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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Mercedes 'not interested' in Ferrari designer Tombazis
  • Renault not using F-duct in Valencia
  • HRT's Senna not worried about 107pc rule return
  • F1 teams to test Pirelli tires in Abu Dhabi
  • Pirelli denies FIA relationship already strained
  • Reliability now Red Bull's priority - Marko

Mercedes 'not interested' in Ferrari designer Tombazis
(GMM)  Ferrari has denied that Nicholas Tombazis is being replaced.

Athens born Tombazis has been the Italian team's chief designer since joining from McLaren in 2006.

But it emerged this week that Ferrari has signed McLaren's joint chief engineer Pat Fry to work alongside technical director Aldo Costa beginning next week.

A Ferrari spokesman, however, told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that Briton Fry will "complement" rather than "replace" the existing structure.

Nonetheless, it has been rumored that Tombazis could be set to switch to Mercedes, but boss Ross Brawn said he is "not interested".

Renault not using F-duct in Valencia
(GMM)  Contrary to rumblings in the Valencia paddock, Renault will not be debuting an F-duct system on its R30 car this weekend.

It is known that the French team is ready with the Red Bull-style low exhaust layout in the Spanish port city.

But as for rumors an F-duct is also ready, team boss Eric Boullier told Auto Hebdo: "We are not introducing it this weekend, but it will appear very soon."

Renault-powered Red Bull will be running an F-duct in Friday practice.

"If it works," team consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Zleine Zeitung newspaper, "it will give us three tenths."

HRT's Senna not worried about 107pc rule return
(GMM)  Bruno Senna says he backs the reintroduction to formula one of a 107 per cent qualifying rule.

The FIA has approved the return of the rule that in 2011 will exclude drivers who fail to qualify within 107 per cent of the pole sitter.

It might have been expected that HRT team figures would not support the rule, given that on several occasions this year, it would have prevented the F110s from racing.

But rookie driver Senna told Brazil's Globo: "The very big speed difference between the cars is bad for everyone.

"It's bad for those who have to lap the slower cars, and also for the guys who have to make room (for them to pass)."

The Brazilian said he is not worried about the 107 per cent rule applying in 2011.

"Actually, the new teams for this year are moving all the time to within those limits.

"It's not necessarily about the new teams, but those who have not got a fully professional project.

"For my part, I hope that in 2011 my car is easily within the limit," added Senna.

F1 teams to test Pirelli tires in Abu Dhabi
(GMM)  F1 teams will stay in Abu Dhabi after November's season finale for a four-day test.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, the session has been organized not only for the young drivers to test, but also so that teams can begin to understand the different variables for the 2011 season.

The biggest difference next year will be the new tire supplier Pirelli, but the test will also be about collecting data for the proximity rear wings and the return of KERS.

It is reported that the teams have agreed with Pirelli that two sets of development tires per team will be tested in Abu Dhabi on days three and four.

For the first two days, young drivers will be in action in what will be a last outing for the departing Bridgestone.

"We would have liked to have the young drivers on the new tires as well," a team member is quoted as saying, "but Pirelli is not able to deliver that many tires at that time."

But given the grueling schedule of 19 races this year, not every member of the F1 world is happy to hear the news about four extra days of work.

"Why not just kick us in the balls and steal our lunch money?" a Red Bull insider said on Twitter.

Pirelli denies FIA relationship already strained
(GMM)  Pirelli has played down suggestions the new F1 tire supplier's relationship with the FIA is already off to a bad start.

Until Pirelli received the green light by the World Motor Sport Council, it is believed FIA president Jean Todt was favoring the return in 2011 of Michelin.

But chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera told reporters: "It was the FIA who took this decision, so this means our relationship is perfect and couldn't be better.

"There is no problem between us and the FIA," he insisted.

Tronchetti Provera also addressed rumors that, in addition to testing with a GP2 car, Pirelli might buy Toyota's unraced 2010 car.

"We have a series of offers which were presented to us," he is quoted by 422race.com.  "Toyota's is one of the offers available on the market.

"This doesn't mean we will take it, because we also have other options."

And head of research and development Maurizio Boiocchi admitted the possibility of a shift in the future from the current 13-inch tires seen on the grid.

"The design phase for 2011 and 2012 is already quite advanced, so the changes can be introduced only starting from 2013," he said.

"This will be discussed over the next two years."

Reliability now Red Bull's priority - Marko
(GMM)  After focusing on the speed of the RB6 early this season, Red Bull is now turning more of its attention to boosting reliability.

Despite dominating the lap times at many venues so far in 2010, the Austrian team is not leading the world championships after a spate of issues.

The latest reliability glitches were in the cars' gearboxes in Canada, and Mark Webber does not deny that the situation could be traced back to the winter testing phase.

"We elected to run the car when we did in testing because that is the decision we made," said the Australian, referring to the RB6's late track debut.

"We could have done a bit more reliability work and you may say the car would not have been so fast, but it is a long, long season," Webber is quoted as saying by AAP news agency in Valencia.

Team consultant Helmut Marko confirms: "The direction of our development has changed somewhat.

"The reliability is now the priority," he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

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