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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Todt describes Texas GP as 'just a project'
  • Senna eyes keeping HRT seat in 2011
  • Frenchman Vergne eyes Abu Dhabi young driver test
  • Court moves to freeze assets of HRT owner Carabante
  • Force India to use KERS in 2011 - report
  • Construction of Korea F1 track 'delayed' - official

Todt describes Texas GP as 'just a project'
(GMM)  Jean Todt does not sound confident about formula one's return to America.

A ten-year contract for a race at a purpose-built circuit in Austin, Texas, was signed recently with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

But some experts are skeptical the organizers can succeed where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the last US GP venue, failed.

Ecclestone said last week the promoter risks penalties if the debut race is not delivered in 2012, and he is now being quoted as revealing he is in talks about a separate event in New York.

And while a guest of NASCAR at Daytona last weekend, FIA president Todt sounded less than optimistic about F1's chances in America.

When specifically asked about Austin, the Frenchman told a Fox Sports reporter: "At the moment, it's just a project.  I don't think something will happen next year."

Todt said part of the reason for his US visit was to learn about NASCAR's success in the US versus formula one.

"Of course, there are reasons why NASCAR is so big in America and why formula one has never really been able so far to do something out here while doing a lot in other countries around the world," he added.

Senna eyes keeping HRT seat in 2011
(GMM)  Bruno Senna has admitted he wants to stay at HRT next year.

The 26-year-old made his debut with the struggling new Spanish team this season, but has recorded only 3 finishes so far and never qualified higher than 21st.

But according to the news agency Reuters, the Brazilian nephew of the great Ayrton Senna "said HRT ... remained his main focus for next year".

After driving his late uncle's race-winning 1993 McLaren at Goodwood last weekend, Senna said: "At the end of the day you never know what can and cannot happen in the future.

"All I can do is keep pushing and hopefully get some good results."

Senna said 2010 is not a wasted season.

"I think I have developed a lot, learned a lot in formula one.  I have improved so much on driving and being assured of myself, in motivation.

"In the end of the day, all I think about is making my career long.

"It's a bit frustrating when you are trying to compete but can't," he continued.  "But at the end of the day my career is not about only this year."

Frenchman Vergne eyes Abu Dhabi young driver test
(GMM)  A young French driver is eyeing a clear step into the world of formula one at the end of the 2010 season.

Jean-Eric Vergne, 20, drove a Red Bull car at last weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed, and is now targeting a place for the end-of-season young driver test in Abu Dhabi.

In 2010, he is part of Red Bull's Junior Team driver development program, and clearly leading the British F3 championship with multiple champions Carlin.

When asked by Auto Hebdo if he wants to test in Abu Dhabi after November's season finale, Vergne answered: "That is clearly the goal.

"If I win the championship, I'll do the tests later this year.  I don't know if it will be with Red Bull or Toro Rosso," he told the French publication.

A similar path was trodden by Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who won last year's British F3 championship, did the young driver F1 test, and was then appointed an official reserve driver for 2010.

"Yes, the goal is to do that, but not because Ricciardo did it, because I am racing in a championship and want to win it.

"Then, Red Bull lets its best drivers do the (F1) testing.  If I win my championship, I think I'll top the list," added Vergne.

Court moves to freeze assets of HRT owner Carabante
(GMM)  A Madrid arbitration court has moved to freeze the assets of HRT team owner Jose Ramon Carabante.

Due to a payment dispute with Trinitario Casanova, from whom Carabante bought the Grupo Hispania in 2008, the case was referred to Madrid's Arbitration court.

The pair are each claiming the other owes them multiple millions of euros, but the finding of the court was that Carabante's properties be preventatively frozen due to a 23 million euro debt, the El Mundo newspaper said.

However, it is believed that the HRT team is not one of the affected assets controlled by Carabante.

And he told the Diario La Verdad newspaper that the arbitration outcome does not worry him.

"I know what I owe him (Casanova), and what he owes me.  The judge will decide," said Carabante.

Court sources confirmed to the newspaper that the decision is not definitive.

Force India to use KERS in 2011 - report
(GMM)  Force India has become the latest team to commit to using KERS in 2011.

When the energy-recovery systems were first permitted by the technical regulations last year, the Silverstone based team opted not to use the technology.

But for 2011, the FOTA gentleman's ban on the systems will lapse, and the efficiency of KERS will improve due to the increase in the minimum car/driver weight by 20kg.

Moreover, the interaction of KERS with the car's weight distribution will also be negated in 2011, due to the introduction of a mandatory 46:54 ratio.

"There is no other option than to go with KERS," Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

However, Auto Motor und Sport said it is not clear if independent teams Sauber and Toro Rosso will use KERS next year, adding that all three new teams will probably not race the systems.

Teams not developing their own KERS systems for 2011 will be able to buy a supply for 1 million euros, while a 5 million euro per team development cap applies.

Construction of Korea F1 track 'delayed' - official
(GMM)  Construction of Korea's formula one circuit is running late.

Based on a statement provided by race promoters KAVO on Tuesday, it was reported by multiple outlets that construction of the track in Joellanam-do province is "on schedule".

The reports follow rumors that F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is lining up a potential replacement host for Korea, amid reports construction might have been delayed by the regional political situation.

The inaugural Korean grand prix is scheduled for October 24.

A KAVO official told AFP news agency that the track will be ready at the end of August at the latest.

"Our initial plan was to complete it in July but construction has been delayed," he said, without giving details.

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