said earlier this month that while "happy" with the French supplier, "the engine has maybe 20 or 30 horse power less" than the leading Mercedes unit.

But Mercedes figures including Norbert Haug and Ross Brawn said subsequently that the German marque should not expand beyond supplying Mercedes GP, McLaren and Force India next year.

"As according to statements we apparently cannot have the Mercedes engine, we will probably stay with Renault," Austrian Marko is quoted by the German magazine Sport Bild.

And with the return in 2011 of energy recovery technology KERS, it is even possible that the relationship between Red Bull and Renault will expand.

"We will either use Renault's system, or we will buy it from their supplier Magneti Marelli and adapt it ourselves," said Marko.

Briatore gets his yacht back
Briatore takes back possession of seized yacht
(GMM)  Italian police have handed back Flavio Briatore's luxury yacht.

The former Renault boss' 60-metre boat 'Force Blue' was seized a month ago on suspicion of tax fraud.

But according to a report in the Spanish newspaper Diario Sport, Briatore has taken back possession with two conditions.

The first is a deposit of 5 million euros, and the promise that the boat will not leave Mediterranean waters.

The Sunday Times said in May that the evasion of millions in taxes could cost Briatore, expelled from F1 for the 2009 crashgate scandal, EUR 40 million in fines or a six-year prison sentence.

The 60-year-old denies any wrongdoing.

"It was a big television production by the police and completely unfair, so we are fighting them now," he told the Telegraph.

"That boat was a commercial boat with a 50 million euro turnover in the past four years, but the police seem to think that was all for me."

Briatore does not deny using the boat, and claims he is supported by seven Italian MPs who have written to the government "to find out what happened".

"Of course, I use the yacht, because if you are going to own a business, it may as well be one you can enjoy -- otherwise, I would have bought a funeral home."

Alguersuari happy with 'best' team Toro Rosso
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari is happy with the performance of his formula one employer.

Toro Rosso is just eighth in the 2010 world championship with 8 points, ahead only of Sauber and F1's three new teams.

But rookie Alguersuari, who made his debut at short notice to replace the struggling Sebastien Bourdais mid last year, insists the Faenza based outfit is the "best team of people".

After four years of using a customer car designed by Red Bull, Toro Rosso built the STR5 and Alguersuari calls it a "miracle".

"Toro Rosso has a budget that is barely 80 million euros but they have built the car without relying on (owner) Red Bull and achieved a more than acceptable outcome," he is quoted by the EFE news agency.

Alguersuari also thinks the 2010 season is the "best and most dramatic at least in the last ten years".

"The FIA has a lot to do with it," he states, "because the common electronics, the single tire brand and the unfortunate lack of testing has led to no one having a dominant position."

Race date change boosts Valencia ticket sales
(GMM)  Valencia's earlier date for its grand prix this weekend has resulted in higher ticket sales.

Last year, high ambient temperatures and clashing Spanish holidays meant spectator numbers were low for the European grand prix in late August.

Valencia's street race was moved to late June for this season, amid suggestions the real problem is that the layout does not produce good racing.

"The city is making an enormous effort but I assume there's a long way to go," F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said in an interview with Spain's El Mundo newspaper.

"The change of date is helping the ticket sales, as well as the signing of Fernando Alonso with Ferrari," he added.

In AS newspaper, race promoter Valmor's boss Jorge Martinez Aspar confirmed that ticket sales for this weekend's event have gone "well beyond the sales of last year".

"There will not be as many people as in the first year (2008), but it is much better than last year," Aspar added.

A warm and sunny weekend of weather is expected in the port city this weekend, with the only possibility of light rain forecast for Friday.

Horner not ruling out gearbox change for Vettel
(GMM)  Christian Horner is not ruling out a five-place grid penalty for Sebastian Vettel in Valencia.

Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber lost his front-row starting place in Canada due to needing a precautionary gearbox change prior to the race.

And Vettel finished the Montreal race with a different gearbox problem, meaning that if it needs to be changed at Valencia during its four-race life, the German will also be penalized.

According to a report in the Cologne publication Express, there is a possibility the Montreal gearbox is damaged.

Horner is quoted as saying Vettel's problem in Canada was "an oil leakage".

But as for whether the gearbox will be changed, the team's British boss added: "We must look into that."

FIA to respond to Hamilton fuel incident with new rule
(GMM)  A clear rule is likely to be written into the regulations as a response to the incident at the end of qualifying in Canada.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton was fined and reprimanded by stewards for driving too slowly on his Q3 in-lap and then stopping on the circuit, so that enough fuel was left in the tank for a test sample.

"We must not come to a situation where cars run out of fuel after their last lap because they want to be qualifying as light as possible," FOTA technical chairman Ross Brawn said in Montreal.

The situation was reportedly discussed in a meeting on the Sunday of the race, with the FIA's Charlie Whiting clarifying that drivers who run out of fuel during subsequent qualifying sessions will be summoned to the stewards.

And according to reports in Finland's Turun Sanomat and Autosprint in Italy, the issue was further discussed on Monday at the F1 Commission, ahead of the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Geneva on Wednesday.

It is believed a new rule will require a certain amount of fuel to be in the tank after the final qualifying segment.

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